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Balboa Yacht Club begins acceptance of requests for invitation for 55th Governor's Cup

by Susan Kenney 24 Jan 20:51 PST July 25-30, 2022

Balboa Yacht Club has posted all the information necessary for requesting an invitation ("RFI") for the 55th Governor's Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, July 25-30, 2022, on the event website, www.govcupracing.com under "Race Documents".

The "GovCup" is traditionally held in one of the two last weeks of July. This year, BYC, World Sailing, and the host of this year's U.S. Youth Match Racing World Championship, Yacht Club Apcc Voile Sportive (FRA), worked together to ensure that the two championships did not conflict. The "Worlds" will now be held in Pornichet, France, the week of July 17-23, which will allow teams invited to both events to compete.

The Governor's Cup is presented by Disc Sports & Spine Center and is an invitational event for sailors that have not reached their 23rd birthday by the last day of the regatta. It is the world's oldest international youth match racing regatta and "alumni" have competed in, and won the America's Cup, the Congressional Cup, Olympic medals, the World Match Racing Tour Championship and—perhaps surprisingly given the difference in the sport's disciplines—the Round the World Race.

"While Covid is still unfortunately with us, we hope that significant improvement in the situation will occur before the July dates and that this year we will be again be joined by teams from New Zealand, Australia, and the United Kingdom which was not possible in 2021," said Christine Gribben, Chair of the event. "They will face tough competition from 2021 Governor's Cup winner Jeffrey Petersen (USA) and World Youth Match Racing Champion David Wood (USA)—both of whom are committed to attend—as well as from other European teams expected to seek invitations from countries including Denmark, France and Italy" continued Gribben.

"To a certain extent, this year will be a 'changing of the guard" as a number of young match racing champions like former GovCup winner Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL) and 2019 Youth World Champion Tom Grimes (AUS) have 'aged out' of the Cup this year," said Selection Committee member Andy Rose. "But, with the rankings of Petersen and Wood and the other potential age-eligible invitees, we still could end up with a Grade 2 quality fleet, or even Grade 1 as we were in 2018," said Rose.

Grading of events by World Sailing is based primarily on the "Open" (non-age-limited) rankings of the skippers. In 2018, the Governor's Cup was retroactively regraded to Grade 1, the first youth match racing regatta to achieve that level, normally reserved for events with most, or all professional sailors. The 2022 Governor's Cup has initially applied as a Grade 3 regatta so if an upgrade is appropriate after the RFI and selection process, it would be retroactive as was the case in 2018.

The Cup is sailed in identical "Governor's Cup 22" sloops provided by the Newport Balboa Sailing & Seamanship Association and BYC to the competitors. They were designed by famed yacht designer and BYC Staff Commodore Alan Andrews and feature fractional rigs, flat top mains and masthead spinnakers. They have proved perfectly suited to racing in wind speeds of as little as 4-5 knots, but also perform well and are exciting to sail in the 18-20 knot conditions prevalent in the 2021 Cup.

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