Press Release March 30, 2017

 
 
BERNTSSON BLASTS THROUGH QUALIFYING AT CONGRESSIONAL CUP

LONG BEACH, USA 30 March 2017 - - “Mr Canfield, I like your jacket!” announced reigning Match Racing World Champion Phil Robertson (NZL), at the 53rd Congressional Cup’s opening ‘Meet the Skippers’ dinner.

Robertson, hot off a win in Match Cup Australia, alluded to some unfinished business from last year, when he finished at the top in Qualifying, but was eliminated in the Quarter Finals – leaving the door open for Canfield to win his third consecutive Crimson Blazer.

The Crimson Blazer is the iconic prize and symbol of the Congressional Cup – along with the behemoth silver trophy on display at Long Beach Yacht Club.

“That’s mine!” chided Harry Price (AUS), pointing to the trophy, and joining the charge. Everyone is eager to unseat Canfield, number one-ranked by World Sailing; but the team best poised to crush Canfield, after two days of racing, appears to be Johnie Berntsson (SWE).

Berntsson and Canfield are matched point-for-point with nine wins each. The 2009 winner of the Congressional Cup, Berntsson has returned to Long Beach with a new, multi-cultural team, saying the mix is “challenging” – “but the really tight racing fires us up!” With one Dane, three Swedes and two Aussies, they are in first place at the end of Qualifying, winning the tie breaker over Canfield with a win in Flight 8.

Today’s variable winds fluctuated from a low of 5 knots to a gusty 20 knot breezes in the afternoon, which put a halt to racing as the skippers changed to smaller jibs. With tomorrow’s forecast for more breeze, Principal Race Officer Randy Smith pressed to complete all 14 flights of Qualifying, and called for an 1100 start to Friday’s races.

Berntsson, Canfield, Robertson and Sam Gilmour (NZL) move straight to the Quarter Finals on Saturday, with Friday now a welcome day off. The balance will fight for their spots in the Repechage; an eight boat round robin, to determine which four move on … and which four go home.

The Congressional Cup is the second of seven stops on the prestigious World Match Racing Tour (WMRT), and a legend in itself. An innovator in the game of match racing since 1965, Congressional Cup introduced the concept of on-the-water umpiring in 1988. It is hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club and raced in the Long Beach Sailing Foundation fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina sloops designed specifically for the event; which guarantees an even platform and exciting competition. The competition continues through Sunday April 2, directly off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.

For more information on Congressional Cup visit www.thecongressionalcup.com; go to www.wmrt.com for details on the Tour.

 
SPONSORS
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
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