LONG BEACH, USA, 30 March 2017 – – “Mr Canfield, I like your jacket!” announced reigning Match Racing World Champion Phil Robertson (NZL), at the 53rd Congressional Cup’s opening ‘Meet the Skippers’ dinner.
Robertson, hot off a win in Match Cup Australia, alluded to some unfinished business from last year, when he finished at the top in Qualifying, but was eliminated in the Quarter Finals – leaving the door open for Canfield to win his third consecutive Crimson Blazer.
The Crimson Blazer is the iconic prize and symbol of the Congressional Cup – along with the behemoth silver trophy on display at Long Beach Yacht Club.
“That’s mine!” chided Harry Price (AUS), pointing to the trophy, and joining the charge. Everyone is eager to unseat Canfield, number one-ranked by World Sailing; but the team best poised to crush Canfield, after two days of racing, appears to be Johnie Berntsson (SWE).
Berntsson and Canfield are matched point-for-point with nine wins each. The 2009 winner of the Congressional Cup, Berntsson has returned to Long Beach with a new, multi-cultural team, saying the mix is “challenging” – “but the really tight racing fires us up!” With one Dane, three Swedes and two Aussies, they are in first place at the end of Qualifying, winning the tie breaker over Canfield with a win in Flight 8.
Today’s variable winds fluctuated from a low of 5 knots to a gusty 20 knot breezes in the afternoon, which put a halt to racing as the skippers changed to smaller jibs.
With tomorrow’s forecast for more breeze, Principal Race Officer Randy Smith pressed to complete all 14 flights of Qualifying, and called for an 1100 start to Friday’s races.
Berntsson, Canfield, Robertson and Sam Gilmour (NZL) move straight to the Quarter Finals on Saturday, with Friday now a welcome day off. The balance will fight for their spots in the Repechage; an eight boat round robin, to determine which four move on … and which four go home.
The Congressional Cup is the second of seven stops on the prestigious World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), and a legend in itself. An innovator in the game of match racing since 1965, Congressional Cup introduced the concept of on-the-water umpiring in 1988. It is hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club and raced in the Long Beach Sailing Foundation fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event; which guarantees an even platform and exciting competition. The competition continues through Sunday April 2, directly off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
Bristol, RI – 28 March, 2017. The Herreshoff Marine Museum / America’s Cup Hall of Fame announces the 2017 inductees to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame: John K. Marshall, Doug Peterson, and Syd Fischer.
The America’s Cup Hall of Fame was founded in 1992, as an arm of the Herreshoff Marine Museum by Halsey Herreshoff, a four-time America’s Cup defender and grandson of legendary yacht designer Nathanael G. Herreshoff. Over eighty legends of the Cup have been inducted into the Hall. Candidates eligible for consideration include members of the crew, designers, builders, syndicate leaders, supporters, chroniclers, and other individuals of merit. Each nominee is judged on the basis of outstanding ability, international recognition, character, performance, and contributions to the sport. The members of the Selection Committee are persons intimate with the history and traditions of America’s Cup and committed to the integrity of the Hall of Fame.
The America’s Cup Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place on October 5, 2017 in San Diego, California, aboard the U.S.S. Midway.
Doug Peterson (United States) b. 1945
Doug Peterson, a two-time winner of the America’s Cup, was a member of the design teams for America3 (winner in 1992), Team New Zealand (winner in 1995), and Prada Challenge (2000 and 2003). Peterson’s brilliant understanding of the art of yacht design and a strong grasp of measurement rules made him one of the best naval architects of his generation. “He has a huge talent for designing a boat that can go through waves—any kind of waves. Plus, his knowledge of yachting is second to none,” declares David Egan, one of his former colleagues.
Peterson’s talent is best exemplified by his work as a lead designer of Team New Zealand’s Black Magic (NZL-32), one of the most dominant yachts in America’s Cup history. Black Magic’s boat-speed, estimated to be about three and half minutes faster on the Cup course than the American defender, helped Team New Zealand deliver a 5-0 victory in the 1995 match. Including the match, Team New Zealand achieved an incredible 42-1 record with an average margin of victory of 3:06. Black Magic’s advantage in speed was due in part to Peterson’s decision to design her with a narrow beam and a mast positioned further aft than her conventional counterparts, establishing a new paradigm in America’s Cup Class yacht design. Peterson further attributed the success of the boat to using a total approach to design: “We started on a path with the hull, but then interconnected other components like mast and sails, always looking at it as a whole. That is our strength.”
