Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Congressional Cup attracts a worldly field

by Rich Roberts on 24 Feb 2011
46th Congressional Cup 2010 Rich Roberts © http://www.UnderTheSunPhotos.com
Congressional Cup - Long Beach, a.k.a. The International City, will need more flag poles than ever next month to properly present Long Beach Yacht Club's forty seventh Congressional Cup March 22-26.

Several of the world's top-ranked sailors from eight countries and one U.S. territory will compete for the iconic prize in the United States' only Grade 1 match racing event.


The list is headed by 2007 winner Mathieu Richard of France, ranked No. 3 in the world, and also includes Ian Williams of Great Britain, No. 5; 2010 winner Francesco Bruni of Italy, No. 8; Evgeny Neugodnikov of Russia, No. 9; Phil Robertson of New Zealand, No. 10; 2009 winner Johnie Berntsson of Sweden, No. 17; Staffan Lindberg of Finland, No. 19; Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands, No. 29, and Dave Perry of the U.S., No. 36.
Canfield qualified automatically by winning last summer's Grade 2 Trifecta Events series at Chicago, Detroit and Manhasset Bay, N.Y., one of the first qualifying events leading to the Congressional Cup.

The tenth competitor will be determined by the Grade 2 Ficker Cup March 17-19. Then the winner will have two days to recharge for his (or her) jump to the big leagues. Sally Barkow won the Ficker last year, but that competition has since been upgraded from Grade 3 to 2.

This year, with the rapid growth of match racing in the world for both men and women, there's a new door to the Ficker Cup: the California Dreamin' Series of events at San Francisco this weekend, at Long Beach (the Butler Cup) March 5-6 and at San Diego March 12-13.

Theoretically, an ambitious skipper and crew could be racing five consecutive weeks for a chance to win the Congressional Cup's coveted Crimson Blazer.

The venerable Catalina 37s built and donated by Frank Butler of Catalina Yachts and donated to the Long Beach Sailing Foundation in 1991, will be used in all of the Long Beach events to be run before spectators on Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in east Long Beach. .

Scott Truesdale of Long Beach raved about the show last year and described it as 'the BEST yacht racing spectating I've experienced.

'The starting line is 100 meters or less off the public pier and the odd shape of the pier allows the starters to use the pier tactically as an obstruction. There are many pre-starts where you could actually reach out and touch the spreaders of the [boats]. You can hear what the tactician is saying to the helmsman. You could talk to the helmsman yourself if you were to be so bold.

'You can see the entire course from the pier, and having three matches occurring simultaneously means there is always something interesting to see. It's addictive, action-packed, and the beer and food is right there.'

Aside from the qualifying events, the Congressional Cup is invitational, but five of this year's entries---Richard, Williams, Bruni, Berntsson and Robertson---don't have to sweat their credentials otherwise. They are now cardholders on the World Match Racing Tour, meaning they have automatic berths for all nine events. The first of nine WMRT events this year starts May 10 in France.

Richard, 35, finished second behind Ben Ainslie of Great Britain in the final WMRT standings last year, but the triple Olympic Finn class gold medalist and three-time ISAF world sailor of the year has left the tour this year to pursue a fourth gold in his homeland in 2012.

Richard did not sail in the Congressional Cup last year to stay home when he was wife gave birth but led his rivals with three victories on the WMRT.

The Congressional Cup has maintained a high level of organization over the years with a volunteer force of some 300 club members and their families. Each crew is assigned boat hostesses and a housing team to deliver the outstanding local hospitality the Congressional Cup has offered now for 45 years.

Spinnaker sponsors were F&M Bank, the Press-Telegram and Oceanaut Watches. Sails sponsors are MCA Logistics, Gladstone's Restaurant, Newmeyer & Dillion and Union Bank. Hospitality sponsors are The Port of Long Beach, St. Mary Medical Center, City National Bank, The Breakers of Long Beach and Mount Gay Rum. An Honorary sponsor was Catalina Yachts.

2010 results

Round Robin Standings

1. Gavin Brady, New Zealand, 15-2.
2. Francesco Bruni, Italy, 14-3.
3. Johnie Berntsson, Sweden, 14-3.
4. Bill Hardesty, USA, 11-7.
5. Dave Perry, USA, 10-8, $3,500.
6. Evgeniy Neugodnikov, Russia, 9-9, $3,100.
7. Eric Monnin, Switzerland, 7-11, $2,700.
8. Damien Iehl, France, 7-11, $2,300.
9. Sally Barkow, USA, 2-16, $1,900.
10. Simone Ferrarese, Italy, 1-17, $1,500.
Long Beach Yacht Club

upffront 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht DesignBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

2016 Pacific Cup - Friday finishers action-shots by Lauren Easley
Photographer Lauren Easley was in air at 2016 Pacific Cup and provided this gallery of images from Friday action. Photographer Lauren Easley was in air at 2016 Pacific Cup and provided this gallery of images from Friday action.
Posted today at 6:38 am
France Blue, Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup favourite?
Calling form on Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for team to be successful all three of its boats must perform Calling form on the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup is hard, as for a team to be successful, all three of its boats must perform. This, plus the event's week-long duration and diverse race format, make the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for Corinthian crews one of the pinnacle racing events internationally held under a rating rule.
Posted today at 5:24 am
ORC Worlds - Three new ORC World Champions crowned in Copenhagen
A light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on concluding day of 2016 ORC Worlds 2016 ORC Worlds - After an initial delay this morning due to no wind that threatened to keep everyone ashore like yesterday, a light southerly arose just in time to get one last race in for all three classes on the concluding day of the 2016 ORC World Championship, hosted by the Royal Danish YC and Egaa Sailing Club.
Posted today at 4:45 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo – Class40s sail into Saint-Malo
Twelve of the nineteen Class40s racing in the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo 2016 Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Twelve of the nineteen Class40s racing in the ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis are now safely moored at the Quai Duguay-Trouin wharf in Saint-Malo at the foot of the ramparts as the sun prepares to go down over the Corsair City.
Posted today at 3:09 am
LVACWS Portsmouth 2016 – standing room only.
There are no half measures where English weather is concerned. There are no half measures where English weather is concerned. Happily, that means that when it’s good it very, very good. Blue skies, sunshine, 23 deg C, clean air, and the whole place looks as if has put on a party frock and got lit up. Wonderful.
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – More Day 1 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – Race Day 1 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images from race day one
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series – Sir Ben jumps into the lead in Portsmouth
Hot, sunny conditions and thousands of fans lining the Portsmouth seafront was the backdrop to crowd-pleasing action. The home team, Land Rover BAR, led by skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, recovered from a poor first race result to win the second two contests and complete the day at the top of the leaderboard, much to the delight of the tens of thousands of cheering fans lining the shorefront.
Posted on 23 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series 2016 – Poised to pounce for Super Sunday
Oracle Team USA showed determination and fightback in claiming two second place finishes from the first two races Unfortunately, in the third race, the team was pushed right to the back of the pack and couldn't recover. The results leave the team on equal points for third place with SoftBank Team Japan, just three points behind the leaders, Land Rover BAR and Groupama Team France.
Posted on 23 Jul
America’s Cup World Series 2016 – More action images by Ingrid Abery
Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images Photographer Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 23 Jul