Our History

In the Beginning...

California Governor (later US President) Ronald Reagan granted the Deed of Gift for the Governor’s Cup to Balboa Yacht Club in 1967 “for the purpose of encouraging Youth Racing in the State of California and the recognition of the skill and high performance of those men and women under twenty years of age…” As an invitation only match racing regatta, the Governor’s Cup was established by the late Chet and Glee Purcell. Mr. and Mrs. Purcell had a vision that a national match racing competition should be created for younger sailors, similar in format to the internationally recognized Congressional Cup Regatta.

As the years progressed, the Governor’s Cup grew in popularity with its first international team participating in 1989. Since then teams from the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Finland and Spain have participated and become regular entrants and often multiple winners. The Cup has served as a gateway for future champions in collegiate competition, the Olympics, Congressional Cup, Swedish Match Tour and numerous America’s Cups.

The Governor’s Cup has a special relationship with the America’s Cup with the latter having visited Balboa Yacht Club during “Gov Cup Week” twice in recent years. Norbert Bajurin, Commodore of the current holder of the America’s Cup, said it best, “The Governor’s Cup is the America’s Cup for youth.”

Truer words were never spoken. BYC can be very proud of this illustrious history and its alumni from fourteen countries and territories around the world. When you watch this and every year’s Governor’s Cup, you are seeing some of the future stars of the sport.

Our Past Winners

Year Champion Yacht Club
1967 Argyle Campbell BYC
1968 Argyle Campbell BYC
1969 Andy Rose BYC
1970 Andy Rose BYC
1971 John Daigh NHYC
1972 Curt Olsen CYC
1973 Bill Menninger LAYC
1974 Mark Rastello BYC
1975 Steve Washburn LBYC
1976 Steve Schock NHYC
1977 Scott Mason BCYC
1978 Brad Wheeler BYC
1979 Brad Wheeler BYC
1980 Jack Franco BYC
1981 Gordon Clute SFYC
1982 Mike Pinckney BCYC
1983 Mike Pinckney BCYC
1984 Chris Redman ABYC
1985 Chris Redman ABYC
1986 Bart Hackworth SFYC
1987 Geoff Becker CpBYC
1988 Jason Fain RYC
1989 Mark Christensen RNZYS
1990 Kelvin Harrap RNZYS
1991 Giselle Camet SDYC
1992 Anthony Merrington RPAYC
Year Champion Yacht Club
1993 Tim Wadlow SWYC
1994 Matt McQueen StFYC
1995 Andy Estcourt RNZYS
1996 Steve Kleha NHYC
1997 Tom Hebbert BBSC
1998 Brian Bissell NHYC
1999 Colin Campbell KHYC
2000 Colin Campbell KHYC
2001 Simon Minoprio RNZYS
2002 Paul Campbell-James RYA
2003 Seve Jarvin CYCA
2004 Murray Gordon RPAYC
2005 Murray Gordon RPAYC
2006 Steven Natvig KHYC
2007 Michael Menninger NHYC
2008 Michael Menninger NHYC
2009 William Tiller RNZYS
2010 William Tiller RNZYS
2011 Nevin Snow SDYC
2012 Tim Coltman RPNYC
2013 Sam Gilmour RFBYC
2014 Sam Gilmour RFBYC
2015 Harrison Price CYCA
2016 Nevin Snow SDYC
2017 Christophe Killian BYC

Abbreviations Used

StFYC — St. Francis Yacht Club
SDYC — San Diego Yacht Club
SFYC — San Francisco Yacht Club
SWYC — Southwestern Yacht Club
KHYC — King Harbor Yacht Club
LAYC — Los Angeles Yacht Club
LBYC — Long Beach Yacht Club

ABYC — Alamitos Bay Yacht Club
BBSC — Bough Beech Sailing Club (UK)
BCYC — Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club
BYC — Balboa Yacht Club
CpBYC — Capistrano Bay Yacht Club
CYC — California Yacht Club
CYCA — Cruising Yacht Club (Aus)

NHYC — Newport Harbor Yacht Club
RYC — Richmond Yacht Club
RFBYC — Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club
RNZYS — Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron
RPAYC — Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (Aus)
RYA — Royal Yachting Association (UK)
RPNYC — Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club

The Balboa Yacht Club

BYC was founded as the Southland Sailing Club in 1922, a time when there were more sandbars than navigable
waters in Newport Harbor. The Club has a distinguished history in yacht racing and has two members who have been named Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, famed sailmaker Dave Ullman, and the late Paralympic Gold Medalist, Nick Scandone. Many other members have competed in and have won national and international championships and long distance races including the America’s Cup, the Congressional Cup, the Olympics, Transpac, Transatlantic, Bermuda, Sydney-Hobart and other international events.

The Club has approximately 850 “Flag” and “Junior Flag” members as well as junior, honorary,
collegiate and racing members. Its primary facility is in Corona del Mar, and the BYC also maintains its White’s Cove Station on the island of Catalina, approximately 24 miles off the coast of Southern California. The station includes mooring, barbecue and volleyball areas, a large beach and restroom facilities.

BYC families are an important part of the Club’s welcome, as they provide housing for all out-of-town Governor’s Cup teams. But perhaps the most popular feature of the week is the assistance of boat hostesses for the teams. These volunteer juniors help competitors feel at home during the week and provide a built-in group of fans. The members of BYC wish to welcome all the competitors, parents and other spectators to what promises to be a fantastic week of championship sailing among the finest youth match racers in the world.