|Great Britain’s six-time match racing world champion Ian Williams (Team Gladstones Long Beach) and USA’s Taylor Canfield (Stars+Stripes Team USA) have advanced to the final of the 57th Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA after defeating their respective opponents Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and Chris Poole (USA).
An unseasonal fresh breeze over 20knots greeted the final four skippers of the 57th Congressional Cup today off the end of the Belmont Pier as they battled for a spot in the regatta final.
Past Congressional Cup champion Johnie Berntsson (SWE) was paired with four-time event champion Ian Williams (GBR), while Canfield selected Poole as his opponent in the first-to-three points semi final series.
As the teams changed down the genoas to smaller jibs on the boats, Berntsson was first on the score board winning his match over Williams, while Canfield took first blood over Poole. The scores reversed in the second flight putting both matches at 1-1.
In flight 3, Ian Williams took the lead over Berntsson as the umpires black flagged the Swedish skipper putting them out of the race. In the other match, Canfield defeated Poole to go 2-1.
Berntsson fought back in flight 4 to even his scoreline to 2-2 against Williams and taking the match to a deciding final race.
With a penalty against him, Poole found himself with a convincing lead in the final leg of his race against Canfield and planned to offset his penalty at the finish line. Dropping his spinnaker just before the finish line, Poole turned the wheel to complete his penalty turn but the spinnaker fell in the water causing the boat to slow in the turn. Canfield and crew saw the opportunity and crossed the finish line as Poole’s crew struggled to regain control of the spinnaker.