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march18 ficker1 sLONG BEACH, CALIF. 15 MARCH 2019 — If the Congressional Cup is the gateway to the America’s Cup, the Ficker Cup is the gateway to the Congressional Cup.

This Grade 2 Match Racing competition, organized annually by Long Beach Yacht Club since 1980, is both a qualifier to the prestigious Congressional Cup regatta as well as a world-class sailing event in its own right.

The 2019 Ficker Cup will take place March 29 to 31 in the Congressional Cup stadium, a designated race course adjacent the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, beginning at 11:30AM daily. Eight top-notch skippers from around the globe, each with a complement of five crew, have been invited to compete in the event, which consists of a double round robin followed by semi-finals, petit finals and finals. At the end of three days, the winner will be awarded the Ficker Cup trophy: so named to honor Bill Ficker, a legendary yachtsman who helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup and won the Congressional Cup in 1974.

In addition, first and second place finishers are invited to compete in the esteemed Congressional Cup regatta, April 3 to 7, 2019. A win in the Ficker Cup is auspicious. Last year’s Ficker Cup champion, Dean Barker, came within striking distance of capturing the Congressional Cup; finishing second in a thrilling final series of that event. Twice, Ficker Cup victors have gone on to win the Congressional Cup the same year: Terry Hutchinson and Simone Ferrarese.

Vying for the title are some of the world’s leading skippers, including several in the top 20 World Sailing Match Race rankings. Harry Price (AUS) #3, Chris Poole (USA) #15, Pearson Potts (USA) #16, Chris Nesbitt (USA) #38 , Joachim Aschenbrener (DEN) #41, and Dave Hood (USA) #59 return to Long Beach Yacht Club, while Charles Lalumiere (USA) #150, and Tom Spithill (AUS) #372 make their Ficker Cup debut.

On its heels: the 55th Congressional Cup, one of the leading match race events in the sport of sailing!

Enthusiasts are invited to enjoy the action free-of-charge from Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, at 15 39th Place, in Long Beach, Calif. Or, follow Ficker Cup online at www.lbyc.org and on Facebook @CongressionalCup.

Follow Congressional Cup at www.thecongressionalcup.com and on Facebook @CongressionalCup, where all races will be live-streamed April 5 through 7. Coverage will include skipper interviews, results and daily highlights, press conferences and special events.

march18 ficker 2 sFICKER CUP SKIPPERS
Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)
David Hood (USA)
Charles Lalumiere (USA)
Chris Nesbitt (USA)
Chris Poole (USA)
Pearson Potts, Jr. (USA)
Harrison Price (AUS)
Tom Spithill (AUS)

CONGRESSIONAL CUP SKIPPERS
Ian Williams (GBR)
Maxime Mesnil (FRA)
Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE)
Will Boulden (AUS)
Taylor Canfield (USA)
Johnie Berntsson (SWE)
Nick Egnot-Johnson (NZL)
Scotty Dickson (USA)

Long Beach Yacht Club
Established in 1929, Long Beach Yacht Club is recognized as a leading club in the international yachting community for its commitment to excellence in yacht racing and innovation in race management. Congressional Cup, the club’s signature event, now in its 55th year, is the preeminent match racing regatta in the United States and considered the Gateway to the America’s Cup. In December 2018, the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron accepted Long Beach Yacht Club’s challenge for the 36th America’s Cup, to be sailed in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021, where the Club will be represented by Stars + Stripes Team USA. In addition to hosting numerous local, national and international yachting events, the Club’s member families enjoy a year-round calendar of social, yachting, and junior activities at its beautiful clubhouse on the shore of Alamitos Bay.