Press Release April 6, 2016

52nd Annual Congressional Cupn hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club

APRIL 6, 2016 LONG BEACH, CALIF - - In an era when much of yacht racing is moving to multihulls, the Congressional Cup regatta has proved that ‘cat’ racing has nothing over the electrifying dogfights of keelboat match racing.

On the opening day of the 52nd Congressional Cup, Stage Two of the World Match Racing Tour, one-dozen of the world’s top ranked skippers scrapped on the waters off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

And nothing was predictable about today. Not the wind direction, nor velocity, nor the outcomes.

Johnie Berntsson, primed after three days of Ficker Cup Presented by Porsche racing, chased Keith Swinton’s tail in a masterful pre-start tacking duel that had spectators on their toes, in awe. Berntsson won that dog-eat-dog match, finishing the day 3-2.

Reining World Champion Ian Williams’ bark was seemingly worse than his bite, as he wrapped up 0-5; while Nicolai Sehested, racing in his first Congressional Cup, was the alpha dog of the day: undefeated at 5-0. Waka Racing’s Phil Robertson was nipping at his ankles, at 4-1, despite ‘shooting the dog’ (drinking a vile alcoholic beverage garnished with a Vienna sausage, at “Dogs” bar in Long Beach). Chris Steele finished 4-1 also.

The day began with 6 to 8 knots from the southwest providing classic Long Beach conditions. Four flights of Qualifying were pulled off smartly, until a sudden wind shift that put racers practically on the beach. After a lengthy postponement the wind shifted right again, and built: to a stunning 20 plus knots that spread white caps across the bay, and threw green water over the bows of the Catalina 37s.

Despite the ‘ruff’ conditions, Sally Barkow and her all-girl crew accomplished their first and only win of the day, against Ian Williams – proving they have no problem playing with the big dogs.

Congressional Cup, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, continues through Sunday April 10. The top four after Qualifying will advance to Quarter Finals, while competitors ranked five to 12 will sail repechage from which the first four will advance. The bottom four will be eliminated.

Racing takes place daily beginning at approximately 1130AM directly off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can watch world class yacht racing for free. Live commentary explains the ins and outs of match racing and tactics, while viewers also enjoy music and entertainment, refreshments, shaded bleachers, and an enthusiastic crowd of fellow boaters.

The Congressional Cup features five days of yacht racing at its finest, with the world’s top ranked skippers vying for the esteemed Crimson Blazer – an honor bestowed to sailing icons like Dennis Conner, Dean Barker, Ken Read, Ted Turner, Taylor Canfield and more. Founded in 1965 and pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring, The Congressional Cup is regarded as the ‘granddaddy of match racing’ and is presently part of the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). This intense round-the-world circuit kicked off last month in Fremantle, Australia, and concludes in July in Marstrand, Sweden; where one lucky sailor will earn a sizeable purse and bragging rights – as the number one skipper at the pinnacle of the sailing game.

The Congressional Cup was initiated by Long Beach Yacht Club, one of the premier boating institutions in the United States, since 1929. Renowned for its world-class hospitality and organization, it utilizes the talents and energy of more than 300 member volunteers to host this world renowned event each year. Racing is held in a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina keelboats, designed and maintained specifically for this event.

View Congressional Cup racing at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, located at 15 39th Place in Long Beach, CA. Parking and facilitates are available.

Follow the action online at; via Twitter @LBYCConCup;; and Instagram #concup. For more information on WMRT please visit
Gold Level Sponsor
Porsche Cars North America

Spinnaker Sponsors
Farmers & Merchants Bank, Union Bank, Stella Artois Beer, Friedmans Appliance Kitchen Bath & Beds, Port of Long Beach, Newmeyer and Dillion Attorneys at Law, Team Campbell Logistics, LBYC Jr Sailing Program, Time Warner Cable, Gladstones Restaurant

General Sponsors
Gaylord Sportswear, PCS Group, Primary Color, Seven Angels Winery, Gelson's Markets, Mt Gay Rum, Café La Strada, Citywide Escrow, Club 100, World's Finest Chocolate, Catalina Yachts, OluKai Footwear, Travel host Magazine, Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sea Bags
1 Nicolai Sehested DEN 5-0
2 Phil Robertson NZL 4-1
3 Chris Steele NZL 4-1
Betsy Crowfoot
Congressional Cup 2016 Press Officer

Long Beach Yacht Club
6201 E. Appian Way
Long Beach, CA 90803 USA
Email: or
Christine Delabre
Congressional Cup Comms Co-Chair
Long Beach Yacht Club
6201 E. Appian Way
Long Beach, CA 90803 USA
mobile 562-754-0999
Email or
Rick Roberts
Waterfront Director

Long Beach Yacht Club
6201 E. Appian Way
Long Beach, CA 90803 USA
Office 562-598-9401
Mobile 310-367-9079