Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

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 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Final day at Quantum Key West Race Week with Nic Douglass
Final day at QKWRW did not disappoint. Needless to say, my first trip to Florida is one that will always be remembered. The final day at Quantum Key West Race Week did not disappoint. Needless to say, my first trip to Florida is one that will always be remembered.
Posted today at 6:38 am
New record at Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Andy Budgen sailing Mach 2 foiling Intl Moth Nano Project completed 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace Andy Budgen sailing his Mach 2 foiling International Moth Nano Project completed the 60nm Mount Gay Round Barbados Race at a record pace of 4 hours, 23 minutes, 18 seconds, to established the Absolute Foiling Monohull record. He also broke his own personal record time from a few years ago when he sailed his VO70 Monster Project into the record books for the Absolute Monohull Record.
Posted today at 2:28 am
Day 77 – Ninety percent of Vendée Globe fleet now back in Atlantic
With Banque Populaire and Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today With Le Cléac'h's Banque Populaire and second-placed Alex Thomson's Hugo Boss tied up to the dock in Les Sables d'Olonne sixteen skippers remain at sea today – and fourteen of them are now in the Atlantic.
Posted on 21 Jan
Vendee Globe - Romain Attansio at the Horn
Romain Attanasio rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday Romain Attanasio (Famille Mary-Étamine du Lys) rounded Cape Horn, the third of the legendary capes in the Vendée Globe at 2043hrs UTC on Friday after 75 days 8 hours and 41 minutes of racing. Only Dutchman Pieter Heerema and Frenchman Sébastien Destremau are still sailing in the Pacific.
Posted on 21 Jan
Former Clipper Race skipper equals British record in Vendee Globe
Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe. The youngest skipper to win the Clipper Race, Alex Thomson, has finished in second place after a thrilling fight to the finish to the Vendee Globe.
Posted on 21 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week closes with a bang
Doug De Vos' Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week By winning the final race of the highly competitive 52 Super Series and with it the class championship, Doug De Vos' (Ada, MI) Quantum Racing was awarded Boat of the Week honors at the 30th anniversary Quantum Key West Race Week hosted by the Storm Trysail Club.
Posted on 21 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 5 images by Nico Martinez
Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Nico Martinez was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 5 action.
Posted on 21 Jan
Countdown to Mount Gay Round Barbados Race
Following on from Coastal Series over last three days, competitors are enjoying rest in preparation for big race. Following on from the hugely successful Coastal Series over the last three days, competitors at the Mount Gay Round Barbados Regatta, organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, are enjoying a well-earned rest in preparation for tomorrow’s big race.
Posted on 21 Jan
Triumphant Quantum Racing are Key West Champions
Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing team came back from uncharacteristic high scoring to close out first regatta title of 2017 Showing the winning hallmark of a crew that are current 52 Super Series champions, and three times holders of the title, Doug DeVos’s Quantum Racing team came back from an uncharacteristic high scoring, mid-regatta, three-race slump, to close out the first regatta title of 2017, triumphing in today’s last race of Quantum Key West Race Week.
Posted on 21 Jan
Azzurra looks towards the 52 Super Series in March in Miami
Conclusion of races in Key West was worse than expected for Azzurra but her team is looking towards second event in USA The conclusion of the races in Key West was worse than expected for Azzurra but her team is looking towards the second event in the USA, in March in Miami, with confidence before getting ready to head back to the Med.
Posted on 21 Jan