POOLE PULLS AHEAD ON DAY TWO OF LBYC FICKER CUP

LONG BEACH, CALIF. 30 MARCH 2019 — Chris Poole (USA) edged past Harry Price (AUS) in the final match of today’s Ficker Cup round robins, to cap the leaderboard at the conclusion of two days of Stage 1 racing. Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) found his form and solidified his third place position, with Dave Hood (USA) fourth, rounding out the quartet who will advance to semi-finals.

Tomorrow, an international field of sailors battle for the esteemed Ficker Cup trophy – and an invitation to the Congressional Cup, during the final stages of this perennial Long Beach Yacht Club event. Moderate southwesterly wind and warm temperatures are expected for Sunday’s semi-finals, petit finals, and finals.

Light conditions had the fleet of eight boats on dock hold this morning, until the westerly filled in and delivered a pleasant 12 to 16 knot breeze.

Photo Credit: Bronny Daniels / JoySailing

Poole and his Riptide Racing Team had a flawless day, winning all seven matches. “It was a good day for us. We improved on a couple of things we wanted to from yesterday, and there were a couple of races that were a little closer than we liked. But it was good to put some pressure on the crew, and get the crew work down now, instead of in the semis.”

“The crew is doing a phenomenal job,” Poole added, “and we’re looking forward to seeing how tomorrow goes.”

Price had an unblemished record coming into today’s races. But in Match 11 against Charlie Lalumiere (USA), Price was OCS at the start. Lalumiere, close abeam, blocked Price from cracking off and returning to the line. By the time Price peeled off and atoned, Lalumiere had a solid headstart. Price and the Down Under Racing Team were reeling in Lalumiere, but ran out of race course. Lalumiere won by a boat length: his only win of the day. Price logged an overall record of 11-3.

The top two Ficker Cup finishers go on to the Congressional Cup which starts April 3. But in addition to being a qualifier for that event, Ficker Cup is a Grade 2 match race; meeting strict criteria established by World Sailing, the governing body for the sport. It stipulates everything from race management and formats to judging and scoring, the types of boat used, on-the-water maintenance and repair, hospitality, and the level of racing.

Photo Credit: Bronny Daniels / JoySailing

“The competition is stiff,” declared Pearson Potts Jr., who enjoyed just one victory today. “Every mistake is capitalized. It’s definitely whoever makes the least mistakes, wins.” His team Guardians of the Monohull is one of four non-professional crews competing this weekend. “We’re trying to be the real true amateurs who make it to the Congressional Cup.”

But first, he conceded, there’s Ficker Cup. “This is helping us learn the boat. It requires a lot more teamwork and coordination, and is a lot less forgiving than other boats we sail.” The one-design fleet of Catalina 37s was designed and built exclusively for the Congressional Cup.

Qualifying for that, he said, remains the aspiration. “One hull, one dream, is our motto.”

Racing for the Ficker Cup continues tomorrow, Sunday March 31, at 11:30AM adjacent to the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, at 15 39th Place, in Long Beach, where spectators are invited to enjoy the action, free-of-charge.

A prizegiving will be held at Long Beach Yacht Club Sunday after races, and presentation of the Ficker Cup trophy, honoring the legendary America’s Cup helmsman Bill Ficker.

Follow Ficker Cup online at www.lbyc.org and on Facebook @CongressionalCup.
Follow Congressional Cup, April 3 to 7, at www.thecongressionalcup.com and on Facebook @CongressionalCup. Races will be live-streamed April 5 through 7. Coverage will include skipper interviews, results and daily highlights, press conferences and special events. For broadcast schedules and more information visit www.thecongressionalcup.com.

Results after Day Two

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 55th year, is the preeminent match racing regatta in the United States and considered the Gateway to the America’s Cup. In December 2018, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron accepted Long Beach Yacht Club’s challenge for the 36th America’s Cup, to be sailed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021, where the Club will be represented by Stars + Stripes Team USA. 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.

Cover Photo Credit: Bronny Daniels / JoySailing

HARRY PRICE LEADS LBYC FICKER CUP AFTER FIRST DAY

LONG BEACH, CALIF. 29 MARCH 2019 — Harry Price, AUS, was undefeated on Day One of the Long Beach Yacht Club Ficker Cup, leading by a slim margin over Chris Poole, USA, who had two losses. Joachim Aschenbrenner, DEN, and David Hood, USA, tied for third.

Classic Long Beach conditions transpired for the first round robin of the three-day match race series, with southwesterly breezes of 11 knots shifting right and building to 16 knots throughout the afternoon. Unlike the traditional weather system though, the competition was anything but status quo.

