Bill Ficker honored at 38th Ficker Cup
Published on March 24th, 2017
Long Beach, CA (March 24, 2017) – Long Beach Yacht Club kicked off the 38th annual Ficker Cup regatta with a tribute to the late Bill Ficker, bestowing the eight race teams with “Ficker is Quicker” flags, before continuing onto the race course to the type of competition that would have made Ficker proud.
“I think Bill would have loved today,” said Scott Dickson, whose LBYC team was in a three-way tie for first, at the end of day of this Grade Two match race regatta. “Bill often turned up here for the trophy presentation, so I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time with him,” added Dickson, whose team wore black armbands in Ficker’s honor. “We had superb conditions on the water and the teams all represented themselves well: I think Bill would have really appreciated that.”
The Ficker Cup was established in 1980 to honor Ficker, a renowned yachtsman who helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup, and won the Congressional Cup in 1974. Part of the World Match Racing Tour, it is considered the gateway to the Congressional Cup – as the top two finalists advance to the Congressional Cup next week.
Racing in Catalina 37s was held in the waters off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier beneath blue skies and brisk breezes of 8 to 10 knots, building to 17 in the afternoon.
After the first day it was Dickson, Vladimir Lipavsky, and David Storrs, each with five wins and two losses, to lead the field. At the bottom of the standing was Sid Gathrid, a 16-year old novice, whose sole win was against Storrs.
Gathrid, who has been match racing less than a year, noted his excitement and appreciation at being invited, saying it was a great opportunity to sail against some of the top players in the game. And, he admitted, it was “pretty cool too”– as his rivals came by to shake his hand and congratulate the team for their performance.
Background: The Ficker Cup which was established by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, who recently passed at the age of 89. An architect by trade, Ficker was a renowned yachtsman who won the Star Class World Championship in 1958 and helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup. Four years later, he won the Congressional Cup. The 2017 Ficker Cup will be held March 24 through 26, also in the vicinity of Belmont Pier with the top two finalists advancing to the Congressional Cup.