Press Release March 14, 2016

CONGRESSIONAL CUP COUNTDOWN: CAN CANFIELD DEFEND, AFTER WILLIAMS WOWS IN FREMANTLE

MARCH 14, 2016 LONG BEACH, CALIF - - The world’s top-ranked match racing skippers come to Southern California April 5 to 10, in what promises to be a peerless sailing spectacle: the 52nd Congressional Cup regatta, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC).

Reigning World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) Champion Ian Williams (GBR), fresh off a win at the WMRT 2016 season opener in Fremantle, Australia, returns; in an effort to topple two-time defending Congressional Cup champion Taylor Canfield (ISV), and recapture the title he won in 2011 and 2012.

In fact, seven of World Sailing’s top ten ranked skippers will compete, with five more spirited opponents nipping at their heels: including two skippers who will earn their berths in the April 1 to 3 Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche.

The Congressional Cup is the only keelboat event in the five-stop WMRT. Recently, the other venues changed to a one-design, high performance M32 catamaran platform.
But as Harry Houdini said, “An old trick well done is far better than a new trick with no effect.”

Congressional Cup’s custom designed and equally matched fleet of Catalina 37 keelboats have proven superior maneuverability, lending to the cat-and-mouse pre-race excitement that has made match racing one of the most thrilling and spectator-friendly forms of competitive sailing. To aid enjoyment and understanding even more, Congressional Cup races are announced by a team of professional commentators, who describe the wily ways the rivals, racing one-on-one, battle skills and strategy on the water.

The public is invited to watch this spectacle, as teams from eight nations converge and clash in this elite Grade WC Match Race, directly off Long Beach’ Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Racing takes place April 6 to 10 starting at roughly 11:30AM daily.

Skipper Country World Sailing Ranking*
Ian Williams GBR 1
Taylor Canfield ISV 2
Bjorn Hansen SWE 3
Eric Monnin SUI 4
Sam Gilmour AUS 5
Chris Steele NZL 8
Keith Swinton AUS 10
Phil Robertson NZL 12
Nicolai Sehested DEN 36
Sally Barkow USA -
Ficker Cup 1st TBA
Ficker Cup 2nd TBA
*updated rankings to be released Wednesday 16 March 2016

ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP
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 part of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). This intense round-the-world circuit kicked off early March 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.

ABOUT THE FICKER CUP PRESENTED BY PORSCHE
The Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche 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.

EXPERIENCE THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP
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 www.thecongressionalcup.com; via Twitter @LBYCConCup; facebook.com/CongressionalCup; and Instagram #concup. For more information on WMRT please visit www.wmrt.com.

END TEXT

PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST OR CLICK ON THE ‘PRESS/MEDIA’ TAB AT WWW.THECONGRESSIONALCUP.COM

SPONSORS
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
PRESS OFFICER
Betsy Crowfoot
betsycrowfoot@gmail.com
805.729.6850
2016 CHAIRMAN
Camille Daniels
camilledaniels@verizon.net
COMMUNICATIONS CHAIR
Christine Delabre
christinedelabre@me.com