Racers were aggressive right out of the gate. Chris Nesbitt, USA, extracted his first of two black flag penalties in the first flight – handing Aschenbrenner the first of four wins today. Aschenbrenner, who just returned from an offshore race to Cabo San Lucas, has been focused on one-design fleet racing the past year, and admitted, “In the practice yesterday, I definitely realized I’ve got to get my brain back into the match racing, and into making the quick decisions.”

“But match racing is where I started all of my sailing, so I’m excited to be back.”

Nesbitt shook off his “slow start,” adding, “It was unfortunate. Both incidents were definitely my fault. We were just a little over-eager and hope to do better tomorrow.” He finished the day on a high note, beating Pearson Potts, USA, in the final race of the day.

But it was Price who came out guns blazing. Primed from a win in last weekend’s LBYC Butler Cup – held in the same Catalina 37 keelboats as Ficker Cup – he fearlessly whipped his vessel, and his competitors. His father David ‘Pricey’ Price watched from the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, chuckling. “You’ve just got to laugh,” the 23-year-old’s father conceded; mindful of the damage deposit.

“For now, the Ficker Cup is where our focus is,” said Harry Price, “but our main goal is to qualify for Congressional Cup, which is the big one.” The top two finishers in the Ficker Cup receive an invitation to the April 3 to 7 Congressional Cup, a Grade 1 Match Race regatta known as the Gateway to the America’s Cup.

Despite being the number three-ranked match race skipper in the world, Price acknowledged he’s been “struggling” in the Congressional Cup. “I’ve had a couple of average results the past two years. We’re hoping to get into it and do well this year.”

While all have their eyes on one of two final berths in the Congressional Cup, the field is equally driven for victory in the Ficker Cup: a prestigious title in its own right. The Ficker Cup was founded by LBYC in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, the legendary yachtsman who helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup and won the Congressional Cup in 1974.

Racing continues Saturday and Sunday March 30 and 31at the Congressional Cup stadium, a designated race course adjacent the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Spectators are invited to watch the action, for free, beginning at 11:30AM daily.

Conditions Saturday are predicted to be light; Sunday promises to be hot, hot, hot as the weather and action heat up, in the final struggle for Ficker Cup.

Follow Ficker Cup online at www.lbyc.org and on Facebook @CongressionalCup
Follow Congressional Cup at www.thecongressionalcup.com and on Facebook @CongressionalCup, where all races will be live-streamed April 5 through 7.

Coverage will include skipper interviews, results and daily highlights, press conferences and special events. For broadcast schedules and more information visit www.thecongressionalcup.com.

RESULTS AFTER DAY 1

Cover Photo Credit: Bronny Daniels/Joysailing

Long Beach Yacht ClubEstablished 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 55th year, is the preeminent match racing regatta in the United States and considered the Gateway to the America’s Cup. In December 2018, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron accepted Long Beach Yacht Club’s challenge for the 36th America’s Cup, to be sailed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021, where the Club will be represented by Stars + Stripes Team USA. 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. 

2019 Butler Cup

LONG BEACH, Calif. 24 MARCH 2019 — Australian Harry Price, the 23-year-old No. 3 Ranked Match Racer won the Butler Cup, a two-day Grade 4 Match Racing Event in which so many highly-experienced sailors and rated match racers participated, competitors were wondering if they were really competing in a Grade 1 event.

Representing Down Under Racing of Australia, Price, a Ficker and Congressional Cup veteran, whose participation made it an international event, sailed with a six-man crew, one whom just arrived from Australia yesterday. He went into Sunday’s races with seven points, and a single loss.

At the top of the day, Price said the goal was not only to win but to put what they learned yesterday into practice. Similar conditions would provide a good platform to build upon and score more wins, he said. Otherwise, the No. 3 ranked World Series sailor said he and the team were looking to experience new racing challenges and hopefully enjoy a nice, fun day on the water.

Mission Accomplished.

“It was a really fun day, nice weather and good competitions, Price said. “We implemented and worked on processes, successfully checked some boxes and are looking to do the same next weekend.”

Price and crew, that included Patrick Voss, Taylor Balough, George Anyou, Connor Mashlan, and Niall Morrow finished with a record of 12-2.

Jeffrey Petersen, of Balboa Yacht Club, and junior at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, took a penalty at the start of the match against Price, resulting in his first loss of the day. A negative point for damage in the Price start scuffle and two subsequent losses landed the teenager in a tie for third, then lost the tie-breaker leaving yesterday’s leader in fourth place.

“We’re disappointed, but we sailed well; in very close-call races, perhaps leaving a little on the water,” Petersen said. “But I learned so much and am thankful to have had this fantastic opportunity and that my crew is keen to race with me.”

