Long Beach, CA (26, April 2024) – Australia’s Cole Tapper, sailing with his CYCA Youth Sailing Academy team from Sydney Australia, today secured a crucial spot in the quarter-finals of the 59th Congressional Cup, the opening stage of the 2024 World Match Racing Tour. Joining Tapper in the quarter-final are USA’s Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing, New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson/ KNOTS Racing, and Switzerland’s Eric Monnin/ Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team.

21 yr-old Tapper’s participation in the regatta, sailing with a predominantly youth crew, including local sailor Charlotte Carmichael, 15 years old, underscores their notable accomplishment of making it into the quarter-finals, after qualifying into the event from last week’s Ficker Cup.

“We came off the water yesterday and felt like we left a lot of points out there,” commented Tapper. “So to go out there today and put some points on the board when it really mattered was a great feeling. Our goal has been to get through to the next stage, and we’ve done that. So now, it’s just to get through this next one.”

Cole Tapper/AUS, sailing with crew Jordan Reece, George Richardson, Hamish Vass, Max Brennan, Charlotte Carmichael and Nathan Gulliksen. Photo: Ian Roman/WMRT

This year’s addition of the ‘repechage format’ has injected a fresh energy into the regatta, giving teams a second shot at making their mark. Finishing ninth and tenth in the opening round robin, Monnin and Tapper would not have qualified for quarters. But the clean slate of the repechage stage offered them a chance for redemption, and both teams were determined to maximize the opportunity.

Defending 2023 Congressional Cup champion, USA’s Chris Poole/ Riptide Racing also had an impressive day on the course with six wins and just one loss in the repechage, reminding spectators why his team won the title last year. With a confirmed position in the top eight, Poole’s Congressional Cup defense is still very much in sight.

“Last year was truly special, but every year the conditions are different,” comments Poole. “We were happy with how we sailed the round-robin, we didn’t look at the repechage stage as a bad thing – we were happy to get seven more races in.”

Chris Poole / Riptide Racing with crew Joachim Aschenbrenner, Bernardo Freitas, Mal Parker, Luke Payne, and Harry West. Photo: Ian Roman/WMRT

Today’s forecast called for a building breeze out of the southwest, which is exactly what it did with a fresh 15 knots and gusts in the mid-twenties. Adapting to the changing conditions was key as teams transitioned from genoas to jibs to accommodate the building breeze, which brought a different angle to boat handling and strategy off the line.

Streamed live online, viewers were not disappointed either, as teams fought tooth and nail for their places to advance to the quarter-finals. Close-up onboard camera action and overhead drone footage provided all the excitement and a front-row seat into the action.

Tomorrow’s day four of the regatta will feature the quarter-final pairings.

Racing runs through Sunday, April 28th. Spectators can enjoy live commentary and race viewing for free off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier – 15 39th Place. The event also will be live streamed STARTING TOMORROW, Friday April 26.

For more information visit www.thecongressionalcup.com. For news updates from World Match Racing Tour, visit wmrt.com 

WATCH Live coverage of the Congressional Cup from Friday 26th April to Sunday 28th April via thecongressionalcup.com

Eric Monnin / SUI with crew Simon Brügger, Maxime Mesnil, Julien Falxa, Ute Monnin-Wagner, Mathieü Renault, and Jean-Claude Monnin. Photo: Ian Roman/ WMRT

2024 Congressional Cup Teams:

Ian Williams (46, Lymington, England)/ Gladstone’s Long Beach
World No. 11 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Richard Sydenham, Gerry Mitchell, Ricky McGarvie, Ted Hackney, Oisin Mcclelland

Jeppe Borch (26, Copenhagen, Denmark)/ Borch Racing
World No. 4 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Thor Malthe Andersen, Mathias Rossing, Gustav Wantzin, August de la Cour, Sebastien Pieters

Dave Hood (Long Beach, USA)/ DH3 Racing
World No. 37 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Nick Blackman, Chris Main, Chris Steele, Steve Natvig, Will Tiller

Gavin Brady (50, USA)/ True Blue Racing USA
World No. 13 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Chris Cowan, Harry Hall, Ryan Houston, Chris Larson, Joshua Wijohn

Johnie Berntsson (51, Stenungsund, Sweden)/ Berntsson Sailing Team
World No. 3 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Filip Karlsson, Herman Andersson, Fredrik Laangström, Erik Malmberg, Jespre Stålheim

Chris Poole (35, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA) / Riptide Racing
World No. 1 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Joachim Aschenbrenner, Bernardo Freitas, Mal Parker, Luke Payne, Harry West

Rocco Attili (27, Rome, Italy)/ RBYS
World No. 7 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Alberto Corneli, Andres Guerra, Edoardo Mancinelli Scotti, Luca Camilli, Gianluca Perasole, Ludovico Mori

Nick Egnot-Johnson (25, Auckland, New Zealand)/ KNOTS Racing
World No. 8 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Sam Barnett, Zak Merton, Alastair Gifford, Taylor Balogh, Jorden Van Rooijen

Eric Monnin (48, Immensee, Switzerland)/ Capvis Swiss Match Racing
World No. 2 Open Match Race Rankings
Crew: Simon Brügger, Maxime Mesnil, Julien Falxa, Ute Monnin-Wagner, Mathieü Renault, Jean-Claude Monnin

Cole Tapper (21, AUS)/ CYCA Youth Sailing Academy
Crew: Jordan Reece, George Richardson, Hamish Vass, Charlotte Carmichael, Max Brennan, Nathan Gulliksen

Megan Thomson (25, NZL)/ 2.0 Racing
Crew: Charlotte Porter, Josi Andres, Bastian Sorensen, Sebastian Olsen, Cormac Murphy

Scotty Dickson (53, Long Beach, USA) Dickson Racing Team
Crew: Erik Berzins, Garrett Brown, Steve Flam, Zack Hanna, Greg Dair

Established in 1929, Long Beach Yacht Club is recognized as a leading organization in the international yachting community for its commitment to excellence in yacht racing and innovation in race management. In addition to hosting the Congressional Cup and numerous other 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.

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. Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded over USD24million in prize money to sailors which has helped to contribute to the career pathway of many of today’s professional sailors. www.wmrt.com