Long Beach turned it on for the opening day of the 59th Congressional Cup hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. Denmark’s Jeppe Borch leads the 12-team international line-up after Day One with an impressive six wins and one loss, signalling a promising start in his pursuit of the coveted Crimson Blazer.

Reflecting on the day, Borch commented, “It’s hard to complain when you’re leading the pack on the first day. Most of the races were pretty close, and they really could have gone either way. My crew are doing a great job keeping us out of trouble.”

Led by Principal Race Officer Wendy Corzine, racing got underway on time in textbook Long Beach conditions with a 12-15 knot southwesterly breeze, gusting to 18, which set the stage for a day of fierce competition. Eight flights were completed, bar one match in flight eight, giving teams a solid platform to set their place amongst the fleet.

Defending Congressional Cup champion Chris Poole (USA) and his Riptide Racing remained undefeated in last year’s regatta and began this year the same. That all changed on Poole’s sixth match against New Zealand’s Egnot-Johnson. With a penalty, Poole carried Egnot-Johnson off the course all the way to the beach before clearing his penalty and gybing for the finish. It was neck and neck until just before the line when Poole received another penalty as Egnot-Johnson crossed the finish line ahead.

“It’s funny when you get that far off the course in a luffing battle to the finish,” says Egnot-Johnson, remembering the battle, “the repair boat and change over boat became the most instrumental point of the race. Maybe a little bit lucky, maybe a little in the right spot at the right time, but it’s good to get a win off Chris here at the Congressional Cup.”

Such intensity characterized the entire day of racing. Competing in the Congressional Cup means no easy races. The impressive lineup has teams fighting for every inch and attempting to perfect their pre-starts and boat handling around the course, as there was no room for error.

Local Long Beach regular Dave Hood and his DH3 Racing had a notable day on the water, holding their ground against the world’s top match racers. Hood took a win off of Ian Williams (GBR), Eric Monnin (SUI), Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL), and Rocco Attili (ITA).

“We had a great day on the water. We’ve been training hard for this, and the boys have been sailing really well. The competition was amazing, we felt like we were in a lot of them. A lot of good racing,” says Hood.

“I think sometimes we all know that boat handling is the foundation, next boat speed, and then tactics. What we don’t realize is the artistry that is invovled in sailing. Trying to kill speed and have speed at the right time….it’s an art,” comments Hood on the racing.

With an incredible showing of match racing skill on the course, it’s safe to say the battle for the Crimson Blazer has officially begun!

After the first round-robin is completed, the four highest-scoring teams will proceed straight to the Quarter-Finals. The remaining eight teams will sail the Repechage and get a second chance to make it to the Quarter-Finals.

Racing runs through Sunday, April 28th. Spectators can enjoy live commentary and race viewing for free off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier – 15 39th Place. The event also will be live streamed starting Friday April 26.

For more information visit thecongressionalcup.com. For news updates from World Match Racing Tour, visit wmrt.com 

WATCH Live coverage of the Congressional Cup from Friday 26th April to Sunday 28th April via thecongressionalcup.com

2024 Congressional Cup Skippers:

  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. 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
  3. Eric Monnin (48, Immensee, Switzerland)/ Capvis Swiss Match RacingWorld No. 2 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Simon Brügger, Maxime Mesnil, Julien Falxa, Ute Monnin-Wagner, Mathieü 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. 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
  7. Gavin Brady (50, Auckland, New Zealand)/ True Blue Racing USAWorld No. 13 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Chris Cowan, Harry Hall, Ryan Houston, Chris Larson, Joshua Wijohn
  8. 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
  9. Dave Hood (Long Beach, USA)/ DH3 RacingWorld No. 37 Open Match Race Rankings
    Crew: Nick Blackman, Chris Main, Chris Steele, Steve Natvig, Will Tiller
  10. Scotty Dickson (53, Long Beach, USA) Dickson Racing TeamCrew: Erik Berzins, Garrett Brown, Steve Flam, Zack Hanna, Greg Dair
  11. Megan Thomson (25, NZL)/ 2.0 RacingCrew: Charlotte Porter, Josi Andres, Bastian Sorensen, Sebastian Olsen, Cormac Murphy
  12. Cole Tapper (21, AUS)/ CYCA Youth Sailing Academy Crew: Jordan Reece, George Richardson, Hamish Vass, Charlotte Carmichael, Max Brennan, Nathan Gulliksen
- Advertisement -