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Final Four Advance at Ficker Cup

Published on April 2nd, 2016

Long Beach, CA (April 2, 2016) – Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Scott Dickson (USA), Matthew Jerwood (AUS) and David Storrs (USA) have advanced to the semi-finals in the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche after two days of combative match racing.

Completing the second day of round robins in moderate breeze, Berntsson and Dickson each tallied 10-4 and Jerwood 9-5. An exuberant Storrs, 8-6, remarked, “I didn’t think we were going to make it!” after he learned he had edged out Evan Walker (AUS) in the tie-breaker. Also eliminated were Peter Holz (USA), Dustin Durant (USA), and Steve Natvig (USA).

Dickson, who earned his Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche slot in the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) sail-off, had been solid from the start of the event. But Berntsson had a surprisingly sluggish beginning. Ranked 11th worldwide and a past Congressional Cup champion, in 2009, he attributed Friday’s performance to a delayed flight that cost them their practice day, and jet lag. “But our goal was to keep calm and get the team working together,” he conceded, “and most importantly, keep improving.”

That they did, rallying today to win six of seven matches, through a combination of skill – and a little bit of luck: when Durant’s team rounded the wrong weather mark, and was disqualified.

Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche Chairman Joe Siebert extoled the sizeable crowd at the Belmont Veterans Pier, saying, “The venue and participation are great! We have more spectators than expected,” noting a lively audience lining the railing at the end of wharf at 39th Place, in Long Beach.

“And the level of competition is better than ever,” he exclaimed, saying that as a World Match Racing Tour event, Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche was able to draw higher ranked skippers than the norm. Siebert also lauded the addition of Porsche as a presenting sponsor. “We’ve always ridden on the coattails of the Congressional Cup, so it’s great to have this level and quality of sponsorship – in addition to our terrific support staff, executive team, and volunteers. And thank God for this weather!”

The semi-final and final rounds will commence Sunday April 3 at 1130AM. Berntsson will race Jerwood, while Dickson duels with Storrs. First to three wins will advance to the finals, for the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche trophy – to be presented by Bill Ficker, at hosting LBYC, Sunday.

The top two finishers in Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche will each receive a berth in the prestigious Congressional Cup regatta, April 6 to 10. Races will be held adjacent the Long Beach Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier for easy spectator access and viewing; the public is invited to attend.

Day Two Standings (after double round robins)
1. Johnie Berntsson SWE 10-4
2. Scott Dickson USA 10-4
3. Matthew Jerwood AUS 9-5
4. David Storrs USA 8-6
5. Evan Walker AUS 8-6
6. Dustin Durant USA 6-8
7. Steve Natvig USA 4-10
8. Peter Holz USA 1-13

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.

Report by Betsy Crowfoot.

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