And what a team! Petersen has been friends with tactician Will Boulden, the No. 8th ranked World Series skipper since meeting years ago at a Governor’s Cup event. Boulden, who has won four Grade-2 events, has already secured a place in LBYC’s Congressional Cup that runs April 3 through 7. Petersen crewmembers Justin Wong and Josh Wijohn will crew for Boulden in that event.

LBYC’s Dave Hood had a comeback day logging six straight wins which landed his DH3 Team in second place. Hood’s crew list, that reads like a who’s who of sailing, included three former Congressional Cup skippers; Keith Swinton of Australia, LBYC’s Scotty Dickson, and Joachim Aschenbrenner of Denmark.

The LBYC Staff Commodore said, “It was great racing today, and we got better all day; better in communication and better in terms of execution.” He offered his congratulations to the all of the competitors and hoped to see more people on the pier for Ficker Cup next week along with veteran Congressional Cup crew, Ben Wheatley, Erick Berzins, Ted Hackney, and Steve Natvig.

Chris Poole, sailing for Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club of Oyster Bay, New York moved up a rung into third place.

Poole put together his team during his flight here earlier in the week. His Ficker Cup crew arrives later this week. “Long Beach Yacht Club always delivers Champaign conditions, said the 30-year-old Ficker Cup veteran who was pleased that his pick-up crew did so well.

Hood and Chris Nesbitt will also race next weekend in Ficker Cup. The top two skippers from that event will qualify to compete in this year’s Congressional Cup.

Thanks to this diverse field, race officials are petitioning match racing authorities to upgrade the event from a Grade 4 to a Grade 3 level in consideration of the high degree of competition, and those who traveled significant distances. The upgrade will increase points each skipper earns toward their international rankings.

“It was an honor and a pleasure to chair this prestigious event that drew some of the best racers from around the world, said Lisa Meier, Butler Cup Chairman. “The LBYC volunteers, from the race committee to the umpires and all the organizers, are second to none,” she said. With two more weeks of fabulous racing, she hoped that sailing enthusiasts will come out to the Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier and join us for more exceptional racing.

The Butler Cup and the trophy are tributes to Catalina Yachts founder Frank Butler who designed, built and donated the 11 Catalina 37s for the Long Beach Sailing Foundation for the purpose of developing outstanding match racing in Southern California.

The event is now a sanctioned World Sailing Match Race and helps grow the sport, welcoming young talent like Petersen and Wood, while enabling emerging new skippers to win points and move on to higher grade regattas, like the 2020 California Dreamin’ Series, to which Price now ironically has an invitation to, the Ficker Cup and the prestigious Congressional Cup.

RESULTS

WATCH TOP-NOTCH RACE ACTION FREE AT LONG BEACH CONGRESSIONAL CUP APRIL 3–7!

LONG BEACH, CALIF. 17 MARCH 2019 — Imagine 50 yard line seats at the Superbowl. Floor seats at an NBA Championship, or behind the dugout at the World Series!

Find that hard to envision? What about front-row seats at one of the world’s top yacht racing events: the Congressional Cup!

The Congressional Cup is one of the leading match racing events in the sport, bringing top talent from around the globe to contend in thrilling one-on-one bouts on the water. This prestigious Grade One Match Racing regatta, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club since 1965, returns to Long Beach April 3 to 7, 2019. Top-ranked skippers and their teams vie in double round robins aboard one-design Catalina 37s; squaring off against each rival twice, with the lucky frontrunners advancing into semi-finals and finals.

This exciting competition takes place directly off the Long Beach Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can enjoy the action and commentary FREE OF CHARGE from 11:30AM to 5PM daily, April 3 to 7.

Compelling and insightful play-by-play will be announced by none other than pro TV personality Tucker Thompson, official Host of the 35th America’s Cup. Thompson, a former champion sailor and TV host and producer, will be joined by special guests to emcee five days of Congressional Cup action, live from the heart of the race.

The event is pure excitement, as competitors race so close to the pier, spectators can practically reach out and touch the sails. Commentators explain the ins and outs of match racing, each skipper’s maneuvers, and umpires’ calls. There will also be music and entertainment, refreshments, bleachers, and an enthusiastic crowd of fellow boaters who convene from far and wide to enjoy the spectacle.

Enjoy this FREE premier racing experience at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, 15 39th Place in Long Beach, CA, where fans will find convenient parking and full facilities.

