Long Beach, CA (25 April, 2024)—Closing out the opening round-robin stage of the 59th Congressional Cup today in Long Beach, the top four teams – Ian Williams/ GBR, Jeppe Borch/ DEN, Dave Hood/ USA and Gavin Brady/ USA, each advance to the Quarter-final stage of the event. The remaining eight teams will compete in a repechage stage on Friday, where the top four finishers will also join the Quarter-finals.

After an overcast start to the day, the clouds burned off and the breeze built for another spectacular day in Long Beach with an 8-10 knot southwesterly breeze which shifted consistently to the right throughout the afternoon.
Denmark’s Jeppe Borch and his Borch Racing were the first to confirm their spot for the Quarter-finals, losing only two races to finish the round-robin stage at 8.5 points, with a half- point deducted for damage. Great Britain’s Ian Williams and his Gladstone’s Long Beach team finished the stage with nine wins and two losses, winning the round-robin.

Ian Williams (GBR) with crew Richard Sydenham, Gerry Mitchell, Ricky McGarvie, Ted Hackney, Oisin Mcclelland. Photo: Ian Roman/WMRT

Going into the 13th flight late in the day, there was still much to play for to qualify for the Quarters. With Borch through, Williams, Brady, Berntsson, and Hood all had a strong chance to get into racing on Saturday. It began some of the closest racing of the day.

USA’s Dave Hood and his DH3 Racing needed one more win to secure their position into Quarters, and fellow USA skipper Scotty Dickson’s Dickson Racing was not going to give it up easily. The two locals got up close and personal with each other, as well as a brush with the Race Committee boat. The action continued up the course, with contact at the windward mark, which cleared all penalties as they came down the final run bow to bow. Ultimately, Hood clinched the win.

Remembering the “race of the day,” Scotty Dickson talked through the tight racing: “It felt like the two boats were held together by bungee. It was real ‘hammer and tongs’ kind of stuff. We had a situation on every leg with the umpires heavily involved. Credit to Dave [Hood] and his team for getting it done in the end.”

Dickson and Hood bring the action close to the Race Committee Boat. Photo: Ian Roman/WMRT

The Congressional Cup’s reputation continues to live up to its name, with a high caliber of racing. A notable finish between Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson and USA’s Chris Poole was the epitome of what strategic forward-thinking and on-board coordination is needed at this level of the sport.

“We came into the finish with a penalty and took it down at the pin end, just ahead of them,” said Berntsson. “Actually, we were worried for a moment because they were coming in close and they were yelling and pointing….we thought they had steerage issues or something because of all of the shouting, fortunately we managed to clear the penalty and win the race.”

For the eight teams in the repechage, racing begins again from zero tomorrow, as the top four finishers from the round robin – Ian Williams (GBR), Jeppe Borch (DEN), Dave Hood (USA) and Gavin Brady (USA) will have a bye day and rejoin the Quarter-final on Saturday.

Racing continues at 1130 local time tomorrow.

2024 Congressional Cup pre-start. Photo: Ian Roman/ WMRT

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

2024 Congressional Cup Teams after round-robin:

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