Day 4 of the 59th Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA concluded the quarter-final stage of the event, advancing the top four teams to the semi-finals led by defending Congressional Cup champion USA’s Chris Poole. Joining Poole in the semi-finals were five-time Congressional Cup champion Great Britain’s Ian Williams, Switzerland’s Eric Monnin and New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson. At the end of play, Poole and Williams lead their semi-finals matches 2-0 against their respective opponents Monnin and Egnot-Johnson.

The day kicked off with the concluding races of the quarter-finals in clear skies and a steady 8-10 knot south-westerly breeze. Williams /Gladstone’s Long Beach and Monnin /Capvis Swiss Match Racing Team asserted their dominance, each clinching three straight victories over their opponents, Australia’s Cole Tapper and Denmark’s Jeppe Borch.

Monnin commented on the quarter-final racing, “The goal for this season was to do better in the quarter-finals, which we just squeezed into in this regatta. We were able to improve our game and now we have to focus on the semi-finals. Now, we just have to win three races in a row tomorrow.”

In the remaining quarter-final pairings, Chris Poole /Riptide Racing won the first race and only dropped one race to opponent Gavin Brady /True Blue Racing USA before rebounding and winning the next two races, securing his spot in the semi-finals.

A tense battle unfolded in the last quarter-final pairing between Dave Hood /DH3 Racing and Nick Egnot-Johnson /KNOTS Racing. The racing stretched to the full five races in the first-to-three point match. Leveled at 2-2 with a deciding race to determine which team would advance to the semi-finals, it came down to the bottom gate in the last race. With Hood leading Egnot-Johnson, both teams split at the bottom gate, Egnot-Johnson choosing the favored left hand side and overtaking Hood to the finish.

“We have had an amazing week of sailing,” commented Hood. “It was a tough day today, we really had Nick [Egnot-Johnson] on that last race, and it came down to that last left turn, when we went out for a right shift we thought was there, but wasn’t.”

The Junior Congressional Cup was held in front of the Long Beach Yacht Club to finish the day, with junior LBYC sailors paired with Congressional Cup skippers and fleet race Flying Juniors, always a highlight of the Congressional Cup week. This year’s winners are Olivia Corzine and Chris Steele / DH3 Racing.

Tomorrow’s racing will begin with what is left of the semi-finals before the finals match where the two top teams will battle it out for the coveted Crimson Blazer.

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