|Third place Egnot-Johnson declared, “What an amazing feeling it is to make it on the podium! This has been a most amazing week for us; we are so stoked to be here.”
As a traditional consolation event for the six teams who didn’t make the semifinals LBYC holds a fleet race: a scenic sail around Long Beach harbor, with prize money at the end. In light zephyrs and bright sunshine, with Lionel Ritchie warbling from speaker on the pier, Eric Monnin (SUI) graced across the finish line of that race with a handsome lead. Megan Thomson (NZL) and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) followed second and third.
As much as the world-class competition and dedication to race management is the hallmark of Congressional Cup, the event is not just about the on-the-water matches. It’s the venue. It’s the yacht club. It’s the people.
An army of over 300 volunteers pitch in to make the Congressional Cup a success each year. “My job is easy because of all the volunteers who so generously donate their time, year after year, to make this one of the most sought-after events on the circuit,” said Piercy.
Congressional Cup is like an all-inclusive vacation (with the addition of competition) for sailors. LBYC club members accommodate racers and officials in their homes. Meals, transport and encouragement are provided, friendships form. It’s a holistic approach to the sport, from post-race massages to family-style dinners to the Junior Congressional Cup: which pairs up LBYC Junior sailors with Congressional Cup skippers for fun but serious CFJ racing on the bay. The warmth and welcome are legendary.
“I’ve felt spoiled, honestly spoiled, during my time at LBYC,” said Megan Thomson (NZL) whose second place finish in Ficker Cup qualified her for Congressional Cup. “Seriously I’ve had a blast!”
“LBYC has been fantastic as usual,” added Poole. “Everyone loves to race here: the conditions are phenomenal and the hospitality, parties, are second to none. We have never come here and not had a great time.”
Harry Price (AUS) even gave a shout-out to ‘Larry the Bagel guy’ – one of the servers at the lavish breakfast buffet offered each morning. It is a home-away-from-home for the participants who come each year, making it the most coveted regatta in the world.
Complete results and highlights of the 2023 Long Beach Congressional Cup regatta can be found at www.thecongressionalcup.com For more information on the World Match Racing Tour go to www.wmrt.com