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55th Governor's Cup Day 2

by Susan Kenney 28 Jul 05:45 BST July 25-30, 2022
Team King (GBR) on day 2 of the 55th Governor's Cup © Longpré Photos

Jeffrey Petersen & Co. maintain their lead, with only three points separating the next nine teams

Fight for four semi-final spots still far from decided among the twelve teams from five countries

"The more things change, the more they stay the same." The "same" part at the Governor's Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, presented by DISC Sports and Spine Center, is that defending "GovCup" champ and newly crowned Youth Match Racing World Champion Jeffrey Petersen (USA) of host Balboa Yacht Club remains in the lead. With six wins against no losses on the day for a two-day 12-1 record, four points clear of the next teams.

Also, "same" as at the end of yesterday's first day of competition, Marius Westerlind (SWE) was in second with an overall 8-5 score — but no longer alone in second. Two other teams made major gains today: Jordan Stevenson (NZL) and Jack Egan (USA), the latter of whom was undefeated on the day. Westerlind, Stevenson, and Egan are all tied for second with eight wins.

Members of the Governor's Cup Selection Committee had predicted that this would be the most evenly matched group of sailors in recent GovCup history. While there were signs of that yesterday, today it became quite clear: 2nd through 10th places are now separated by only three points. With nine races still to go in the second round-robin, any of those teams could get through to the semi-finals.

Several races further proved the point about the top to the bottom talent of this fleet. In a match today between Mater Dei High School sailing team members, Eagle Scouts, and U.S. Youth Match Racing Champions, Morgan Pinckney (USA) and his cross-harbor rival, Jeffrey Petersen, Petersen incurred a pre-start port-starboard penalty from the on-the-water umpires, meaning his Golden State Match Racing team had to complete a 270-degree "loop" sometime before the finish.

However, perhaps "old age and treachery" won out over "youth and enthusiasm" as the match racing veteran Petersen, age 20, ultimately got the better of Pinckney, 17, by eking out enough of a lead to take the penalty on the final approach to the second windward and still rounding ahead of Pinckney.

At the risk of using one of the worst cliches in sailing journalism, today was, indeed, "champagne conditions" in the Pacific Ocean off Newport Beach. Worse yet, some (not us!) might have called it Chamber of Commerce weather — warm, sparkling sunshine, 75F, with 8- 9 knot breezes ultimately increasing to 12-13 in the late afternoon. That made for a day of close, exciting matches.

Some classic match racing tactics were on display as there were a number of pairs where one of the boats forced the other to continue past the leeward "gate" before returning to start the second weather leg. This put a premium on crew work; being a bit late on the spinnaker takedown at the gate (at the end of the second leg) often resulted in a loss.

Marcello Torre (AUS) from Western Australia's Royal Freshwater Bay YC, had what undoubtedly was a disappointing day after posting a 5-2 record on Tuesday. After winning his first match today, his team then lost five straight, ending with six points at day's end, tying with Pinckney. Just ahead of them was another tie with Will Sargent (AUS) and fellow Cruising Yacht of Australia youth program member, Cole Tapper both with seven wins.

The "GovCup TV" team was out on the water again in preparation for Friday and Saturday's live coverage of the semi-finals and finals. No one was willing to make predictions as to who the semi-finalists might become Friday, though Petersen seems, at least as of tonight, a half step ahead of his fellow competitors.

The complete standings after Day 2 are below, courtesy of Live coverage of the Governor's Cup by BYC's "GovCup TV" team will include pre-race morning shows hosted by 12-time America's Cup veteran manager Tom Ehman at 09:00 PDT/ 16:00 UTC through Saturday. The semi-final and finals racing will be live-streamed Friday and Saturday, July 29-30, starting at 11:30 PDT / 18:30 UTC on both days. A press conference with the semi-final skippers and crews will air Friday at 18:30 hours, with the finalists on Saturday at 16:45 PDT / 23:45 UTC. All live coverage will be streamed on the Balboa YC YouTube channel and the BYCGovCup and BYC Facebook pages. You can watch live or on-demand at a later time.

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