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Sailing teams brave Santa Barbara waters

Newport Harbor High and CdM High compete in Gaucho Regatta.

March 26, 2012|By Mary Cappellini
  • Newport Harbor A Division Skipper Gregg Kent with crew Jackie Cappellini sail in big seas and heavy winds in Santa Barbara.
Newport Harbor A Division Skipper Gregg Kent with crew… (Daily Pilot )

The weather and the ocean swells were the biggest challenge for the Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar high school sailing teams. They battled the cold, wind and rain as they competed in the Gaucho Regatta, put on last weekend by the UC Santa Barbara sailing team in Santa Barbara Harbor.

At dawn on March 17, the two large sailing teams drove through the pouring rain to Santa Barbara in numerous cars. They towed their boats to sail against 28 other high school sailing teams from San Diego to San Francisco.

The weather cleared in Santa Barbara, as the storm headed south, and although the water and air temperatures were chilly, the pouring rain stopped. The consistent, strong and gusty winds made for some great sailing and good viewing from the main pier in town.

After two exciting and challenging days of racing, Newport Harbor High School came out fifth overall in the Gold Fleet, with the first team of Ryan Davidson, Greer Wattson, Daniel Segerblom, Francesca Cappellini and Erik Higbie.

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Segerblom, with crew Cappellini and Higbie, who came in with the heavier wind, did very well in the B division, placing third. The combined team score consisted of adding the points of the A and B division boats.

CdM placed eighth in Gold with the following sailors: Michael Madigan, Chloe Depp, Conner Kelter, Christophe Killian, Brooke Donahue and Katie Donahue. Harbor's second and third teams placed ninth and 12th, respectively.

Harbor's second team consisted of Gregg Kent, Jackie Cappellini, Campbell D'Eliscu, Bayley Davidson and Jack Martin, who also came in with the heavier wind. Harbor's third team consisted of Andrew Mather, Megan Roach, Chase Wells and Sally Fuller.

The winds were anywhere from 15 to 20 knots Saturday, and even heavier on Sunday. At times squalls came in so quickly, with gusts of up to 30 knots, that anywhere from five to 10 boats flipped at once. Many boats were able to flip back over and continue the various races, but others were unable to finish.

The wind was so strong that the race committee called short the races scheduled for the Silver Fleet on Saturday afternoon, and they did not send them back out on Sunday, March 18. The Gold Fleet finished six races in both the A and B division by early Saturday afternoon, the Silver A division finished five races, and the B division finished only three of them.

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