LBYC names Ficker Cup Skippers
Published on April 24th, 2015
Long Beach, CA (April 24, 2015) – Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) has announced the eight skippers who will compete in the 36th running of the Ficker Cup match racing regatta, May 8 to 10, 2015.
The roster leads off with New Zealand’s Chris Steele (ranked no. 11 by the International Sailing Federation – ISAF); followed by rivals hailing from all corners of the U.S.: Chris Poole (25), David Storrs (29), Peter Holz (75), Dustin Durant (84), Christophe Killian (91), Charles Lalumiere (111), and Dave Hood (302).
Match racing pits teams on identical boats in a series of one-on-one races, which provokes close, aggressive competition. Collisions are not rare, and on-the-water umpires serve up ‘instant justice’ with the wave of a flag. This three-day event promises plenty of fierce action, as competitors vie not only for the Ficker Cup trophy, but also for two spots in the Congressional Cup regatta, which begins May 13.
A series of double round robin matches will begin Friday May 8 in the waters off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Competitors will progress into semi-finals and finals; deciding Sunday which pair will advance to the Congressional Cup.
But the Ficker Cup is a benchmark in its own right. This prestigious Grade Two regatta was established by LBYC in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, winning skipper of the 1970 America’s Cup, and world class Star boat champion.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to compete in,” said Steele, of the Ficker Cup; the chance for spot in the Congressional Cup is a bonus. “I’ve raced against some of the guys on the entry list before, and the competition is good,” Steele added. ”But with the guys we’ve got on board, I am more than comfortable we’ve got a good chance.”
Their goal, he said, is to “win the event,” and move on to the Congressional Cup.
The back-to-back contests offer heaps of excitement and spectating opportunities for sailors and novices alike, starting around 1130AM each day at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
“We’re looking forward to an exciting regatta, with these up-and-coming match racing skippers,” said Camille Daniels, who is co-chairing the event with Mary Voight. ”The racers will receive the on-the-water excellence and hospitality LBYC is known for worldwide; and in return, we get thrilling, world-class match racing, right in our own back yard! I encourage the public to come watch the action – it’s free – and cheer on this lively competition.”
The following week (May 13 to 17) LBYC will dial it up another notch, when the world’s top-ranked sailors come to Long Beach to compete in the Congressional Cup regatta, the season opener for the 2015/16 World Match Racing Tour. The Pier will take on a festival atmosphere, with spectator seating, live commentary, special guests, vendors and superb viewing. Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier is located at 5411 East Ocean Blvd, just east of downtown Long Beach.
Since 1929 LBYC has been one of the premier boating institutions in the United States. Founders of the Congressional Cup in 1965, the club pioneered on-the-water umpiring in 1988, and is renowned for its world-class race organization and hospitality. LBYC and the associated Long Beach Sailing Foundation maintain a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for match racing; which further guarantees an even racing platform, and thrilling competition.
For additional information on the LBYC and the Ficker Cup please go to www.lbyc.org.
Ficker Cup Skipper ISAF Ranking
1. Chris Steele 11
2. Chris Poole 25
3. David Storrs 29
4. Peter Holz 75
5. Dustin Durant 84
6. Christophe Killian 91
7. Charles Lalumiere 111
8. Dave Hood 302
Report by Event Media