sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : The Congressional Cup - 50th anniversary
The Congressional Cup - 50th anniversary

'Ireland’s Harold Cudmore won in 1986 on a Catalina 38 - 2014 Congressional Cup'    Rich Roberts

The Congressional Cup - In 1964 when Lyndon Johnson was president he probably didn't notice that Eric Ridder had just sailed the 12-Meter Constellation to a four - zero sweep of Great Britain's Sovereign to keep the America's Cup in American waters, even with a full crew of Americans on the boat.

But if there was little interest in the Auld Mug, an imaginative Long Beach Yacht Club group intrigued by match race sailing and led by Bill Dalessi was busy creating a New Mug: the Congressional Cup.

The next year it was born, with a collection mostly of outstanding amateur sailors from across the country racing one on one for no prize money on their own Cal 40s, and---whattaya know---it worked!

Half a century later, with Dalessi still on the scene, LBYC will stage a three-part 50th edition of the event with a cast of professional talent from seven countries, including seven of the top eight in the world.

The lineup for the Congressional Cup April 9-13 includes five former winners---Ian Williams of the UK (ranked No. two), Mathieu Richard of France (five), Johnie Berntsson of Sweden (seven) and Simone Ferrarese (eight) and Francesco Bruni of Italy---plus the young shooting star now ranked No. one atop all of them: Taylor Canfield, 25, of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

They will be joined by the top four finishers among six competitors in the Ficker Cup the previous two days that includes New Zealand's Phil Robertson (four), Australia's Keith Swinton (six) and Americans Christopher Poole from Oyster Bay, N.Y., Dustin Durant and the always present Kiwi expatriate Scott Dickson from LBYC---plus a sixth former two-time winner: noted racer, sailing author, lecturer and instructor Dave Perry of Pequot, Conn., who will join the final fray if he survives the Ficker, named for Bill, the 1974 Congressional Cup winner.

Perry starts his busy month in the Heritage Regatta on Sunday, April 6, featuring six of the winning skippers from the early days: Scott Allan, 1967; Scott's older brother Skip, 1968; Tommy Pickard, 1971; Dennis Durgan, 1979 and '80; Scott Perry, 1982, and Dave Perry (no relation to Scott), 1983 and '84.

They, too, will sail the Catalina 37s but on a day of fleet racing, sponsored by the Port of Long Beach.

All competition will be conducted before spectators on Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Heritage races will start at noon, Ficker at 11 a.m. and Congressional at 11:30, conditions permitting. Admission is free; seating, concessions and comfort stations available.

Dalessi recalled 1964 when his committee bounced its notion off the New York YC, the longtime defender of the America's Cup.

'We were interested in promoting match racing in a different format,' he said. 'Everybody would race each other one time and whoever had the most wins won it. We invited whoever we wanted. They were longer races outside the breakwater. Gerry Driscoll won 10 straight.'

Driscoll, a major San Diego boatyard operator, repeated a year later. He died three years ago at 86.

Skip Allan spoke for all of the old-timers when he said recently, 'The current crop of Congressional Cup crew's parents were not yet born when we won in 1968 but my Crimson Blazer still fits.'

Ah, the Crimson Blazers, worn by past winners now ranging around the world from nine countries, all since the mid-80s when the Congressional Cup became more international than Dalessi ever imagined. He received an honorary blazer along the way, recognition that LBYC had set the bar for world-class match racing, with a special touch. Dalessi and his guys persuaded Congressman Craig Hosmer and U.S. Senator Tom Kuchel to sponsor official legislation endorsing it as the Congressional Cup.

The guys who today make pretty good livings match racing won't be sailing Cal 40s, although there are still many around still going strong. They'll get their shots with the same sturdy purpose-built Catalina 37s that Catalina Yachts boss Frank Butler donated to LBYC in 1990 and the boats switched from privately owned Catalina 38s, which had succeeded the Cal 40s.

Dennis Durgan, now 60 and a Newport Beach realtor, was the winner in 1979 and '80, after serving as tactician for wins by Dennis Conner (1973 and '75) and Ficker (1974).

'I can't believe it's the 50th Congressional Cup,' he said, recalling 'coming from behind in a 25-tack duel from the leeward mark to the finish to beat Ron Doraghty by a foot, which gave us the win over Deaver and Rod Davis. There were so many tacking duels and jibing duels that you just don't see in today's racing. Great memories!

'The Congressional Cup has to be one of the finest regattas in the world. The doors that were opened for me have been numerous meeting and sailing with and against all the great skippers and crews carried over into most of the major sailboat races around the globe. I am so lucky.'

