The organisers of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour must be hoping that the talent pool has got some depth, after reigning World Match Racing Tour champion Ian Williams and Team GAC Pindar dominated the 48th Congressional Cup in Long Beach, California.
Williams won 12 matches in a row on his way to the final saying:
I don’t think we’ve ever won 12 in a row.
Williams thus was privileged to pick Taylor Canfield of the U.S. Virgin Islands (10-8) as his opponent in the best-of-three semifinals, leaving Brady to meet third-place Simone Ferrarese of Italy (11-7), who won all four of his races Friday.
Though the press tried to make the final sound dramatic, Williams was in a class of his own during this event. In the final against Gavin Brady, the defending champions extended his winning streak to 15 matches, before losing the next race by just 8 seconds.
Brady, who sails as a hired skipper these days, said later,
“It’s good to compete with the best match racers in the world. I think we competed well. I love doing the Congressional Cup. It’s been the backbone of my career. He would like to make a career of match racing, “but we need a sponsor.”
Williams received $15,000 of the total purse of $60,000.
Asked what he would do with a second Crimson Blazer, he said
“It’s good to win two in row. To be able to do it against someone like Gavin really means something. I’m still a couple behind him.”
In the fleet race for non-sailoff qualifiers, Will Tiller of New Zealand finished far ahead but was disqualified for crossing the start line early, leaving countryman Laurie Jury to collect the $1,000 prize.
Congressional Cup teams sail Catalina 37s built by Catalina Yachts primarily for match racing, rotating boats daily. They are owned and maintained by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation – the unique volunteer force of some 300 club members and their families.