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53rd GovCup: Leonard Takahashi (NZL) continues his winning ways


Jack Parkin (USA, Riverside YC) and his team of Bram Brakman, Victoria Thompson, and Wiley Rogers had a stellar day, 4 wins and 1 loss, to advance to second on the leaderboard. Mary Longpre Photos

53rd GovCup: Leonard Takahashi (NZL) continues his winning

ways; is now two points clear of the fleet while Jack Parkin

(USA) comes on strong taking over second and Frank Dair

(USA) slips to a four-way tie for third


NEWPORT BEACH, CA (Thursday, July 18, 2019) – Leonard Takahashi

(NZL, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron) solidified his chances of

reaching the semi-finals of Balboa Yacht Club’s 53 rd Governor’s Cup

International Youth Match Racing Championship presented by DISC

Sports and Spine Center by completing a 4-1 record in today’s action off

Newport Beach, with four races to go in the double round-robin stage

of the event.


Takahashi’s overall points score of 14 points puts him two ahead of Jack

Parkin (USA, Riverside YC), who had matched his 4-1 score to conclude

Thursday with 12 points. Parkin’s crucial wins included close matches

against Frank Dair (USA, California YC), who was in second after

yesterday’s action, and Jordan Stevenson (NZL, Royal New Zealand

Yacht Squadron). Four skippers are only one point behind Parkin with

11 points, including Dair, Stevenson, Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL, RNZYS

Youth Training Program) and Finn Tapper (AUS, Cruising Yacht Club of

Australia). Of the four, all but Tapper are products of the youth

programs of the RNZYS, the current holder of the America’s Cup.


Since only four sailors will make the semi-finals based on their final

scores from the round-robins, racing tomorrow should please the

growing spectator fleet in the Pacific Ocean off Newport Beach. It

would be hard, however, to beat some of today’s racing, including

perhaps the best match between Egnot-Johnson and Dair. As they

sailed downwind for the last time, Egnot-Johnson was carrying a

penalty – meaning that before the finish, he would either have to cause

Dair to commit a foul—thereby neutralizing his penalty—or complete a

270 degree turn before the finish. In an example of world-class match

racing, within a few boat lengths of the finish, Egnot-Johnson carried

Dair, as “windward” boat, past the finish pin end and as both boats

doused their spinnakers to return to the finish, he completed his

penalty turn.


Both boats, with jibs halfway up, sailed slowly upwind but ended up

crossing the finish line in the wrong direction, requiring them to

“unwind” their course, round the pin end to starboard, and then finish

downwind. In doing so, Egnot-Johnson’s only chance to cross ahead

was to try to sail between Stevenson and the pin end buoy. While he

got there, he simultaneously hit the pin, causing another penalty, and

Dair safely crossed the line ahead.


More hot action is expected tomorrow. While Parkin’s path to the semi-

finals would seem easier on paper since he faces four skippers not in

contention for the semi-finals, when asked about that, he and his

tactician Wiley Rogers said, “only on paper,” noting that as the round-

robin matches, at least to date, have shown any of these skippers can

beat any of the others in any given race.


Key matches among the contenders on Friday include Egnot-Johnson

versus Tapper in the first flight (19) of the day, followed immediately by

Takahashi against Dair, the latter needing a win more than Takahashi.

In flight 20, Dair faces off against Stevenson, and in the final two flights

of the round-robins, Stevenson faces off against Tapper (flight 21) and

Takahashi against Egnot-Johnson in the final flight (22).


Just a few points behind the leaders are local favorite David Wood

(USA), of the host Balboa Yacht Club, Matt Whitfield (GBR, Penarth YC)

and Clare Costanzo (AUS, Royal Prince Alfred YC).


Conditions were very different than the 9-14 knot southerly winds

experienced on days one and two, with a more typical south to

southwest wind of 4-8 knots under clear blue skies and temperatures in

the mid-70s – “champagne sailing conditions.”


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MORE INFORMATION

Susan Kenney

+1 949 294 2054

susankenney9094@gmail.com

www.govcupracing.com

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