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Ready for the 40th regatta

Young sailors from around the world will compete in the Governor's Cup, starting July 18.

July 15, 2006|By Shannon Urtnowski

Ready! Set! Sail!

The 40th anniversary of Balboa Yacht Club's Governor's Cup is almost here, and the tradition has been going strong.

Twelve teams, each consisting of three youths between the ages of 12 and 19, have been chosen to compete in this year's regatta, which will take place between July 18 and July 22, with pre-race preparations on July 17.

"On a yearly basis, around the first of each year, we send out fliers to announce the running of the Governor's Cup to particular clubs we know through national and international sailing," said Bob Strang, Governor's Cup chairman. "We gather as many top sailors who submit requests for applications and choose 12 teams. It's a lengthy process."

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Competitors from across the globe will be participating in the event. In addition to California teams, groups from Australia, England, New Zealand, Annapolis and New Orleans will partake.

Teams from Balboa Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club are guaranteed spots every year to promote friendly cross-town competition.

"It's like the Super Bowl to them, especially with foreign teams," Strang said. "We're very proud of it, and it means a great deal to them to be chosen at this level."

The juniors will be racing Governor's 21 Yachts, which were designed by Balboa Yacht Club member Alan Andrews three years ago and paid for by contributions from club members.

The boats reach a maximum of five to seven knots upwind and seven to 10 knots downwind, Strang said, so viewers can expect good, competitive sport. Each race will be a quarter-mile to a half-mile depending on wind conditions.

The cup has changed a little over the years.

"It's always been a yacht club challenge, but not with international teams," said Andy Rose, winner of the 1969 and 1970 Governor's Cups.

Rose is still active with the annual regatta because, he said, he wants to give back to the event that brought joy to his youth.

The Governor's Cup was the first junior match sailing race to be introduced to the world. Match races are one-on-one competitions among teams.

Long Beach Yacht Club introduced the first match sailing race, called the Congressional Cup ? which is still raced today ? but it was not for youths.

All those involved with the Governor's Cup agree that it offers a great opportunity for juniors.

"I think it's a wonderful event for the young adult sailors," said Pinky Greene, registrations coordinator for the event.

Rose said he is pleased to see that the junior regatta has carried on over the years.

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