Australia and New Zealand again dominated this year's Governor's Cup invitee list for international teams, as the Selection Committee for the 47th Annual Governor's Cup International Junior Match Race Championship has completed work on selection of the 12 international and U.S. teams.
Those teams will compete in this year's regatta which will be held at Balboa Yacht Club July 16¿21 in Newport Beach.
The Governor's Cup is the oldest junior match race event in the world and is known as the "Pathway for Champions" with many alumni going on to America's Cup and other worldwide sailing success including, most recently, James Spithill and John Kostecki the helmsman and tactician respectively for Oracle's 2010 America's Cup win.
All competitors must be under the age of 21.
The Committee chose six international teams as well as U.S. competitor AJ Reiter from the San Diego Yacht Club based on their sailing resumes.
International skippers invited include Chris Steele and Claudia Pierce of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron leading two teams from that Club with Pierce heading up an all¿female team.
A third New Zealand team from the Royal Port Nicholson YC will be skippered by Adam Middleton, who served on the 2012 Gov Cup winning crew from that club.
Australia will also be represented by three teams: 2012 Gov Cup semi¿finalist Sam Gilmour from the Royal Freshwater Bay YC; Henry Kernot of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, a club which has been a frequent podium finisher; and Malcolm Parker who leads a team from the Royal Prince Alfred YC, a club returning to the Gov Cup after a multiyear hiatus but whose sailors have won three Governor's Cups over the years.
The Royal Akarana Yacht Club of New Zealand was designated as first alternate and the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club of Canada as second alternate. They will be invited in that order if one or two of the Governor's Cup invitees cannot sail in the event.
Two additional invitations are automatic, one for a Balboa Yacht Club team as host club representative and a second for the winner of the Rose Cup, a National Youth Match Racing Event hosted by Sail Sheboygan in Sheboygan, Wisc. June 19¿23.
Ten U.S. teams will compete in the Rose Cup, which was founded by members of Balboa Yacht Club in order to promote youth match racing in the United States and its founders hope it will eventually be recognized as a US Sailing championship in that discipline.
The Cup (together with its predecessor regatta) is now in its fifth year. If the winner of the Rose Cup is a Balboa Yacht Club team, the runner¿up will receive the Rose Cup's automatic invitation to the Governor's Cup.
After eliminating other potential teams based on resumes submitted to the Selection Committee, it judged the remaining U.S. teams requesting Governor's Cup invitations for the remaining spots to be substantially equal. Since those remaining teams are all scheduled to compete in the Rose Cup, the Committee voted to fill the remaining "Gov Cup" slots from among those U.S. teams based solely on their finishes in the Rose Cup.
"We had always intended to eventually select most U.S. entrants in the Governor's Cup based on race results in the Rose Cup once it became a US Sailing championship. The quick growth of that Cup and the quality of its 2013 entrants coupled with the relative equality of the remaining US Gov Cup applicants in contention led us to use those results sooner than we had predicted" said Bill Wakeman, Chair of the Governor's Cup selection committee.
Those U.S. teams in contention for the remaining Governor's Cup invitations include Chicago Yacht Club's Will Holz, who is Rose Cup defending champion, Jack Thompson of Newport Harbor YC, Scott Buckstaff of the San Francisco YC, and Charlie LaLumiere of the Portland YC.
Two teams from Gov Cup host Balboa YC led by Ryan Davidson and Christophe Killian will also compete for the remaining spots and although the top finishing BYC team will receive the host Club's automatic invitation, the second BYC team could be invited if it finishes high enough in the Rose Cup.
"We are again very pleased with the quality of the invitees and the potential U.S. competitors from the Rose Cup fleet and we believe that the Governor's Cup will again provide the year's toughest international match racing test for these young sailors," said Christine Robertson, Governor's Cup Chair in a press release.
— From staff reports