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GJW Direct 2020

2021 Governor's Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship at Balboa Yacht Club - Day 4

by Susan Kenney 31 Jul 06:09 BST July 26-31, 2021
Porter Kavle (USA, Annapolis Yacht Club) on day 4 of the Governor's Cup 2021 © Tom Walker

Jeffrey Petersen (USA, Balboa Yacht Club), and Emil Kjaer (DEN, Royal Danish Yacht Club), qualified for the semifinals yesterday for the Governor's Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, hosted by Balboa Yacht Club (Newport Beach, California), by being the top two finishers in the eighteen race double round-robin stage. After those races, where each team sailed against each other twice, they had a seven-race break from sailing, waiting to learn the identity of their fellow semifinalists.

Porter Kavle (USA, Annapolis YC) and Morgan Pinckney (USA, Newport Harbor YC) led at the end of today's third round-robin for the remaining eight teams — the Repechage — advancing them also to the semis. Not a surprise, as those two teams were ahead of the other six this morning when the Repechage resumed with flights 4-7.

But the Repechage was not without drama, as the 16-year-old future "rock star" Pinckney promptly lost his first two races. Kavle also dropped a race, giving Jack Egan (USA, San Diego YC), and Thimoté Polet (FRA, Sport Nautique et Plaisance du Havre) a slim chance to make the semis. However, it was not to be, and the two are now racing in the consolation series for fifth place. Given that they have more years left in the Governor's Cup and other age-limited match racing events, both could well be future "GovCup" winners.

Indeed, Egan and Pinckney were tied on points at the end of the Repechage, but the tie was broken in favor of Pinckney who had defeated Egan in all three of their matches.

Petersen, as the leader coming out of the semis, had the choice of his opponent in the semis and chose his cross-harbor rival, Pinckney.

As has been typical all four days of racing, the wind increased through the afternoon from 10 knots to as much as 17. It was the breeziest racing yet when the semis got under way.

As was not typical of the series, the races were not close and Petersen and Kjaer easily handled their opponents, Pinckney and Kavle, respectively, to go 1-0 in the "best to three" semis. The top two skippers had been concerned about the long layoff while the others raced in the Repechage.

Petersen joined the media boat briefly after they had secured their spots yesterday afternoon and said, "I've never watched a match race series when I was still in it," referring to a few of his prior regattas where he had not made the semis. "I guess I could have gone home and taken a shower before the umpires debrief, but we have a water shortage in California, and I didn't think that was a good idea!"

Kjaer, on the other hand, who was new to the Governor's Cup 22s used in the regatta, worried that two of his ultimate semifinal opponents would have the experience of seven more races in the boats until he got back on the water, especially given that match racing inherently favors experience.

In the end, neither Petersen nor Kjaer had any issues and came out, if anything, stronger than they were in the double round-robin. Both seemed to have great boat speed and good tactics and won their starts convincingly. As in any match race, with those three factors in hand, they were impossible to pass.

Tomorrow (Race Day 5, Saturday) will feature the final races of the consolation series, and then the finals and petit final, the latter for the third and fourth place teams (losers in the semis). The forecast is for breeze again, perhaps increasing to as much as 18-20 knots by later in the afternoon.

The son of the founders of the Cup, Balboa YC Staff Commodore Tom Purcell, who has won three Governor's Cups and two Congressional Cups as a trimmer, reported on the weather but also noted that neither he nor anyone else aboard the media boat remembers seeing five straight days of 12-17 knot westerlies in Newport Beach. Simply fantastic sailing conditions.

Tomorrow's action starts one-half hour earlier than the scheduled 1130 PDT (GMT -7) to assure getting all racing finished. The start time will be announced on the pre-race live "Morning Show" at 0900. As usual, that will be live-streamed on www.fb.com/bycgovcup, as will the live racing whether it starts at 1100 or 1130. Following tomorrow's racing, the final press conference will also be live-streamed, followed immediately by the awards ceremony.

The 54th annual Governor's Cup Youth International Match Racing Championship is presented by DISC Sports and Spine Center and a slate of 30 other partners, for which Balboa Yacht Club is most grateful.

www.govcupracing.com

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