GOVERNOR'S CUP:When worlds collide

SAILING: Cruising Yacht Club of Australia struck by another boat during second round of round-robin races.

July 21, 2007|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

NEWPORT BEACH — The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is from the land Down Under.

It almost found itself going down into the Pacific Ocean Friday. The three-man crew wasn't too thrilled about having water coming into its keelboat.

Another boat struck Australia's during the second round of round-robin action at the 41st annual Governor's Cup hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club.


Fortunately for Australia, the team hitting it was the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans. Talk about good sportsmanship. The team from the place known for its Southern hospitality withdrew from the event and gave its boat to Australia.

Australia made the most of the exchange, qualifying for the Final Four before dropping its first match race against defending champion King Harbor of Redondo Beach in a best-of-three semifinal series.

While watching its hopes of claiming the title of the oldest international youth match racing championship in the U.S. slip away, Australia met together inside the yacht club to discuss what went wrong.

Jay Griffin came up with the best answer, saying "we just couldn't get into" the new boat.

Once Griffin, Jon English and skipper William Ryan exited, two of the other semifinalists, Newport Harbor Yacht Club and St. Thomas Yacht Club of the Virgin Islands, sat outside soaking up the atmosphere on the deck.

Newport Harbor won its semifinal race against St. Thomas, handing St. Thomas its second loss of the day. St. Thomas had been the only team out of 11 to beat Newport Harbor during the 22 round-robin races.

But Taylor Canfield, St. Thomas' skipper, said Newport Harbor won't run away with it.

"I still think that they're beatable," said Canfield, who plans to sail for Boston College as a freshman next year. "We were close [Friday], and we'll do it for sure [today]. [We're] ready to go beat Newport."

St. Thomas and Australia are in must-win situations. Lose their next respective semifinal matches and they'll be eliminated and left facing each other for third place.

Australia, which went 18-4 during the round robin, didn't make the direct 16-hour flight from Sydney for third.

"We're going to head off and get sorted," English said.

One thing is for sure, Australia will use a new boat today, when the semifinals are scheduled to resume at 12:30 p.m. Each day leading up to the fifth day of competition, teams have sailed in a different boat.

The one getting wrecked, the King King, will be out of service.

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