Skipper Ryan Davidson along with Brandon Folkman (middle) and Gregg Kent (bow) will attempt to end Balboa Yacht Club's 33-year drought to win the prestigious Governor's Cup starting Wednesday at noon, when the 47th annual youth regatta begins in Newport Harbor.
If Davidson captures the Cup it would add to a grand year for the Davidson family. Davidson's sister, Bayley, won the U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship with Carolyn Smith last month near their home club.
Davidson recently won the Chicago Match Race Center's Grade 3 Spring Invitational against nine other teams that included experienced youth and adult racers.
Davidson also guided BYC to a third-place finish in the Rose Cup in Wisconsin last month. The third-place finish was important as it meant BYC qualified for the Gov Cup. BYC was matched up against another BYC team skippered by Christophe Killian in a best-of-three petit final at the Rose Cup. The winner would represent BYC in the Gov Cup.
Davidson won, 2-0, to grab the host yacht club's spot into the regatta known as the oldest and most prestigious international junior match racing series in the world. The regatta, which ends Sunday, features 12 teams.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club from New Zealand returns to defend. RPNYC, skippered by Adam Middleton, won the Gov Cup last year, beating Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, which has two teams in the regatta this year.
The teams from out of the area, or nation, stay with families who live near the event, including Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
NHYC is in the regatta. Jack Thompson is the skipper and is joined by Michael Sabourin (middle) and Charlie Welch (bow). Thompson, 18, is an incoming senior at Corona del Mar High. Sabourin, 16, attends Newport Harbor High. Welsh, 17, attends Mater Dei.
NHYC is looking to improve upon its finish last year, when it finished last.
BYC settled for sixth after sharing the lead early on after six races last year. Davidson, 19, a Newport Harbor High alumnus, and Folkman, 19, both attend College of Charleston. Kent, 19, who graduated from Newport Harbor High, sails for San Francisco State.
This will be Davidson's fourth straight time as the BYC skipper in the Gov Cup. His father, Gary, the BYC rear commodore, also competed in the Gov Cup as a sailor for Los Alamitos Yacht Club in 1977.
47th annual Governor's Cup
Balboa Yacht Club: Ryan Davidson (skipper), Brandon Folkman (middle), Greg Kent (bow).
Chicago Yacht Club: Will Holz, Clay Danly, Alex Woloshyn.
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia: Henry Kernot, Jack Breislin, Matt Stenta.
Newport Harbor Yacht Club: Jack Thompson, Michael Sabourin, Charlie Welsh.
Portland Yacht Club (Portland, Maine): Charlie LaLumiere, Ben Garber, Eliot Caple.
Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (Australia): Sam Gilmour, Chris Smith, Adam Negri.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron: Claudia Pierce, Marie Kent, Paige Cook.
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron: Chris Steele, Scott Barnes, George Brasell.
Royal Port Nicholson Yacht Club (New Zealand): Adam Middleton, Sam MacRay, William Eastman.
Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club (Australia): Malcolm Parker, William Dargaville, Jack Nairn.
San Diego Yacht Club: AJ Reiter, Storm Brown, David Larson.
San Francisco Yacht Club: Scott Buckstaff, Corey Lynch, James Moody.