New line-up for 2021 Congressional Cup
Published on September 2nd, 2021
The 2021 Congressional Cup now has a revised line-up as it prepares for its 56th edition on September 14-19 in Long Beach, CA.
Last-minute snags have defending champion Ian Williams (GBR) withdrawing, in addition to Phil Robertson (NZL) and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL). Taking their places will be Chris Poole (USA) – right off a win in the Oakcliff International Regatta – and Dustin Durant (USA), a three-time Congressional Cup veteran and host club representative. Final berths will be filled by Ficker Cup’s top trio of finishers.
Considered the ‘grandfather of match racing’ Congressional Cup was founded in 1965 by Long Beach Yacht Club, where organizers revolutionized the game of match racing with on-the-water umpiring. The only Grade One Match Race in the US and a championship event on the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), the regatta is raced on a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina keelboats.
“It has been crazy, with all the moving targets and moving pieces: like musical chairs,” admitted Chairman Chris Macy. “I’m a realist and was not going to force this event to happen. But within the current guidelines, we are allowed to proceed – and the competitors are gung ho to come and race! That’s what’s dictated our march onward, our persistence and flexibility.”
Despite the loss of three heavy-hitters, Macy remains undeterred. “Look who is coming! We have Taylor Canfield (USA), a four-time Congressional Cup champion, and 2009 winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE). Three of the top-10 ranked match racing skippers: Eric Monnin (SUI), Maxime Mesnil (FRA) and Chris Poole; plus Sam Gilmour (AUS) who had a podium finish in the 2018 Congressional Cup, and is a crowd favorite. It is going to be an excellent competition!”
Racing commences September 15 off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, beginning with a Double Round Robin followed by semi-finals and petite finals, with finals on September 19.
For further information: 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