Please select your home edition
Edition
Abell Point Marina 728x90 Moor

The Congressional Cup - 50th anniversary

by Rich Roberts on 7 Apr 2014
Tommy Pickard leads way to his win in Race one Rich Roberts
No one in Sunday's Heritage Regatta fleet was more excited about it than 60-year-old Dennis Durgan, who won the Long Beach Yacht Club's Congressional Cup classic in 1979 sailing a Cal 40, in 1980 with a Catalina 38, and this event for former Congressional Cup winners on a Catalina 37.

'It was a thrill and an honor to be invited back to sail,' he said.

Not that he hadn't sailed one of the sturdy sloops that have been a staple since Frank Butler of Catalina Yachts donated them to LBYC in 1990.

'I helped to design the deck layout,' Durgan said.

He may have had another edge, as well: a crew of accomplished current match racers, including tactician Phil Robertson, the No. four-ranked skipper in the world who will take the helm of a Cat 37 in Stage One of the 50th Congressional Cup Monday and Tuesday, intent on grabbing one of four tickets to Stage Two Wednesday through Sunday.


Others on the boat were Jimmy Williamson and Garth Ellinham of New Zealand, Nick Hutton of the United Kingdom and Mustafa Altuner and Pete Hambrick of Long Beach.

They finished fourth among six boats in the first of three races on the Long Beach outer harbor, following Tommy Pickard, 79, of Newport Harbor YC around a two-lap windward-leeward course set before spectators on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Then Durgan and the gang won the last two races---first a 48-second win in the second race by sailing hard left as everyone else went to the right.

'There was just more pressure on that side,' Robertson said.

But they still had to overtake Skip Allan of Los Angeles YC, who was only two points behind at the time. Allan led the first two legs of the last race before Durgan slipped by on the long off-wind run back to the finish line at LBYC inside Alamitos Bay.

'It a good way to start the week,' said Robertson, who figures to be around through Sunday.

Allan, 69, who won in 1968, wasn't too disappointed, noting, 'It was fun seeing all the guys. We had two good races, and I hadn't sailed the Cat 37s before not much feel on the helm but a big rudder.'

Scott Allan (no relation) of Newport Harbor YC finished fifth overall. He won the third Congressional Cup in 1967 after the late Gerry Driscoll won the first two. He's 67 now.

'When I won I was 20,' he said, 'maybe the youngest ever.'


As the week continues, six invited teams will compete in two days of match racing, starting Monday at 11 a.m. and Tuesday at 11:30. Competitors are Robertson (Number four), Australia's Keith Swinton (Number six) and Americans Christopher Poole (No. 27) from Oyster Bay, N.Y., LBYC members Dustin Durant (No. 37) and Scott Dickson (No. 135)---plus two-time winner, Dave Perry (No. 126), from Pequot YC, Conn.

The Stage One winner will receive the Ficker Cup trophy, which honors 1974 Congressional Cup winner Bill Ficker, who also skippered the 1970 America's Cup winner Intrepid.

Wednesday, the top four teams will advance to Stage Two, joining five previous Congressional Cup winners and the world's new Number one ranked match racing competitor, 25-year-old Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, shooting for his own Crimson Blazer---the traditional prize. Two-time winner Ian Williams of the UK (Number two) returns along with defending champion Simone Ferrarese (No. 16) of Italy, plus Mathieu Richard of France (Number five); Johnie Berntsson of Sweden (No. 14); and Francesco Bruni (No. 102) of Italy.

These 10 teams, with crews of five, will compete in a double round-robin of match racing Wednesday through Saturday. The top four will go on to duel in championship semifinals and finals Sunday at 11:30 a.m. Contenders will rotate through boats through the week.


Spectators enjoy incomparable viewing of the races from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Admission is free, with paid parking at the base of the pier. Seating, concessions and comfort stations are available.

Follow Congressional Cup on Facebook or Twitter for daily weather conditions and approximate start times: 11:00-11:30 a.m. Or, view live streaming video on the website, and listen to the play-by-play on VHF Channel 20.

The Congressional Cup has been an innovator in the game of match racing, introducing on-the-water umpiring in the early 1990s, plus a high level of organization with a unique volunteer force of more than 300 LBYC members. Each competing crew is assigned a boat hostess and housing team, who deliver the outstanding local hospitality characteristic of Congressional Cup for half a century, alongside world-class yacht racing.

