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Governor's Cup: Trio of Squadron teams make Semi-Finals - Day 4

by Andrew Delves, RNZYS 20 Jul 2019 06:47 PDT 21 July 2019
Jordan Stevenson v Frankie Dair - Governor's Cup Day 4, July 19, 2019 © Andrew Delves

Four semi-finalists were decided on Day Four of the 53rd Annual Governor's Cup in California, and three of those are teams from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.

Leonard Takahashi, Frankie Dair and Nick Egnot-Johnson are joined by American Jack Parkin in the top four after what was an incredibly exciting day on the water off Newport Beach.

Frankie Dair and his RNZYS Youth Training Programme team (sailing under the California Yacht Club Burgee) started the day the hard way, losing twice which had many spectators writing off his chances. However, Dair fought back to win his next race and then found himself in a do-or-die match against Finn Tapper from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Tapper and Dair were tied on the same amount of wins heading into their final race, and as other previous results went there way, this meant this was a decider to see who would get the final spot in semi's. It was a close fought battle but Dair prevailed, quietening the doubters and slotting straight into the semis.

"The boys stayed really calm this morning after those two losses, we had a few chances to just throw our toy's but we just chilled out and kept chipping away at it - and so far it's paid off for us."

Takahashi started the day well with three wins, but his day began to take a turn when he lost his final round robin match against Nick Egnot-Johnson. Takahashi and his RNZYS Performance Programme Pacific Racing Team still topped the round robin standings with seventeen wins, giving them the right to choose who they raced in the semi-finals, and he picked 4th ranked Dair.

If they had this as a betting option in Vegas, many would have put their money on Takahashi to take this one out - but Dair sailed unbelievably well in the light conditions. Takahashi made a few mistakes and missed a few wind shifts, allowing Dair to win the first two matches of their best of five match-up and take a handy two-nil lead into tomorrow. Takahashi has it all to do on Saturday, but is still confident he can come back and get the job done -

"We didn't transition into the light conditions very well today and we got on the wrong side of a few shifts there. Obviously, we now need to win three races and Frankie only needs to win one, but I don't think we need to do anything differently. We just need to start well and we should hopefully have enough speed to get around him."

The second semi-final saw Nick Egnot-Johnson go up against American Jack Parkin. Egnot-Johnson had a really good morning leading up to the semi-final, winning three out of four races to solidify his top four spot, and he continued that form to win the first match against Parkin. The second match was a close fought race, but Parkin managed to get the win so the score is tied at one a piece heading into the final race on Saturday. Egnot-Johnson is happy with how the team sailed today, and is hoping for similar conditions tomorrow -

"The conditions we had today really suited us, we've done a lot of racing in light, shifty onshore breeze so we kind of expect to do well when it's like that."

As the saying goes, when there is victory in sport there is also heartbreak, and unfortunately that fell on the shoulders of Jordan Stevenson's RNZYS Performance Programme Vento Racing team today. They were right in the hunt to make the top four at the start of the day - and sailed incredibly well - but luck was certainly not on their side as they lost three out of their four races across the line by less than a few feet. However, nineteen-year-old Stevenson can still be very proud of how he raced in this regatta and has many more Governor's Cup campaigns ahead of him.

The semi-finals will resume tomorrow morning, with the grand-final match to follow - make sure you watch the live streaming of the racing via the RNZYS or Governor's Cup Facebook Page. If today is a marker, tomorrow is sure to be another superb day of match racing, and with three Squadron teams in with a chance of making the Final - you will not want to miss it.

Results here:

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