Governor’s Cup confirms invitation list

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The 2019 and 2020 and Youth World Match Racing Champions, Australians Tom Grimes and James Hodgson, respectively, along with defending champion Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL) lead the field of skippers for the Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship on July 21-25 in Newport Beach, CA.

The 54th edition, making the Governor’s Cup the oldest youth match racing event in the world, has confirmed its list of 11 invitees with hopes the COVID-19 pandemic does not impact the competition.

The caliber of the skippers is reflected in World Sailing’s Open Match Racing Rankings (non-age limited) with Egnot-Johnson in the #2 position and fellow invitee Jordan Stevenson (ZL) at #8.

With virtually all of the skippers ranked in the most recent WS tally, it is anticipate the GovCup will qualify as a World Sailing Grade 1 event, the highest graded regatta other than world championships.

One of the more intriguing invitees is Leonard Takahashi (JPN), a record three-time runner up in the Governor’s Cup. While Leonard is a world class match racer, since the last GovCup he has focused on 49er skiffs and was selected to represent Japan in the 2020 Olympic Games. With the postponement of the Games until 2021, Leonard decided to try once more to win the Governor’s Cup. “Don’t count Leonard out,” said regatta Chair Christine Robertson Gribben, “I doubt he’s forgotten how to match race!”

Both the United Kingdom Match Racing Champion (non-age limited) and the Youth Match Racing Champion from that country, Ted Blowers and Robbie King, respectively, received invitations. In addition, two very competitive sailors and GovCup veterans from “down under” also received invitations, Jordan Stevenson (NZL) and Finn Tapper (AUS).

Another favorite to win the Cup is from the United States. Although less experienced at match racing than some of his competitors from Australia and New Zealand, Jack Parkin’s learning curve has been very steep, enough to raise him to the top ranks of young match racers with a second-place finish in the 2020 Youth World Match Racing Championship in New Zealand.

Parkin is also the 2019 US Intercollegiate Match Race Champion and won the 2018 US Youth Match Racing Championship. He will be joined by Ansgar Jordan of San Diego, CA. Jordan is a champion dinghy sailor and was a semi-finalist in the 2019 US Intercollegiate Match Racing Championships.

Another US team will qualify from the 2020 US Youth Match Racing Championship in late June, however, US Sailing will be faced with deciding as to whether to postpone or cancel the event early in May due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The 12 teams will compete in the GovCup 22 sloops designed by Alan Andrews and built by Westerly Marine in 2016. A double round-robin of racing is scheduled on July 21-23 with the top four teams advancing to knock-out Semi-Finals on July 24 and the Finals on July 25.

Event details: https://www.govcupracing.com/

Source: Susan Kenney

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