Racing for the University of Hawaii (UH) at Manoa to a second-place finish in the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association Pacific Coast Conference, two Coronado High School graduates and Coronado Yacht Club members will compete in the Women’s Collegiate Dingy National Championship regatta in New Orleans, May 23 through 26.
“A” team skipper, Mercy Tangredi, and “B” team crew, Sophia Shaeffer, both freshmen, will be two of the six women sailors representing UH. Both Mercy and Sophia were four-year members of the Coronado High School sailing team, with Mercy serving as CHS team captain during their 2020-2021 senior year. They will be accompanied to New Orleans by Kelsie Grant of Palos Verdes, CA, Vivian Bonsager of Newport Beach, CA, Morgan Carew of Arnold, MD and Anna Kalabukhova of Honolulu, HI.
The top two colleges from each of the seven Inter-Collegiate conferences will be competing at the Nationals, with Stanford University also representing the Pacific Coast Conference. Other colleges are invited to participate based on a performance point system.
Both Mercy and Sophia honed their sailing skills over many years in the Coronado Yacht Club junior sailing program, directed by Jill Powell, which has produced past sailing champions. Mercy continues to teach junior sailors during the summer and serves as the staff junior commodore. Sophia has also coached in the CYC junior program. The Coronado Yacht Club is the sponsor of the CHS sailing team.
At UH, Mercy is majoring in physics with a minor in computer science. Sophia is majoring in environmental sciences. UH is particularly known for its astronomical physics and marine and environmental studies. Another CHS graduate, Trey Summers (class of 2020), sails for the UH coed team.
The two-person Flying J sailboat is the competition standard for West Coast universities whereas 420 sailboat is the standard for the East Coast colleges. At the National Championships, the schools alternate between boats types, increasing the challenge for those colleges, like UH, that do not have 420s in their fleet.
The UH “Rainbows” last qualified to compete in the Nationals in the 2017-2018 season and it was in 2014 that they last passed the semi-finals and made it to the last championship race. If this is their year to win, it will be through the efforts of the Coronado sailors.