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25 July 2005, 12:09 pm
Prince Alfred Rallies For Win
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Governor's Cup 2005
Newport Beach, California, USA

The Australian team started the final day of the ISAF Grade 3 Governor's Cup in fourth, but finished it with it's second straight Governor's Cup title.
The winds picked up Saturday at Balboa Yacht Club as the final day of racing in the Governor's Cup, an event for some of the world's top youth match racers, crowned Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club of Australia champions for the second straight year.

The team, which was in fourth place going into the semi finals, defeated Nylandska Jaktklubben from Finland, which only lost one match in the round robin and three at the conclusion of the competition.

Royal Prince Alfred and Balboa Yacht Club each had six wins in the round robin, but a tiebreaker gave the Australian team the last position in the top four.

In the semi finals, Murray GORDON, Hamish ROUGHLEY and Thomas SPITHILL of Prince Alfred fell to Southern Yacht Club in the first match, but came back to win the next two, advancing the team to the finals.

It was a similar story in the finals after the team gave up the first match to Nylandska, but battled for the victory in the final two matches.

'It's an amazing feeling,' said GORDON. 'It was looking like it was going to be a tough regatta, but not going in as favorites was a good thing for us. The pressure wasn't really on us, it was on the team that was ahead.'

GORDON, who along with SPITHILL is a veteran to the event, became the sixth sailor in Governor's Cup history to win two events in a row.

'They had complete control,' said Prince Alfred Coach Murray WALTERS. 'It was character that made them win those last two, not just skill.'

Southern and Balboa, which finished in fifth place after defeating Newport Harbor Yacht Club, were the top two American finishers and will compete in the International Youth Match Race Series in Auckland, New Zealand in February, and also the Cowes Youth Week Match Race Regatta in Great Britain next year.

'It was looking pretty grim after that first day,' said Christian EMSIECK from Balboa. 'But we worked hard and held our own against them.'

Newport Harbour ended in sixth place while Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron was in seventh, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia captured eighth, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron finished ninth, King Harbor Yacht Club from Redondo Beach took tenth, San Francisco ended in eleventh and Seattle Yacht Club was in twelfth.

The Dead of Gift for the Governor's Cup was granted in 1967 by then California Governor and later President Ronald REAGAN. World class sailors Paul CAYARD (USA), John KOSTECKI (USA) and Gavin BRADY (NZL), amongst many throughout the world, have emerged from this race to dominate the America's Cup and many other international competitions.

The sailboats used were 21 foot sloops, designed by Alan ANDREWS, an internationally recognized yacht designer, and sails by Dave Ullman. Both are Balboa Yacht Club members.

Natalie Venegas/ Image:© John Fuller
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