LONG BEACH, CA 20 April 2022 – The 57th Congressional Cup kicked off yesterday in spectacular California conditions as ten of the world’s top match racing teams took to the water in the opening event of the 2022 World Match Racing Tour season. Two-time match racing world champion and defending Congressional Cup champion Taylor Canfield (USA)/Stars +Stripes Team USA finished the day with a 5-1 score, alongside Chris Poole (USA)/Riptide Racing and Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson/ Berntsson Sailing Team, also posting a 5-1 score.
Racing commenced at 11:30AM but only three flights had been completed before Principal Race Officer John Busch called for the fleet to downsize to the smaller jibs, as the wind touched 18 knots.
In true championship style, defending title-holder and five-time Cup winner Taylor Canfield (USA) came on strong. After six flights, Canfield was 5-1, but not without a solid challenge from opponents Chris Poole (USA) and 2009 Congressional Cup winner Johnnie Berntsson (SWE), also 5-1.
Also competing: four time victor Ian Williams (GBR), Harry Price (AUS), Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), Pearson Potts (USA) and Dave Hood (USA). In addition Emil Kjaer (DEN) and Jeppe Borch (DEN) qualified in last week’s Ficker Cup regatta to round out the roster.
The Congressional Cup is one of the leading yacht racing events in the world, a flagship event of the World Match Racing Tour, and the only Grade 1 match racing competition currently in the USA. The double round robin series, semifinals and petite finals will continue throughout the week, culminating in the final matches April 23. Then, only one skipper will hoist the coveted Congressional Cup trophy and don the Crimson blazer: yacht racing’s equivalent to The Masters’ green jacket.
Founded in 1965 by LBYC the Congressional Cup remains a magnet for the finest skippers and crews from around the globe, who compete in five days of heated on-the-water competition. And this nail-biting experience is can be viewed (for free) from the Belmont Pier, with shaded stadium seating and live commentary, through Saturday April 23 starting at 11:30AM.
Find up-to-the-minute results at https://www.matchracingresults.com/2022/congressional-cup/
Earlier in the day, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia joined LBYC Commodore Jon Turigliatto, club members and other area dignitaries at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier for a ribbon-cutting and rededication of the Congressional Cup Stadium: a federally designated racecourse where Congressional Cup and other yacht racing takes place.
“We are very excited for this rededication, and to celebrate the Congressional Cup and all it does for our incredible city,” said Mayor Garcia of the annual championship match racing event which runs through Saturday. “I want to congratulate you not just on this incredible week, when all eyes will be on our community, but also in the rededication of the Congressional Cup Stadium here. I am excited to kick off these games and most importantly for the preparation of 2028. I view today as the start of our 2028 kick off,” added Mayor Garcia. “And of course as we look towards the 2028 Olympics: at how important our community and the sailing is going to be in showcasing the very best of Long Beach not just to the United States, but to the entire world.”
Live streaming from the event will begin Thursday April 21 – visit www.thecongressionalcup.com or @CongressionalCup on Facebook. For more information on the World Match racing Tour, visit www.wmrt.com
Results after Day 1
LONG BEACH YACHT CLUB
Established in 1929, Long Beach Yacht Club is recognized as a leading club in the international yachting community for its commitment to excellence in yacht racing and innovation in race management. The club’s signature event, Congressional Cup – now in its 57th year – is the preeminent match racing regatta in the United States and considered the Gateway to the America’s Cup. In addition to hosting numerous local, national and international yachting events, the Club’s member families enjoy a year-round calendar of social, yachting, and junior activities at its beautiful clubhouse on the shore of Alamitos Bay.
WORLD MATCH RACING TOUR
Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the longest running global professional series in the sport of sailing. The WMRT is awarded ‘Special Event’ status by the sport’s world governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT each year is crowned World Sailing Match Racing World Champion. Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace (FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR). Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD23million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors. www.wmrt.com