In addition to his success in the America’s Cup, Peterson is also well known for dominating the IOR offshore racing scene in the 70’s and 80’s and for designing scores of fast, popular and successful one-off and production racing and cruising boats. He is a self-taught naval architect whose influences included his father—an aerospace engineer—and yacht designer Wendell “Skip” Calkins. Peterson reflects, “I started putting boats down on paper when I was 10, and have never wanted to do anything else.”
LONG BEACH, CALIF 29 March 2017 – – Grab your lawn chair and cooler and come on down to the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier today through Sunday April 2, for the 53rd running of the Congressional Cup regatta!
Storms that dumped record rains on California damaged the pier, initially threatening to deter the hundreds of spectators who come to experience this world-class match racing extravaganza, each year. But the pier is safe and open to pedestrians, announced Chairman Joe Seibert, and set to provide ‘old style’ viewing of Congressional Cup 2017.
Congressional Cup is one of the longest-running match race regattas in North America, and the second stop on the World Match Racing Tour. Twelve of the world’s top ranked teams race, two at a time, in a series of spirited round robins; with the top point winners advancing to semi-finals and finals.
Since 1994 the races have been held inside the Long Beach breakwater, adjacent the Belmont Pier. From this vantage point spectators easily observed from the pier or vessels anchored nearby. It wasn’t unusual for fans to gather at pier’s end to cheer on the racers, tossing teddy bears and other good luck tokens to their favorite teams. Over time LBYC expanded the pier platform to include bleachers, pop-up tents and sponsor booths, commentators, VIP announcers and more. This carnival-like atmosphere has lured an audience of thousands: hard-core racers wanting to learn more about the thrilling art of match racing; plus novices and landlubbers eager for an entertaining day out.
This year, the City’s temporary ban on event permits has limited the yacht club’s plans – but not the racing, nor the determination of fans. An undaunted army of Do-It-Yourself spectators is expected to watch the races ‘old style’ – bringing lawn chairs, umbrellas, sodas and sandwiches. The outer wings are open to the public, while the central patio in front of Buoy’s café is restricted to LBYC members and guests. Food and drinks are available for purchase, and there will be live commentary on the pier, plus a scoreboard for keeping track of the action. Races will be held through Sunday April 2 beginning at 11:30AM daily.
The Belmont Pier opened in 1967, replacing the original wooden pier built in 1915, and renovated in 1951. Over 1600 feet long, it has easy access for the disabled, restrooms, lighting and convenient parking. For more information visit www.thecongressionalcup.com.
LONG BEACH, USA 29 March 2017 – – Brilliant sunshine greeted the all-star line-up of Congressional Cup 2017, racing along the shores of Long Beach, California. Conditions were nothing like last year’s dismal, drizzly weather.
But the wind played havoc with racers none-the-less. Light breezes from the southwest built auspiciously, then plunged. The drop was so sudden, it threw Qualifying flight three into a frenzy …. a Swan Lake-like performance of boats grazing across the course with no apparent clue as to who was racing who. Caught in the shifts – from 185 degrees to 230 degrees – Congressional Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) lost to Harry Price (AUS) by a full minute, while Sam Gilmour’s (AUS) time over Nicolai Sehested (DEN) was nearly the same. And Johnie Berntsson (SWE) hammered Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) by a remarkable two minutes: a huge spread for such a highly-ranked field of sailors.
But just as suddenly the sea breeze filled in to a brisk 12-14 knots. Aschenbrenner rebounded with a win over David Storrs (USA), and Canfield returned to his winning form: ending the day 4:1 – tied with Berntsson.
Both skippers are past Congressional Cup champions: Berntsson in 2009, and Canfield, 2014 – 2016. Like most of the teams on Day One, Berntsson said they “struggled with the details,” but added, “I’m happy, we had a good day and are staying in the game.”
Tied with three points each were Price, Gilmour, Phil Robertson (NZL) and Eric Monnin (SUI); followed by Aschenbrenner, Ian Williams (GBR), Chris Steele (NZL) and Scott Dickson (USA) each at two points.
Sehested and Storrs ended the day with one win each. “It was a bit of a tough day,” admitted Sehested, but he pointed out last year they moved up the leaderboard to second place overall, nearly capturing the title from Canfield, and was undeterred by his 1:4 start to the week.
