Please select your home edition
Edition
Jeanneau AUS Sunfast 728x90

The Congressional Cup 2014 - Williams hangs on with a classy crowd

by Rich Roberts on 11 Apr 2014
Taylor Canfield (l.) forces first-place Ian Williams behind the committee boat at the start as Francesco Bruni did a day earlier giving himself an easy win. Rich Roberts
Adam Minoprio has skippered in the Congressional Cup and other major match racing competitions, but has a new role in the game these days: tactician for 2010 Crimson Blazer winner Francesco Bruni, in Italy's renewed Luna Rossa campaign for the America's Cup, starting with Stage Two of this event.

The New Zealand native speaks little Italian, but that isn't a problem.

'Everybody on the boat speaks English,' Minoprio said, 'but the big thing this week is to make sure my English is clear and not too Kiwi.'

It's a joke, but it must be working. Bruni's boat was among half the fleet of 10 that completed the last four flights of the first of two round-robins Thursday by winning three of four matches. Ian Williams of the UK is still alone on top at seven - two, with Italy's Bruni, France's Mathieu Richard and Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands hard on his tail---literally---at six - three, followed by Sweden's Johnie Berntsson making a comeback at four - five. All were three - one on the day.


Competition continues with the second round-robin Friday and Saturday, followed by the semifinals Sunday.

Williams' lead would be a bit larger if Canfield, ranked No. one in the world, hadn't done to him precisely what Bruni did 24 hours earlier: stalking his stern and, using his right-of-way position, to force him behind the committee boat right up to the starting horn, requiring Williams (No. two) to do a downwind turnaround as Canfield sailed away into the end of the lazy, hazy day.

'Today we were starting a little better,' said Canfield, who was three - two the previous day. 'Communication on the team is better. We knew he was (approaching in the line) early, so we wanted to get him as far up in the box as possible.'

But the most interesting start was in the first flight of the day when Bruni and Swinton stalled dead in the water at the pin end of the line and Berntsson, scheduled for the next start, entered the box and poked his boat between them, drawing a foul.


Meanwhile, Bruni was cruising at three - zero on the day and led fellow Italian Simone Ferrarese off the starting line and around the first of two laps until, he said, 'We had an issue with a spinnaker takedown. The (spinnaker) pole wasn't coming off, and the sheet caught somewhere on the hatch.'

Before they could straighten it out, Ferrarese was gone out of reach.

Richard launched his comeback by dealing Canfield his only defeat of the day, then lost to Australia's Keith Swinton (five - four) before beating Ferrarese (three - six) and New Zealand's Phil Robertson (three - six).

'We had some very poor starts today,' Richard said, 'but we got three points, anyway. I'm very proud of the crew.'

And Bruni seems happy with his new tactician.

Minoprio said, 'It's good that while the Kiwis have such a big role in the sailing world that I have an opportunity.'


He searched out a role elsewhere when it became clear that the continuing Emirates Team New Zealand campaign---unlike the U.S. dearth of Americans on the American boat Oracle in last year's successful America's Cup defense---was overcrowded with homegrown sailors. Luna Rossa's AC team responded favorably.

Minoprio, 28, grew up in Auckland, 'but I haven't really lived there in six years,' he said, while sailing with various international campaigns around the world, including ETNZ's 2011/12 Volvo Ocean Race aboard Camper.

Nine more flights remain on the Long Beach outer harbor over the next two days to determine the four semifinalists who will mix it up Sunday. Total prize money is $75,000, with $17,500 to the winner through $2,000 for last place.

Racing is scheduled to start daily at 11:30 a.m., conditions permitting. Spectators enjoy incomparable viewing of the races from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Admission is free, as is parking at the base of the pier. Seating, free public shuttles along the pier, concessions and comfort stations are available.


Standings after nine of eighteen flights:

1. Ian Williams, UK, 7-2; 2. tie among Mathieu Richard, France; Taylor Canfield, USVI, and Francesco Bruni, Italy, 6-3; 5. Keith Swinton, Australia, 5-4; 6. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, 4-5; 7. tie among Simone Ferrarese, Italy, Phil Robertson, New Zealand, and Dave Perry, U.S., 3-6; 10: Scott Dickson, U.S., 2-7.

For complete results please click here.

Pittwater to Paradise 2018 660x82Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Musto AUS 2017 660x82 5

Related Articles

Clipper Race - British Olympians swap sports for new challenge at sea
Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes Joining this year’s Great Britain entry in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race are two athletes who have already spent their lives representing their country at the highest level.
Posted on 19 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Three sleeps to go!
With less than 72 hours before Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on River Mersey to start 2017-18 edition With less than 72 hours before the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet line up on the River Mersey to start the 2017-18 edition of the 40,000 nautical mile race around the globe, anticipation is building in Albert Dock with crowds gathering to wish the fleet well.
Posted on 19 Aug
2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship - Day 2 - Newport long haul
The sunny skies on Day One of 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship were replaced with low flying southerly squalls The sunny skies on Day One of the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship hosted by Sail Newport were replaced with low flying southerly squalls and an on-time 1100 start. PRO Anderson Reggio sent the fleet to the 'inside' Halfway Rock racecourse for what would be a very exciting, four-race day of Melges 20 sailing.
Posted on 19 Aug
29er Hong Kong Open – Notice of race released
With competitors due to start unloading containers of 29ers from the 21 December, a great turn out is expected With mild winter conditions of warm sea and air temperatures, great breeze and boasting some of the best race tracks available anywhere, all eyes will be on the world’s best 29er sailors competing here in Hong Kong
Posted on 18 Aug
Tasar World Championship in Gamagori
As Libby said after the first race day of three races and five hours on the water, it was one of their toughest days The five race day event saw the outstanding North American crew from Seattle YC, former gold and bronze medal Olympians in the Flying Dutchman and 49’er Classes, Jonathan and Libby Johnson McKee, take out their fourth World Tasar Title
Posted on 18 Aug
Audi Hamilton Race Week - Preview
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events & firm fixture on int'l sailing calendar. Audi Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia’s favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event’s on-water and off-water carnival.
Posted on 18 Aug
215 entries for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 has drawn 215 boats ranging in size from 22 up to 100 feet Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2017 has drawn 215 boats ranging in size from 22 up to 100 feet for the popular annual winter series starting this coming Sunday, August 20, 2017.
Posted on 18 Aug
A Pacific Yankee Doodle Dandy opening day at Melges 20 Nationals
On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak On a traditional sunny, summer day, Newport is known for giving sailors a headfake with a weak, northerly, morning breeze, only to have that fade into a solid, southwest seabreeze. Knowing the conditions well and despite the solid northerly morning gradient, PRO Anderson Reggio wisely postponed the 2017 Melges 20 U.S. National Championship fleet, and settled on a 2 o'clock
Posted on 18 Aug
Admiral’s Cup Regatta will span the generations
Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners Excitement in the yachting community surrounding the Admiral’s Cup 50th Anniversary Regatta has spread to all corners of the sailing world. News of the event, to be held in Sydney this December, has also inspired some remarkable reunions.
Posted on 18 Aug
Australian Trailable Yacht and Sports Boat Championship – Preview
The 2016 Championship was conducted at Airlie Beach QLD and the 2018 Championship will be in Victoria Trailable Yachts and Sports Boats from all over Australia are expected to attend this annual event, which is rotated around the eastern seaboard states on an annual basis.
Posted on 17 Aug