2021 Governor’s Cup kicks off
Published on July 27th, 2021
Newport Beach, CA (July 27, 2021) – Racing started today for ten teams competing in the 2021 Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship. Due to the pandemic, a revised entry list was necessary when crews from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom were unable to attend. As a result, the 54th edition has seven U.S. teams, a record since becoming an international event over thirty years ago.
The first day of the 54th Governor’s Cup Youth International Match Racing Championship ended with some great racing, but also anticipation. In the 12-16 knot breezes, the most awaited race of the day, the matchup of undefeated teams after a day of sailing between United States Youth Match Racing Champion, Balboa Yacht Club’s Jeffrey Petersen (USA), and Emil Kjaer (DEN), was postponed until tomorrow by PRO Dr. Don Becker to allow time for minor boat repairs. This much anticipated match will be the first race of the day tomorrow.
Close behind on the leaderboard is Porter Kavle (USA, Annapolis Yacht Club) who is tied at day’s end with Kjaer but lost his first-round robin race against the Dane. One point further behind are Jack Egan (USA, San Diego Yacht Club) and the youngest sailor in the fleet, Morgan Pinckney,16, (USA, Newport Harbor Yacht Club). Ansgar Jordan (USA, Coronado Yacht Club) had some good races and is a further point behind.
In a year when the usual excellent sailors from Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom could not attend due to various COVID travel restrictions and quarantine requirements, this year’s “GovCup” has become similar to golf’s Ryder Cup competition between the U.S. and Europe. While the GovCup is an individual competition and teams want to win races notwithstanding nationalities, the BYC host decided to dedicate an informal trophy to be given based on the final GovCup placings of the top three U.S. teams versus the Europeans.
While Kjaer clearly leads his European contingent, the first entry in the GovCup from Metropolitan France, Thimoté Polet, initially showed great promise with a 2-0 record, but unfortunately lost several races after that. Marius Westerlind (SWE, Royal Gothenburg YC), perhaps the star of Monday evening’s traditional Opening Dinner and Meet the Teams “roast,” was vulnerable to his much more experienced colleagues and was winless on Day 1.
The Governor’s Cup is the oldest and most prestigious youth match racing regatta in the world. It has produced some of the best sailors in the world in the America’s Cup, Olympics, major one design classes and, perhaps most unusually, the Round the World Race—the sport’s discipline that is arguably most different than match racing.
In summing up the day, Cup Chair Christine Robertson Gribben said, “It was a relief to just get these ten teams here in this second tough year for travel, especially for the international teams. They arrived, all tested negative for COVID, and put on quite a show in the breeze. We look forward to Day 2 of the Round Robins tomorrow!”
Competitors for 54th edition:
• Thimoté Polet, a successful sailor in fleet and ocean racing in addition to his skills as a match racer, will represent France.
• Emil Kjaer from Denmark also joins the field having attained a podium finish in three separate Grade 2 match racing events in northern Europe and would have to be considered one of the favorites.
• Scandinavian Marius Westerlind (SWE) will skipper in the GovCup for the first time as the 2020 Swedish Youth Match Racing Champion and will undoubtedly keep up the tradition of strong Swedish teams.
• David Wood and Jeffrey Petersen, who both grew up sailing at host Balboa Yacht Club and then teamed up for their first big match racing event, the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup in 2017, winning that event with Wood steering and Petersen crewing. Petersen turned the tables on Wood in June’s 2021 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship by skippering the winning team with Wood third.
• San Diego Yacht Club’s Jack Egan who will have another chance at Wood and Petersen in the Governor’s Cup. Egan was undefeated in the double round robin, quarter and semi-finals at 2021 USYMRC but succumbed to the frequent “curse” of undefeated teams at that stage and lost to Petersen in the finals. Egan is a first-time Governor’s Cup skipper.
• Representing Coronado YC, Ansgar Jordan had already accepted an invitation as a first-time Governor’s Cup skipper.
• Porter Kavle of Annapolis, MD who is on the sailing team at Fordham University was also invited and will be another first-time Governor’s Cup skipper.
• Morgan Pinkney of Newport Harbor YC (CA) will, at 16, be the youngest skipper and will be sailing in his first Governor’s Cup.
• 2021 USYMRC semi-finalist Owen Lahr of Richmond YC (CA) is another first-time skipper.
The Governor’s Cup is an invitational event for sailors that have not reached their 23rd birthday by the last day of the regatta. Crews of three or four that meet the weight requirement will sail the Governor’s Cup 22 boats designed and built for the event. Racing is July 27 – 31.
Stage 1 ‐ A double round robin of all teams.
Stage 2 ‐ A semi‐final knockout of the top four teams from Stage 1.
Stage 3 – A final knockout of the top two teams from Stage 2
Stage 4 – A petit final knockout of the other two teams from Stage 2.
Stage 5 – A consolation round for the teams finishing five through ten from Stage 1