Breeze on at 2022 Congressional Cup

Published on April 20th, 2022

Long Beach, CA (April 20, 2022) – All aboard the Congressional Cup express! On Day Two of this world-class match racing regatta, everyone got on board: on the scoreboard that is, in a day of action-packed competition off the Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier.

The Congressional Cup regatta is part of the World Match Racing Tour and one of the pre-eminent match racing events in yachting; attracting the top-ranked skippers from around the globe. Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, they pioneered the concept of on-the-water umpiring and set the standard for top-level match racing worldwide.

Under the command of Principal Race Officer John Busch racers completed the first round robin series and dipped into the second today. Long Beach continued to deliver stiff and steady westerly breezes: with more forecast in the days ahead.

Earlier today Pearson Potts (USA) won his first match of the event and picked up the pace from there. “You make the smallest mistake, and you know the guy on the other side will capitalize on it.” Harry Price (AUS) also started to get up to speed, after a long gap in racing forced by the pandemic.

At the end of 12 flights, defending champion Taylor Canfield (USA) had continued full steam ahead to the top of the leaderboard at 10-2, but not without a pack of hungry rivals on his caboose: Ian Williams (GBR), Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and Chris Poole (USA) all at 8-4.

And it was a day of thumps and thrills as the ten teams warmed up, and the action heated up. Chief Umpire Russell Green noted 21 penalty flags in today’s six flights, with combative competitors colliding, clipping the Race Committee boat, tangling with each other – and the pin end of the line.

As Nick Egnot-Jones (NZL) put it, “There were lots of flags flying, boats colliding, and a real spectacle. It was high caliber competition.”

Jeppe Borch (DEN) and Emil Kjaer (DEN) had dominated last week’s Ficker Cup qualifier to fill the final two berths in Congressional Cup. Despite the running start, the youngsters struggled against some of their more seasoned opponents.

Borch (24) is the 2022 Ficker Cup winner and Kjaer (20) won in 2021. Victory in the Ficker Cup is not only a launchpad into Congressional Cup racing, but also a portent: although not necessarily immediate gratification.

Terry Hutchinson won Ficker Cup in 1991, and Congressional Cup in 1992. Likewise Simone Ferrarese was the 2011 Ficker Cup champion and 2013 Congressional Cup winner, and Taylor Canfield went on to capture five Congressional Cup titles (2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2021) after winning the Ficker Cup in 2013.

History heralds good things for these two young teams from Denmark.

Racing in the Catalina 37s continues with the completion of the double round robin series to advance the top four teams for the semifinals, petite finals and finals. Live streaming begins tomorrow at 11:30am PT: click here.

Event informationResultsCrew lists

2022 World Match Racing Tour Schedule
April 14-16 – 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 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* (cancelled)
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 29-October 3 – Match Race Germany – Langenargen, Germany
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* (cancelled)
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: Betsy Senescu

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