Kiwi final at Governor’s Cup
Published on July 20th, 2019
Newport Beach, CA (July 20, 2019) – After five days, 22 round-robins, semi-final matches and final matches, which all took the full five races to determine the first team to win three, the 53rd Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship has a new champion, Nick Egnot-Johnson of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
Egnot-Johnson won an intense final match against now three-time GovCup runner-up, Leonard Takahashi, also a member of the Squadron. After taking a 2-0 lead, it is unlikely Egnot-Johnson was feeling too comfortable given the fact that Takahashi had come back from that same deficit in his semi-final match against Frank Dair (USA) earlier in the day. Takahashi and crew quickly tied the series 2-2, setting up the final race.
In the fourth race of the final series, with Takahashi in the lead, Egnot-Johnson caught a wave in the surfing conditions and established an overlap on Takahashi’s boat. Takahashi and his veteran crew immediately luffed his opponent and kept their spinnaker full for most of the luff, going from slightly behind Egnot-Johnson to clear ahead. A perfect gybe onto starboard tack put Takahashi back in the lead, and win, evening the series up 2-2 and the final, pivotal match was teed up.
At this point, with 13-14 knots of wind and a considerable amount of chop to go with the ground swells, going to the right side of the course on the upwind leg is generally important. At the final start, both boats fought for that right side and Egnot-Johnson got it.
With a small lead at the first windward mark, he sailed virtually perfectly downwind and was able to avoid Takahashi’s efforts to place his boat directly upwind of his fellow Kiwi and Club member, and in doing so, disturbed the wind flowing down to the leader’s sails. The next two legs featured Egnot-Johnson doing everything right to protect his lead, and he surfed across the finish line to win the finale.
Egnot-Johnson’s victory had to wait for a hearing by the on-the-water umpires after Takahashi claimed he was interfered during the pre-start by one of the Race Committee boats setting the leeward gate. The anchors used to secure the marks were dragging downwind in the wind and sea conditions, so a hearing by the International Jury was called either to confirm Egnot-Johnson’s victory, or perhaps order a re-sail of the race.
The Jury decision did not take long as Takahashi’s request for redress was denied and Egnot-Johnson had won the 53rd Governor’s Cup.
Jack Parkin (USA), after losing his semi-final against Egnot-Johnson, won the petit final against Dair. The other competitors who did not qualify for the semi-finals also sailed best of three series to determine their final overall placing.
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