Pacific Racing Team tied 1-1 in best of five Gov’s Cup Semi-Final
NEWPORT BEACH, CA (Friday, July 20, 2018) – Harry Price (AUS, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia) chose local favorite and Newport Beach native, Christophe Killian (USA, College of Charleston YC), the Gov Cup defending champion, as his semifinal opponent, surprising many experienced Cup watchers. But it proved a smart decision, as tonight he is up 2-0 over Killian in his first-to-win-three-race semifinal.
Meanwhile, in the other semi, Chris Weis (USA, Del Rey Yacht Club) and Leonard Takahashi (NZL, Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron) split, and go into tomorrow’s racing 1-1.
Both pairings were spectacular displays of match racing tactics, by four of the best match racing sailors, of any age, in the world.
Those who might think that the sport needs foiling boats to produce exciting racing, did not see the first Killian/Price semifinal.
After a short dial-up and run around the spectator fleet, Killian attempted a leeward duck on Price, but making contact, incurred a penalty at 1:30 before the starting horn. With both boats over at the start, Killian ducked the line ahead of Price. Both sailors stayed left, but Price had to tack right to find clearer air. Killian, favoring the left side throughout the windward leg, found his lead expanded to four boat lengths. The question for Killian: how much of a lead did he need to resolve his penalty?
Downwind, Killian maintained his advantage with careful jibing to find clearer air. Finally, at the last windward mark, Killian resolved his penalty with a clever turn and jibe, maintaining his clear lead. But, Price, the “Downwind Magician” who based on past performance, either passes a competitor ahead or has few issues maintaining a lead on the runs, covered Killian at every step of their run to the finish line. The final 200 yards decided the race, with Price finding an overlap and forcing Killian up. After another jibe, Killian tried the same tactic, but couldn’t achieve the overlap, and Price sailed over the line with less than a boat length win.
The second match-up between Killian and Price found Killian getting stuck behind a significant southerly shift and an eventual Price win. Price now has a 2-0 race advantage.
In the other semi-final race, the second match-up between Takahashi and Weis found Takahashi down 0-1. Mirroring the Killian/Price start from race number one, Takahashi and Weis’ dial up led to a separation and eventual start to the left with Weis being forced to tack away to the right.Limited engagement provided a one boat-length advantage to Weis at the windward mark, which he expanded to two boat lengths at the leeward gate. This time, Weis went left, while Takahashi chose right. Despite the southerly shift, Takahashi closed the gap at the windward mark, then found clear air all the way to the finish line, where he managed to even the racing to 1-1, with a
two boat-length win.
The first-to-three-wins semifinals continue Saturday at 11:30a PDT (livestreamed on facebook.com/bycgovcup). The winners of the semifinals advance to the best-of-five finals Saturday afternoon.
Live-stream coverage: www.facebook.com/bycgovcup
Daily Pre-Race Morning Show live-streamed at 9:30a PDT
Live racing coverage on Saturday beginning at 11:30a PDT
Post-race press conferences live-streamed ASAP after racing Saturday (approx. 4:00p PDT)
Paul Blank, Governor’s Cup Press Officer