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Sailing: Smith, Davidson earn U.S. junior women's doublehanded crown

Two recent Newport Harbor High graduates cap junior career with triumph off Newport Beach.

June 27, 2013|By Steve Virgen
  • NEWPORT BEACH, CA, JUNE 27, 2013 - Carolyn Smith, left, gives her teammate Bayley Davidson a fist bump after the team finished first place in the 2013 U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy out of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club in Corona del Mar on Thursday, June 27, 2013. (Scott Smeltzer, Daily Pilot)
NEWPORT BEACH, CA, JUNE 27, 2013 - Carolyn Smith, left,… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

CORONA DEL MAR — Amid their celebratory dip into Newport Harbor, there were tears of joy for Carolyn Smith and Bayley Davidson.

Who could blame the recent Newport Harbor High graduates for crying. They will admit, they couldn't have written a better story with such a fantastic ending.

Last year, the sailing duo finished second in the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship, missing out on the top spot by one point.

This year, they felt pressure with the regatta coming to their "home," with Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club acting as host.

"It was, like, haunting us," said Davidson, a Balboa Yacht Club member.

"The fact that it was here, we had everyone coming up to us going, 'So are you going to win it this year?' " said Smith, a Newport Harbor Yacht Club member.

The answer to that question would be a resounding "Yes."

Smith, the skipper, and Davidson, crew, captured the Ida Lewis Trophy for winning the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship Thursday. The local duo didn't win any of the 10 races during the three days of competition, but they were steady throughout and won with 42 points.

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Cassie Obel and Annika Garrett of Del Rey Yacht Club came in second with 50 points, and Elena Vandenberg and Lilia Salvesen of Annapolis Yacht Club took third with 50 points.

Smith and Davidson nearly won race No. 9, but settled for second. They had led throughout the roughly half-mile course, but Vandenberg and Salvesen swooped in at the end to grab the first-place point.

Four races took place Thursday amid 6-8 knots. The four races were rather intense as each start led to a "black flag race." The black flag is a penalty dealt when sailors start too early and the race requires a restart. Start too early again after the black flag and you're disqualified.

"The girls were all aggressive," said Mark Foster, a US Sailing race officer. "They all want to get a good start and they all want to get a little bit of an edge. The first two days we had current and wind holding them back [at the start] and the last day the current kind of shifted and didn't hold them as much. They were all an aggressive group."

Four boats were disqualified from race No. 9, the third race of the day. Then 13 boats were sent back to the dock in the final race after the black flag, Foster said.

Smith and Davidson thought they had started too early after the black flag on race No. 9.

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