FORT WORTH, TX – David Wood of Balboa Yacht Club (Newport Beach, CA) won three straight races today to win the United States Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup hosted by the Fort Worth Boat Club (Fort Worth, Texas). Wood, who is relatively new to match racing, beat Jack Parkin of Riverside YC (Riverside, CT) to win the national championship for sailors under the age of 20.
With their impressive win Wood and his BYC team qualified for the 51st annual Governor's Cup regatta, to be held at Wood's home Balboa Yacht Club July 17-22. The "GovCup" is the oldest youth match racing regatta in the world. It's alumni include two-time America's Cup winner James Spithill and five of the world's current top-ten-ranked match racers.
Wood and his team of Max Brennan, Jeffrey Petersen and Catherine Reynolds started off with four straight losses in the rounds robin. But they got on track, and lost only one race for the rest of the regatta, including winning the finals 3-0 – a comeback akin to the Oracle Team USA comeback in the 2013 America's Cup.
O.L. Pitts, at 101 years of age, is a past commodore of FWBC and Member No. 1, as well as the club's widely-known and beloved "Ambassador-at-Large." Commodore Pitts was on the water watching the racing in the 100-degree heat. He said, "We believe this is the best inland yacht club in the country." There are few who would disagree, including your correspondent.
The Sunday prizegiving was presided over by five-time U.S. Match Racing champion Dave Perry, who also hosted a two-day intensive match race clinic before the regatta.
The petit-finals, which decided third and fourth place, was won by Patrick Shanahan, winning 2-1 over another Balboa Yacht Club entry skippered by Porter Killian.
Conditions were perfect for the four-day event conducted by FWBC in their club-owned J-22s. Wind speeds ranged from 8 to 16 knots. The "Boat Club" continued its 90-year history of running high-quality championships, led this year by Event Chair Kim Chamount.
Rose Cup winners: Balboa YC'S Max Brennan, Jeffrey Petersen, Catherine Reynolds, and skipper David Wood.
Fort Worth Boat Club Member No. 1 and "Ambassador at Large" O.L Pitts (fourth from left) with family and friends at the FWBC yesterday during the Rose Cup. Commodore Pitts was a backer of several America's Cup syndicates in the 70s and 80s, including Ted Turner and his COURAGEOUS team when they won the Cup in 1977, hence his hat and shirt still in pristine condition. Second from right is Andy Rose, a FWBC member (among other clubs) and patron-saint of Balboa Yacht Club's GovCup, and donor of the Rose Cup. –TFE