Field revealed for 58th Congressional Cup
Published on February 2nd, 2023
The World Match Racing Tour gets underway with the 58th Congressional Cup regatta on April 18 to 22 in Long Beach, CA.
Reigning 2022 Congressional Cup Champion Ian Williams (GBR) will return to defend his title, and with the Brit currently knotted with Taylor Canfield (USA) on five titles, the absence of the American in 2023 offers Williams the opportunity to become the winningest skipper in Congressional Cup history.
But it won’t be without challenge, as the the roster this year includes #1 ranked Chris Poole (USA) who is eager to claim victory after finishing third in 2022. Past-champion (2009) Johnie Berntsson (SWE) also returns, looking to add another Crimson Blazer to his wardrobe.
Scandinavia is well represented with #3 ranked Jeppe Borch (DEN) and #5 ranked Eric Monnin (SUI). A perennial Congressional Cup favorite, in 2021 Monnin captured his first podium finish and is poised to continue his ascent.
The list goes on with Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), who was recently crowned 2022 World Sailing Match Racing World Champion plus Harry Price (AUS) and hometown favorite David Hood (USA) – all veterans of Congressional Cup racing.
Rounding out the Congressional Cup roster will be the top two finishers in the April 13 to 15 Ficker Cup regatta. Opener for the 2023 WMRT and a prominent Grade Two event in its own right, the Ficker Cup also serves as a qualifier for the Congressional Cup.
Congressional Cup is recognized as the ‘grandfather’ of modern world-class match racing. Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, the event set the standard for top-level match racing worldwide, pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring in a spectator-friendly venue.
After a practice day April 17, 2023, racing will commence April 18 off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier at roughly 11:30 am each day. Five days of racing will see the sailors compete in a double round-robin format which advances the top four into the semi-finals and petit finals, culminating with the final matches Saturday April 22, where the winner of the Congressional Cup will receive the coveted Crimson Blazer.
The Crimson Blazer is yacht racing’s equivalent to the Masters Tournament Green Jacket: a symbol of victory in one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world, and a gateway to the America’s Cup.
• Congressional Cup: www.thecongressionalcup.com
• World Match Racing Tour: www.wmrt.com
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.