The Congressional Cup, returning April 18-23, 2022, to Long Beach, California, is recognized as the “granddaddy” of modern world-class match racing; it is the premier and longest running event of its kind in North America. Founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965, the Congressional Cup set the standard for top-level match racing worldwide and pioneered the concept of on-the-water umpiring. Each year, the world’s top-ranked sailors return to Long Beach, California, to compete in this rousing five-day regatta, vying for the prestigious Congressional Cup trophy and the Crimson Blazer, which is yachting’s equivalent to the Green Jacket presented at the US Masters.
Often referred to as the gateway to the America’s Cup, many AC skippers have cut their teeth racing in the Congressional Cup, including Ted Turner, Dennis Conner, Ed Baird, Dean Barker, Taylor Canfield, James Spithill, Paul Cayard and Francesco Bruni. The course and its waters are deeply competitive, even for the top sailors in the world.
“The Congressional Cup is sailed on the very waters where Olympians will be competing in the 2028 Olympiad,” Chair Lisa Meier pointed out. Long Beach has a lengthy history with the Olympic Games, having previously hosted on-the-water events for the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932 and 1984, and the yacht club and community are already preparing to ensure the 2028 Games are a success.
As one of the flagship championship events of the World Match Racing Tour, the 57th Congressional Cup will kick off the 2022 WMRT season. Match racing is thrilling and unique in that it involves competitors racing two by two in identical boats, making each match a test of pure strategy and skill. Skippers try “any trick in the book” to outwit opponents on the water, while on-the-water umpires monitor to ensure fair play. The Congressional Cup provides unmatched excitement for spectators, too. With races held directly off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, contenders skim near enough that onlookers can practically reach out and touch the sails! Viewers can enjoy stadium seating, a refreshment stand, live commentary, and a rare opportunity to experience one of the leading sporting events on the globe for free.
In the 2021 Congressional Cup, Taylor Canfield (USA) bolted out of the gate to win 16 out of 18 races in the double round robins and advance to the semifinals, where he continued his domination of the event. Capturing his fifth Congressional Cup title made him the winningest skipper in history as he once again donned the Crimson Blazer.
Mark your calendars for more Congressional Cup excitement April 18-23, 2022, and visit thecongressionalcup.com to learn more about the event.