London, UK (29th April, 2015): Next week the Long Beach Yacht Club in California will play host to the two opening events of the 2015/16 World Match Racing Tour season, The Ficker Cup and Congressional Cup.
Under the World Tour’s new event format launched earlier this year, the top six placed skippers from the Ficker Cup (8-10 May) will be awarded points to the 2015/16 World Championship leader-board. The top two Ficker Cup skippers will also qualify for places at the following week’s opening World Championship Tour Event, The Congressional Cup (13-17 May), this year celebrating its 51st edition.
The three-day Ficker Cup Trophy was established in 1980 by LBYC to honour Bill Ficker, winning skipper of the 1970 America’s Cup and Star class Champion.
This year’s eight strong skipper field including New Zealand’s Chris Steele, currently ranked no. 11 on the ISAF Match Race Rankings (International Sailing Federation). Steele is fast becoming a familiar name on the World Tour following appearances at the Argo Group Gold Cup in 2013 and Chicago Match Cup in 2014.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to compete in,” said Steele, of the Ficker Cup; “and the chance for a spot in the Congressional Cup is a bonus. I’ve raced against some of the guys on the entry list before, and the competition is good. But with the guys we’ve got on board, I am more than comfortable we’ve got a good chance.”