Press Release March 29, 2017


LONG BEACH, USA 29 March 2017 - - Brilliant sunshine greeted the all-star line-up of Congressional Cup 2017, racing along the shores of Long Beach, California. Conditions were nothing like last year’s dismal, drizzly weather. But the wind played havoc with racers none-the-less. Light breezes from the southwest built auspiciously, then plunged. The drop was so sudden, it threw Qualifying flight three into a frenzy …. a Swan Lake-like performance of boats grazing across the course with no apparent clue as to who was racing who. Caught in the shifts – from 185 degrees to 230 degrees – Congressional Cup defending champion Taylor Canfield (ISV) lost to Harry Price (AUS) by a full minute, while Sam Gilmour’s (AUS) time over Nicolai Sehested (DEN) was nearly the same. And Johnie Berntsson (SWE) hammered Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN) by a remarkable two minutes: a huge spread for such a highly-ranked field of sailors.

But just as suddenly the sea breeze filled in to a brisk 12-14 knots. Aschenbrenner rebounded with a win over David Storrs (USA), and Canfield returned to his winning form: ending the day 4:1 – tied with Berntsson.

Both skippers are past Congressional Cup champions: Berntsson in 2009, and Canfield, 2014 – 2016. Like most of the teams on Day One, Berntsson said they “struggled with the details,” but added, “I’m happy, we had a good day and are staying in the game.”
Tied with three points each were Price, Gilmour, Phil Robertson (NZL) and Eric Monnin (SUI); followed by Aschenbrenner, Ian Williams (GBR), Chris Steele (NZL) and Scott Dickson (USA) each at two points.

Sehested and Storrs ended the day with one win each. “It was a bit of a tough day,” admitted Sehested, but he pointed out last year they moved up the leaderboard to second place overall, nearly capturing the title from Canfield, and was undeterred by his 1:4 start to the week. And yet today, everyone got a piece of the pie, heralding the incredible level of competition expected over the next four days of Congressional Cup 2017. This 53-year tradition, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, is the second stop on the 2017 World Match Racing Tour, attracting a dozen of the top match racing teams from around the globe, as they vie for the Crimson blazer. Races will continue through Sunday April 2, beginning at 11:30 Pacific Time each day off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

The Congressional Cup has been a model and innovator in the game of match racing since 1965, introducing the concept of on-the-water umpiring in 1988. The Grade W event combines expert race organization with outstanding hospitality, to make it a favorite among match-racing skippers worldwide.
At Tuesday’s opening dinner Aschenbrenner announced, “After our first time here, I knew we had to come back!” – a point seconded by two-time Congressional Cup winner Williams, who said, “It’s absolutely our favorite regatta.” The event is almost entirely volunteer run, utilizing the talents and energy of a unique force of more than 300 members of LBYC – one of the premier boating institutions in the United States since 1929.

For more information on Congressional Cup visit; go to for details on the Tour.

Johnie Berntsson Flux Team SWE 4
Taylor Canfield US One ISV 4
Eric Monnin Albert Riele Swiss Team SUI 3
Harry Price Down Under Racing AUS 3
Phil Robertson China One Ningbo NZL 3
Sam Gilmour Neptune Racing AUS 3
Joachim Aschenbrenner Aschenbrenner Racing DEN 2
Chris Steele 36 Below Racing NZL 2
Ian Williams GAC Pindar GBR 2
Scott Dickson Dickson Racing USA 2
Nicolai Sehested EWII Racing DEN 1
David Storrs Pequot Racing USA 1
**Photos available upon request
Spinnaker Sponsors:
Club 100, Farmers & Merchants Bank, Friedmans Appliance - Kitchen Bath & Beds, Gladstone's Long Beach, LBYC Jr. Sailing Program, Long Beach Sailing Foundation, Pau Maui Vodka, Seven Angles Cellars, Stella Artois Beer, Union Bank
Race Committee Sponsor:
Gelson's Markets
Boom Sponsor:
City Wide Escrow & Port of Long Beach
General Sponsors:
Belmont Athletic Club, Belmont Wellness Spa, Catalina Yachts, Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau, Mount Gay Rum, Ocean Navigator Magazine, Sea Bags, Sun Diver International, World's Finest Chocolate.
Mark Sponsors:
Friedmans Appliance - Kitchen Bath & Beds, JENN-AIR, KitchenAid, Thermador, Bosch, Whirlpool, Fisher & Paykel, DCS by Fisher & Paykel
Betsy Crowfoot
Congressional Cup 2017 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