BALBOA PIER — Sporting a yellow and green spinnaker on its massive sail, the Newport Harbor Yacht Club drifted past the finish line Wednesday.
It had handily defeated a boat from the Royal Yachting Assn. out of Great Britain, after the three-member Newport Harbor team lost its first two races.
That led to a five-match winning streak out of seven races overall to close Day One of the 45th annual Governor's Cup a few miles off the coast of Balboa Pier. The five wins tied with Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club from New Zealand, San Diego Yacht Club and Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Australia for the most wins.
Although there are several new competitors in this year's competition, Newport Harbor is potentially perceived as among the early favorites. Skipper Chris Segerblom, a 19-year-old sophomore this fall who also sails for Yale University, was a runner-up in last year's Governor's Cup. Crew members Connor Bathen, a sophomore this fall at Santa Clara University who was on the runner-up boat last year, and Brooks Clark also contributed to the five-match haul.