Excitement Builds as 14 Teams Vie for 2024 Governor’s Cup

NEWPORT BEACH— The 57th Governor’s Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club in Newport Beach from July 22-27, will see a diverse lineup of 14 skilled skippers from five countries. Led by returning champion Jeffrey Petersen, 22, from the host club, the event promises thrilling competition among the top contenders.

The selection process for this year’s event was particularly rigorous, as noted by Christine Gribben, the regatta chair, who described it as the toughest yet. Despite the challenge, the Selection Committee chose to expand the field to 14, up from the usual 12, citing the exceptional quality of the Requests for Invitation (RFIs) received.

Among the competitors are notable names such as Cole Tapper, 21, from Austrailia, last year’s runner-up, alongside Americans Petersen and Morgan Pinckney, 19, and Justin Callahan, 21, who secured third and fourth place respectively in the 2023 championship.

The mix of seasoned veterans and rising talents includes Marcello Torre, 22, and Daniel Kemp, 20, from Australia, and Robbie McCutcheon, 22, Jack Frewin, 21, and Josh Hyde, 20, from New Zealand. Their participation signals a potential “changing of the guard,” with several teams possessing at least one more year of eligibility in the event.

The international flavor of the competition is further enhanced by the inclusion of a Danish team, led by Matias Rossing, 20, and Nicolas Bernal, 22, who returns for his second and final year after an impressive showing in the previous championship.

Petersen, aiming to etch his name in history, leads the U.S. contingent, joined by Callahan and first-time competitor Liam O’Keefe, 21, winner of the U.S. Intercollegiate Match Racing Championship in 2023.

Notably, Siena Nichols, 15, the youngest-ever competitor, earned her spot based on her track record in match racing. The American enjoyed a notable victory in the women’s Mayor’s Cup in Long Beach, Calif.

The final slot in the competition will be filled by the winner of the U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup.

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