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Field set for unique Governor’s Cup

A couple of racers head toward the turning point, left,  during the 53rd annual Governor's Cup in 2019.
A couple of racers head toward the turning point, left, while another two head toward the finish with their spinnakers fully deployed, right, during the 53rd annual Governor’s Cup off the coast of Newport Beach in 2019. In the 54th running of the regatta July 26-31, the event will feature 10 skippers, with all of them hailing from the United States or Europe.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

The Governor’s Cup will have a different look this year, as the Balboa Yacht Club announced Thursday that it has finalized the list of competitors in the international youth match racing regatta.

In the 54th running of the regatta, the event will feature 10 skippers, all of them hailing from the United States or Europe.

Historically, the Governor’s Cup has never had all of its international teams come from Europe. Australia and New Zealand have made strong showings at the event in recent years with standouts like Harry Price, Nick Egnot-Johnson and Leonard Takahashi.

“While we regret that teams from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will be unable to join us, this has set up a great competition between the U.S. teams and Europe,” Governor’s Cup chairwoman Christine Robertson Gribben said in a statement.

“We are thrilled to be able to hold the event this year after last year’s cancellation and especially excited to see the racing between U.S. and European teams.”

Robertson Gribben added that regatta organizers have discussed the possibility of having a prize for the United States or Europe, one that could be handed out based on the top three finishers from the national and international fleets.

The Governor’s Cup will take place July 26-31 in Newport Beach. There will be three international skippers: Thimoté Polet (France), Emil Kjaer (Denmark) and Marius Westerlind (Sweden).

The field also includes Balboa Yacht Club’s David Wood and Jeffrey Petersen. Petersen won the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship last month. Jack Egan (San Diego Yacht Club) finished second in the event, which is also known as the Rose Cup, and Wood ended up third.

Two additional spots in the Governor’s Cup were awarded based on placement in the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship.

Those spots are going to Rose Cup semifinalist Owen Lahr (Richmond Yacht Club) and Morgan Pinckney (Newport Harbor Yacht Club), who will be debuting at the Governor’s Cup at the age of 16.

“A few of us at Balboa Yacht Club founded the Rose Cup 11 years ago, and thanks to five-time U.S. Match Racing champ Dave Perry, it became an official national championship in 2015,” Governor’s Cup steering committee chairman Andy Rose said. “Our goal from the beginning was to enable young U.S. match racers to better compete against the international teams that were, to an extent, dominating the podium at [the Governor’s Cup].

“I think the quality of match racing at this year’s [U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship] showed that we are close to achieving that goal.”

Ansgar Jordan (Coronado Yacht Club) is another invitee from the San Diego area. Fordham University’s Porter Kavle, who is from Annapolis, Md., will also compete for the first time in the Governor’s Cup.

Coverage of the Governor’s Cup can be found at facebook.com/bycgovcup.

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