Congressional Cup, what a turbulent day

Published on May 14th, 2015

Long Beach, CA (May 14, 2015) – “It never rains in Southern California … it pours, man it pours,“ goes the hit song from 1972 (when the Congressional Cup was already seven years old). And today, it poured. A rare storm system rolled through the course on Day Two of the 51st annual Congressional Cup regatta, a 2015/16 World Match Racing Tour event. PRO Randy Smith’s Race Committee was able to pull off two flights, in westerly breezes from six to nine knots, before the rain came.

It swallowed up the container ships anchored in the distance, then obliterated the course in a white-out. Races were postponed. When they resumed, the wind had shifted dramatically to the right. Wafting from the northwest, it diminished ‘til spinnakers were drooping, finally fading into nothingness in the lee of the storm.

Three flights were completed: and the racing was as turbulent as the weather.

An otherwise on-fire Chris Steele rounded the wrong top mark, and handed that race to Joachim Aschenbrenner. Switzerland’s Eric Monnin edged out number one-ranked Ian Williams in a tight contest. Congressional Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield uncharacteristically mistimed a start, and bowed to Przemyslaw ‘Tara’ Tarnacki.

Said Tarnacki, “We are happy with the two points we got today; the first one we’ve won with Taylor Canfield,” he revealed. “It’s good to have a win, after yesterday,” – when the Polish team was 0-6. “I wasn’t devastated, but a win is good for your head; it takes the edge off.” Returning to Congressional Cup after an eight-year hiatus, he said the team was determined to “keep learning, and push very hard.”

In a second place tie, Phil Robertson had another solid day, saying, “I’m actually quite surprised how well we’re doing! I’ve come second-to-last here (Congressional Cup) twice, and the boys are joking that we’ve won more races in the first day, than we’ve won in the last two regattas put together! We’ve outdone our expectations already.”

Robertson attributed his pace to that fact that he’s having “a lot of fun” – something that was quite evident at Wednesday night’s press conference, where he celebrated his 29th birthday in a get-up evoking the love-child of PeeWee Herman and Hello Kitty. “That’s a big part of it, you’ve got to enjoy yourself,” he laughed.

The Congressional Cup is hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, with racing held off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. The pier offers superior viewing, with tented seating, vendors and live commentary. Races will begin around 11am Friday; PRO Smith hopes to finish the double round robins Saturday and advance to the semi-finals and finals, concluding Sunday May 17.

Results after two days of racing
Taylor Canfield, 8
Phil Robertson, 6
Ian Williams, 6
Eric Monnin, 5
Chris Steele, 5
Reuben Corbett, 5
Joachim Aschenbrenner, 5
Bjorn Hansen, 4
Dustin Durant, 3
Keith Swinton, 3
Scott Dickson, 2
Przemyslaw Tarnacki, 2

Additional information: Congressional CupWorld Match Racing Tour

The Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing since 1965, introducing on-the-water umpiring in the 1988 regatta. The event is renowned for its world-class hospitality and organization, utilizing the talents and energy of a unique volunteer force of more than 300 members of LBYC – one of the premier boating institutions in the United States since 1929. The club and associated Long Beach Sailing Foundation maintain a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event; which guarantees an even platform and exciting competition.

The winning skipper of the Congressional Cup is awarded the coveted Crimson Blazer, an honor bestowed to the top names in sailing over the years, including Ken Read, Gavin Brady, Dennis Conner, Ted Turner, Dean Barker, and more.


Report by Event Media

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