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Busy race course - 2015 Governor's Cup Nancy Mellon
Busy race course - 2015 Governor's Cup Nancy Mellon

51st Governor’s Cup

The 2017 Governor’s Cup (the longest running Youth International Match Race) will be sailed July 17- 22, 2017, at the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, California in Governor’s Cup 22’s.

This event is for sailors who will not turn 23 before July 23, 2017. Skippers will be invited based on resume. Requests for Invitation will be available on the Balboa Yacht Club website under “Youth Sailing” and are due by May 12, 2017.

Balboa Yacht Club has posted the Notice of Race, Event Brochure and Request for Invitation form on its website for the 51st Annual Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Regatta to be held in the waters off Newport Beach from July 17-22, 2017. Match race skippers who will not have reached their 23rd birthday by July 22, 2017 are eligible and crews must also meet that age limit.

The Governor’s Cup is the oldest youth match racing regatta in the world and last year celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Alumni of the “Gov Cup” have gone on to distinguish themselves in world class events such as the America’s Cup, the Congressional Cup, and the World Match Racing Tour, the Olympics and Round the World race and include such sailors as James Spithill, Taylor Canfield, Phil Robertson, Paul Cayard, John Kostecki and many others.

In recent years, competition in the Gov Cup compares favourably with many non-age limited events with two of last year’s skippers now ranking third and fifth in the World Sailing Open Match Racing Rankings—and neither of them won last year’s Gov Cup! The quality of competition was also recognized by World Sailing in granting the 2016 Governor’s Cup a retroactive regatta rating of Grade Two. This year’s event will be a minimum Grade Three event but given the success of younger match racers, it too may ultimately receive a Grade Two rating.

The regatta will feature a double round robin format, followed by semi-finals, petit finals and final matches. Those teams not qualifying for the semi-finals will continue to race to establish overall places five – twelve. During the week, international teams will experience renowned Balboa Yacht Club hospitality including housing with club families, an opening dinner, invitations on large boat for the Thursday “Beer Can Regatta”, Friday press conference and reception, and trophy reception on Saturday, the 22nd.

Twelve equally matched “Governor’s Cup 22” sloops will be provided to the invited teams. The boats were launched and first used in the 50th Anniversary Regatta in 2016. With a “flat top” mainsail, fractional rig, masthead spinnakers, a “T” keel with an “all up” weight of only 1467lbs/667kgs, BYC believes they are the best boat in the world currently used in similar competitions.

The BYC Governor’s Cup selection committee will announce the selected skippers by May 26, 2017. Automatic invitations are issued to the winner of the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup and the Intercollegiate Sailing Association Match Racing Champion and to former winners of the Governor’s Cup who are still age eligible and file an RFI in a timely manner. The balance of the invitees are selected based on sailing resume with an emphasis on match race and small keelboat experience as well as efforts to get a representative international contingent. In its 50 year history, invitees have included teams from many countries in Europe and South America, as well as from Australia, Japan and New Zealand and a typical international group is expected again this year.

In fact, the geographic distribution of entries may be even wider this year as Balboa Yacht Club also hosts the World Sailing Youth Match Racing Championship from July 30-August 5, 2017 and although it is likely that only one team per country will be invited to the World Championships, many skippers may also wish to seek an invitation to the Governor’s Cup two weeks before the Worlds in the same boats. BYC and its members look forward to hosting both championship events as Newport Beach becomes the center of world youth match racing in the summer of 2017.

by Nancy Mellon

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