Congressional Cup returns for 2021
Published on September 28th, 2020
The 56th Congressional Cup is scheduled to be held May 11 to 16, 2021. Founded and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA) since 1965, the Grade One competition is known as the ‘grandfather of match racing’ and pioneer of on-the-water umpiring that is the standard in yacht racing today.
The agenda calls for a practice day and welcoming affair on May 11, followed by five days of spirited racing through May 16. The Congressional Cup also returns as an official world championship event of the World Match Racing Tour, and a key regatta for the world’s top match racing skippers vying for the 2021 Match Racing World Championship.
“The level of competition at the Congressional Cup is always exceptional, and a long-time favorite event of the World Match Racing Tour,” said WMRT Executive Director James Pleasance. “As the event takes place in May, it will be one of the early opportunities for skippers to pit themselves against their rivals for the 2021 world title.”
Six WMRT Tour Card skippers will lead the line-up, with two wild-card choices and a final duo qualifying at the 2021 Ficker Cup, slated to be held May 6 to 8 at LBYC. The match racing format is scheduled to include a double round robin followed by semi-finals, petite finals, and the finals on May 16.
The Congressional Cup was previously held in April of 2019. Congressional Cup 2020 – planned for April 29 to May 3 – was canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions. Matches are held in a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina keelboats, which guarantee an even platform and exciting competition; a thrill for spectators watching from Long Beach’ Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
In the last running, Ian Williams (GBR) scrambled up the leaderboard through an international field of top-ranked match racing skippers after a slow start at the five-day series. Warming up in the California sunshine, six-time match racing world champion Williams and his Team GAC Pindar subsequently enjoyed an 11-match winning streak, eliminating foe Taylor Canfield (USA) in the semis and striking out Scott Dickson (USA) in the finals, to win the iconic Crimson Blazer.
Doing so, Williams secured his fourth Congressional Cup title: a feat matched by an elite few, including Canfield, Gavin Brady, Rod Davis, and Peter Holmberg.
For further information: www.thecongressionalcup.com
WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR
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 WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion.
Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR).
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