LONG BEACH, CALIF 24 March 2017 – Long Beach Yacht Club kicked off the 38th annual Ficker Cup regatta with a tribute to the late Bill Ficker, bestowing the eight race teams with “Ficker is Quicker” flags, before continuing onto the race course to the type of competition that would have made Ficker proud.
“I think Bill would have loved today,” said Scott Dickson, whose LBYC team was in a three-way tie for first, at the end of day of this Grade Two match race regatta. “Bill often turned up here for the trophy presentation, so I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time with him,” added Dickson, whose team wore black armbands in Ficker’s honor. “We had superb conditions on the water and the teams all represented themselves well: I think Bill would have really appreciated that.”
The Ficker Cup was established in 1980 to honor Ficker, a renowned yachtsman who helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup, and won the Congressional Cup in 1974. Part of the World Match Racing Tour, it is considered the gateway to the Congressional Cup – as the top two finalists advance to the Congressional Cup next week.
Today’s races, in the waters off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier were held beneath blue skies and brisk breezes of 8 to 10 knots, building to 17 in the afternoon.
Competition was smart, with no shut-outs. At the top: Dickson, Vladimir Lipavsky, and David Storrs, each with five wins, two losses. At the bottom: Sid Gathrid, a 16-year old novice, whose sole win was against Storrs, age 72. Their span of ages gives true testament to the appeal and accessibility of the sport of match racing; and that one is neither never too old, nor too young, to give it a whirl.
Gathrid, who has been match racing less than a year, noted his excitement and appreciation at being invited, saying it was a great opportunity to sail against some of the top players in the game. And, he admitted, it was “pretty cool too”– as his rivals came by to shake his hand and congratulate the team for their performance.
Racing will continue Saturday and Sunday, March 25 and 26, beginning at roughly 12 noon. Spectator viewing is available from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, or for up-to-the-minute results please visit www.lbyc.org
RESULTS DAY 1
1. David Storrs , USA, 22
2. Scott Dickson, LBYC, 270
3. Vladimir Lipavsky, RUS, 29
4. Peter Holz, USA, 21
5. Nevin Snow, USA, 26
6. Dave Hood, USA , 79
7. Harry Price, AUS, 3
8. Sidney Gathrid, USA, 293