Malcolm Parker (skipper), Jack Nairn and William Dargaville (crew) members of The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club Youth Development squad have made their way to the USA to fly the RPAYC burgee and compete in the 47th Annual Governor’s Cup, hosted by Balboa Yacht Club taking place this week (16-21 July).
2013 47th GovCup -Pat Langley, Zhik Australia, RPAYC Vice Commodore Ian Audsley, Malcolm Parker (skipper), William Dargaville and Jack Nairn at a club presentation before they departed.
Before their departure, the team were farewelled by fellow Club members at a presentation on Saturday.
The RPAYC have won the prestigious match racing event three times previously with Anthony Merrington (1992) and Murray Gordon (2004-05) raising the Cup successfully. Following a multi year hiatus, the Club return to the event with some confidence, with the team coming out of its most recent regatta at the RNZYS in a respectable sixth place out of twelve teams. There they were exposed to other international youth teams including the hosts, Balboa Yacht Club giving them invaluable experience heading into the Governor’s Cup.
Since then, Malcolm and his team have been training hard within the Youth Development program at the RPAYC. Outside the program, Malcolm and team have been training with such partners as Katie Pellew (Spithill), two times winner Murray Gordon and coach Tom Spithill, all sailors who have competed in the Governor’s Cup. Imparting their knowledge and collective experience on the event will only benefit Malcolm and his team when competition gets underway on Wednesday local time.
Parker commented on his training, 'it’s been great training against the likes of Murray and Katie, they have been able to give us a heads up on what to expect of the weather and conditions which has helped us target certain key areas of training such as light air pre starts and boat handling. It will be an honour to compete for the RPAYC and we thank the members for this opportunity and their support.'
The team will also be billeted by the legendary Don and Doris Stoughton, who have pretty much had every single RPAYC team stay with them over the years.
The Governor’s Cup will see twelve teams competing with six teams from the USA and three apiece from Australia and New Zealand. Sam Gilmour from WA’s Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club was a semi finalist in the Gov Cup last year as well as the RPAYC’s Harken International Youth Match Racing event.
California Governor (later US President) Ronald Reagan granted the Deed of Gift for the Governor’s Cup to Balboa Yacht Club in 1967 'for the purpose of encouraging Youth Racing in the State of California and the recognition of the skill and high performance of those men and women under twenty years of age.'
The Cup has served as a pathway for future champions in collegiate competition, the Olympics, Congressional Cup, Swedish Match Tour and numerous America’s Cups. Past participants include current America’s Cup winning helmsman and tactician, RPAYC’s James Spithill and John Kostecki, and other greats.
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