56th Congressional Cup is postponed
Published on March 15th, 2020
Long Beach, CA (March 15, 2020) – The 2020 Congressional Cup, originally slated for April 28 to May 3 as the first event of the 2020 World Match Racing Tour, has been postponed. Also delayed are the events running up to it – the finale of the California Dreamin’ Series and the 2020 Ficker Cup.
Organizers are exploring alternative dates to reschedule the three events later in 2020.
“Considering that travel restrictions affect many of our competitors and officials, and for the general safety and well-being of our attendees, organizers, members and volunteers, we have decided to postpone the Congressional Cup until the situation has improved,” explained Congressional Cup Chair Cheri Busch.
“We are not cancelling the Congressional Cup, however, and hope to have our sailors back on the water and competing for the Crimson Blazer soon!”
The 56th Congressional Cup had invited ten of the world’s leading match racing skippers to square off in a fleet of equalized Catalina 37 keelboats. Contestants include reigning champion Ian Williams (GBR), a four-time winner of the Congressional Cup (2011, 2012, 2017 and 2019) plus Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Scott Dickson (USA), Eric Monnin (SUI), Harry Price (AUS], Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and Jordan Stevenson (NZL).
The format is to include a Double Round Robin followed by semi-finals, petite finals, and the finals.
The California Dreamin’ Series Long Beach stop, the last of a three-part match race circuit which garners the winning skipper an invitation to the 2021 Ficker Cup, was originally slated for April 18 and 19. That event and this year’s Ficker Cup, planned for April 24 to 26, are expected to also be rescheduled.
The Ficker Cup is both a coveted World Sailing Grade 2 event, and qualifier for the Congressional Cup and World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). Its top two victors advance to the Congressional Cup regatta to complete the roster.
“We are exploring open dates on the sailing and World Match Racing Tour calendar, and look forward to hosting these thrilling and prestigious events in Long Beach again,” said Long Beach Yacht Club Commodore Charlie Legeman. “But at this time the health of our community – both our local and worldwide sailing community – is paramount. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and look forward to sharing more news and information with you shortly.”
There has been no announcement yet regarding Royal Bermuda Yacht Club’s 70th Gold Cup for the King Edward VII trophy, which is next World Championship-level event of the 2020 World Match Racing Tour. Scheduled May 11-16, the King Edward VII Gold Cup is to host a field of 16 crews plotting to win the venerable trophy and the lion’s share of the $100,000 prize purse.
Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The World Tour represents a series of independently organized and officially sanctioned match racing events. Teams accumulate points from each of the events towards an overall WMRT global ranking, the top twelve teams from which compete in the WMRT Championship Finals at the end of the season.
2020 World Match Racing Tour Schedule
1. April 24-26 – Ficker Cup, Long Beach CA, USA
2. April 29–May 3 – Congressional Cup® Regatta, Long Beach, California, USA*
3. May 8-10 – Porto Montenegro Match Race, Montenegro
4. May 11-16 – Argo Gold Cup, Bermuda*
5. May 14-17 – Slovenia Match Race Cup, Portorož, Slovenija
6. May 22-24 – NJK Open Spring Cup, Finland
7. May 27-June 1 – Match Race Germany, Langenargen, Germany
8. June 18-21 – Świnoujście Match Race – Polish Match Tour, Poland
9. July 1-5 – GKSS Match Cup Sweden*
10. July 23-26 – Internationaux de France de Match Racing, France
11. July 29-August 1 – Baltic Match Race, Estonia
12. Aug 8-11 – AIRCALIN Match Race, Noumea, New Caledonia
13. Aug 14-16 – Chicago Grand Slam, Chicago, USA
14. Aug 19-23 – International Match Race for the Detroit Cup, USA
15. Aug 27-31 – Oakcliff International, Oyster Bay, USA
16. Sept 2-5 – Thompson Cup, Oyster Bay, USA
17. Sept 17-20 – DBS Marina Bay Cup, Singapore
18. WMRT FINAL – TBA Nov/Dec
* WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP Event
The WMRT takes place in identically supplied racing yachts which change for each event and has been awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing. The winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion.
Previous Champions include Bertrand Pace (FRA), Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Jesper Radich (DEN), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Ian Williams (GBR), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Taylor Canfield (ISV), Phil Robertson (NZL), and Torvar Mirsky (AUS).
Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors. www.wmrt.com
Source: Congressional Cup, WMRT