Last year, the Corona del Mar High sailing team was one point away from qualifying for the High School Dinghy National Championships. This year the Sea Kings left no doubt.
CdM finished third at the Pacific Coast Championships Sunday at Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro.
CdM edged Newport Harbor, which finished fourth and also qualified to compete for the Mallory Trophy May 11-12 in Chicago.
CdM and Newport Harbor competed against the best teams in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Assn. The Sea Kings and Sailors entered the competition that fielded 22 teams with great confidence. They entered ranked Nos. 3 and 4, respectively, and took care of business at the PCC regatta.
"We were pretty confident going in," CdM Coach Nate Dunham said. "We had to get the job done basically. The kids all sailed well. It was challenging conditions, windy one day and light the next. They did really well in all conditions and got the job done."
Seniors Chloe Dapp and Caitlyn Johnson, as well as junior girls Clare Dahl, Alex Ivory and junior boys Connor Kelter, Jimmy Madigan, Christophe Killian and Jack Thompson contributed to the Sea Kings' third-place finish.
Point Loma won the regatta and Cathedral Catholic finished second. Dos Pueblos was the fifth team qualifying for nationals.
Killian (skipper) and Dahl (crew) won the "B" Division by 19 points over other competitors giving CdM a big boost.
Sage Hill also competed and finished 19th.
On the first day of competition, Saturday, racing was delayed for about an hour because of fog and light air. Racing started just after noon, as breeze built to 15-plus knots out of the west southwest. Sunday's racing featured light winds, 4-7 knots.
Newport Harbor's team featured Daniel and Sean Segerblom, Bayley Davidson, Jack Martin, Campbell D'Eliscu, Katie Calder, Victoria Lewis and Carolyn Smith.
Newport Harbor finished sixth last year at nationals.
CdM and Newport Harbor will prepare for this weekend's team racing PCCs at Mission Bay. The regatta takes the top three to sail for the Baker Trophy May 24-26 at Davis Island Yacht Club.
CdM and Newport Harbor practice together to prepare for regattas, Dunham said. The "rival" teams will prepare for the high school national championships together.
At the PCCs this past weekend, they sailed in F-J boats. At the nationals, they will be sailing in 420s, so now they must practice in 420s.