Chris Poole (USA) remained undefeated on Day Two of the 58th Congressional Cup, as the fight for position in the semifinal stage ramps up. Ten of the top-ranked skippers from around the globe are vying for the chance to advance in this prestigious Grade One match racing event, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
Conditions could not be more idyllic for the sailors – nor spectators, volunteers and officials who took in the racing off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, with blue skies, and a cool breeze that built from 6 to 14 knots.
At the top of the leaderboard and undefeated after 12 flights, is Poole.
Chris Poole has been coming to Long Beach to race for a decade: competing first in Ficker Cups 2013, 2015, 2018, 2019; and climbing the rungs to Congressional Cup 2019, 2021 and 2022. Over that time he’s steadily ascended from sixth place to fourth, finally landing on the podium in third place in 2022.
Now, he says, ‘we are here to finish what we started last year’
“We’ve been trying to just constantly improve,” Poole noted.
“After 2019 we realized we needed to take a new approach on how we train and sail, not just this event but all events. Part of that is having the right pieces on the boat – the right people in the right positions. And as much as it is about skill, it’s also about personality,” he continued.
“I’ll turn down a more skilled person if their personality doesn’t fit. We’ve been putting in the time, building off each event and getting better from one to the next. In the last two years I’ve really seen that come to fruition.”
Concurrently, however, is another big change: Poole became a father a couple of years ago. “You learn to be more flexible,” he laughed. “I think I’ve gotten more relaxed because when you have a kid, nothing can really be too planned. That’s helped my sailing: not overthinking things. Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen so just go with it.”