Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2018 - Leaderboard

Long Beach Yacht Club Ficker Cup - Overall

by Betsy Crowfoot 31 Mar 22:30 PDT 29-31 March 2019

In an exciting winner-takes-all final match, Harry Price (AUS) of Down Under Racing defeated Chris Poole (USA) to capture the Long Beach Yacht Club Ficker Cup title. Both will advance to the Congressional Cup, which starts next week. Dave Hood (USA) finished third, while Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) took fourth.

Eight teams from around the globe competed in the 40th Ficker Cup match race: three days of what Principal Race Officer John Busch called, "Awesome, epic sailing." Although the wind was slow to come up in the morning, when it did fill in, it was idyllic, with cool ocean breezes and plenty of sunshine.

Going into Sunday's semi-finals, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club's Poole, who had aced Stage 1, was paired with Hood, a LBYC Staff Commodore. In the first match, Hood got 'hoodwinked' - surrendering a solid lead when he targeted the wrong windward mark. Poole took advantage of the error and won that race, and continued to dominate the series; moving on to the finals.

A crowd had gathered on Belmont Pier to watch the races, and Aschenbrenner and Price kept them in suspense. Each won one race, then another, until at 2:2 they entered a final match-point battle in race five. Off the start, Aschenbrenner tacked too close to Price, earning a penalty. The die was cast. Despite a duel that took them to the outer reaches of the course, Aschenbrenner couldn't rebound. Price won by a boat length, to enter the Finals.

Earlier, the breeze had clocked and built to 9 knots. But with the clock ticking and wind waning, PRO Busch decided to reduce the Finals to a single winner-take-all match.

Despite a penalty in the pre-start, Hood recovered and bested Aschenbrenner, for third place: an impressive accomplishment for the 61-year-old Staff Commodore, and only amateur skipper in the field of finalists.

Poole and Price's match saw spinnakers up and down in the pre-start and tight racing around the course, until Poole, on the hunt, bumped Price's stern. Officials threw up two flags on Poole, who was unduly advantaged by the foul; Price secured that win, and the Ficker Cup title.

"It didn't really go according to plan, but we made it in the long run," Price revealed. "In hindsight, it was the best preparation we could have, leading into next week. We had five great matches against Joachim (Aschenbrenner) and it was close every race. It was intense... and I wish it wasn't. But that's where you learn. It really set us up for next week."

Finishing in second place, Poole was "very excited" to have earned an invitation to Congressional Cup. "My plan is to keep improving on what we did this week; stay calm, cool, collected, and trust my crew to point me in the right direction," he said.

"After getting into the semi-finals last year, we felt this year we should be there again," added Poole, who finished third in last year's Ficker Cup. "That was our goal and expectation, coming into this event. So it's coming together really nicely; we're feeling ready now."

Although a ticket to the Congressional Cup is coveted, so too is winning the esteemed Ficker Cup trophy.

The Ficker Cup was established to honor Bill Ficker, a world class Star champion and winning helmsman of the 1970 America's Cup. Among the who's-who of names inscribed on the silver trophy are Taylor Canfield, Dean Barker, Sally Barkow, Terry Hutchinson, John Kostecki, Simone Ferrarese and Johnie Berntsson... many who have gone on to win the Congressional Cup.

Requests for invitations to Ficker Cup 2020 are already coming in, according to Chair Cheri Busch. "The competitors love it. Ficker Cup is a top-notch regatta, and everyone loves being out here to see who is going to fill those last two berths and compete the Congressional Cup lineup."

She noted Ficker Cup is an invitation-only regatta, with strict criteria. "We have to have at least three international teams, and there's a point basis for the skippers. We evaluate their skillsets, abilities, and ISAF ranking."

As Chair, she oversees nearly every aspect of the event. "Thank God I've got a fantastic group of volunteers," Busch declare.

She's also got a fantastic counterpart in husband/PRO John Busch. "John and I work really well together as a team. He's a certified PRO; experienced, knowledgeable and competent. His skills complement everything that's going on, onshore."

These days, she added with a laugh, "Ficker Cup is our pillow talk!"

"This has been a great regatta, and it's very special we can do this together."

