Elite Field for 53rd Congressional Cup
Published on February 14th, 2017
Seven of the top ten ranked match racing skippers in the world will compete in the 53rd running of the Congressional Cup, an esteemed World Match Racing Tour event to be held March 27 to April 2 in Long Beach, CA. A field of ten teams have been selected with the final two entrants to be determined at the Ficker Cup held March 24 to 26.
The field includes defending champion Taylor Canfield, ISV (no.1), Ian Williams, GBR (no. 2), Sam Gilmour, AUS (no. 3), Phil Robertson, NZL (no. 4), Harry Price, AUS (no. 5), Chris Steele, NZL (no. 6) Eric Monnin, SUI (no. 9), Joachim Aschenbrenner DEN (no. 12), Nicolai Sehested, DEN (no. 23) and Johnie Berntsson, SWE (no. 37).
“I’m sure it will be an exciting event,” said Chairman Joe Seibert, adding, “I’m grateful for all the volunteers and club support. This is truly a team event both on and off the water.”
Seibert and his wife Cyndi have a long history of Congressional Cup involvement, as part of the army of more than 300 volunteers who help run the event annually. Whether working a mark-set boat, hosting VIPs, running pier operations or serving on the executive team, their experience is an illustration of what is so unique about Congressional Cup, and what brings competitors back to Long Beach Yacht Club year after year.
According to participants like Gilmour, the superior level of competition, organization and hospitality make it “probably the best regatta I’ve been to in the world.”
Founded and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club – one of the premier boating institutions in the United States since 1929 – the Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing since 1965, introducing on-the-water umpiring in the 1988 regatta. Races are sailed in a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina monohulls designed specifically for the event, which guarantees an even platform and exciting competition. The event is held directly off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, for ease of spectator enjoyment.
The winning skipper of the Congressional Cup is awarded the coveted Crimson Blazer – anhonor bestowed to the top names in sailing over the years, including Ken Read, Gavin Brady, Dennis Conner, Ted Turner, Dean Barker, and more.
While the Congressional Cup represents a half century tradition at the highest level of sailboat racing in the world, it is also a part of the prestigious World Match Racing Tour, and one of seven championship level events held around the globe.
Event details: www.thecongressionalcup.com
Background: In 2013, Swedish company Aston Harald AB acquired the design and production rights to the one-design M32 catamarans. In July 2015, Aston Harald AB acquired the World Match Racing Tour, which then began the use of the M32 during the 2016 Tour. Launched in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour is the leading professional match racing series sanctioned by World Sailing. For further information: www.wmrt.com