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World champion new addition to expanded line up for 2024 Annual Congressional Cup

by Congressional Cup Media 26 Jan 13:08 PST April 24-28, 2024
Ian Williams (GBR) ChinaOne.Ningbo on 58th Congressional Cup day 3 © WMRT

California’s Long Beach Yacht Club has announced the addition of two invitations for this year’s 59th edition of the Congressional Cup Regatta, 24 to 28 April 2024.

As the season opening Championship event of the 2024 World Match Racing Tour, the Congressional Cup line-up will now feature twelve teams, including three qualifiers from the Ficker Cup Regatta, also hosted by LBYC, 18 to 21 April 2024.

The roster for this year’s Congressional Cup follows an unprecedented demand by eligible match racing teams from around the globe. The oldest continuously-held sailing match race regatta in the world, the Congressional Cup is the only match race regatta in the United States to qualify for World Championship status from World Sailing. As such, an invitation to compete in the Congressional Cup is one of the most sought-after in match racing; and a victory, the most revered. Many of the 29 skippers who have won – several, multiple times – and worn the esteemed Crimson Blazer, have gone on to America’s Cup and SailGP. Now celebrating their 95th anniversary, LBYC and members are proud to once again host and welcome the world to Congressional Cup.

The 2024 roster includes: defending champion Chris Poole (USA), 2009 Congressional Cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Eric Monnin (SUI), Jeppe Borch (DEN), Mati Sepp (EST), Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL) and Dave Hood (USA). Returning after a 12-year interval is four-time Congressional Cup winner Gavin Brady (USA); LBYC also announced five-time Congressional Cup winner Ian Williams (GBR) will join the line-up. Williams, sailing for China.one Ningbo Team, was recently crowned the Match Racing World Champion for the seventh time. Three remaining spots will be awarded to the top trio of finishers hot off the Ficker Cup. With such incredible talent, the Congressional Cup promises to be a thrill!

“We are delighted to have been able to increase the number of teams for this year’s Congressional Cup,” said 2024 Congressional Cup Chairman Tony Mansour. “Sailing, and specifically match racing, has enjoyed tremendous growth post-COVID and we have a unique opportunity to expand our line-up for 2024. Long Beach Yacht Club members and the entire world are in for some incredible racing amongst the greatest sailors of our time.”

With the top three skippers from the Ficker Cup now assured of their place in the Congressional Cup, there will be much to play for over that four-day qualifying event. As an added advantage, those teams will enjoy valuable time in the Catalina37 fleet before advancing to the Congressional Cup the following week.

Five spirited days of Congressional Cup racing will commence 24 April, with nightly press conferences and social events at host LBYC. Competition takes place off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can enjoy live commentary for free. The event also will be live streamed starting Friday April 26.

For more on Congressional Cup visit www.thecongressionalcup.com; go to www.wmrt.com for details on the Tour.

Long Beach Yacht Club is renowned for its outstanding hospitality and organization, utilizing the talents and energy of more than 300 member volunteers each year to run this world-class event. Since 1965 the world's top ranked skippers have come here to compete for the esteemed Congressional Cup and the Crimson Blazer, which is yacht racing's equivalent to the Masters Tournament Green Jacket: a symbol of victory in one of the most prestigious yacht racing events in the world, and a gateway to the America's Cup. For more information on Congressional Cup visit www.thecongressionalcup.com; go to wmrt.com for details on the Tour.

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