Credit: Simone Staff
Ficker Cup Semi-finalists anounced
Jeffrey Petersen (USA), Nicole Breault (USA), Christopher Weis (USA) and Megan Thomson (NZL) have advanced to the semifinals in the Ficker Cup, after two days of double round robin racing: inching them closer to an invitation to next week’s Congressional Cup regatta.
In cool, blustery conditions nipping at the threshold for racing the Catalina 37s, eight competitors battled for position on Day Two of the Ficker Cup. Despite gusty winds that forced the crews to switch from genoas to jibs, Long Beach Yacht Club’s Race Committee pushed to complete the round robin series and start the semifinals.
Qualifying for the semis were Petersen, who remained undefeated after fourteen races, plus Weis and Breault both 9-5. Thomson snuck in on a tiebreaker over Peter Holz (USA) and Pearson Potts (USA). In the first matches of the semifinal stage Thomson beat Breault, and Petersen bested Weis. The semis will continue tomorrow Sunday April 16 and the winners will advance to the finals: with the top two teams qualifying for Congressional Cup racing, which begins Tuesday April 18.
Potts, whose team just missed the semis, pointed out his Rhode Island-based crew had until recently “been hibernating.” He noted, “We haven't sailed in a long time and had a lot of rust to shake off: I knew there was going to be a bit of a learning curve.” But Potts is a force off the water, as well as on. As Chair of the US Match Racing Committee he and a team of volunteers help organize events around the States and beyond, “trying to grow the sport of match racing and expand opportunities for sailors.”
Unlike fleet racing, match racing consists of two boats racing against each other in a one-on-one duel of skill and strategy. The basic objective is to be first of the pair across the finish line. Teams advance based on points won. The most well-known match racing event is the America's Cup.
“Match racing is an exciting aspect of the sport of sailing. I think a lot of people drop out of sailing after college, but this is a great way to stay in the sport,” Potts added. “For sailors who don't want to buy a boat yet or just want to sail at a higher level, match racing is a great pathway. I just love it, and having spent a lot of time sailing, chairing the committee is my way of giving back.”