FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 29, 2022
Petersen, Egan lead semifinals with 2-1 scores in 55th Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship in Newport Beach
Jeffrey Petersen (USA) and Jack Egan (USA) maintain 2-1 leads in first to three series against Marius Westerlind (SWE) and Jordan Stevenson (NZL)
NEWPORT BEACH, CA (July 29, 2022 - BYC Media Team) — Jeffrey Petersen (USA) of host Balboa Yacht Club, the defending champion of the Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship presented by DISC Sports & Spine Center, took a big step toward the defense of his title winning with two of his semifinal matches against Marius Westerlind (SWE) in the “first to three” points series. Petersen and Westerlind were first and second, respectively, in the recently completed Youth Match Racing World Championship and renewed their rivalry in the “GovCup.”
The second semifinal is also a 2-1 match with Jack Egan (USA) leading Jordan Stevenson (NZL). The last race of the day was close, but the first semifinal match of the day was spectacular in both semis. In the first, after several lead changes, Stevenson led Egan but had a penalty to “kill” which required him to either cause a penalty on Egan or do an approximately 270 degrees turn before the finish. The downwind leg took a while as Stevenson and crew, Mitch Jackson and George Angus, slowed their boat to engage Egan, but Egan and crew, Jack Plavan, Christophe Chaumont, and Kalea Woodard, did the same to avoid that situation.
Stevenson then showed his greater experience in match racing by allowing himself to be “caught” and then using the racing rules to gain an inside position at the BYC Race Committee boat, and not only preventing Egan from finishing, but also stopping his opponent’s boat. At that point, Stevenson, with greater initial speed, was able to tack and then jibe which would have killed the penalty. However, his loss of speed and the need to make the maneuver as soon as possible caused his boom to hit the port side of the Race Committee boat, which resulted in another penalty. At the same time, Egan, still stopped at the Race Committee boat, slid sideways and hit its starboard side. At that point, while the committee members were undoubtedly thinking about pulling out the life jackets, Stevenson completed his second penalty turn and was awarded the victory. Chief Umpire Flavio Naveira (ARG) said afterwards, that was the “best I’ve ever seen in all the years I’ve been an umpire!”
Petersen’s second race was also a great one against Westerlind. After some lead changes on the first two legs, Westerlind established a small lead. As has been the case since last year, Petersen and team sailed nearly perfectly downwind and slowly gained. A last perfect roll jibe allowed Petersen to surge forward against Westerlind, Hugo Westberg, and Olle Aronsson, but ultimately about two feet short.
Petersen was the first-place finisher from the round-robin stage of the event, which gave him the right to choose his opponent for the semifinals. His choice was made on the “GovCup TV” live broadcast of the day’s racing as Petersen was interviewed. He said that the decision was made after input from his team, and all agreed that given that Westerlind was in 4th after the round-robin stages was one factor, but the fact that they had beaten the Swedes 3-0 in their final matches in the Youth MR World Championship, they felt the psychology favored them. GovCup TV roving boat commentator Tom Spithill (AUS) asked Petersen whether he thought about choosing Stevenson given that he had beaten him in the round-robin. Petersen smiled and said a quiet “no,” continuing, “Jordy is very experienced and really good and while we’re happy to meet him in the finals if we both make it, we don’t want to do it now.”
After the first loss by Egan, he came back strong and continued his momentum maintained since his undefeated record on Day 2 and only two losses since then. The reigning U.S. Intercollegiate Match Racing Champion and his crew were fast and smart and were able to score two close wins against his Kiwi opponent.
The eight teams not making the semifinals had one race of their consolation round where the 5th boat sails against the 6th, the 7th versus the 8th, and so on. One of the most interesting was the match between Cole Tapper (AUS)and Will Sargent (AUS), both of Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney, whose teams are perennial contenders at the GovCup. Tapper drew first blood and won race number one. Those “first to two” points series continue tomorrow.
Complete standings after Day 4 are below, courtesy of matchracingresults.com. Live coverage of the Governor’s Cup by BYC’s “GovCup TV” will include a pre-race morning show tomorrow, Saturday, July 30, hosted by 12-time America’s team and event manager Tom Ehman at 0900 (PDT) and complete streaming of the remainder of the semifinal racing followed by the finals and petit final at 1130 (PDT). A press conference with the final skippers and crews will be on air at 1645 followed by the trophy presentation. All live coverage will be streamed on the Balboa YC YouTube channel and the BYCGovCup and BYC Facebook pages. You can watch live or on demand at a later time.
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