top of page
  • Writer's pictureKen Sherb .

2023 GovCup: Callahan, Petersen, Pinckney, and Tapper through to the semi-finals


Friday, July 28, 2023

After four days of racing in the 56th annual Governor’s Cup — the prestigious international youth match racing championship hosted annually by Balboa Yacht Club, it came down to only a win or two that decided the fortunes of eight of the 12 teams — whether they would make it into the semis or not.

Jeffrey Petersen (USA, Balboa Yacht Club) had clinched one semi-final berth on Thursday, after going undefeated through 19 of the 22 flights in the double round-robin phase. Today, he remained undefeated through the round-robin, not that it mattered.

The remaining round-robin flights were completed today, resulting in Cole Tapper (AUS, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia) advancing to the semis on 14 wins. Morgan Pinckney (USA, Newport Harbor Yacht Club), and Justin Callahan (USA, Biscayne Bay Yacht Club) went forward tied for third on 13 wins.

Petersen then chose, as is his right under the GovCup rules, his semi-final opponent. In a lively on-the-water interview with Tom Spithill (AUS), GovCup TV’s expert commentator on the “roving boat,” Petersen announced his choice of Justin Callahan (USA), saying he thought Callahan was a superb sailor but had the least match racing experience of the three.

That left Pinckney and Tapper to race in the other semi.

Deputy PRO Ryan Davidson (USA, Balboa Yacht Club) promptly got the semis underway in an unusual, for Newport Beach, southeasterly 10-11 knot breeze, and slightly bumpy sea. Jeffrey Petersen easily won his first match in the semis, as did his cross-harbor friend and rival, Morgan Pinckney.

But then there was a dramatic turn-around in both matches: Callahan lead wire-to-wire over Petersen to win their second match, convincingly, with Petersen sailing aggressively but copping two penalties. In the other semi, Tapper did a literal “horizon job” — sailing smarter and faster than Pinckney.

Saturday will see a resumption of the first-to-win three semis, with the winner advancing to a first-to-win three finals.

Again, this year the Governor’s Cup is presented by DISC Sports and Spine Center and the Call of the Sea Foundation.

Saturday, live TV coverage begins at 11:30a PDT (18:30 UTC) on the GovCup Facebook page and the Balboa Yacht Club YouTube channel.

GovCup TV also produces live pre-race “Morning Shows” daily at 9:00a PDT, and the final’s press conference and awards ceremony Saturday at 5:00p.



Susan Kenney

+1 949 294 2054

Pictures on next page

Justin Callahan (USA) vs. Jeffrey Petersen (USA) Photo credit: Tom Walker Photography

Jeffrey Petersen (USA) vs. Justin Callahan (USA) Photo credit: Tom Walker Photography

Cole Tapper (AUS) vs. Morgan Pinckney (USA) Photo credit: Tom Walker Photography

Morgan Pinckney (USA) vs. Cole Tapper (AUS) Photo credit: Tom Walker Photography

423 views0 comments


bottom of page