“Best Ever” Fleet for Governor’s Cup 2016

Published on May 17th, 2016

Corona del Mar, CA (May 17, 2016) – Balboa Yacht Club, the host of the Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship presented by Farmers & Merchants Bank, announced today that invitations have been extended to 11 of the finest youth match racers in the world to compete in the 50th Anniversary “Gov Cup” from July 17-23, 2016.

The skippers, representing Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and the United States, were chosen based on their sailing resumes or by virtue of their having previously won the Governor’s Cup. A final and 12th invitee will be determined by results of the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship (“USYMRC”) for the Rose Cup in mid-June.

“Although it seems to get more competitive each year, this fleet is undoubtedly the best ever,” said Bill Wakeman, chair of the selection committee.

In addition to the unprecedented appearance of three former winners, Sam Gilmour, Perth, Western Australia; Nevin Snow, San Diego, California; and Harry Price, Sydney, Australia, the skippers include host Balboa Yacht Club’s own Christophe Killian who has had an incredible year since his 3rd place finish in the 2015 Governor’s Cup.

3 Winners2 Gov Cup

Winning skippers (left to right): Nevin Snow (USA), Sam Gilmour (AUS), and Harry Price (AUS)

Christophe Killian is the current U.S. Youth Match Racing Champion as well as the Intercollegiate Match Racing Champion and will be the United States representative at the 2016 World Sailing Youth Match Racing Championship in June in New Caledonia.

Gov Cup and Rose Cup veteran Charlie LaLumiere from Portland YC in Maine, and last year’s Gov Cup 4th place finisher, Christopher Weis, who will represent southern California’s Del Rey Yacht Club, were also invited based on their 2015/16 performances.

LaLumiere started his match racing career with little experience at a Rose Cup appearance a few years ago but is now one of the finest of U.S. youth match racers, having placed 2nd in the Intercollegiate Match Racing Championship and 4th in the U.S. Match Racing Championship which is not age limited. Weis has also progressed very quickly with a 3rd in last year’s USYMRC for the Rose Cup followed by his 2015 semi-final Governor’s Cup performance against many more experienced match racers.

In addition to Price and Gilmour, other international invitees include George Anyon of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron who had “podium” finishes in four of the most important youth match racing events in Australia and New Zealand over the last year including victories in two of the events. For the first time, Japan will be represented with a team led by Leonard Takahashi. Australia is well represented by skippers Will Bouldon, William Dargaville, and last year’s Governor’s Cup runner up, Lachy Gilmour. Together with New Zealand’s Anyon, all four took turns in achieving top finishes in many of the 2015/16 events in the southern hemisphere.

BYC historians believe Western Australians Sam and Lachy Gilmour’s appearances will represent the first time two brothers have sailed against each other in the same Governor’s Cup and Sam Gilmour has a chance to make further history in seeking his third Governor’s Cup win. Sam is also the reigning World Sailing Youth Match Racing champion and is currently ranked #5 in the World Sailing Open Match Race Rankings.

In the 2015 Gov Cup, Sam coached his younger brother Lachy to second place in Lachy’s first Governor’s Cup and Lachy will be looking to apply what he learned in competition against Sam this year (if Christophe Killian’s younger brother, Porter, was to win the USYMRC for the Rose Cup, they would be the second set of brothers competing in the Cup this year).

The Governor’s Cup teams, all members of which must be 22 or under, will be provided with identical, new “Governor’s Cup 22” sloops which will be raced for the first time at the Governor’s Cup and associated 50th Anniversary alumni events. The boats are lighter, longer and have more sail area than other boats used for similar events worldwide and should provide a challenge to the young sailors.

The new fleet was funded primarily through contributions from BYC members with assistance from builder Westerly Marine and other partners North Sails, Gougeon Brothers, Samson Cordage, Harken Marine, and Hall Spars.

The Governor’s Cup was founded in 1967 with a trophy donated by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan. James Spithill, two-time winning skipper of the America’s Cup, leads a large group of “Gov Cup” alumni which include some of the finest sailors in the world including a virtual “who’s who” of America’s Cup, Olympic, World Match Racing Tour, and round the world race winners such as John Kostecki (USA), Taylor Canfield (USA), Phil Robertson (NZL), Paul Cayard (USA), Mark Christensen (NZL) and many others.

Many of the Governor’s Cup alumni are expected to participate in the alumni regatta on Saturday, July 16. This year’s 50th Anniversary celebration will also include a visit by the America’s Cup and the Congressional Cup at the Monday night, July 18, opening dinner in recognition of the many Gov Cup alumni who have sailed in all three events. This will be the first time these three iconic trophies have ever been displayed together.

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Source: Governor’s Cup, Mary Longpre (photos)

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