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Governor’s Cup extends early invites to two regatta veterans

Alastair Gifford, skipper Nick Egnot-Johnson and Sam Barnett, from th.
Alastair Gifford, skipper Nick Egnot-Johnson and Sam Barnett, from the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, hoist the Governor’s Cup trophy during a celebration at the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach in 2019. Under a temporary rule change, Egnot-Johnson is eligible to defend his title in 2021.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

A couple of familiar names have been extended early invitations to compete in the 54th Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship.

New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson and Jordan Stevenson have accepted their invitations and will be competing this summer in the annual youth match racing regatta, which is hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach.

Egnot-Johnson, ranked No. 3 in the world by World Sailing for open match racing skippers, will enter as the defending champion, as he won the event in 2019 when it was last contested. The coronavirus pandemic prevented the regatta from taking place in 2020.

Stevenson occupies the No. 7 spot in the world rankings. He placed fifth in the most recent Governor’s Cup.

USA's Cameron Feves, right, goes against New Zealand's Jordan Stevenson, left, during the 53rd annual Governor's Cup.
USA’s Cameron Feves of Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, right, goes against Jordan Stevenson of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, left, during the 53rd annual Governor’s Cup on July 19, 2019.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

An automatic bid is given to the defending champion of the Governor’s Cup, so long as they remain within the age restriction. Competitors in the Governor’s Cup cannot have reached their 23rd birthday before the conclusion of the event.

Egnot-Johnson, who recently became eligible for the World Match Racing Tour Championship, will headline the local regatta. The Governor’s Cup is scheduled to take place July 26 through 31.

“Nick may find the competition at GovCup as fierce as he will face on the tour as he tries to become the 13th skipper to win two Governor’s Cups,” Andy Rose, Chairman of the Governor’s Cup Steering Committee, said in a release. Rose was the victorious skipper in the third and fourth Governor’s Cups.

Regatta officials said Tuesday that requests for invitation to compete in the Governor’s Cup have so far been received from five countries. The deadline to request an invitation to be included among the 12-boat fleet of the regatta is Friday, April 9.

The Governor’s Cup Selection Committee will notify skippers of their selection by April 23.

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