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NHHS sailors clinch national tourney spot

Sailing team from CdM High School places fifth in Gold PCCs. Sea Kings lose out to Sailors by one point in quest for berth in U.S. championship after thrilling Bay Area battle.

April 26, 2012|By Mary Cappellini
  • CdM's crew Jimmy Madigan hikes out in boat @#20 as his skipper and brother, Michael Madigan, lead ahead of Newport Harbor's skipper Ryan Davidson and crew Keenan Chung, also shown hiking out of boat, during the Gold PCCs at Treasure Island.
CdM's crew Jimmy Madigan hikes out in boat @#20 as… (Daily Pilot )

This weekend of April 21 and 22 was a big one for the local high school sailing teams competing in the Gold and Silver Pacific Coast championships.

Newport Harbor High School qualified for the National Championship with a fifth place overall finish in the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Assn. (PCISA), narrowly beating out rival Corona del Mar after a close regatta at the Gold Pacific Coast Championship (PCC) in San Francisco.

In the Gold PCC Regatta at Treasure Island, Corona del Mar placed fifth and trophied, finishing just ahead of Newport Harbor, which placed 6th. But the course wasn't enough for CdM to go on to the national championship.

Because of Newport Harbor's third-place standing in the PCISA, the combined scores of all of the regattas of the year, plus the Gold PCC score, launched Newport Harbor above its rival CdM by one point.

On May 12 and 13 in Seattle, Newport Harbor will join three San Diego teams, Point Loma, Cathedral Catholic and Coronado, as well as the San Francisco team of Branson, to represent the Pacific Coast Region in the High School National Double Handed Sailing Championship — the Mallory Cup.

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Newport Harbor High School also placed first, second and third at the Silver PCC in Cabrillo Beach, sweeping the event with all three of its Silver teams. Only one Gold team is allowed at the Gold PCC. CdM's Silver teams placed seventh and 17th.

The Gold PCC was a very challenging and competitive regatta with dramatically different wind conditions and weather each day. Saturday, April 21, was a beautiful and sunny day in the Bay Area, with temperatures in the 80s, and a light but steady breeze from the west at 8 to 10 knots through most of the day.

There were eight races in each division on Saturday, and Cathedral Catholic and Branson were tied for the overnight lead. Newport Harbor was in fifth with 89 points, with sailors Ryan Davidson and Greer Watson in A Division and Daniel Segerblom and Francesca Cappellini in B Division. CdM was in sixth with 109 points, with sailors Michael Madigan and Chloe Dapp in A Division and Conner Ketler and Caitlyn Johnson in B Division.

Like the wind, the competition became fiercer, and like all good rivalries, the bragging rights between Newport Harbor and CdM of who would beat whom at the regatta came down to the last race.

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