The format was altered temporarily in 1995 when many of the world's leading skippers had a conflict: the America's Cup a hundred miles south in San Diego. Rather than pass on the year, the late LBYC Commodore Bud Tretter rounded up a fleet of former winners for the 'Masters' match racing regatta, won by Harold Cudmore of Ireland.

The fleet also included the colorful Ted Turner, who had followed up his win in 1977 with an America's Cup victory sailing Courageous later that year, earning immortality as 'Captain Outrageous.' But he was later to become known as the founder of CNN and as Time magazine's 'Man of the Year' in 1991.

He also was married at the time to actress Jane Fonda, who joined him in Long Beach and rode along on the back of the boat on a practice day. Asked how she enjoyed it, she deadpanned, 'I liked the part where we came in and sat around the club.'

Scott Perry, 65, now, like Dave Perry, residing in Connecticut but no relation, represented the U.S. Naval Academy when he won in 1982.

'My most vivid memory,' he said, 'was the last very close race with Rod Davis. After we won the start narrowly and led around the first lap, we were overtaken on the second weather leg. Near the leeward mark we crash-jibed to port to get inside and after a frenetic (spinnaker) takedown and rounding we were able to cover on the last leg and just beat Rod for the championship.'

Another tough loss for Rod Davis offset along the way by four Congressional Cup wins.

Perry said, 'Although I sailed in two America's Cup campaigns, had a successful college sailing career at Cornell where we won the Kennedy Cup, was head sailing coach at the Naval Academy while a naval officer and competed/won and placed in many offshore races, the Congressional Cup win remains my most memorable win.'

As for Dave Perry, his memory 'of our wins in 1983 and 1984 are equal parts blurry (a combination of the champagne at the time and age) and clear as if it was last year. My memories include the incredible amount of work by the volunteers to prepare the Catalina 38s for us to race, and then even more work preparing to return them to their owners, the team whose engine stalled while docking and wound up sailing six feet up onto the dock, and their burgee signpost being replaced the next day with a stop sign.'

Then there was the night in his 1984 win when he paced in agony under a full moon outside the club as a final, decisive protest was heard by all nine judges, with a witness from a helicopter overhead 'and a whale sounding right under our bow as we were careening downwind in a heavy air race.'

Eight years later, weary of late night protest hearings back at the club, then-LBYC Commodore Pete Ives, with input from influential sailing leaders, introduced on-water umpiring that revolutionized the game worldwide for competitors and spectators as far up as the America's Cup.

One other key factor noted by competitors, past and present, is the Congressional Cup's high level of organization with a unique 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 half a century of world-class sailing.
Australia’s Peter Gilmour won his Crimson Blazer in 1988 - 2014 Congressional Cup -  Rich Roberts  

The Cal 40s ruled ... for a time - 2014 Congressional Cup -  Rich Roberts  



by Rich Roberts


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=120275

3:40 AM Thu 20 Mar 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







News - USA and the World

Comanche’s owner, Jim Clark concedes that a Rolex Sydney Hobart isn’t the ideal first race for such a big, complex machine, but: 'I am married to an Australian, and I’ve seen the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart a number of times. ... [more]  

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Organizers of the St. Thomas International Regatta are proud to announce that Cruzan Rum and Presidente beer, distributed by Glazer’s Premier Distributors, LLC, will provide major sponsorship in support for the 2015 regatta. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Warwick Sherman never really wanted to do the Rolex Sydney Hobart, he’d done plenty of ocean racing, but bashing his way across Bass Strait to get to Tasmania just didn't grab him. Perversely, all that changed when he was diagnosed with cancer. ... [more]  

The second stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour is coming up next and will be held in Algarrobo, Chile from 24 - 31 January. More than eight yachts are expected to take part in the Chille Sailing Week, a competition noted for its level of competition and close racing, where success is characterized by consistency, precision and teamwork. ... [more]  

The Flying Dutchman, regarded as one of the finest and fastest one-design dinghy classes ever designed, will return to Sydney Harbour en masse when the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron conducts the Australian and World championships, starting next week. ... [more]  

The International Moth Class isn't exactly a new sailing class, yet the learning curve would have to be one of the steepest out there. Moths have been on foils for almost 10 years, yet besides talking to fellow moth sailors, there isn't a lot of information out there to help you master the skills and techniques needed to fly ... [more]  

America's Cup: Full CAS report finds both ISAF and de Ridder at fault *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Australia’s premier ocean race has always had an international flavour; Captain Illingworth, who started the whole Sydney Hobart thing was, after all, an Englishman. ... [more]  

