The intensity of the 59th Congressional Cup, the opening event for the 2024 World Match Racing Tour, reached its peak today as USA’s Chris Poole and his Riptide Racing team won his second consecutive Congressional Cup and Crimson Blazer. Poole and his Riptide Racing team of Joachim Aschenbrenner, Bernardo Freitas, Mal Parker, Luke Payne, and Harry West defeated five-time Congressional Cup winner Ian Williams 3-1 in a tense final.

Showing dominance early, Poole claimed the first point of the event. With so much talent and experience in these boats, Williams and Poole pushed the match racing rules and boats to their maximum.

Reflecting on the victory, Chris Poole said “It’s an incredible feeling. It would be impossible without my team. We didn’t start the week the way we wanted to, but once we started sailing like we did last year, we were pretty confident it was going to be ours to win.”

Fighting five-time Congressional Cup champion Ian Williams, Poole added, “It was a really close battle. Ian is a phenomenal competitor, so we knew it was going to be a big fight. We were up to the challenge and my guys were ready to go.”

After Williams won the second match against Poole to tie the score, Poole’s team rallied to come back strong with two wins and a final score of 3-1 to be able to wear his second Crimson Blazer.

Riptide Racing’s tactician Joachim Aschenbrenner talked about the final matches. “We managed to get out even on every start and that’s what we like. We prefer to decide it on the race course, and we were able to do that in most races. It was a tricky course today. We saw the left working and the right working at times. It was challenging to pick the right side. Luckily, we got it right a couple of times.”

Switzerland’s Eric Monnin / Capvis Swiss Match Racing team started their day in the Quarter-finals against Chris Poole before moving into the Petit-finals against New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson/ KNOTS Racing. Monnin proved his team deserved the spot on the podium by convincingly winning 2-0 against the Kiwi team and securing third place.

“We started with a close match against Poole,” commented Monnin. We thought we could get that race, but in the end he was just better than us, we were a bit disappointed. But, in the petit final we really stepped up and had two good races with Nick Egnot-Johnson. We played our boat-speed and crew work.”

Monnin finished third at the Congressional Cup in 2021, still their best result yet. Looking forward, they’re not done fighting for the win. Monnin comments, “We have to come back here and go into the finals and hopefully win the Crimson Blazer.”

The Congressional Cup once again proved to be a highlight of the international sailing calendar, attracting top talents from around the globe and delivering thrilling competition from start to finish. As the day concluded, it not only crowned a champion, but showcased a spirit of camaraderie and sportsmanship that defines this prestigious event.  

Long Beach Yacht Club is already planning for next year’s 60th anniversary Congressional Cup, which will be held as part of the 2025 World Match Racing Tour. Rewatch the live streamed action on The Congressional Cup and World Match Racing Tour’s YouTube channels.

2024 Congressional Teams:

  1. Chris Poole (35, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA) / Riptide RacingWorld No. 1 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Joachim Aschenbrenner, Bernardo Freitas, Mal Parker, Luke Payne, Harry West
  2. Ian Williams (46, Lymington, England)/ Gladstone’s Long BeachWorld No. 11 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Richard Sydenham, Gerry Mitchell, Ricky McGarvie, Ted Hackney, Oisin Mcclelland
  3. Eric Monnin (48, Immensee, Switzerland)/ Capvis Swiss Match RacingWorld No. 2 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Simon BrĂĽgger, Maxime Mesnil, Julien Falxa, Ute Monnin-Wagner, MathieĂĽ Renault, Jean-Claude Monnin
  4. Jeppe Borch (26, Copenhagen, Denmark)/ Borch RacingWorld No. 4 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Thor Malthe Andersen, Mathias Rossing, Gustav Wantzin, August de la Cour, Sebastien Pieters
  5. Nick Egnot-Johnson (25, Auckland, New Zealand)/ KNOTS RacingWorld No. 8 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Sam Barnett, Zak Merton, Alastair Gifford, Taylor Balogh, Jorden Van Rooijen
  6. Dave Hood (66, Long Beach, USA)/ DH3 Racing
    World No. 37 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Nick Blackman, Chris Main, Chris Steele, Steve Natvig, Will Tiller
  7. Gavin Brady (50, USA)/ True Blue Racing USAWorld No. 13 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Chris Cowan, Harry Hall, Ryan Houston, Chris Larson, Joshua Wijohn
  8. Cole Tapper (21, AUS)/ CYCA Youth Sailing Academy Crew: Jordan Reece, George Richardson, Hamish Vass, Charlotte Carmichael, Max Brennan, Nathan Gulliksen
  9. Johnie Berntsson (51, Stenungsund, Sweden)/ Berntsson Sailing TeamWorld No. 3 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Filip Karlsson, Herman Andersson, Fredrik Laangström, Erik Malmberg, Jespre Stålheim
  10. Rocco Attili (27, Rome, Italy)/ RBYSWorld No. 7 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Alberto Corneli, Andres Guerra, Edoardo Mancinelli Scotti, Luca Camilli, Gianluca Perasole, Ludovico Mori
  11. Scotty Dickson (53, Long Beach, USA) Dickson Racing TeamCrew: Erik Berzins, Garrett Brown, Steve Flam, Zack Hanna, Greg Dair
  12. Megan Thomson (25, NZL)/ 2.0 RacingCrew: Charlotte Porter, Josi Andres, Bastian Sorensen, Sebastian Olsen, Cormac Murphy
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