Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Deano the Dominator wins through to the Congressional Cup

by Betsy Crowfoot 15 Apr 21:34 PDT 16 April 2018
Dean Barker (USA) crosses the finish line on the Final Day to win the Ficker Cup, Long Beach Yacht Club © Long Beach Yacht Club

Dean Barker, USA, dominated the 2018 Ficker Cup, to win this Grade 2 World Sailing regatta, and advances to the Congressional Cup, which runs Wednesday, April 16 to 22, 2018.

Also qualifying for Congressional Cup is Johnie Berntsson, SWE, who finished second in the three-day regatta, which was founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1980 to honour legendary yachtsman Bill Ficker.

Barker was nearly undefeated in Ficker Cup, logging an impressive 13-1 record in the Round Robins. His only loss was to Dave Hood, USA: a Staff Commodore at LBYC and winner of the recent California Dreamin’ stop, who used his local knowledge advantage to call a shift to the right side of the course.
But from that point on, Barker was unstoppable, dispatching Leonard Takahashi, JAP, in the semi-finals 3-0; and crushing Berntsson 3-0 in the finals.

“I’m not sure when we stopped match racing,” Barker said; speculating the 2005 Congressional Cup event, which he won, “could be one of the last match racing events I’ve done.” But he certainly hasn’t lost his touch, as evidenced by his steady, cool-headed performance on the waters of Long Beach.
Sunday delivered a chilly and shifty sea breeze beneath hazy skies. As a backdrop to the racing was the pervasive buzz of Long Beach Grand Prix racing, downtown.

After Barker defeated Berntsson in the final of the Round Robins; he swiftly dispatched Leonard Takahashi, JAP, in the semi-finals; while Berntsson eliminated Chris Poole, USA, 3-0.

In the petit finals, Poole, a late addition to Ficker Cup, placed third, after a 2-1 finish over Takahashi, but admitted he had been mildly surprised to make it to the semis. “Honestly, when we came out here, and our practice day was cut short due to heavy winds, and one of our crew wasn’t here yet, I didn’t think we’d be here,” he said.

In a series fraught with fouls – including a black flag disqualification – he said, “Looking back, there’s a little more work to be done, to find that extra gear that Johnie seems to have found.”

Takahashi, finish fourth, said, “I’m still trying to figure out how we got into a position to get to race Dean Barker. It was truly a humbling experience, and I’m thankful to Dean for giving us a lesson.”

“He’s a great sailor; the whole team’s been looking up to him for years,” added Takahashi, who is just 19 years old. “I’m honoured to be able to race against him, and all these guys here.”

Berntsson’s advancement marks his tenth entry into the Congressional Cup. Winner of the Crimson Blazer in 2009, he finished second last year.

At the prizegiving at LBYC, Deon Macdonald, daughter of the late Bill Ficker, was on hand to present the esteemed Ficker Cup to Barker.

“It’s an honour to win the trophy named after Bill Ficker,” Barker remarked. “It’s been a fantastic week, it feels a little like coming home to Long Beach.” Barker has competed in three prior Congressional Cup regattas, winning the trophy in 2000 and 2005.

“This has been a fantastic opportunity for our American Magic team to go sailing in a competitive environment, and get back into the match racing game. It’s great for the soul to do this kind of racing, and race against these guys here.”

Both Barker, and tactician Terry Hutchinson, are past Congressional Cup winners, (Barker, 2005 and 2009; Hutchinson, 1992) and America’s Cup veterans, kingpins in NYYC’s American Magic campaign to challenge for the AC in 2021. Other crew members are James Baxter, James Dagg, Sean Clarkson, Greg Gendell, and James Lyne, with Jennifer Tille on logistics.

