Please select your home edition
Edition
SOUTHERN-SPARS-OFFICIAL-SUPPLIER-52-SS728-X-90

Canfield confirms, Mesnil makes eight: Line-up set for 55th LBYC Congressional Cup

by Betsy Crowfoot 9 Feb 08:09 PST 3-7 April 2019
Taylor Cranfield, Day 2, Congressional Cup, Long Beach Yacht Club © Bronny Daniels

Reigning Congressional Cup Champion Taylor Canfield, USA, has announced he will return to the course April 3 to 7, to defend his title in this sensational Grade One Match Race regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. France's Maxime Mesnil, No. 5 in World Sailing Match Race rankings, will round out the roster.

The Congressional Cup is one of the leading match race events in the sport, bringing top talent from around the globe to compete in this exciting one-on-one competition. Teams race in double round robins, squaring off against each rival twice to advance (or not) into semi-finals and finals. This thrilling competition takes place directly off the Long Beach Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can enjoy the action and commentary, free, from 11:30AM to 5PM daily.

The winner of this five-day extravaganza is awarded the prestigious Congressional Cup trophy and Crimson Blazer an honor bestowed on sailing greats such as Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner and defending champion Taylor Canfield.

"It is always exciting to have the reigning winner return to Congressional Cup to defend their title," noted Chairman Arleen Tolle. A four-time victor, Canfield is tied with Gavin Brady and Peter Holmberg for the most titles in the 55-year tradition of the event. Triumph in 2019 would make Canfield the winningest skipper in history.

However, Tolle conceded, "I don't think winning his fifth Congressional Cup is as important as 'just winning!' Taylor is very competitive and always brings his best game to the Cup."

And his recently announced America's Cup challenge Stars & Stripes Team USA, under the Long Beach Yacht Club burgee, has members all the more excited.

"Putting together an America's Cup challenge is a huge undertaking, and as Congressional Cup Chairman, I am very appreciative that the Stars and Stripes team took time out of their busy schedule to accept our invitation," Tolle added.

Also joining the Congressional Cup lineup is Maxime Mesnil, who has earned his No. 5 ranking by triumphing in a host of Grade 2, 3 and 4 match racing events. He makes his Congressional Cup debut after competing in Ficker Cup last year.

"Ficker Cup is a Grade 2 event, but the competition is A-1 quality," said Tolle. "Due to our limit of eight invitations to Congressional Cup, many highly qualified and highly ranked teams recognize Ficker Cup as an alternative path to a direct invitation to Congressional Cup."

"There is no question a first-timer in Ficker Cup, Congressional Cup or Long Beach has a learning curve with regard to the boats, venue and conditions," Tolle added. "I anticipate Maxime's second appearance will be much more familiar and competitive. We look forward to seeing what he can do!"

The final two skippers in the Congressional Cup roster will be the winner and runner-up of the Ficker Cup, March 29 to 31. It is both a qualifier to Congressional Cup, and an aggressively sought-after and fought-after title in its own right.

The Ficker Cup Match Race was established by LBYC in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, world-class Star champion and the victorious 1970 America's Cup skipper, aboard the 12-meter Intrepid.

Ficker was also the winner of the Congressional Cup in 1974, and was often on-hand at his namesake regatta to enjoy the racing and present trophies, until his passing in 2017

This year's Ficker Cup lineup includes returning skippers Joachim Aschenbrenner, DEN; Harry Price, AUS; Chris Poole, USA; Charles Lalumiere USA; and LBYC's own David Hood, USA. Chris Nesbitt, USA, winner of the California Dreamin' Series will be competing in his inaugural Ficker Cup, along with Tom Spithill, AUS, and Pearson Potts Jr., USA: winner of the Grand Slam and 2018 U.S. Match Racing Championship.

Ficker Cup and Congressional Cup spectators can enjoy live race action between the hours of 11:30AM and 5:00PM March 29 to 31 and April 3 to 7, from a vantage point on Long Beach' Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. During the Congressional Cup, stadium seating is provided along with expert commentary, camaraderie, plus food and beverages for sale. Live-streaming coverage and features will bring the Congressional Cup to viewers around the globe, Friday April 5 through Sunday April 7, at www.thecongressionalcup.com and on Facebook.

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 2018
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 2018
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 2018
“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 2018
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 2018
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 2018
Ficker Cup: Barker, Berntsson advance to Con Cup
Dean Barker, USA, dominated the 2018 Ficker Cup, to win this Grade 2 World Sailing regatta 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. Posted on 16 Apr 2018
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 2018
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 2018
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 2018
SCRW2019 FooterMarine Resources BOTTOMC-Tech Emirates TNZ