Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Ficker Cup - An upbeat overture to the 49th Congressional Cup

by Rich Roberts on 2 Apr 2013
Ficker Cup 2012 day 2 Rich Roberts © http://www.UnderTheSunPhotos.com
The Long Beach Yacht Club’s Ficker Cup is set to get underway this weekend and an international fleet of ambitious young sailors are lined up, hoping to pluck the lucky ticket on the match racing merry-go-round into next week's 49th Congressional Cup.

Two of the eight---Taylor Canfield, 24, of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Jordan Reece, 22, of Australia---are already invited to the Congressional. Canfield, director of the Chicago Match Race Center, boosted his world ranking from 27th to eighth last year by winning the Alpari World Tour's Argo Gold Cup in Bermuda and Monsoon Cup in Malaysia after placing a strong third in the Congressional.

Reece, ranked 16th, earned his invitation largely by placing second in the Chicago Match Cup last summer behind Great Britain's Ian Williams, the Congressional's double defending champion.

The Ficker, running Friday through Sunday, is rated a Grade 2 event by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) based on the records of the participants. The Congressional, scheduled April 9-13, has long been a Grade 1 event.

The Ficker skippers (in order of current world ranking):

Taylor Canfield, St. Thomas YC, US Virgin Islands, No. 8
Jordan Reece, Royal Sydney YC, Australia, No. 16
Dustin Durant, Long Beach YC, Long Beach, Calif. No. 31
Chris Poole, Portland YC, Falmouth, Maine, No. 67
Colin Rathbun, Royal British Virgin Islands YC, BVI, No. 53
Wataru Sakamoto, Japan Sailing Federation, No. 100
Peter Holz, Chicago YC, Chicago, Ill., No. 205
Scott Dickson, Long Beach YC, Long Beach, Calif., No. 465

Like Canfield and Reece, Sakamoto and his team also are already in the Congressional---as crew for New Zealand's Laurie Jury, currently ranked number seven in the world. In turn, Jury will be tactician for Sakamoto in the Ficker.

That leaves the battle for the 10th Congressional berth to the other five, led by LBYC's own Dustin Durant, 25, and Scott Dickson, 42.

Durant, ranked only 84th at the time, won the Ficker last year, then struggled in the main event with four wins in 18 matches but over the past busy year went on to win the Grade 2 Nations Cup in Bridgetown, Barbados, and sweep the Grade 3 California Dreamin' Series of three events.

Dickson, since relocating from New Zealand, has won the Ficker 11 times but never the Congressional. Once ranked as high as 22nd in the world, he has competed in only three events during the last two-year ranking cycle but probably has raced on the Catalina 37s more than all the other competitors combined.

All of the racing will be at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, starting at 11:30 a.m. or later each day, as conditions permit. Admission is free. Bleachers, comfort stations and a snack bar will be available. Parking is at the base of the pier.

Rather than take a week off before the Congressional, Canfield and Reece are eager to get up to speed for the new season in the Ficker.

Canfield said, 'We are really looking to use the Ficker as a tune-up for both Con Cup and the AWMRT. We have had a nice break since the last match race. Spending more time in big heavy boats I believe will be good preparation for Match Race Germany [in May].'

Canfield and his crew's competition was limited as an Alpari World Tour 'wild card' entry last year, but winning all three events they sailed earned them one of eight Tour Cards for automatic entry into all seven events around the world this year.

The Catalina 37s are a special test.

'They are the only boat requiring six crew,' Canfield said. 'They are quite physical boats . . . you need some muscle to handle them with the genoa and big kites. They are also very heavy compared to most of the boats on the tour.'

His regular crew is Rod Dawson, tactician; Hayden Goodrick, bow; Mike Rehe, trimmer, and Dan Morris, trimmer. Brian Janney will come aboard as sixth man in Long Beach.

The Ficker Cup is named for Bill Ficker, who was skipper of the 12-Meter Intrepid that successfully defended the America's Cup against Australia's Gretel II in 1970. The noted Newport Beach architect also won the Congressional Cup in 1974 and the Star class world championship in 1958. He will present the trophy to the winners. Congressional Cup website
Naiad/Oracle SupplierGiacomo Yacht SalePredictWind.com

Related Articles

Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 3, Race 1 – Tackling the Bay of Biscay
As the fleet makes steady progress south past the UK and towards Northern France, Skippers focus on the next challenge Ahead of the fleet, the weather is changing somewhat. A new low moving southeast across the race track should reach the Portuguese coast by the weekend. Whilst it does not look particularly strong, it will provide several tactical options for the twelve teams.
Posted today at 2:38 pm
Five athletes added to US Sailing Team Roster
Steph Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) and Maggie Shea (Wilmette, Ill.) have been added in the women's 49erFX Chris Rast (Holland, Mich.) and Trevor Burd (Marblehead, Mass.) have been named in the men's 49er, and Haddon Hughes (Houston, Texas) has joined the team in the women's Laser Radial class.
Posted today at 12:20 pm
Rough going for Ida Lewis Distance Race fleet
A forecast calling for storms to pass over course during night convinced seven of the original 40 entrants to drop out Of the remaining 33 teams, an additional ten were forced to retire due to damaged equipment or other problems incurred during multiple squalls that left memorable impressions and their calling cards of driving rain and winds gusting 40+ knots.
Posted today at 11:57 am
J-Class Worlds – Day 1 shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1 Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from J-Class World Championship 2017 – Day 1
Posted today at 6:42 am
Nice points jump for Facundo Olezza after U23 Finn Worlds opener
Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day The only young sailor at the U23 Finn World Championship in Balatonfured with Olympic experience, Facundo Olezza, from Argentina, made some sense of the chaotic wind conditions on the first day to build a 13 point margin after three very tricky races were sailed.
Posted today at 6:14 am
J-Class Worlds - Day 1 action-shots by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action. Top international photographer Ingrid Abery was on water at 2017 J-Class World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1's action.
Posted today at 5:17 am
Pulling G’s with Beneteau – Pt I
In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. In a car, just the one G will have you straining at your seatbelt. Over nine (+ve) in an aircraft, and without a G-suit, you will be unconscious. So at three G’s, and pulling no punches with them either, we not only enjoyed our opportunity to sit with Gianguido Girotti (G3), we got to learn a lot as well!
Posted today at 3:43 am
Clipper Yacht Race – Day 2, Race 1 – Strong tides divide fleet
Strong tides running North have divided the fleet tactically overnight, with the front of the pack heading close inshore The gap between first and last place has widened over the last 24 hours, with 68 nautical miles separating the teams and a group of four teams pulling away from the pack. At the top of the leader board is Unicef which has crept four nautical miles ahead of Visit Seattle this morning despite sitting in second place overnight.
Posted on 22 Aug
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup – Building on success
Pulses look set to race once again at the Mediterranean’s greatest festival of big boat competition. As usual, this year’s fleet will be grouped into classes depending upon several factors, including size, rating and racing capabilities. Within the smaller participating yachts, between 18.29 metres and 24.08 metres, the sub-division promotes close and fair racing under the prevailing handicap systems.
Posted on 22 Aug
Joshua one-design yacht to be inaugurated in 2022 Golden Globe Race
Knox-Johnston set out from Falmouth aboard Suhaili on June 14. Moitessier followed 79 days later in steel ketch Joshua The 2018 race, set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Knox-Johnston’s victory in his traditional 32ft yacht Suhaili, has attracted 27 sailors from 14 countries to compete in similar type yachts between 32-36ft in length.
Posted on 22 Aug