Working to Grow Match Racing at the Entry Level

Published on September 15th, 2014

With its fleet of 11 Catalina 37s tied up in formation in front of Long Beach Yacht Club, this Southern California venue could be considered ground zero for West Coast match racing. As home of the historic Grade 1 Congressional Cup, the club is now expanding its commitment to developing match racing at all levels

In the last year, LBYC has educated and trained 8 member umpires, and with an already deep talent pool of race management people skilled in running match race events, the club has announced a new concept to open up the opportunity for match racing to more teams.

Typically, most match race events in the U.S. are by invitation only and the skippers are accepted based on their CV. New teams and strong fleet racers are usually shut out with no invitation. Also, most events require a weigh-in and have a short-handed crew so this presents a further challenge to inexperienced teams. To assist this situation, LBYC has restructured the Butler Cup, the annual Grade 3 match race event which has historically been a lead up event to the Grade 2 Ficker Cup and the Grade 1 Congressional Cup.

The 2014 Butler Cup, scheduled the weekend of November 15-16 on the Congressional Cup Stadium Course, is now an OPEN event with a maximum crew of 8 and no weight limits. The event will be a Double Round Robin with a max of 8 boats, so competitors will get 14 races over 2 days; a major opportunity to bring their match racing skills to a higher level.

To encourage participation, LBYC has worked with the Long Beach Sailing Foundation (the owner of the boats) for a reduced charter rate. The entry fee for the weekend is only $300, including charter and entry fee.

Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis up to 8 teams. Click here for the Notice of Race.

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