Press Release March 2, 2016

MARCH 2, 2016 LONG BEACH, CALIF - - World-class match racing comes to Southern Caliornia in April 6 to 10, with the 52nd Congressional Cup regatta, founded and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC).

This rare opportunity to view the world’s top ranked skippers, in heated competition, is entirely free to the public. “Whether you’re a racer looking to improve your game, or an armchair sailor just out for an afternoon of entertainment – the Congressional Cup is for you,” says Chairman Camille Daniels.

“Our live commentators explain the ins and outs of match racing and tactics,” continues Daniels; while spectators also enjoy music and entertainment, refreshments, shaded bleachers, and an enthusiastic crowd of fellow boaters from far and wide. Races are held directly off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, and begin at roughly 11:30AM April 6 to 10.

“Junior Sailors, in particular, will be inspired about sailing, and match racing – the wave of the future in pro yacht racing – and have the chance to meet some of the men and women at the top of the sport: exemplary role models for young and old alike,” Daniels adds.

In match racing, competing teams race two at a time in identical boats, making each match a test of pure strategy and skill. Skippers try ‘any trick in the book’ to outwit their opponents on the water, while on-the-water umpires hover nearby, to ensure fair play. And the event is pure excitement, as contenders race so close to the pier, viewers can practically reach out and touch the sails!

This year’s Congressional Cup line-up includes defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) battling challengers Sam Gilmour (AUS), Björn Hansen (SWE), Eric Monnin (SUI), Phil Robertson (NZL), Nicolai Sehested (DEN), Chris Steele (NZL), Keith Swinton (AUS), and reigning World Match Racing Tour Champion Ian Williams (GBR); plus the WMRT’s first female card holder, Sally Barkow (USA). Two final entrants will be determined April 1 to 3 in the Ficker Cup regatta.

The Congressional Cup features five days of yacht racing at its finest, with the world’s top WORLD SAILING-ranked skippers vying for the esteemed Crimson Blazer – an honor bestowed to sailing icons like Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner, Taylor Canfield and more. Founded in 1965 and pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring, The Congressional Cup is regarded as the ‘granddaddy of match racing’ and is presently part of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). This intense round-the-world circuit kicked off this week in Fremantle, Australia, and concludes in July in Marstrand, Sweden; where one lucky sailor will earn a sizeable purse and bragging rights – as the number one skipper at the pinnacle of the sailing game.


Meanwhile, the final line-up for the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche is one step closer, with the addition of Scott Dickson, who was victorious in the LBYC Club Sail-off. In the ongoing California Dreamin’ Series, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club’s Steve Natvig and crew have won two of those three events: the final and determining contest will take place March 12 to 13 at St Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. The Club Sail-off and California Dreamin’ champions will join the roster of Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Peter Holz (USA), Matthew Jerwood (AUS), Chris Poole (USA), David Storrs (USA) and Evan Walker (AUS), at the Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche, April 1 to 3. The top two contestants will advance to the Congressional Cup arena.
The Ficker Cup is a highly regarded WORLD SAILING Grade Two and WMRT event, established by LBYC in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, winning skipper of the 1970 America’s Cup and Star boat champion. Etched on the trophy are the names of sailing greats like John Kostecki, Scott Dickson and Sally Barkow; plus Terry Hutchinson and Simone Ferrarese – both of whom went on to win the Congressional Cup in subsequent years.

View Congressional Cup racing at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, located at 15 39th Place in Long Beach, CA. Parking and facilitates are available. Follow the action online at; via Twitter @LBYCConCup;; and Instagram #concup.

For more information on WMRT please visit
Gold Level Sponsor
Porsche Cars North America

Spinnaker Sponsors
Farmers & Merchants Bank, Union Bank, Stella Artois Beer, Friedmans Appliance Kitchen Bath & Beds, Port of Long Beach, Newmeyer and Dillion Attorneys at Law, Team Campbell Logistics, LBYC Jr Sailing Program, Time Warner Cable, Gladstones Restaurant

General Sponsors
Gaylord Sportswear, PCS Group, Primary Color, Seven Angels Winery, Gelson's Markets, Mt Gay Rum, Café La Strada, Citywide Escrow, Club 100, World's Finest Chocolate, Catalina Yachts, OluKai Footwear, Travel host Magazine, Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sea Bags
Betsy Crowfoot
Camille Daniels
Christine Delabre