CYCA Youth Sailing Academy place 4th at the Governor's Cup with Youth Match Racing worlds next

  • Youth
  • NEWS
  • By Ross Macdonald
  • 24 Jul 2017 14:21:59
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CYCA YSA squad members Harry Price, Angus Williams and Cameron Seagreen have finished fourth in the 51st Governor's Cup over in Newport Beach, California after a big week of competition.

Held out of Balboa Yacht Club, the team began the regatta in perfect fashion, winning all their races for the first two days of round robin racing in some tough, but typical, weather conditions off both Balboa and Newport Pier.

Some of the highlights came from competitors new to Match Racing, the first being home club's David Wood. At only 16 Wood showed tremendous maturity in his races and quickly showed he was part of a fast team.

In their race against the young skipper, the CYCA crew were caught out in the choppy sea state and found themselves behind by a number of lengths. Slowly Price was able to manoeuvre his boat to block the wind of his opponent and not long before the finish, was able to overtake Wood to build the winning streak. 

In the second round robin it was clear that teams were getting the hang of the boats and light winds, and the CYCA team had a number of close races where they showed incredible downwind speed and positioning in order to get points on the board. One of the closest was against fellow Australian skipper Clare Costanzo from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club.

Costanzo and her all female team found themselves with an early prestart penalty following an unforced error from not entering the start box correctly. The RPAYC team were then able to maintain speed and forced Price to do a number of low-speed tacks leaving the CYCA team three lengths behind at the start. The girls lead around all the marks but elected not to do their outstanding penalty until the finish line. By then the CYCA’s downwind speed quickly brought them in touch of the Pittwater team and being under pressure to complete the penalty at the finish, they made a technical error of not dropping the head of the spinnaker below the gooseneck as both boats crossed the line.

The race was initially awarded to RPAYC however once the race committee radioed the Match umpires the result was reversed, awarding the win to Price. This enabled the team to finish with an outstanding result with a score of 20-1, qualifying in first place for the semi-finals. 

As first qualifier into the next round Price was able to chose his opponent from BYC's Killian, DRYC's Weis and RNZYS's Takahashi. The semi-finals consist of a first to 3 points knockout and with two strong races against Takahashi, the CYCA chose to race their long term Kiwi rivals. The first two races were near identical with Takahashi holding a strong lead in both however, yet again, the CYCA team’s excellent boat handling saw them steal back the lead, taking the win in Race 1.

Race 2 saw CYCA take the lead on leg 3 however with the wind shutting down, Takahashi got a large right-hand shift allowing him to sail away to victory. In Race 3 Takahashi sailed superbly taking a wide course downwind to stay far away from Price and tightly covering upwind which was the winning strategy.

Race 4 went off with a bang. As both boats jostled for position in the starting arena they quickly became entwined as Takahashi swung his bow upwind forcing Price to take his stern. A moment of hesitation saw Price try to avoid the leeward boat but unfortunately, he wasn't able to turn quick enough colliding with the aft quarter of the other boat. This left the CYCA team behind at the start with the umpires also punishing with a penalty.

Takahashi maintained his lead and won the match ending the CYCA’s chances to take out the prestigious cup and having to settle for 4th place in the petit final. 

The Governor’s Cup is an unmissable event in the YSA calendar with high quality racing combined with the amazing hospitality making it one of, if not the best, youth Match Racing event in the world. The CYCA has been sending teams to compete in the event for a number of years and has had recent success, winning in 2015. 

The event uses custom designed Gov Cup 22's which are crewed by either 3 or 4 people. The boats were built for last year’s regatta and superseded the smaller Gov Cup 21's which had been used for over a decade. 

For a number of years CYCA representative team has been lucky enough to stay with Betty Andrews whose son, Alan Andrews, is the designer of the boats. Although Betty loves hosting the CYCA team year after year she keeps her cards close to her chest, not revealing any of the boats secrets! Betty is a member at BYC and still sails weekly in her Sabot and regularly takes her yacht to Catalina Island. 

The cup's unofficial 'godfather' is former America's Cup tactician Andy Rose, who puts his heart and soul into making this regatta what it is today. Andy opened the regatta with a reception for teams, officials and families of the Cup and as is tradition, had all the teams come up on stage to introduce themselves and say a little about themselves. This is a great opportunity for youth sailors to gain confidence in public speaking and Andy does a fantastic job as host.

In the final of this year’s regatta, history was made for host club Balboa Yacht Club not having won the event in 37 years. Killian sailed smartly to end the drought and take out the 51st Governor's Cup.

Following the fourth place finish the CYCA team will take a lot of confidence from their performance in the round robins and now has a well-earned week off before competing in the World Youth Match Racing Championship running from the 30/7 to 5/8, also at Balboa Yacht Club. 

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