Long Beach Yacht Club Announces Lineup for 2023 Congressional Cup
LONG BEACH— The world’s top match racing skippers will return to Long Beach from April 18 – 22 for the 58th Congressional Cup regatta – presented by Long Beach Yacht Club— a premier event on the prestigious World Match Racing Tour.
Reigning 2022, Congressional Cup Champion Ian Williams (GBR) will return to defend his title and clinch the crown as the winningest skipper in Congressional Cup history. However, Williams’ attempt won’t go without challenge. On the roster this year are some of the top match racing skippers on Earth, as ranked by World Sailing: the governing body for the sport of sailing. Number-one-ranked Chris Poole (USA) seeks to continue his determined climb up the Congressional Cup ladder. Poole finished third in the Spring 2022 running – edging out a past champion (2009), Johnie Berntsson (SWE), who also returns this year, eager to add another Crimson Blazer to his closet. Jeppe Borch (DEN), who ranks number three, will also be appearing, in addition to fifth-ranked Eric Monnin (SUI), back after a 2022 ‘babymoon’ hiatus. A perennial Congressional Cup favorite, in 2021, Monnin captured his first podium finish and is poised to continue his ascent.
But that’s not all, folks. The lineup includes Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), who was recently crowned 2022 World Sailing Match Racing World Champion, plus Harry Price (AUS) and hometown favorite David Hood (USA) – all of who are veterans of Congressional Cup racing. Rounding out the Congressional Cup roster will be the top two finishers in the April 13 to 15 Ficker Cup regatta. Opener for the 2023 WMRT and a prominent Grade Two event in its own right, the Ficker Cup also serves as a qualifier for the Congressional Cup. As a result, the 2023 field is vibrant, and competition will be thrilling when racing begins on April 18.
The Congressional Cup is recognized as the ‘grandfather’ of modern world-class match racing. Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, the event set the standard for top-level match racing worldwide, pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring in a spectator-friendly venue.
After a practice day on April 17, racing will begin on April 18 off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier at roughly 11:30 am each day. Five days of racing will see the sailors compete in a double round-robin format that gives competitors two chances to familiarize themselves with the boats and conditions and sharpen their skills. Famed for turning the leaderboard upside down, the 10-boat double round-robin format promises spirited contests as teams pair off and battle around the course.
Matches are held directly off the pier, where spectators can enjoy live commentary and camaraderie. After three days of round-robins, the leaders will advance into semi-finals and petit finals, culminating with the final matches Saturday, April 22, where the winner of the Congressional Cup will receive the coveted Crimson Blazer. The Crimson Blazer is yacht racing’s equivalent to the Masters’ Tournament Green Jacket: a symbol of victory in one of the most prestigious sailing events in the world and a gateway to the America’s Cup.
Visit www.thecongressionalcup.com or @CongressionalCup on Facebook. For complete information on the WMRT, go to www.wmrt.com.