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HomeEventsRegattaLong Beach Yacht Club announces lineup for 2023 Congressional Cup

Long Beach Yacht Club announces lineup for 2023 Congressional Cup

The world’s top match racing skippers will return to Long Beach, Calif. April 18 to 22, 2023 for the 58th Congressional Cup regatta – presented by Long Beach Yacht Club, and 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. But it won’t be without challenge! On the roster are 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) aims to continue his dogged climb up the Congressional Cup ladder. He finished third in the Spring 2022 running – edging out past-champion (2009) Johnie Berntsson (SWE), who also returns eager to add another Crimson Blazer to his wardrobe. There’s Jeppe Borch (DEN) who ranks number three; plus 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.

The list goes on! 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 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. The 2023 field is fiery, and competition promises to be thrilling when racing begins April 18!

57th Congressional Cup, Semi Finals, Day Four. Belmont Pier, Long Beach, CA – photo © Ian Roman

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 April 17, 2023, racing will commence 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 twice the chance to familiarize 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 round the course: a delight to racers and spectators alike.

Congressional Cup – photo © Ian Roman

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.

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