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Newport Harbor sailing team fifth in nation at Mallory Regatta

Sailing

Squad finishes high among 20 of the elite in Seattle.

May 16, 2012|By Mary Cappellini

On a beautiful sunny weekend in Seattle, the 20 best high school sailing teams in the nation, chosen through district and regional qualifiers, competed in the Interscholastic Sailing Assn. High School Fleet Racing Championship — the Mallory trophy.

Newport Harbor High sent a team of nine sailors: Franchie Cappellini, Jackie Cappellini, Keenan Chung, Ryan Davidson, Erik Higbie, Daniel Segerblom, Greer Wattson and Chase Wells. They placed fifth in the nation. Three of the top four came from the competitive Pacific Coast Region.

Sailors from across the nation were pleasantly surprised with the wonderful sunny weather and blustering breezes they were given while sailing on Lake Union, with temperatures in the 70's and winds from 8 to 12 knots. They were able to sail 20 races in each the A and the B division over the two days.

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The sailors were also surprised with the amount of traffic, both on and above the water. They navigated through seaplanes, which were landing in front of them, and taking off beside them, commercial tourist boats, pleasure sailors and kayakers.

"I've never sailed in such a busy venue before. It was wild," Francesca Cappellini said.

Often at the start of a race a seaplane would fly over the top of their heads to land in the clear water ahead of them.

Watching from the docks of The Center for Wooden Boats, on the south shore of Lake Union, was fabulous and very entertaining for the spectators. They were watching both the racing and the seaplanes and the busy boating going on around them on a glorious Mothers' Day weekend.

The A division competed in Vanguard 15s, and the B division competed in the CFjs or the 14-foot Flying Juniors. Because the two divisions were sailing in different boats, both fleets were on the race course at the same time, alternating starts.

They would come back to the dock to rotate boats within their class and then head out again. With no real breaks, the sailors sailed from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, getting in 13 races each, and 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, finishing seven more races.

On Saturday, the first five spots switched back and forth numerous times, with Newport Harbor competing for the second spot throughout the day. On Sunday, the field settled down with Newport in fifth, and Point Loma kept their commanding lead, finishing first overall.

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