Of the 12 teams from five nations that will compete in the 55th Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing, the local club team appears to be a heavy favorite at the July 26-30 race in Newport Beach, California.
Jeffrey Petersen (USA), representing host Balboa Yacht Club, is the defending champion and his team has just won the 2022 Youth Match Racing World Championship in France. “I’ve always preferred to be the ‘outsider’ in a regatta,” noted Petersen. “I guess it will be more difficult this year!”
Marius Westerlind (SWE), who finished 10th in the Governor’s Cup last year, has obviously learned a lot over the past year by finishing second behind Petersen at Worlds, and the three-time Swedish Match Racing Youth Champion will have a chance to settle the score. in the Governor’s Cup.
Petersen and Westerlind will face plenty of competition in this year’s fleet, one of the toughest is expected to be Jordan Stevenson (NZL) – the highest ranked match rider in the “Open” rankings (no age limit) of World Sailing at number 12 – making a comeback after a three-year absence.
With no COVID travel restrictions, the 55th edition has a larger international contingent, which is open to invited competitors who have not reached their 23rd birthday prior to the event. But there are four other American teams that would like to win the trophy.
The 2022 event features the return of Morgan Pinckney (USA) who, at 17, will once again be the youngest competitor. Pinckney finished third last year and in June won the U.S. Youth Race Match Championship for the Rose Cup.
Defending College Match Race and Team Race National champion Jack Egan (USA) will compete in his second edition, as will 2021 semi-finalist Porter Kavle (USA). Both will try to move up the ranks this year. Ansgar Jordan (USA) will also be back for his second appearance.
The format begins with a double round of qualifiers to advance the top four teams to the knockout rounds for the semi-final, small-final, and final matches.