An initiative by the SuperYacht Racing Association (SYRA) led to collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC) and ultimately the creation of a new superyacht handicapping rule - the ORC SuperYacht Rule (ORCsy). ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Ocean sailors are daft; why else would you think it a good idea to take a modern ocean racing yacht around the world on her own bottom to compete in lots and lots of races, some thousands of miles long? ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The island is off the NSW south coast, 155 nautical miles south of Sydney’s South Head and about 6 nm south-east of Narooma. Its lighthouse, built of granite quarried on the island, began operating in 1881. The island is a protected nature reserve. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Hundreds of Australian sailors spend their lives trying to win the Tattersall’s Cup; year after year they declare in Hobart that this was their last Rolex Sydney Hobart - definitely - for sure. But 12 months later you spot them again at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, tinkering with their pride and joy and nervously eying off Boxing Day ... [more]  

America's Cup: Lawsuit against Oracle Racing lodged in San Francisco *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
In further legal fallout from the 34th America's Cup one of the New Zealand sailors named in an action bought by the International Sailing Federation has in turn lodged a lawsuit in a California Court against his former racing team, Oracle Racing Inc over boat fixing in America's Cup World Series ... [more]  

Antigua Sailing Week 2015 by Antigua Sailing Week
If you haven't been to Antigua Sailing Week for some years Antigua Sailing Week have a quick overview for you of what has changed and what makes it worth the journey along with information on bareboat and race charters, multihulls and challenges for 2015. ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race: The three-man team on Sérénade was the final yacht to complete the inaugural race. Having spent over 18 days at sea, the crew were understandably tired but Denis Villotte, Alain Houchard and Pit Porta were smiling from ear to ear in Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. A large welcoming party had gathered to greet them. ... [more]  

2017 J/80 World Championships: The Royal Southern Yacht Club (RSrnYC) has an active J/80 fleet and attracts many more of the class to its summer series of regattas run annually from May through to September, in addition to match racing J/80s in the annual Grade 2 Match Cup. ... [more]  

Spectacular fire on Sydney Harbour captured on video *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Sydney sailing sports photographer, Beth Morley was on Sydney Harbour, capturing images of the Friday night racing, when a luxury launch caught fire nearby. I was out photographing the Ransa Sailing yacht race this evening when I saw smoke coming from the back of a large cruise boat around the back of Sow and Pigs (reef) area towards Middle Head. ... [more]  

Clipper Round the World: The award is in recognition of the way he directed his crew during a dramatic man overboard rescue in the harsh northern Pacific Ocean last March. The Rod Stephens Trophy for Outstanding Seamanship is an internationally renowned trophy awarded annually for an act of seamanship which significantly contributes to the safety of a yacht, or one or more individuals at sea. ... [more]  

OK Dinghy Worlds: Some sailors will even be in transit over the festive period, so thoughts of overindulgence will be a long way from their minds as they focus on the challenge ahead – overcoming the strong Australian team and preparing for the conditions on Port Phillip Bay. However, if the event is true to form - there will be overindulgence in competitive and fun racing. ... [more]  

The Decision of the Court for Arbitration of Sport over the suspension of Dutch sailor Dirk de Ridder has been circulated. The report, which was earlier reported in summary form as to the decision, confirms a 18month suspension on de Ridder, one of the Netherlands' top sailors ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - With the early weather outlook for next week’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Race indicating it will be a sometimes torrid all-round test over the 628 nautical miles, the highly experienced crew of race record holder Wild Oats XI is feeling comfortable but not over-confident. ... [more]  

Hanohano Outrigger Canoe Club, Huki Outrigger, and Hoven Vision present the 19th Annual Hanohano Huki Ocean Challenge to be held in Mission Bay, San Diego, Ca. on January 24th, 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water to provided this gallery of images of Comanche. ... [more]  

Images from Mauritius as the Team Vestas Wind recovery crew prepare to depart for the Cargados Carajos Shoals, over 200nm away. The team have acquired some salvage equipment and will live aboard a chartered boat and attempt to float the boat over the reef and into the lagoon. ... [more]  

The skipper of Mapfre, Iker Martinez will leave the Campos managed Volvo Ocean Race entry for the third Leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. The team cites a conflict between Martinez's Olympic commitments in the Nacra 17 and the Volvo Ocean Race, as the reason for the departure which the team says was a planned move. ... [more]  

Team Vestas Wind skipper Chris Nicholson (AUS) has flown back to a remote Indian Ocean reef to help oversee a complicated operation to retrieve his stranded boat after it was grounded there during Leg 2 of the Volvo Ocean Race nearly three weeks ago. ... [more]  

