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2021 Governor's Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship at Balboa Yacht Club - Day 1

by Susan Kenney 27 Jul 21:42 PDT July 26-31, 2021
Jeffrey Petersen (USA, Balboa Yacht Club) on day 1 of the Governor's Cup 2021 © Tom Walker

Jeffrey Petersen (USA, Balboa YC) and Emil Kjaer (DEN, Royal Danish YC) tied at the top of the GovCup leaderboard; will face off in Wednesday's first match.

The first day of the 54th Governor's Cup Youth International Match Racing Championship at Balboa Yacht Club (Newport Beach, California) 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 Wednesday.

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!"

www.govcupracing.com

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