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Volume 5, Issue 78  |  September 29, 2020

GovCup reaching out worldwide for 2020 entries

Host Balboa Yacht Club is reaching out to experienced match race sailors worldwide, who have not yet reached their 23rd birthday, to seek an invitation to the 54th Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship. The races, spread over six days from July 20-25, will be held in Newport Beach.

The “GovCup” is the oldest and widely considered the most prestigious of the world’s youth match race championships, with alumni including two-time America’s Cup winner James Spithill and many other America’s Cup, World Match Racing Tour and Olympic sailors. 

GovCup reaching out worldwide for 2020 entries 1

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Photos by Tom Walker

Close cross in 2019 GovCup finals with Leonard Takahashi (NZL) and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL)

In 2018 it became the first age-limited match racing regatta to achieve “Grade 1” status from the sport’s governing body, World Sailing.

“The experience gained in youth match racing regattas like the Governor’s Cup, and others in Australia and New Zealand, has propelled these younger sailors to the top of the non-age limited Open rankings. So, when you watch the GovCup, you are seeing some of the best match racing sailors in the world, period,” said Governor’s Cup Chair Christine Robertson Gribben. 

Twelve U.S. and international teams will be invited to compete in 2020. The winners of the US Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup and the US Intercollegiate Match Racing Championship will receive invitations if they file an RFI for the Governor’s Cup by the deadline. Balboa Yacht Club, as host, will also choose a skipper.

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Competitive start in 2019 “GovCup” with David Wood (USA) holding off Finn Tapper (AUS) in round robin match

The regatta will be held in identical “Governor’s Cup 22” sloops designed and built in 2016 for the event, and in particular, the conditions prevalent in Pacific Ocean waters off Newport Beach. The GovCup 22s have proven to be among the best boats in the world used for similar events. 

“GovCup Week” will include a double “round-robin” where each team will sail against each other twice. The top four from that stage will move on to semi-finals and finals, with the other teams continuing to fight it out for the remaining places. 

The Governor’s Cup Committee encourages experienced match race sailors worldwide who will not have reached their 23rd birthday by July 25, 2020 to seek an invitation. All the information is posted on the event website at

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