Williams and Poole lead start to semi-finals

Long Beach, CA (27, April 2024) – Day 4 of the 59th Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA concluded the quarter-final stage of the event, advancing the top four teams to the semi-finals led by defending Congressional Cup champion USA’s Chris Poole. Joining Poole in the semi-finals were five-time Congressional Cup champion Great Britain’s Ian Williams, Switzerland’s Eric Monnin and New Zealand’s Nick Egnot-Johnson. At the end of play, Poole and Williams lead their semi-finals matches 2-0 against their respective opponents Monnin and Egnot-Johnson.

Quarter Finals

The day kicked off with the concluding races of the quarter-finals in clear skies and a steady 8-10 knot south-westerly breeze. Williams and Monnin asserted their dominance, each clinching three straight victories over their opponents, Australia’s Cole Tapper and Denmark’s Jeppe Borch.

Monnin commented on the quarter-final racing, “The goal for this season was to do better in the quarter-finals, which we just squeezed into in this regatta. We were able to improve our game and now we have to focus on the semi-finals. Now, we just have to win three races in a row tomorrow.”

In the remaining quarter-final pairings, Chris Poole won the first race and only dropped one race to opponent Gavin Brady before rebounding and winning the next two races, securing his spot in the semi-finals.

A tense battle unfolded in the last quarter-final pairing between Dave Hood /DH3 Racing and Nick Egnot-Johnson /KNOTS Racing. The racing stretched to the full five races in the first-to-three point match. Leveled at 2-2 with a deciding race to determine which team would advance to the semi-finals, it came down to the bottom gate in the last race. With Hood leading Egnot-Johnson, both teams split at the bottom gate, Egnot-Johnson choosing the favoured left hand side and overtaking Hood to the finish.

“We have had an amazing week of sailing,” commented Hood. “It was a tough day today, we really had Nick [Egnot-Johnson] on that last race, and it came down to that last left turn, when we went out for a right shift we thought was there, but wasn’t.”

Junior Congressional Cup

The Junior Congressional Cup was held in front of the Long Beach Yacht Club to finish the day. With junior LBYC sailors paired with Congressional Cup skippers and fleet race Flying Juniors, this is always a highlight of the Congressional Cup week. This year’s winners are Olivia Corzine and Chris Steele / DH3 Racing.

Tomorrow’s racing will begin with what is left of the semi-finals before the finals match where the two top teams will battle it out for the coveted Crimson Blazer.

For more information visit thecongressionalcup.com. For news updates from World Match Racing Tour, visit wmrt.com 

WATCH Live coverage of the Congressional Cup from Friday 26th April to Sunday 28th April via thecongressionalcup.com

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