Sailboats race of the coast in Newport Beach by Newport Pier during day one of the Governor's Cup race on Wednesday. (Scott Smeltzer, Daily Pilot / July 20, 2010)

The 44th annual Governor's Cup embarked Wednesday. If you feel like you missed the start of the first race, I'll help you catch up.

One of my favorite features of the Governor's Cup at the Balboa Yacht Club is the introduction of the crews by Andrew Rose at the welcome dinner. Now, to get a better feel on the type of intro and questions asked by Rose, think of Rush Limbaugh and Dr. Phil blending together and coming up with some classic moments.

"The youth of the world has assembled for one of the most talented fleets ever brought together here at BYC," Rose said, adding that 13 teams received invitations: a record number of entries.

I then thought to myself, who is going to win? This year's favorites have to be last year's winners, The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, with skipper William Tiller and his crew Harry Thurston and Shaun Mason.

If I were going to put money down on this year's cup, I would have to go with the Newport Harbor team of Chris Segerblom, Connor Bathen and Kieran Chung.

I am going to get some nasty looks when my fellow BYC members read this, but I cannot get out of my head that final run in the Rose Cup when the Segerblom team came from behind to win the last race this year. Skipper Ryan Davidson is one of the most naturally gifted sailors I have ever seen around BYC, and he will do very well in this event. I am taking bets now that, by the time Davidson reaches age 20, he will have won this event more than once.

Results and videos of the races are available through http://bit.ly/baeU0s.

I will be back Friday with more observations from the Governor's Cup and my regular harbor column.