The Congressional Cup, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, will be held April 3 to 7, 2019.

Price and Poole round out a field that includes defending champion Taylor Canfield (USA), past winners Ian Williams (GBR) and Johnie Berntsson (SWE); plus Maxime Mesnil (FRA), Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Will Boulden (AUS), Nick Egnot-Johnson, (NZL) and Scotty Dickson (USA).

Spectators are invited to enjoy this premier racing experience at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, 15 39th Place in Long Beach, CA, where fans will find convenient parking and full facilities, from 11:30AM to 5:00PM April 3 through 7.

Wednesday April 3 and 4, Long Beach Yacht Club will offer live-streaming coverage on the Congressional Cup Facebook Page and in the Club lounge for club members.

Friday April 5 through Sunday April 7, Long Beach Yacht Club will offer live-streaming coverage and features to viewers around the globe on the Congressional Cup Facebook page, the event website, and in the Club lounge for members.

Nightly press conferences relevant to the day's racing, and always entertaining will be also live-streamed on the Congressional Cup Facebook page, starting Wednesday April 3, at approximately 5:30pm.

Ficker Cup Final Results:

  • Harry Price (AUS)
  • Chris Poole (USA)
  • Dave Hood (USA)
  • Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)

Related Articles

Eric Monnin to compete in Match Race Germany
Event 3 of Match Race Super League expects around 30,000 spectators The organizers of Match Center Germany celebrate Germany's most famous Grand Prix over Pentecost as a large sailing festival and spectator attraction in Langenargen with with a lot of anticipation for spectacular sailing sports on Lake Constance. Posted on 25 May
Anna and Ian join line-up for Midsummer Match Cup
Williams and Östling: a part of elite match racing for over a decade Anna Östling is one of the biggest names in Swedish sailing and has led her team to two Women's World Championship victories, 2014 and in 2016. This year her team Team Anna has a chance at going for the hat-trick. Posted on 24 May
Worrell 1000, Williams wins Bermuda Gold Cup
Latest Sail-World USA newsletter from David Schmidt The challenge of racing small, open catamarans across almost 1,000 miles of North Atlantic brine is just as stiff today as it was during the Worrell 1000's heyday. Posted on 14 May
Argo Group Gold Cup overall
Williams defeats Berntsson to win the title for the second time Just when it looked like Sweden's Johnie Berntsson was going to even the score in the final of the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup and send the match to a fifth and deciding race, Ian Williams of Great Britain sailed across his bow and snatched away the victory. Posted on 12 May
Argo Group Gold Cup day 4
Williams, Berntsson on course for showdown The 69th Argo Group Gold Cup advanced to the semi-final round this afternoon with Ian Williams of the U.K and Johnie Berntsson of Sweden moving to match point in their respective matches. Posted on 11 May
Argo Group Gold Cup day 3
Repechage adds to quarterfinals The repechage round of the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup was expected to produce close-quarter racing as eight teams fought for one of four spots in the quarterfinal round. And it delivered. Posted on 9 May
Argo Group Gold Cup day 2
Williams leads Quartet into Quarterfinals Ian Williams and his Team GAC Pindar crew from the U.K. won the initial round robin stage of the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup and advanced to the Quarterfinal Round as the No. 1 seed. Posted on 9 May
Argo Group Gold Cup day 1
Price is right in shifty conditions An active first day of racing at the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup saw 36 matches completed across nine flights of racing and led to a first-timer holding the Day 1 lead. Posted on 8 May
Windy conditions on tap for Argo Group Gold Cup
69th competition for the King Edward VII Gold Cup begins Tuesday Racing for the 69th Argo Group Gold Cup is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, May 7, at 1000 hours on Hamilton Harbour, just off the docks of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. Posted on 7 May
Leroy and Björling Duell win qualifier for Worlds
Leroy is undefeated in qualifier and Björling Duell punches the Swedish ticket Claire Leroy (FRA) and Marie Björling Duell have joined the line-up for the Women's Match Racing World Championship 2019 in Lysekil. Posted on 6 May
Vaikobi 2019 - Footer 2Marine Resources BOTTOMNaiad 660x82px_Tourist