No room for mistakes at Governor’s Cup
Published on July 17th, 2019
Newport Beach, CA (July 17, 2019) – With nine races to go in the second “round-robin” stage of the 53rd Annual Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, there was little more clarity about the teams that will advance to the semi-finals. Leonard Takahashi (NZL), the two-time runner-up, is now alone on the top of the leaderboard with ten wins.
However, Frank Dair (USA) is only one point back on nine wins, and four skippers have eight points and are essentially tied for third, with four semi-final spots ultimately on the line come Friday (July 19).
“We had a good day, but are still trying to minimize mistakes and get back to our old form,” Dair said after his strong showing today. “Both my crew are doing a good job, and we look forward to some more great racing tomorrow. You can’t slack off in any race because the field here is so good that any of the teams can capitalize on a mistake and take a race off you.”
The tie for third includes yesterday’s co-leader, Finn Tapper (AUS), Jack Parkin (USA), and two of Takahashi’s countrymen, who also are products of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron youth development programs, Nick Egnot-Johnson and Jordan Stevenson.
The featured match in the last race of the first round-robin was between pre-regatta favorites Takahashi and Egnot-Johnson, with the latter leading for three of the legs, but being passed by Takahashi on the fourth and final downwind leg to preserve his overall lead.
At the end of the first round-robin, the two matches that had been postponed were made up before the start of the second round-robin started later this afternoon, and the result of one of them in particular is likely to affect the identity of the semi-finalists come Friday.
At the time, Tapper had seven wins, one behind Takahashi, but a win in this “makeup” race against Egnot-Johnson would return him to the co-leader position. But, it was not to be as “Nick EJ” had a slim lead at the start and was able to maintain the lead through the race, gybing to cross the finish line at the slightly favored committee boat end – winning by only six feet.
With those races completed, the first matches of the second round-robin began with an almost immediate upset as Matt Whitfield (GBR) won his start against Tapper, extended on both upwind legs, held off Tapper downwind, and ended up with a fairly easy victory putting Whitfield back in the hunt for a semi-final slot.
Whitfield undoubtedly regrets two collisions yesterday, which caused both a last second loss and a deduction of 1.5 points from his score for damage, which could have been avoided. That dropped him from the co-lead after day one to 10th place—more indication of the tight competition. Day two ended with Clare Costanzo (AUS) still within striking distance of the semi-finals if they have big days tomorrow and Friday.
Conditions were again near perfect with 10-14 knot breeze with unusually large (for Newport Beach) chop. This put a premium on boat speed. The more experienced teams took advantage of that, which is crucial in this most evenly matched group of GovCup teams in recent memory.
At least six races are planned tomorrow. The second round-robin will be completed on Friday, and the top four boats will start the semi-final races. Those not qualifying for the semis will continue to race to secure their final placing with the 5th place boat sailing the 6th, the 7th versus the 8th, etc.
The winners of the semi-finals, first to win three-race pairings, will sail for the Governor’s Cup on July 20, and the losers will sail in the petit finals for third place.
The 53rd Annual Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship presented by DISC Sports and Spine Centeron is on July 16-20 and begins with a double round-robin series to advance the top four teams to the knock out matches for the Semi-Finals, Finals, and Petit Finals. There are also Consolation rounds to determine the standings from 5th through 12th.
Source: Balboa Yacht Club