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Top match racers to compete for 2021 U.S. Match Racing Championship in Long Beach, California

by US Sailing 30 Sep 19:04 PDT 1-3 October 2021
2021 U.S. Match Racing Championship © US Sailing

A collection of the nation's best match racers will square off at the 2021 U.S. Match Racing Championship, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club. The 53rd U.S. Match Racing Championship features 10 talented teams comprised of both male and female skippers and crew, who will race over three days for the coveted Prince of Wales Bowl. Racing gets under way at this US Sailing National Championship on Friday, October 1 and concludes on Sunday, October 3. The event is sponsored by Regatta Craft Mixers, and will be sailed on a fleet of Catalina 37's.

"We're coming off of Ficker and Congressional Cup this past month, we're primed and ready to put on a great show for a Championship," says Cameron MacLaren, Yachting Director at LBYC. "Crew work is a big part of these boats and this regatta, so it will definitely be a component in addition to the skipper's match racing skill."

Made popular by the America's Cup, match racing pits one boat against another around a short two-lap windward/leeward course. This race format emphasizes the need for great boat speed, strong boat handling, teamwork and communication. The tournament-style format makes it fun by maximizing the number of races per day.

"It has been terrific to see the level of talent that has earned their way into the Championship event through the Qualifying process," says David Stotler, member of the US Match Racing Championship Committee. "Many teams we will know from previous match race events at LBYC and other teams offer talented resumes that will be exciting to watch,"

Pearson Potts, 2018 and 2019 U.S. Match Racing Championship winner, returns to attempt a three-peat with his team Guardians of the Monohull. Two of the top female match racers in the country will be competing this week, including three-time U.S. Women's Match Racing Champion, Nicole Breault. "This is one of my favorite events of the year, and I have always built in one or more avenues to qualify for it since I started playing the match racing game," says Breault. "I have a great deal of respect for the line-up of teams we will face, as well as for the challenging tactical adaptations we need to make in the Catalina 37. I hope for their sake our friendly foes regard us with mutual feelings, as we are a smart team that brings to the table some potent lessons from the Ficker Cup last month."

The intended course area is off Belmont Memorial Pier on the Congressional Cup Stadium course. The viewing area is completely open to the public for the U.S. Match Racing Championship. "The location is prime viewing," says MacLaren. "Spectators can actually look down from a bird's-eye-view. You can see all of the prestart, and all of that crew work. It's really cool."

Teams will race in round robin(s), seeded based on previous competition and the World Sailing ranking list, followed by a knock-out series and finals. "Sailors are coming from the East Coast and Midwest," says Lisa Meier, the event chair. "We're excited to meet all of them, since they usually participate locally in their region. It's an honor to have them all here. It's a very high level of competition."

For results, standings and more, please visit the event website.

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