Canfield claims most victorious Congress Cup title >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News


Long Beach, Calif. (September 19, 2021) – Taylor Canfield’s (USA) Stars + Stripes team triumphed in the 56th Congress Cup at the Long Beach Yacht Club, wrapping up five days of competition in this championship event. World Match Racing Tour: and making Canfield the most successful skipper in the 56-year history of the Cup.

“It’s amazing, but it’s like all the other wins… fantastic! Canfield pointed out. “And winning again with the Stars + Stripes team: I’m on top of the world.” Racing with Canfield was Mike Buckley, CEO of Stars + Stripes, as well as Mac Agnese, Leo Boucher, Victor Diaz De Leon, George Peet and Erik Shampain.

Canfield attributed the victory to “sticking to our plan. Our goal is to always improve throughout the week. We’ve had tough times and tough debriefings on how we could continue to improve, and that makes us stronger in the end.

“And we like to keep the referees out of the game. I think we’ve only had one penalty in the week.

The aggressive maneuvers and the resulting penalties often turned out to be the deaths of Canfield’s rivals. Qualifying for the semi-final for the first time in his eighth Congress Cup history, Eric Monnin (SUI) won his first game against Canfield. But the Capvis Swiss Match Race team lost to Canfield in the next three fights, including a black flag match.

Poole (USA) and Johnie Berntsson (SWE) entered the matchday 2-2 with a match to go in the semi-finals: one winner to go through. In the vigorous pre-start, Poole failed to keep clear and was awarded a penalty he was unable to waive before the finish, losing to Berntsson.

In the small final, Monnin defeated Chris Poole (USA) in the best of three series, to claim his first Congress Cup podium of his career. Members noted that Monnin and his wife Ute Wagner are likely the first husband-wife team to step onto the Cup podium.

Then it was Canfield against Berntsson in the final. It was the lightest day of the series, with irregular breezes further south of 7 knots, adding to the complexity and challenge of match racing.

Stars + Stripes swept the series with three straight wins. Berntsson won his fourth second place in 15 years of Congress Cup racing. The 2009 Crimson Blazer winner, Berntsson remains a crowd favorite at host LBYC.

Dozens of spectators had gathered at the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier to watch the show, which included a fleet race for teams that weren’t in the semi-finals. This race was won by Jeffrey Petersen (USA), who is the current United States Youth Match Racing champion and Governors Cup champion. Petersen is the youngest skipper in competition, at 19, and had Madison Mansour, 13, an LBYC junior, who took care of the principal and tactics for the victory.

These were some of the best days in Long Beach: blue skies, breezes, flat water – it’s one of the reasons sailors want to come here. Another reason, said Chris Macy, president of the 2021 Congressional Cup, is that the Congressional Cup is historically at the forefront of the sailing race.

“You’ve definitely seen them pushing hard,” Macy said. “They come to see the referees, discuss calls and moves, and how they can find new benefits – constantly honing their skills. And we have some of the most skilled referees in the world on the team.

“Watching the world’s best referees and the world’s best sailors talk about how to create these infinitesimal benefits and wins, within the rules… LBYC continues to advance the sport of match racing – just like we have done with the pioneers of water arbitration, which is now the norm.

Persevering during the pandemic was a challenge, Macy added.

“Over the past month, there have been hourly phone calls with fleet surgeons, medical professionals, competitors and officials. In the end, we managed to put on this fantastic event: great races, social events and spectacular weather. ”

Postponing the event to September – compared to the normal spring calendar – turned out to be “kismet,” according to Macy. “When I chose my logo design, I was looking for that ‘Endless Summer’ seaside town vibe. I had no idea that when the event was postponed it would make our theme so much more relevant. The conditions have been absolutely fantastic.

For more than half a century, LBYC has organized this five-day regatta, known as the “grandfather of match racing”. LBYC organizers revolutionized the game of match racing with the introduction of on-water refereeing, with competitors piloting a fleet of custom one-design Catalina 37 keelboats that emphasize strategy and skill.

In 2000, the World Match Racing Tour was founded and the Congressional Cup, already in its 45th year, became one of its flagship championship events. The WMRT connects the best match racing events in the world, all independently organized and managed by promoters and yacht clubs like LBYC, under one roof.

Last year, due to pandemic restrictions, only one of three championship events took place, the Bermuda Gold Cup, according to executive director James Pleasance.

“This year, thanks to the hard work of the LBYC and CC executive team, and American Sailing, we are delighted that the Congress Cup was able to happen; and we saw some great races!

Pleasance went on to say that the results of the Congress Cup will have extra weight for the skippers this year, with so few events going on. “Points really matter this week for the WMRT final in Shenzhen, China. The top eight teams here will qualify for this December event, which features a $ 200,000 purse! Plaisir announced.

The Congressional Cup has long been established as the gateway to the America’s Cup, and this year has served as development and training for Stars + Stripes, according to Canfield and Buckley. Recently, they held an open match racing training camp in Long Beach to encourage national talent, with an emphasis on inclusiveness.

“We like to talk about the 10 skippers, but without the 60 team members, the skippers would sail in Laser. It’s one of the drums we beat, ”Buckley said. “It’s cool to see diversity happening in an authentic way in some of these teams, but we have to start breaking down the barriers and laying the groundwork: to provide opportunities, then as role models. ”

Chris Macy served as President of the 2021 Congress Cup, assisted by executive committee members Lisa Meier, Bob Piercy, Steve Meyer and Tony Mansour, as well as LBYC commodore Jon Shull.

The main race officer for the event was Randy Smith and refereed by Head Referee Flavio Naveira with a team of 14 international referees.

The races September 15-19 were held off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, starting with a double round robin followed by semi-finals, small finals and finals.

Event information – Results – Facebook

Founded in 2000, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) promotes the sport of match racing around the world and is the world’s oldest professional series in the sport of sailing. The WMRT is awarded special event status by the world’s sport governing body – World Sailing – and the winner of the WMRT is annually crowned the World Sailing Match Racing Champion.

Previous champions include Sir Ben Ainslie (GBR), Taylor Canfield (USA), Peter Gilmour (AUS), Magnus Holmberg (SWE), Peter Holmberg (ISV), Adam Minoprio (NZL), Torvar Mirsky (AUS), Bertrand Pace ( FRA), Jesper Radich (DEN), Phil Robertson (NZL) and Ian Williams (GBR).

Since 2000, the World Match Racing Tour and its events have awarded more than $ 23 million in cash prizes to Sailors, which has helped contribute to the career paths of many of today’s professional sailors.

Source: LBYC


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