2015 Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Race Champion Harry Price of Australia took significant strides towards joining seven other sailors as two-time winners of the oldest youth match racing regatta in the world at Balboa Yacht Club, Newport Beach, California.
His scores of perfect 13-0 record leads the fleet of 12 entries from Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the United States, putting him two points ahead of local favorite, BYC’s Christophe Killian, as the second day of the competition was completed. Spectators were looking forward today to the last match of the first round robin (in which every boat sails against each other boat) as it featured Price against Killian.
The two were sailing against each other for the first time after last year’s Governor’s Cup, when they raced against each other in the petit finals for third place in the 2016 Cup. in 2016, Killian got the better of Price, and today’s race between the two was also close. Price prevailed today, scoring his perfect record in the first round robin.
However this is not final as with nine races to go in the second round robin, no one’s place in the all-important semi-finals is secure, with the possible exception of Price. The two veteran GovCup sailors are two points behind Killian’s 11-2 record–New Zealand’s Leonard Takahashi and prior Governor’s Cup semi-finalist Chris Weis from Del Rey YC Marina del Rey, California both on 9-4.
Kiwi Takahashi had a poor first day and said, “Our pre-race tactics and decision-making were not as good as we’d like, but we had a debrief last night and we did a lot better today.”
The sailors did indeed. Close behind Weis and Takahashi is Will Boulton of Perth, Western Australia, who would certainly be considered “most improved” from his first GovCup appearance last year when he finished last.
Again today there were a number of close races including the race between Price and Killian, which was decided by one boat length. And as was the case in the first round robin, Price’s first race in the second round was against the youngest competitor in the field, 16 year old David Wood, also a BYC entrant. As with yesterday’s match between the two, Price held a slim lead at
the second windward mark, but lost the lead on the last downwind leg to the finish.
Price was impressed with this exciting talent, summing up the race by saying, “That kid is good!”
Thursday’s action will include the continuation of the second round robin with conditions expected to be similar to today–
early races in 6-7 knots of breeze and afternoon races with wind up to 12 knots and a light chop on the Pacific Ocean race course off Newport Beach. Friday will conclude the Round Robins, and the Semi-finals will then get underway among the top four teams. The
winners of the Semi-finals will advance to the Finals on Saturday. The rest of the fleet will race for the other positions with the 5th place finisher sailing against the 6th, and so on.
Balboa Yacht Club has been hosting the Governor’s Cup since
1967 when then California Governor Ronald Reagan donated the trophy emblematic of this prestigious and longest running international youth match racing championship. Raced off Newport Beach in the Pacific Ocean July 17-22, 2017, this year’s 51st edition is sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank, and features 12 teams of the worlds top youth match racers, representing AUS, GBR, NZL and USA.