Balboa YC’s Petersen, Brennan, and Mais prevail at the 54th Governor’s Cup 3-2 over Emil Kjaer’s Royal Danish YC team — including one of the best match races in memory.
Denmark’s Emil Kjaer of the Royal Danish Yacht Club, won the first race of the ‘first to three’ finals against Jeffrey Petersen in what experienced match racers all agreed was one of the best match races they had either been in or seen.
There were five lead changes in that race, but Kjaer led at the last windward mark, having completed three of four legs, had shown particular speed and crew work downwind. Kjaer’s spinnaker trim was also good, and he prevailed over Petersen by about a foot at the finish.
Petersen struck back by winning the start of the second race, and as had been the case all week, was tough to pass once ahead. Petersen & Co. had excellent boat speed and a very slight edge in downwind sail trim and speed.
Kjaer next proved those skills were not important if he could win the start, which he promptly did in race three. And, more importantly, Petersen incurred a penalty pre-start which required him to do a penalty turn sometime during the race.
Petersen then incurred a second penalty for luffing too quickly, forcing them to do an immediate turn to absolve one of his two penalties. The race was then essentially over. The score now was 2-1 Kjaer, and the next race was crucial for Petersen.
During the fourth race, Kjaer and crew made the only real mistake of the day by hitting the windward mark and incurring a penalty, which erased a penalty incurred by Petersen in the same incident at the mark. In doing so, Kjaer became tangled in the mark’s anchor line as Petersen jetted away to even the score, 2 – 2.
In the final race Petersen avoided fouls to go for more speed off the starting line than Kjaer, and tok one of the largest leads of the finals, to win the race and the Cup.