Competing in their first World Match Racing Tour event, the CYCA Youth Sailing Academy team led by Harry Price with, Murray Jones, Sam Ellis, Harry Morton, Josh Marks and Matt Stenta have finished a very credible tenth place in a star-studded fleet including World #1 and defending champion, Taylor Canfield, six time World Champion, Ian Williams and current World Champion, Phil Robertson.
The Congressional Cup is one of the longest-running match race regattas in North America, and the second stop on the World Match Racing Tour. Twelve of the world’s top ranked teams race, two at a time, in a series of spirited round robins; with the top point winners advancing to semi-finals and finals.
After qualifying for the event back in August 2016, when the team won the US Grand Slam Series, Price and his team have been relentless in their quest to compete on the World Match Racing Tour. Since August, the team has risen to a CYCA world ranking personal best of World #3 ranking having won decisive events in Australia and globally over the past twelve months.
The CYCA entry were one of only two teams who had previously not competed in the event before Day 1, where brilliant sunshine greeted the all-star line-up of Congressional Cup 2017. The opening day saw the CYCA team push well above their weight, taking race wins over Canfield, Monin and Bernsson to lay in 4th place after the opening day.
Day 2 saw the completion of the first round robin, with the format seeing the top 4 progress through to the Quarter Finals whilst the bottom 8 sailed a redemption round for the final 4 spots. At the end of the round, an unfortunate tie breaker came into play for the CYCA with Price falling victim in the process, finishing equal 4th but eventually falling to 6th after the tie breakers were complete.
Heading into the repechage round, which included the big names of Ian Williams and Chris Steele, the team failed to find consistency in their matches and came into the final race of the round in a must win situation against Ian Williams to advance. Unfortunately, the result didn’t go their way, with Williams posting a perfect score in the round to knock the team out of the regatta.
Over the coming two days, Williams dispatched all his competitors and went on to win his third Congressional Cup title. The DownUnder Racing team now heads to Miami for another World Match Racing Tour qualifying event in the M32 catamaran class.
Image: Joysailing Photo Courtesy of North Sails