The America's Cup Competitor Forum, comprising the six teams registered for the 2017 America’s Cup, has appointed Iain Murray as Regatta Director. The appointment was tipped a month ago in Sail-World.com. Under the Protocol for the 35th America's Cup, the appointment has to be approved by the majority of the competitors. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: The intention to enter the fleet of twelve Clipper 70s in the 71st edition has just been confirmed by Clipper Race organisers. The RSHYR will form part of the biennial Clipper Race series for a second time. The round-the-world fleet created much interest in 2013 as amateur sailors from over 40 different nationalities competed as part of their 40,000 mile circumnavigation. ... [more]  

If you missed this week's edition of Adventures of a Sailor Girl, then hear the replay below. This week's show is the 34th. Sailing news in sixty seconds-ish (2:46). Sail Sydney: Josh McKnight (Moth, 9:43), Tom Spithill (Moth, 12:45), Olivia Price & Eliza Solly (FX, 15:24) Tom Burton (Laser, 23:20) James Wierzbowski (Extreme 40's, 32:08) and much more ... [more]  

RORC Transatlantic Race 2014: Isabelle Haudiquet was on the helm as the bright yellow hull blasted through the finish line. Having safely moored Bingo after 17 days at sea, the French crew enjoyed a cold beer dockside at Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 3 - On the Atoll *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Final part of a three part, 80 minute, interview with Team Vestas Wind skipper, Chris Nicholson on the wrecking of the Volvo Ocean Race yacht on an idyllic atoll in the South Indian Ocean during the night of November 29. In this part, Nicholson tell what happened once the crew stepped aboard the local coastguard boat just after dawn, and subsequent trips back to the wreck. ... [more]  

The Safety Requirements and Recommendations (SRR) for the 2015 Bell's Bayview Mackinac Race are now published. On Saturday, March 21, Bayview will be hosting Mark Thornton for his presentation and seminar 'Preparing Your Mac Forecast: A Workshop For Sailors.' ... [more]  

2015 International 14 World Championship - Four-time World Champion, Britain’s Archie Massey, expects racing in the titles at Geelong, Australia, will be tight. ... [more]  

WWA Wake Park World Series - Daniel Grant and Aaron Gunn make history
US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards
Sailing World Cup Melbourne: Highlights video from Port Philip
Bart’s Bash raises huge total for international sailing charity
Optim'X (FRA) completes RORC Transatlantic Race 2014
Perpetual Loyal unveils 1120 square metre A2 for Rolex Sydney Hobart
ISAF SWC Melbourne – Girls’ Day Out *Feature
Website for the 2015 Finn Gold Cup in Takapuna is launched
Great signed Limited Edition sailing books by Bob Fisher for Christmas
Clipper Race - Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to mentor young South African
IFDS Worlds 2014 New Video Memories - Halifax is just a click away!
McDougall + McConaghy Moth Worlds 2015 - Must see, seriously fun event
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson Interview - Part 2 - On the Rocks *Feature
Successful St. Maarten Regatta Beach Clean-Up at Kim Sha Beach
US Sailing releases Rio 2016 Olympic Trials System
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return
Volvo Ocean Race sets up independent inquiry into Vestas Wind disaster
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Brunel: sweet victory
RORC Transatlantic Race - Apollo 7 touch down
2014 OK Dinghy Worlds Preview one - Last but not least
Melges 24 Christmas Sprint Series - Christmas comes early for Red Mist   
Extreme Sailing Series 2014 Act 8 - Superb podium finish for Realteam   
Volvo Ocean Race: Chris Nicholson on the Team Vestas Wind disaster - 1 *Feature   
USA 4 Windsurfing campaign   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - One last modification to Wild Oats XI   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 2 - Frosty, Hoonigan and Wilbo *Feature   
RORC Transatlantic Race 2014 - Big adventure comes to an end   
ISAF World Sailing Rankings – 15 December 2014   
Comanche; Supermaxi Showdown VIDEO   
Miami Star Winter Series - Commodores Cup Final day   
2014/15 Audi Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Jason Michas wins   
2014 RORC Transatlantic Race - Yacana crosses finish line   
2014 Extreme Sailing Series - Act 8 - Swiss team Alinghi wins   
Extreme Sailing Series: Images from Act 8 + Series' Highlights video   
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team - Leg Two review   
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi crowned 2014 and Sydney champions   
Extreme Sailing Series -Sydney Land Rover recognises talent   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Melbourne - Medal Race Images   
Extreme Sailing Series: Alinghi dons ESS Crown, Oman Air wins award   
18ft Skiffs: Rooklyn scores win in Syd. Barnett Jr. Memorial Trophy   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT