Press Release April 8, 2016

 
52nd Annual Congressional Cupn hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club
ROUND ROBINS ACCOMPLISHED, REPECHAGE ABANDONED, AS UNUSUAL WEATHER DISRUPTS CONGRESSIONAL CUP/WMRT RACING

APRIL 8, 2016 LONG BEACH, CALIF - - The US Postal Service has a saying: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

That could be the new motto of the Long Beach Yacht Club Race Committee and Congressional Cup, in Stage Two of the World Match Racing Tour. Despite three days of rain, light air, shifting breeze, drizzle, gusts, cross currents, and a drenching fog, LBYC PRO Randy Smith and his Race Committee pulled off 66 matches, to complete the Round Robins.

The international field of racers willingly obliged, saying, “that’s sailing,” as the weird and wet weather system overtook Southern California.

But there was breeze. Wafting, light, but steady; from the south, but enough to complete the qualifiers.
In the end, Phil Robertson (NZL) with 10 points, maintained a solid lead, followed by Chris Steele (NZL), Nicolai Sehested (DEN) and defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) at eight points each: all of whom automatically moved into the quarterfinals, alongside Bjorn Hansen (SWE) and Sam Gilmour (AUS).

Initially repêchage racing was underway in the Congressional Cup Stadium, to determine the final two quarterfinalists. ‘Repêchage’ is from the French term ‘second chance’ – a round that gives the defeated teams a last-ditch chance to qualify for the Quarter Finals.
But as winds dwindled, PRO Smith was concerned that with further disruptive weather forecast, continuation of the repêchage would jeopardize the Quarter Finals and Semi Finals. He and WMRT Racing Director Craig Mitchell decided to terminate the repêchage.

That decision abruptly eliminated the bottom four contenders: Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Keith Swinton (AUS), Sally Barkow (USA) and Ian Williams (GBR) – reigning World Champion, who said he looks forward to coming back next year, “and redeeming ourselves.”

Meanwhile Eric Monnin (SUI) and Scott Dickson (USA) received last-minute salvation; and go on to the Quarter Finals.

Frontrunner Robertson admitted today’s racing embraced, “the most hectic pre-start ever, with four hoists and 10 circles,” against Hansen. He will race against Gilmour; while Dickson will be paired with Steele; who confessed to a “very tough day” adding, “we’re surprised to still be sitting in second place.”

Sehested will be matched with Hansen, and Canfield vs. Monnin, in Saturday’s opening matches.
Congressional Cup racing continues through Sunday in the waters adjacent to the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier in Long Beach, beginning at 1130AM daily.
STANDINGS: Round Robin
Phil Robertson 1
Chris Steele 2
Taylor Canfield 3
Nicolai Sehested 4
Bjorn Hansen 5
Sam Gilmour 6
Eric Monnin 7
Scott Dickson 8
ABOUT THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP
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.

EXPERIENCE THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP
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 www.thecongressionalcup.com; via Twitter @LBYCConCup; facebook.com/CongressionalCup; and Instagram #concup. For more information on WMRT please visit www.wmrt.com.

SPONSORS
Gold Level Sponsor
Porsche Cars North America, Circle Porsche Long Beach
Spinnaker Sponsors
Farmers & Merchants Bank, Union Bank, Stella Artois Beer, Friedmans Appliance Kitchen Bath & Beds, KitchenAid, JennAir, Thermadore, Bosch, Fisher & Paykel, DCS, 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
 
IMAGES AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE DOWNLOAD!
Visit www.wmrt.com Go to Media Click on Congressional Cup 2016 = Use password: wmrt to download
PHOTO BOAT & RESERVED MEDIA VIEWING AVAILABLE AT THE PIER
Betsy Crowfoot
Congressional Cup 2016 Press Officer

Long Beach Yacht Club
6201 E. Appian Way
Long Beach, CA 90803 USA
Mobile:805.729.6850
Email: betsycrowfoot@gmail.com or
ccmedia@lbyc.org
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 christinedelabre@me.com or
ccmedia@lbyc.org
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
Email rroberts@lbyc.org