Can’t make it to the waterfront? Friday April 5 through Sunday April 7, Long Beach Yacht Club will offer live-streaming coverage and features to viewers around the globe on Facebook and the event website: www.thecongressionalcup.com. Nightly press conferences – relevant to the day’s racing, and always entertaining – will also be live-streamed, starting Wednesday April 3, at approximately 5:30pm.h

Who will win the prestigious Congressional Cup trophy and Crimson Blazer — an honor bestowed on sailing greats such as Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner and defending champion Taylor Canfield? Follow on Facebook @CongressionalCup or visit www.thecongressionalcup.com.

Ian Williams (GBR) Taylor Canfield (USA)
Maxime Mesnil (FRA) Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL)
Will Boulden (AUS) Scotty Dickson (USA)

LBYC FICKER CUP SET TO START: GATEWAY TO GREATNESS

LONG BEACH, CALIF. 17 MARCH 2019 – If the Congressional Cup is the gateway to the America’s Cup, the Ficker Cup is the gateway to the Congressional Cup.

This Grade 2 Match Racing competition, organized annually by Long Beach Yacht Club since 1980, is both a qualifier to the prestigious Congressional Cup regatta, as well as a world-class sailing event in its own right.

The 2019 Ficker Cup will take place March 29 to 31 in the Congressional Cup stadium, a designated race course adjacent the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, beginning at 11:30AM daily. Eight top-notch skippers from around the globe, each with a complement of five crew, have been invited to compete in the event, which consists of round robin racing followed by semi-finals, petit finals and finals.

At the end of three days, the winner will be awarded the Ficker Cup trophy: so named to honor Bill Ficker, a legendary yachtsman who helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup and won the Congressional Cup in 1974.

In addition, first and second place finishers are invited to compete in the esteemed Congressional Cup regatta, April 3 to 7, 2019.

A win in the Ficker Cup is auspicious. Last year’s Ficker Cup champion, Dean Barker, came within striking distance of capturing the Congressional Cup; finishing second in a thrilling final series of that event. Twice, Ficker Cup victors have gone on to win the Congressional Cup the same year: Terry Hutchinson and Simone Ferrarese.

Vying for the title are some of the world’s leading skippers, including several in the top 20 World Sailing Match Race rankings. Harry Price (AUS) #3, Chris Poole (USA) #15, Pearson Potts (USA) #16, Chris Nesbitt (USA) #38 , Joachim Aschenbrener (DEN) #41, and Dave Hood (USA) #59 return to Long Beach Yacht Club, while Charles Lalumiere (USA) #150, and Tom Spithill (AUS) #372 make their Ficker Cup debut.

On its heels: the 55th Congressional Cup, one of the leading match race events in the sport of sailing!

Enthusiasts are invited to enjoy the action, free-of-charge from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, at 15 39th Place, in Long Beach, Calif.

Or, follow Ficker Cup online at www.lbyc.org and on Facebook @CongressionalCup.

Follow Congressional Cup at www.thecongressionalcup.com and on Facebook @CongressionalCup, where all races will be live-streamed April 5 through 7. Coverage will include skipper interviews, results and daily highlights, press conferences and special events. For broadcast schedules and more information visit www.thecongressionalcup.com.

FICKER CUP SKIPPERS
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) Chris Poole (USA)
David Hood (USA) Pearson Potts, Jr. (USA)
Charles Lalumiere (USA) Harrison Price (NZL)
Chris Nesbitt (USA) Tom Spithill (USA)

CONGRESSIONAL CUP SKIPPERS
Ian Williams (GBR) Taylor Canfield (USA)
Maxime Mesnil (FRA) Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE) Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL)
Will Boulden (AUS) Scotty Dickson (USA)

2019 Bacardi Cup Results

Miami, FL / March 3 – 9, 2019

SoCal sailors Eric Doyle and Payson Infelise (SDYC) win the Star Class in a fleet of 64.

Bruce Ayres and Team Monsoon (Mike Buckley, George Pete, Jeff Reynolds and Chelsea Simms) from Newport Beach (NHYC) takes third in the Melges 24 Class.

COMPLETE RESULTS

Eric and Payson

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON COUGARS CAPTURE 2019 PORT OF LOS ANGELES HARBOR CUP AT LOS ANGELES YACHT CLUB

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – 10 March 2019 – The College of Charleston Cougars have triumphed at the 2019 Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup regatta, impressively pulling off podium finishes in nine of ten races over the three-day event. California State University Maritime Academy placed second; Ireland’s Cork Institute of Technology finished strong, with a notable third-place.

CREDIT: BRONNY DANIELS/JOYSAILING

The Harbor Cup is an intercollegiate invitational regatta founded in 2008 to support and encourage young men and women to enjoy the benefits of competitive sailing. Hosted by Cal Maritime, the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Yacht Club, it provides teams from across the nation and overseas a unique opportunity to participate in one-design big boat offshore competition.