And yet today, everyone got a piece of the pie, heralding the incredible level of competition expected over the next four days of Congressional Cup 2017. This 53-year tradition, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, is the second stop on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour, attracting a dozen of the top match racing teams from around the globe, as they vie for the Crimson blazer. Races will continue through Sunday April 2, beginning at 11:30 Pacific Time each day off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP
The Congressional Cup has been a model and innovator in the game of match racing since 1965, introducing the concept of on-the-water umpiring in 1988. The Grade W event combines expert race organization with outstanding hospitality, to make it a favorite among match-racing skippers worldwide.
At Tuesday’s opening dinner Aschenbrenner announced, “After our first time here, I knew we had to come back!” – a point seconded by two-time Congressional Cup winner Williams, who said, “It’s absolutely our favorite regatta.” The event is almost entirely volunteer run, utilizing the talents and energy of a unique force of more than 300 members of LBYC – one of the premier boating institutions in the United States since 1929. For more information visit www.thecongressionalcup.com and www.wmrt.com.
DAY ONE RESULTS
|Johnie Berntsson – Flux Team||SWE||4|
|Taylor Canfield – US One||ISV||4|
|Eric Monnin – Albert Riele Swiss Team||SUI||3|
|Harry Price – Down Under Racing||AUS||3|
|Phil Robertson – China One Ningbo||NZL||3|
|Sam Gilmour – Neptune Racing||AUS||3|
|Joachim Aschenbrenner – Aschenbrenner Racing||DEN||2|
|Chris Steele – 36 Below Racing||NZL||2|
|Ian Williams – GAC Pindar||GBR||2|
|Scott Dickson – Dickson Racing||USA||2|
|Nicolai Sehested – EWII Racing||DEN||1|
|David Storrs – Pequot Racing||USA||1|
For up-to-the-minute results go to www.thecongressionalcup.com
March 27, 2017 – After six and a half days on the road, Dorade arrived in Ventura, California earlier this month. The 52-foot yawl, which spent the winter months in Rhode Island undergoing updates, is preparing for its 2017 “Dorade Down Under” campaign. Over the weekend, the yacht was launched and its mast stepped. The team will do some regatta prep locally before heading to Newport Beach for the Newport to Ensenada Race in April. Following the race, Dorade will compete in two more events on the West Coast before being transported to Australia to take on a series of world-class races off the southern coast, culminating with the 628-nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in December.
New locations for pre-race events
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 27, 2017 – Members of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association are sailing into action in preparation of the 70th Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race now less than 5 weeks away.
Before the sailing of the West Coast’s largest, iconic yacht race Friday, April 28 off the Balboa Pier, racers, residents and sailing enthusiasts alike can share NOSA’s passion for N2E at a couple of local events. “We look forward to everyone; renewing old acquaintance’s while making new memories together,” said Commodore Tom Kennedy.
NOSA announced earlier this month that the public Race Week Kick-Off Party Sunday, April 23 will be at Marina Park, 1600 Balboa Blvd., W., from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Numerous activities are scheduled in the water, dockside, in the park and upstairs in the fabulous community room at the city’s spectacular 10.5 acre park.
The annual Skippers Luncheon, a 20-plus-year NOSA tradition, will take place at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club on Wednesday, April 26 at 11:30 a.m. Ullman Sails professionals will be the keynote speakers. Topics include the latest in weather forecasting, winning strategies, teamwork, safety and recognition is given to skippers who have sailed N2E more than 20 times. RSVP a must. Cost $15.00 per person.
Sterling BMW will host the VIP Reception typically reserved for boat owners, city officials, visiting dignitaries and sponsors Wednesday, April 26. Sterling’s Newport Beach location has previously hosted memorable NOSA events. There is a limit of three crewmembers per boat attending. Over the past 4 years, this reception has become the primary fundraiser for the children’s charities NOSA supports in Ensenada via raffle prizes and a silent auction. RSVP a must! 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Skippers, crew and invited guests can celebrate #70 at the must attend N2E event of the year – the annual Sail Away Party – Thursday, April 27, from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Hosted by the American Legion Yacht Club the venue will offer a taco bar with flatbread pizzas along with plentiful Stella Artois beer, Gosling’s Dark & Stormy’s, lively entertainment from Velvet Thunder and opportunities to win raffle prizes.
For those partaking in festivities in Ensenada, the Hotel Coral and Marina will host the Fiesta de Baja Saturday, April 29 from 6:00 p.m. until midnight. The evening includes live music and strolling musicians. From $2.50.