Local Sailors Shine in Monterey

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High school sailors show their skills in Monterey Bay last weekend at the annual Sea Otter Regatta. Photo by Jim Donnell

By Greer Wattson

On the first weekend of October, the Newport Harbor High School Sailing Team drove seven hours to Monterey for the annual Sea Otter Regatta. There were a total of 15 sailors divided into three gold teams, one of them varsity, and two junior varsity.

The weather in Monterey is typically foggy and cold at this time of year, but for some odd reason, the Sailors seemed to have brought the Southern California sun. After a morning full of rigging boats and skippers’ and team meetings, A fleet went out for its first set.

The wind was about 5 knots and the three teams sailed a solid first set on windward leeward courses. The varsity team came out with double bullets – or two first places – starting their year off with a bang.

The teams continued to sail well even when the wind picked up to about 8 knots with puffs of 10. After the first day, all were in the top 10.

On Sunday, the fog was back but the wind wasn’t. After a long wait, the race committee sent B boats out to sit in misery, drifting around the course. After two hours of sitting, the wind filled in to about 3 to 5 knots and things were back on track.

Ata the end, the Harbor varsity stood in first place. The two JV teams sailed very well and showed everyone that the Harbor team has some depth to it.

Meanwhile, Corona del Mar High’s JV1 team of Conner Keller and Katie Donahue really stepped up, taking third in the Gold Fleet, while the CdM varsity took 13th.

Sailors who sailed for the win on varsity were Ryan Davidson, Greer Wattson, Daniel Segerblom, and Shelley Grice. Also big congratulations to Carolyn Smith for her awesome races in B fleet, including a win in the last race. Gregg Kent finished in the Top 5 in some races, as well.

The team was coached by head coach Payson Infelise and assistant coach Ashley Simpson.

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