Today’s conditions proved an anticlimactic end to a thrilling event. Rocketing breeze had threatened Friday’s races. Given the limited sail inventory of the one-design Catalina 37s, races cannot be started at 20 knots or more, and are abandoned at 25. But PRO Tom Trujillo shifted the course to the alternate racing area inside the breakwater, where wind speeds teased the limits but sea state was tolerable. Sailors endured three races, with plenty of broaches and death rolls.

Saturday’s conditions were nearly as brisk, with a Force 4 westerly breeze fighting an opposing current, creating sloppy seas.

Conversely, light air at this morning’s appointed start time prompted an hour and a half postponement.

The clock was ticking for competitors still scrapping for second and third places. Cal Maritime’s DSQ in Race Five yesterday had dropped them to 28 points – putting Cork Institute of Technology, at 31, in striking distance. With SUNY Maritime College, US Naval Academy and University of California Santa Barbara just a few points astern, and two races scheduled for today, the leaderboard was in limbo.

Clawing their way up the scoreboard, College of Charleston had been nearly untouchable going into the final day of racing, with a 12-point lead over second place Cal Maritime. But a tactical error in Race Eight landed the Cougars an eighth place finish; which had the Keelhaulers – who finished second in that match – nipping at their heels, just six points astern.

“We’ve been practicing all season specifically to win this regatta,” skipper Will Hundahl pointed out. Fueled by that strength and confidence, and some solid teamwork, they shook it off and recovered, to get the bullet in the final race of the weekend and seal the deal. It’s the second Harbor Cup victory for the Cougars’ Offshore Sailing Team in the 12-year history of the event; their prior win was in 2016.

The Keelhaulers had had their own upset Saturday; but rebounded strong with top tier finishes in the final phase of the regatta. “We’re a close team; we’ve been sailing together for a while, and have great boat handling,” said skipper Johannes McElvain. Brushing yesterday’s issues aside, “the team was ready to go today,” – and proved it, finishing second.

2018 runner-up UCSB won Race Nine, but their rally was too late. They tied for fourth, with 2018 champions US Navy.

The US Coast Guard Bears never quite steadied their footing; despite that, the team enjoyed the regatta. “We’re glad to be here in California, sailing at the Harbor Cup again,” said skipper Eric Gimpel. “It’s a pretty inexperienced team we’ve got on board this season,” he admitted, adding early conditions were “a little bit heavier than we’ve been used to. And we just haven’t had that much time in the boats (Catalina 37) yet.”

Still, he was full of praise for the Harbor Cup regatta, echoing the rest of the participants. “It’s great to be able to come to a really impressive venue like Los Angeles Yacht Club, and race in such a competitive fleet. And everyone out here is so nice to us.” The Connecticut-based team was, “glad to be able to get out sailing whenever we can,” he added. “The weather is very nice, coming from 17 degrees!”

“It’s pretty cool when everyone likes your event, and has good things to say about it,” added Cal Maritime’s McElvain. “It also brings the pressure,” he laughed, “which makes it much more fun. We love it and are glad everyone else is excited about it.”

The Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup 
The Harbor Cup was founded in 2008, “to support and encourage young men and women to enjoy the benefits of competitive sailing,” according to the Deed of Gift. Hosted by Cal Maritime, the Port of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Yacht Club, it is unique in providing an opportunity to participate in one-design big boat offshore competition. Typically, college level sailing is held in small one- or two-person dinghies in protected waters; making the Harbor Cup a particularly coveted and distinguished event. Other aspects of the event focus on environmental awareness, stewardship, and developing a love of the ocean.

Teams of eight sailors, including at least two female crew, travel from across the nation and oceans to LAYC, where they receive a warm welcome, meals, accommodations and activities: including Saturday’s presentation by rock star navigator John Jourdane, who entertained the co-eds with footage and tales of some of his 350,000 miles at sea. Competitors also enjoy a spectacular racing venue off LA’s Point Fermin, and an illustrious racing platform: competing aboard the Long Beach Sailing Foundation fleet of Catalina 37s.

Los Angeles Yacht Club is located at 285 Whalers Walk in San Pedro, Calif. For further information visit www.layc.org  Follow the Port of LA Harbor Cup on Facebook @LAYCHarborCup and @layc1901 on twitter.

For complete scores go to:
https://scores.collegesailing.org/s19/port-los-angeles-harbor-cup/full-scores/

COVER PHOTO CREDIT: BRONNY DANIELS/JOYSAILING