In three days of racing in variable conditions – which ranged from blustery winds in the high teens, to this morning’s light breeze – eight teams from across the US, New Zealand and Ireland battled for Ficker Cup honors. Petersen had dominated the double round robin series, while Weis and Breault each finished 9-5. Thomson slipped in on a tiebreaker over Peter Holz (USA) and Pearson Potts (USA).
Progressing to the semi-finals Petersen elected to pair up against Weis and won the first match, while Thomson beat Breault.
But Weis turned the tables on Petersen and captured the next three wins to move into the finals. Meanwhile, Thomson and Breault traded points, but Thomson returned with a victory in match four to eliminate Breault.
Earlier Principal Race Officer Wendy Corzine had called for a brief postponement until the prevailing wind filled, and by the final and petit final stages, the breeze had increased to an idyllic 8 to 10 knots.
Each duo – Weis vs. Thomson and Petersen vs. Breault – went one and one, leaving the decision to the last match of the day in this best-of-three series. Weis triumphed over Thomson, and Petersen over Breault.
Weis, who had earned his way into the Ficker Cup through the California Dreamin’ Series, said, “I’ve dreamed of going to the Congressional Cup for a while: to be honest I don’t think we expected to be here, but it’s all thanks to the guys,” acknowledging his team.
“It’s pretty cool to be able to sail your way into it and I thank Long Beach Yacht Club and everyone who enabled the pipeline to get us here,” Weis continued. “We had great competition out there, some really hard-fought matches, but we really enjoyed it and I’m really happy.”
Weis and Thomson will round out the 10-team roster for Congressional Cup. Thomson, a 25-year-old Kiwi skipper, admitted she had a boost from her crew: Congressional Cup competitor Nick Egnot-Johnson and his WMRT Championship team. In an ironic twist, Thomson will go on to compete against Egnot-Johnson and his crew in the Congressional Cup this week: with a pick-up crew.