|Four-time Congressional Cup winner Taylor Canfield (USA) and his Stars+Stripes team ended the opening day of the 56th Congressional Cup undefeated with seven straight wins in the qualifying round robin. Swede Johnie Berntsson, also a former winner of the event, posted an impressive 5-2 performance to place second in the round robin.
Day 1 of the event started in ideal 10-13 knot conditions with ten of the world’s top match racing teams competing off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. This world-class event, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, and an official event of the World Match Racing Tour, runs through Sunday Sept. 19.
Canfield is the reigning Match Racing World Champion and a four-time Congressional Cup winner. His victories in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018 put him in an auspicious position: tied for the most Congressional Cup wins with four other skippers: Ian Williams (2011, 2012, 2017 and 2019); Gavin Brady (1996, 1997, 2006, 2008); Peter Holmberg (1998, 1999, 2001, 2002); and Rod Davis (1981, 1985, 1989, 1993). The USVI native has his eye on a fifth victory – which would make him the winningest skipper in more than a half-century of Congressional Cup racing.
But a lot can happen over the next four days of racing, with the world’s number-one ranked match racing skipper Eric Monnin (SUI) and Maxime Mesnil (FRA), #4, in the mix; plus Chris Poole (USA) – right off a win in the Oakcliff International Regatta; Sam Gilmour (AUS); Dustin Durant (USA); and Ficker Cup’s tuned-up trio of qualifiers Emil Kjaer (DEN), Jeffrey Petersen (USA) and David Wood (USA).