Long Beach Yacht Club has been one of the nation’s premiere boating institutions since its founding in 1929, located at 6201 E. Appian Way in Long Beach, Calif.


Heritage Regatta results:

Race one ---1. Tommy Pickard, Long Beach YC; 2. Scott Perry, U.S. Naval Academy; 3. Skip Allan, Los Angeles YC; 4. Dennis Durgan, Newport Harbor YC; 5. Scott Allan, Newport Harbor YC; 6. Dave Perry, Yale Corinthian YC.

Race two---Durgan, Scott Perry, Scott Allan, Skip Allan, Dave Perry, Pickard.

Race three---Durgan, Skip Allan, Dave Perry, Scott Allan, Pickard, Scott Perry.

Final scores---Durgan, 6 points; Skip Allan, 9; Scott Perry, 10; Pickard, 12; Scott Allan, 12; Dave Perry, 14.

Wildwind 2016 660x82Zhik Dinghy 660x82Abell Point Marina 660x82 Moor

Related Articles

Vendee Globe - Day 29 - Southern Ocean match racing duel + Video
The Match Race continues at the lead of the Vendee Globe as the leaders pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, Australia The Match Race continues at the lead of the Vendee Globe as the leaders pass the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, on the SW extremity of Australia as the head for Stewart Island (NZ) and then Cape Horn. At one stage Armel Le Cleac'h (Banque Populaire VIII) and Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) were within sight of each other.
Posted on 4 Dec
Andrea Francolini pics from on board the VO70 Giacomo
Andrea Francolini has sent us in these pics from on board Jim Delegat's VO70, Giacomo, during training on the Harbour. Andrea Francolini has sent us in these pics from on board Jim Delegat's VO70, Giacomo, during training on the Harbour. She is one of the 93 entrants in this year's blue water classic that begins in not that many sleeps at all. Ouch. She is also still in her original form, when Groupama was the winner of the last time they used the terrifically fast 70s, which was two Volvo Ocean Races ago.
Posted on 4 Dec
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati team complete RORC Transatlantic Race
At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line, just off Camper and Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina on Grenada, to complete her first ocean race in a time of seven days, eight hours, 44 minutes and 23 seconds.
Posted on 4 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 9 – Grenadian welcome for Maserati
Maserati crossed the finish line on Saturday, completing their first ocean race in seven days, eight hours, 44m, 23s The Italian MOD70, Maserati has finished the race; Phaedo3 has been declared the winner of the Multihull Trophy and Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard is on the hunt for the monohull record.
Posted on 4 Dec
18ft Skiffs Yandoo Trophy – Ward, Marshall and West win first race
Young team had to withstand huge pressure from the fleet’s top crews before crossing the finish line with 40s to spare. Following last week’s brilliant performance with a brand new number one rig, Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Anderson, Tom Clout) again showed the skiff to be a major threat in the upcoming championships with a great second placing.
Posted on 4 Dec
Vendee Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire
At 0240 UTC on Sunday, Kojiro, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. At 0240 UTC on Sunday December 4th, Kojiro Shiraishi, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. The boat Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.
Posted on 4 Dec
Melges 24 World Championship –Day 5– Embarr and Taki crowned champions
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn't been so good. Important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance
Posted on 4 Dec
CYCA Bird Island Race 2016
The overnight southerly died rather sooner than forecast, so the Bird Island fleet left the harbour on Saturday morning The overnight southerly died rather sooner than forecast, so the Bird Island fleet left the harbour on Saturday morning in a 10 knot southeasterly. Maserati ran deep down the harbour and led the through the Heads with Giacomo and Chinese Whisper following.
Posted on 4 Dec
Meet the 2017-18 crew - Mike Kidwell
It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet “It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet, cold and miserable, but equally fun, warm and enjoyable!” says Mike Kidwell, a 63-year-old Business Developer from Queensland who is taking part in the full circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition of the race.
Posted on 4 Dec
Summer arrives for day three of Club Marine Series
Summer has arrived in Melbourne and with it brings hot wind and strong breezes. Summer has arrived in Melbourne and with it brings hot wind and strong breezes. This was seen yesterday, December 3, when day three of the Club Marine Series took place, the final race of 2016 before the Christmas break is due.
Posted on 4 Dec