Life, Liberty, and the Happy Pursuit of the Governor’s Cup

By Mike Ferring

Governor’s Cup Basics: Pursuit race Saturday, December 10, at Lake Pleasant. Entry just 10 bucks. First Prize: Humongous Governor’s Cup Trophy and Eternal Glory. Documents and entry link: Racing page.

It’s both the biggest prize (in size for sure) and one of the most fun races of the AYC year. Boats will depart the start line in spits and spats, with the slowest-rated boats leaving first and the fastest last. Then the pursuit begins. With the Catalina 22s approaching Horse Island, the Vipers and multi-hulls will breathlessly (but hopefully not windlessly) give chase.

Mike Hester holds the largest of AYC’s trophies.

Sort of a tortoise and hare thing. The hares will pop their chutes as those tortoises flap their wing-on-wings. Seven miles from the start everyone will cross the finish line together. Boom! Okay, that’s never happened, but it can usually be pretty close for the best-sailed boats.

Here’s another good thing: Whoever crosses the finish line first is the winner. No waiting for a tally, number-crunching, or recount. Rob Gibbs does all the hard work first by calculating the time it should take each boat to complete seven statute miles (the course length) using time-on-distance.

The Governor’s Cup will go to the winner of either the multi-hull or monohull fleet, whichever has the most entries.

Of course, anyone who’s ever raced in a handicap fleet knows that this is all pretty much guesswork on ratings. Multihulls, planing boats, heavy wind versus light wind, buoy racing versus this longer-distance stuff and all multiplied by very rough numbers. You get the idea. But in this race, it’s pretty much all for fun anyway. Except for that humongous trophy.

My co-organizer Maryellen Ferring and I plan to award the big trophy during a casual gathering at Spinnaker Point at the end of racing and we’ll award some more trophies too, ones which will be given (as the NOR says) “arbitrarily and capriciously.”

Carman Martin on “Shazam” exudes the thrill of fun competition at the finish!

See Registration and Regatta Docs here; Gov. Cup 2022