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Field set for 2022 Congressional Cup

Published on February 24th, 2022

The World Match Racing Tour has been significantly disrupted during the coronavirus pandemic, but the 2022 championship season begins with optimism as Long Beach Yacht Club ramps up for Congressional Cup on April 19-23 in Long Beach, CA.

Sailed in Catalina 37s, an international lineup is confirmed which includes more than half of the world’s top-ranked match racing skippers for the only Grade 1 sailing event in the USA. Ten teams from five different nations will be vying for the 57th Congressional Cup founded in 1965.

“The Congressional Cup is the oldest continuously held match race event in the world,” notes 2022 Chair Lisa Meier. “This regatta pioneered the concept of on-the-water umpiring and set the standard for top-level match racing. And the list of past winners reads like a Who’s Who of America’s Cup champions!”

Taylor Canfield (USA) returns with Team Stars+StripesUSA to defend their championship title. Canfield’s five-win record (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2021) makes him the most triumphant skipper in Congressional Cup history.

Eager to knock him off his throne will be Ian Williams (GBR), returning after sitting out last year due to pandemic travel complications. “We are really excited to return after three long years’ absence!” exclaimed Williams, whose stellar record includes four bullets (2011, 2012, 2017, 2019) in 10 years of Congressional Cup racing.

But the rivalries don’t stop there. Last year’s runner-up Johnnie Berntsson (SWE) – 2009 champion – is eager to contend in his 14th Congressional Cup. Harry Price (AUS), Chris Poole (USA), and Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL) join the roster; plus two sailors making their Congressional Cup debuts, although they couldn’t be more dissimilar.

Pearson Potts (USA) steps up after two appearances at the Ficker Cup qualifier. The 29-year-old from New Orleans shares first-timer distinction with LBYC’s own Staff Commodore Dave Hood (USA), 64, who has two decades of racing on the Catalina 37 fleet: yet will vie for the Congressional Cup for the first time.

The final two contestants will advance from the Ficker Cup – a challenging Grade 2 match race series in its own right and a WMRT event, to be held at the venue on April 13-16, 2022.

The Congressional Cup format begins with a double round robin series followed by semi-finals, petite finals and the final matches on April 22 and 23.

“As one of the founding events of the World Match Racing Tour, the Congressional Cup has always been one of the most sought-after events to win by match racing teams all over the world,” noted James Pleasance, WMRT Executive Director. “We are delighted for the Congressional Cup to be the curtain raiser for the 2022 WMRT and look forward to joining everyone at LBYC again in April.”

Congressional Cup Chair Meier will be assisted by Principal Race Officer John Busch (USA); LBYC Yachting Director Cameron MacLaren, International Chief Umpire Russell Green (NZL), and nearly 300 volunteers from among the membership of LBYC.

Additional information:

2022 World Match Racing Tour Schedule
April 13-16 – Ficker Cup – Long Beach, CA, USA
April 18-23 – Congressional Cup – Long Beach, CA, USA*
April 28-May 1 – Szczecin Match Race – Szczecin, Poland
May 6-8 – Porto Montenegro Match Race – Tivat, Montenegro
May 20-22 – NJK Open Spring Cup – Helsinki, Finland
May 24-29 – Island Match Cup – Puerto Rico (cancelled)
June 2-6 – Match Race Germany – Langenargen, Germany
June 4-5 – GKSS Spring Cup – Gothenburg, Sweden
June 16-19 – OM International Ledro Match Race – Ledro, Italy
July 4-9 – GKSS Match Cup Marstrand – Marstrand, Sweden*
August 12-14 – Chicago Grand Slam – Chicago, IL, USA
August 18-21 – International Match Race for the Detroit Cup – Detroit, MI, USA
August 25-29 – Oakcliff International – Oyster Bay, NY, USA
August 30-September 3 – Thompson Cup – Oyster Bay, NY, USA
September 7-11 – Baltic Match Race – Tallin, Estonia
September 30-October 3 – DBS Marina Bay Cup – Marina Bay, Singapore
October 7-9 – Polish Open – Szczecin, Poland
October 17-22 – Bermuda Gold Cup – Hamilton, Bermuda*
December 6-11 – Shenzhen Bao’an Match Cup: WMRT Finals – Shenzhen, China*
*World Championship (WC) Events

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.

Source: Congressional Cup

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