If anyone had been inclined to bet on the sailing in Balboa Yacht Club's 51st Annual Governor's Cup International Youth Match Racing Championship, their odds-makers would have made BYC's Christophe Killian and Australian Harry Price the odds on favorites.
After completing seven races in the first of two "round robin" series where each boat sails against every other boat, the odds-makers would have been right as Price and Killian share the lead with undefeated 7-0 records.
In last year's 50th Anniversary "GovCup", Killian and Price finished in the 3rd and 4th positions behind winner Nevin Snow and the world's current top ranked match racer in the world, Sam Gilmour, but both Snow and Gilmour have "aged out" of the regatta which is limited to sailors under the age of 23.
As a result, much was expected of the two and at least on day one, they lived up to the billing.
Close behind is George Anyon of New Zealand with a 6-1 record followed by Will Boulden from the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Perth, Western Australia at 5-2.
Boulden's comeback from a loss in his first two races was impressive. In fourth is Southern Californian Christopher Weis from Del Rey Yacht Club with a 4-3 record.
As has become traditional in the Governor's Cup, there are always some surprising races and today was no exception.
The youngest skipper in the event, 2017 U.S Youth Match Racing Champion David Wood, also from the host BYC, faced Killian and Price in his first two races.
Despite the fact that Price, ranked #6 in the World Sailing Open (non-age limited) Match Racing Rankings, and Killian at #16 were heavily favored, Wood led each of those races as late as the last weather mark, losing both on the last leg.
Price had another close race with Weis in the last race of the day, winning by about two feet at the finish.
Six of the Governor's Cup teams will return to BYC on July 31 to start the World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championship including Price and Anyon.
They will be joined by Australia's Clare Costanzo with an all-female team, Matt Whitfield from the United Kingdom, and two U.S.
Teams led by Floridian Greiner Hobbs and Charlie Welch from Newport Beach, California. All four of those sailors are new to the Governor's Cup and the boats, and while not in contention after 7 races, may benefit from another GovCup "tradition".
On many occasions in past Cups, skippers who only win 2 or 3 races, after learning the boats and refining their match race tactics, end up in or close to making the semi-finals.
With 15 races remaining in the double round robin, anything is possible.
Fans, friends and spectators have a number of ways to follow the Governor's Cup this year with live pre-race shows at 10:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time daily and a post-race show at 5:00 PM PDT on Wednesday and Thursday and live streaming of the semi-final and final races starting at noon PDT on Friday and Saturday.
In addition, live coverage of the Friday press conference with the semi-finalists will be broadcast at 6:45 PM PDT Friday and the final press conference 90 minutes after return to the dock Saturday before the trophy presentation.
All broadcasts will be available on the BYC Facebook page:www.facebook.com/balboayachtclub.
About the Governor's Cup: Balboa Yacht Club has been hosting the Governor's Cup since 1967 when then California Governor Ronald Reagan donated the trophy emblematic of this prestigious and longest running international youth match racing championship.
Raced off Newport Beach in the Pacific Ocean July 17-22, 2017, this year's 51st edition is sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank, and features 12 teams of the world's top youth match racers, this year representing AUS, GBR, NZL and USA.