(22 Feb 2024) – Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) has announced an international lineup for the Ficker Cup regatta from 19 to 21 April, 2024. Top notch skippers and teams from around the globe will compete in the three-day Grade 2 match race regatta with the hopes of Ficker Cup honors and a chance to advance to the Congressional Cup, a World Championship event. These back-to-back battles kick off the 2024 season of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT).

“I’m excited to announce our impressive roster for this year’s Ficker Cup,” said 2024 Chair Steve Meyer. “Match racing has been on an upswing in the U.S. and worldwide, creating a bumper crop of strong competitors. It has been difficult to narrow it down to just eight skippers, but we have – with a diverse field culled from the top male, female and youth skippers from around the globe.”

Meyer introduced the competitors as: Rocco Attili (ITA), Aurélien Pierroz (FRA), Megan Thomson (NZL), Nicole Breault (USA), Cole Tapper (AUS), Peter Wickwire (CAN), Dave Hood (USA) and Scott Dickson (USA).

Dave Hood, USA (DH3 Racing). Photo: Ian Roman/ WMRT
Megan Thomson, NZL (2.0 Racing) returns to the Ficker Cup after finishing 2nd at the 2023 event qualifying her team to the 2023 Congressional Cup.  Photo: Ian Roman/WMRT

He elaborated about the lineup, noting Thomson took second in the 2023 Ficker Cup and made her Congressional Cup debut last year, followed by an impressive third place finish at the WMRT Final Shenzhen Baoan in China in December. Breault earned her Ficker Cup berth by winning the 2023 California Dreamin’ Series, and is a three-time Ficker Cup veteran. Hood qualified for Ficker Cup with a victory in the 2023 Butler Cup, and already has an invitation to the Congressional Cup. His credentials are just as impressive off the water as on: he is a Sr. Staff Commodore at LBYC. And Dickson, although he hasn’t been active on the match racing circuit in recent years, has won more Ficker Cup trophies than any other skipper in history. “You will see some of the best sailing talent once again coming to Long Beach, Calif. for our renowned match racing events!” Meyer added.

The Ficker Cup was introduced in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, a legendary yachtsman, Star Class World Champion, and America’s Cup and Congressional Cup victor. This year the three leading finishers in the Ficker Cup will qualify for an invitation to the Congressional Cup where they will face off against nine other top-ranked match racing skippers in five days of fiery competition.

Rocco Attili, RBYS (ITA). Photo: AVLL | Zerogradinord

Between the Ficker Cup and Congressional Cup events, 13 of the world’s top 20 match racing skippers will be on-site at Long Beach Yacht Club this April. This profusion of sailing talent promises excitement for participants and spectators alike, as the teams compete in the thrilling game of match racing held directly off Long Beach’s Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

Ficker Cup racing begins Friday 19 April and continues through Sunday 21 April with matches from noon until 5PM daily. Congressional Cup follows shortly after, with racing 24 to 28 April.

For more information go to https://thecongressionalcup.com/ficker-cup.

For details on the World Match Racing Tour visit https://wmrt.com

Betsy (Crowfoot) Senescu
Congressional Cup Press Officer

WMRT Media

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