LONG BEACH, Calif. (17 September 2021) With six matches remaining in the qualifying rounds of the 56th Congressional Cup, the ten competing teams surged into full form on Day 2 of the regatta, each battling for valuable points to secure their place in the semi-finals tomorrow. Taylor Canfield (USA, Stars+Stripes) leads the combined results with 10 wins and 2 losses with Sweden’s Johnie Berntsson (SWE, Berntsson Sailing Team) at 9-3, and no.1 world ranked skipper Eric Monnin (SUI, Capvis Swiss Match Race Team) in third position at 8-4.
Amplified by winds of 10 to 13 knots, there were several clashes on the course with competitors finding their stride in the five-day regatta, and honing their skills in the supplied fleet of Catalina 37s, sailing impressively close to the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier and treating spectators to an ideal stadium view of the racing.
“Centimeters!” remarked Principal Race Officer Randy Smith, of how close “the Battle of Balboa” was – referring to Balboa Yacht Club’s entries Jeffrey Petersen (USA, Golden State Match Racing) and David Wood (USA, Stars+Stripes Development Team), both of whom qualified to the regatta from the Ficker Cup last week. “I honestly braced for contact,” Smith added, describing the match won by Petersen, one of his three victories today. Petersen sits in a precarious fifth place with a 6-6 score behind Taylor Canfield, Berntsson, Monnin, and Dane Emil Kjaer (7-5).
“The race for the semis is on and every single point counts,” commented Monnin. “It will probably come down to a one-point decision whether you make the semis or not.”
Only the top four teams will advance to the semi-finals and a chance to win the much coveted Crimson Blazer. Racing is expected to heat up on Friday with the six qualifying matches remaining in the double round robins. Collisions and altercations are common in the aggressive game of match racing, and LBYC (Long Beach Yacht Club) organizers have on-the-water umpires to make real time decisions on fouls and related penalties. A bosun is stationed on the course at all times to repair or replace equipment on the spot, and Chief Umpire Flavio Naveira chided competitors saying, “No train wrecks please!” in an effort to keep racing on track and on time.
New to Congressional Cup rules this year is an exclusion zone at the Belmont Pier to restrict just how close competitors can come to the concrete structure and wings which extend 120-feet east and west. In 2018, Australian competitor Harry Price proved how close race action is to the audience on the Pier; when his boat clipped the edge of the pier breaking a lamppost. The corner of the pier is now good-humoredly known as ‘Price Point.’
Racing will continue through Sunday for the 56th Congressional Cup and Crimson Blazer, starting at 11:30am local time daily, directly off the Pier at 15 39th Place, Long Beach, Calif. A Saturday afternoon race will pair up umpires and VIP’s with competitors for a ‘Race to the Bar’. The remaining teams from the qualifying rounds also get a chance to earn some extra cash in Sunday’s consolation fleet race.
Weather forecasts call for 8 to 14 knots on Friday to continue from the southwest, and plenty of California sunshine. Racing is live streamed on the official Facebook page at @CongressionalCup and @Worldmatchracingtour.
For up-to-the-minute results visit: https://www.matchracingresults.com/2021/congressional-cup/
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RESULTS – DAY 2
Media contact: Betsy (Crowfoot) Senescu
Congressional Cup 2021 Press Officer
Long Beach Yacht Club
6201 E. Appian Way, Long Beach,
CA 90803 USA
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. Congressional Cup, the club’s signature event, now in its 56th 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