The Congressional Cup
Congressional Cup racing runs Wednesday, April 16 through Sunday, April 22, beginning at roughly 11:30 AM in the waters off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can enjoy commentary and camaraderie as they watch the competition. It is hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, one of the nation’s premier boating institutions since its founding in 1929. It is located at 6201 E. Appian Way in Long Beach, Calif. For complete information on Congressional Cup please visit thecongressionalcup.com

Final Results
Dean Barker
Johnie Berntsson
Chris Poole
Leonard Takahashi
Dave Hood
Maxime Mesnil
Peter Holz
Vladimir Lipavski

Related Articles

Team US One Triumphs in 2018 Congressional Cup
Taylor Canfield wins Congressional Cup, American Magic take second after fiery Finals Taylor Canfield and Team US One have won the 2018 Congressional Cup after an intense five-day battle with nine other of the world's top match racing talent; and fierce finals with Dean Barker and Team American Magic, who finished second. Posted on 23 Apr
Congressional Cup: Does Ficker make you quicker?
Congressional Cup: Racing continues off Belmont Pier tomorrow for the Crimson Blazer Stage One of the 54th Congressional Cup regatta wrapped up with the final two races of Round Robins, advancing Dean Barker (USA), Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and Sam Gilmour (AUS) to the semi-finals. Posted on 22 Apr
Barker books berth in Con Cup Semis - three left
Dean Barker (USA) and American Magic remain on top of the leaderboard after Con Cup - Day 3 Dean Barker (USA) and American Magic remained on top, with Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Sam Gilmour (AUS) and Ian Williams (GBR) all within striking distance Posted on 21 Apr
“One of the best days match racing has seen"
Here's some more of the action on a wild Day 2 from the Congressional Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club "As the breeze rocketed up to 18 knots, there were wipe-outs, collisions and protests galore. Johnie Berntsson's (SWE) Catalina 37 was so damaged during contact, it began to take on water" - Congressional Cup Day 2 Posted on 20 Apr
Con Cup: Wild Day 2 at the Long Beach Corral
Dean Barker (USA) and Team American Magic continued to hold the reins at the top of the leaderboard More round-ups than a Western movie thrilled spectators, and challenged competitors, on Day 2 of the Long Beach Yacht Club Congressional Cup regatta. Dean Barker (USA) and Team American Magic continued to hold the reins at the top of the leaderboard Posted on 20 Apr
American Magic scores six wins on Con Cup - Day 1
Dean Barker (USA) celebrated his 45th birthday with six straight wins on Day 1 of the Con Cup Dean Barker (USA) celebrated his 45th birthday with six straight wins on Day 1 of the 54th annual Congressional Cup regatta, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC). Posted on 19 Apr
Convincing lead for Barker at Ficker Cup
Warming up for the Congressional Cup at Long Beach The breeze on Day Two of the Ficker Cup may have been shifty, but "steady" was the name of the game for Dean Barker and team American Magic, as they clung to the top of the leaderboard, with six wins and no losses in the series' second Round Robin. Posted on 15 Apr
Dean Barker successfully returns to Match racing
“It's been a while since we've done any serious match racing, so it's great to be back” Long Beach Yacht Club kicked off the 39th annual Ficker Cup regatta today, greeting the eight teams from around the world with sunny skies and rousing competition. Racing will continue tomorrow and Sunday, for the Ficker Cup trophy; and a chance to compet Posted on 14 Apr
Countdown to the Congressional Cup 2018
54th edition promises a spectacle and some surprises With just one month to Long Beach Yacht Club's 54th Congressional Cup regatta, excitement is building! In addition to an all-star lineup for April 18-22 Congressional Cup racing. Posted on 19 Mar
Congressional Cup returns to its roots
Reigning Congressional Cup champion Ian Williams (GBR) will be back, to defend his 2017 title. The Congressional Cup is recognized as the 'granddaddy' of modern world-class match racing. Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, it set the standard for top-level match racing worldwide, pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring Posted on 25 Jan
2018 bottom 660x82WindBot-COACH-660x82PRW 2018 660x82