CON CUP: Solid reputation attracts elite field

Published on April 9th, 2013

That the 2013 Congressional Cup attracts such a quality line-up is a tribute to the event. In its 49th edition, the event may be at the forefront of match racing, but it is not part of the World Match Racing Tour. Yet with 70% of the field traveling from Europe, New Zealand or Australia, including World #1 ranked Ian Williams, this all-volunteer run event has gained a reputation as something special.

“This will be our first Congressional Cup,” noted Jordan Reece, 16th ranked in the world. “We have always viewed the Con Cup as one of the biggest events for match racing. We have heard so many great things about this event, that it is a really professionally run regatta and boasts some of the biggest names in the sport. It is a great way to kick off our 2013 season.”

One of the unique features of the event is the boat, the Catalina 37. “They are much heavier boats than most boats sailed on the tour,” observed Taylor Canfield, 8th ranked in the world. “The boats are quite ‘old school’ and are often under a lot of load with the big genoas and kites. While they get going nicely in some breeze, they are a big sluggish in the light air and take a bit of time to get up to speed. I would say it is much more of a pressure game in the Catalina 37.”

Reece notes how the onboard dynamics are vital. “This event will be the first time we have ever sailed with a crew of 6 in a match race, so getting the communication and dynamics right between the team is going to be crucial. We just have to make sure that everyone sticks to their job and role on the boat and make sure that the right people are talking at the right time.”

The popularity of the Congressional Cup is in part due to its scheduling. “This event will allow us to get back in the boat together after nearly a 5 month break from both match racing as well as sailing together,” explained Canfield. “This event is also a great preparation for the AWMRT this season. We are sailing our first AWMRT in Germany, mid May, which will also be sailed in bigger heavier boats. We hope by sailing the Catalina 37s before that event will be a good step in the right direction.”

It helps too that the event has a $60,000 purse, including $15,000 to the winner, along with the traditional Crimson Blazer. Racing for the ten teams is April 9-13, with viewing available from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

Source: The Dial Up, Chicago Match Race Center Blog

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