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Walker leads Ficker Cup

Published on April 1st, 2016

Long Beach, CA (April 1, 2016) – It may be April Fool’s Day around the globe, but it was serious business at the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche as eight teams opened the three-day event with spirited competition.

Steve Natvig (USA) came out swinging. Hot on his game, having recently battled his way to the top in the California Dreamin’ Series, he pulled two penalties before the start of one match. “I’ve done a lot of racing for other teams recently, so this is the first time behind the wheel in a while,” he admitted. I’m dusting off the cobwebs.” He finished 3-4 after the first round robin.

Perennial favorite and 2009 Congressional Cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) was slow to warm up, before turning the corner and winning his final four matches.

Everybody got a piece of the pie, but at the end of the first round robin today – where cool 6 to 13 knot southwesterly breezes prevailed – Evan Walker (AUS) and Scott Dickson (USA) each tallied 5-2, with Walker getting the nod for beating Dickson in their match. Matthew Jerwood (AUS), Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and David Storrs (USA) are a click back at 4-3.

Dickson, who has represented LBYC in more than one dozen Congressional Cups, lauded his “wonderful team,” including a last minute addition, tactician Peter ‘Pedro’ Isler; calling the two-time America’s Cup winner, “a smooth cog in a well-oiled machine.” He added, “We have a wonderful blend of international and local teams here, which makes the local teams stronger.”

A second round robin will continue Saturday April 2 and progress to semi-final and final rounds Sunday April 3. The top two finishers in Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche will advance to the prestigious Congressional Cup regatta, second stop in the esteemed World Match Racing Tour, to be held here April 6 to 10.

Racing begins at roughly noon, daily, and is held adjacent the Long Beach Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier for easy spectator access and viewing.

Ficker Cup – Day One Standings
1. Evan Walker
2. Scott Dickson
3. Johnie Berntsson
4. David Storrs
5. Matthew Jerwood
6. Steve Natvig
7. Dustin Durant
8. Peter Holz

Event websiteScoreboardFacebook

The Congressional Cup features five days of yacht racing at its finest, with the top World Sailing-ranked skippers vying for the esteemed Crimson Blazer – an honor bestowed to sailing icons like Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner, Taylor Canfield and more. Founded in 1965 and pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring, The Congressional Cup is regarded as the ‘granddaddy of match racing’ and is part of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). This intense round-the-world circuit kicked off early March in Fremantle, Australia, and concludes in July in Marstrand, Sweden; where one lucky sailor will earn a sizeable purse and bragging rights – as the number one skipper at the pinnacle of the sailing game.

The Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche is a highly regarded World Sailing Grade Two and WMRT event, established by LBYC in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, winning skipper of the 1970 America’s Cup and Star boat champion. Etched on the trophy are the names of sailing greats like John Kostecki, Scott Dickson and Sally Barkow; plus Terry Hutchinson and Simone Ferrarese – both of whom went on to win the Congressional Cup in subsequent years.

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