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Governor's Cup: Egnot-Johnson wins close Final - Day 5

by Andrew Delves, RNZYS 21 Jul 2019 07:13 PDT 22 July 2019
Nick Egnot-Johnson - Governor's Cup Final - Day 5, July 20, 2019 © Andrew Delves

RNZYS Performance Programme Team KNOTS Racing – Nick Egnot-Johnson, Sam Barnett & Alistair Gifford - have won the 53rd Annual Governor’s Cup at the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach California after beating RNZYS PP Pacific Racing Team - Leonard Takahashi, Taylor Balogh and Josh Wijohn - three matches to two in an epic final.

Egnot-Johnson began the day tied one a piece with American Jack Parkin in their semi-final, and quickly went down two-one after he was over the line at the start. However, the team soon pulled it back in their favored light air conditions, winning the next two matches strongly to book their place in the final.

In the other Semi-Final, Takahashi and his RNZYS PP Pacific Racing Team started the day with their backs against the wall down two-nil to RNZYS YTP Team – Frankie Dair, Matt Leydon and Niall Malone. Two-time Governor’s Cup runner-up Takahashi wasn’t going to let his chance slip away though, coming back to level the scores at two apiece. Takahashi then got off to a decent lead in the final match, and unfortunately it went from bad to worse for Dair when he hooked a very large piece of kelp around his keel at the top mark, stopping his Gov’s Cup 22 in its tracks and ending his hopes of making the final.

Now it was time for an all RNZYS Performance Programme final between Takahashi and Egnot-Johnson, the match many predicted to be the final before the regatta began, and it was set to be an absolute classic – it didn’t disappoint.

Egnot-Johnson and his RNZYS PP Knots Racing team started hot, winning the first two matches in the lighter air which had many thinking they may knock this final off in three races. Takahashi had other ideas though, and as the breeze came up substantially, he found his mojo, sailing unbelievably fast downwind to come back and tie the match at two apiece.

The final match had it all, and after a tight start it was Egnot-Johnson who had the lead on the first upwind leg. Takahashi, trying his best to catch up, un-luckily then hit the top mark on the first leg and incurred a penalty. Egnot-Johnson then had the upper hand and held onto his lead for the remainder of the race to cross the line and win the 53rd Annual Governor’s Cup.

Speaking as they arrived on the dock at the Balboa Yacht Club to a hero’s welcome, Egnot-Johnson and his team were ecstatic to take home the title -

“We’re super stoked – absolutely thrilled to come away with the win. The breeze was lighter at the start of the final and we got two-nil up on Len, but as soon as the breeze came up he was sailing the boat so fast and he managed to take a couple of races off us. Then it came down to one big finale race. We managed to get the right off the start and the boys we’re sailing so quick around the course and yeah, we got that last one over the line.”

It’s been a great week for our Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron teams, with all four teams finishing in the top five – including; first (Nick Egnot-Johnson RNZYS PPPKNOTS Racing), second (Leonard Takahashi RNZYS PP Pacific Racing Team), fourth (Frankie Dair RNZYS YTP), and fifth (Jordan Stevenson RNZYS PP Vento Racing) - and to top it off Jordan Stevenson and his team were awarded the sportsmanship award.

Results here: www.matchracingresults.com/2019/governors-cup

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