Long Beach, CA (27, April 2024) – Day 4 of the 59th Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA concluded the quarter-final stage of the event, advancing the top four teams to the semi-finals led by defending Congressional Cup champion USA’s Chris Poole. Joining Poole in the semi-finals were five-time Congressional Cup champion Great Britain’s Ian Williams, Switzerland’s Eric Monnin and New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson. At the end of play, Poole and Williams lead their semi-finals matches 2-0 against their respective opponents Monnin and Egnot-Johnson.

Ian Williams/GBR (Gladstone’s Long Beach) leads Australia’s Cole Tapper (CYCA Youth Academy) in the quarter-finals Photo: Ian Roman/WMRT

The day kicked off with the concluding races of the quarter-finals in clear skies and a steady 8-10 knot south-westerly breeze. Williams/ Gladstone’s Long Beach and Monnin/ Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team asserted their dominance, each clinching three straight victories over their opponents Australia’s Cole Tapper and Denmark’s Jeppe Borch.

Monnin commented on the quarter-final racing, “The goal for this season was to do better in the quarter-finals, which we just squeezed into in this regatta. We were able to improve our game and now we have to focus on the semi-finals. Now, we just have to win three races in a row tomorrow.”

In the remaining quarter-final pairings, Chris Poole / Riptide Racing won the first race and only dropped one race to opponent Gavin Brady / True Blue Racing USA before rebounding and winning the next two races, securing his spot in the semi-finals.

A tense battle unfolded between the last quarter-final pairing between Dave Hood /DH3 Racing and Nick Egnot-Johnson /KNOTS Racing. The match stretched to the full five races in the first-to-three point match. Leveled at 2-2 with a deciding race to determine which team would advance to the semi-finals, it came down to the bottom gate in the last race. With Hood leading Egnot-Johnson, both teams split at the bottom gate, Egnot-Johnson choosing the favored left hand side and overtaking Hood to the finish.

“We have had an amazing week of sailing,” commented Hood. “It was a tough day today, we really had Nick [Egnot-Johnson] on that last race, and it came down to that last left turn, when we went out for a right shift we thought was there, but wasn’t.”

The Junior Congressional Cup was held in front of the Long Beach Yacht Club to finish the day, with junior LBYC sailors paired with Congressional Cup skippers and fleet race Flying Juniors, always a highlight of the Congressional Cup week. This year’s winners are LBYC Junior Sailor Olivia Corzine and Chris Steele / DH3 Racing.

Tomorrow’s racing will begin with  what is left of the semi-finals before the finals match where the two top teams will battle it out for the coveted Crimson Blazer.

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 at www.thecongressionalcup.com, Facebook and Youtube.

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 tomorrow, Sunday 28th April, via thecongressionalcup.com

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