Ficker Cup at the Long Beach Yacht Club – General
by Betsy Crowfoot Sep 12 23:24 PDT
September 10-12, 2021
Ficker Cup 2021 Â© Bronny Daniels
Emil Kjaer (DEN), representing the Royal Danish Yacht Club, won the 2021 Ficker Cup, edging out a field of eight of the best match racing skippers from the United States and overseas, in this sophomore event held by Long Beach Yacht Club.
It is said that “old age and betrayal will always beat youth and exuberance”, but that did not prove the case in the long-awaited Ficker Cup regatta. Kjaer, 20, is one of a trio of young sailors who have crisscrossed the youth match racing circuit this summer and dominated the Ficker Cup. Jeffrey Petersen (United States), 19, was second and David Wood (United States), 20, was third. Both are from the Balboa Yacht Club in California. Everyone has had their day and all three have qualified for the Congress Cup, which begins on September 14.
The Ficker Cup races started on Friday September 10 in spectacular conditions that took place all weekend. Petersen came out strong from the gate: finishing 6-1, losing only to Wood.
Kjaer, Petersen and Wood had faced each other all summer. In June, Petersen won the United States Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup and followed this with a victory in the Governor’s Cup in July – where he edged Kjaer in the final. Wood turned the tide and triumphed at the World Youth International Match Racing Championship in mid-August, with Petersen in second and Kjaer in fourth.
Petersen had noted the advantages and disadvantages of successively facing the same rivals. âYou start to learn their trends, and we make that a big part of our sailing plan: learning other people’s habits and seeing where we can exhibit them. So we have a few things in our playbook that we know they love to do … and use it against them and catch them off guard: it’s really to our advantage. “But the same goes both ways!” Petersen noted. âI’m sure they are doing the same with us.
Saturday was at Wood’s. He finished the day undefeated, leading the standings with 12 points and winning the right to select his opponent in the semi-finals.
In Sunday morning’s draw, Wood selected Kjaer; an interesting choice that he might regret later. Petersen was 10-4; Kjaer 9-5; and Pearson Potts 7-7 – who won in a tiebreaker against Peter Holz (USA) of the Chicago Yacht Club. As a rule, the favorite chooses the fourth. But Wood chose Kjaer – who would eliminate him decisively in the semifinals.
Semi-finals, small-finals and finals
Petersen faced two-time United States match racing champion Potts in the semifinals; and beat him in three matches.
Kjaer faced Wood, winning the first two games, but Wood rebounded from the third. The wind had risen to 15 knots and in the fourth game, Kjaer forced Wood OCS and maximized the advantage to win what would be the final match.
Continuing on to the small final, Wood beat Potts in that first-to-two series. In the Ficker Cup final, Kjaer again won his first two games but fell to Petersen in the third. It was a short reprieve, as Kjaer returned to form in Game 4 to claim the victory and the Ficker Cup.
“We are really very happy,” said the young Dane. âOur main goal was to do as well as possible and try to qualify for the Congress Cup, but it’s better. And we’re so grateful that there are qualifiers for events like this – it gives young people like us an incredible chance to join the event and I can’t wait to be able to sail against sailors like Taylor Canfield and all the great sailors like that, it’s really exciting for us. ” He credited his team with Gustav Wantzin, Mads Poder Witzke, Bastian Sorensen, Nicolai Baekgaard and Joachim Aschenbrenner.
Ficker Cup president Lisa Meier beamed with pride at the end of the race and took the victory aboard Kjaer’s Catalina 37. to bring this regatta to life. ”
Of the top three winners, she exclaimed, âIt’s exciting to see the level of running, commitment and focus they bring to the sport, and to see that young Americans are focusing on participating in the sport. higher levels. And I’m extremely happy to see that they all feel there is a roadmap for the America’s Cup, thanks to match racing programs like ours happening in this country and around the world. . ”
Meier pointed out that the Long Beach Yacht Club is invested in sailing among young people and in building a lifelong appreciation of sailing within the community. She will chair the 2022 Congress Cup and noted, âWe use the Ficker Cup and other regattas to ensure that members of our community are prepared and ready to compete in the 2028 Olympics, in some capacity. LBYC makes a concerted effort to ensure that all officials and qualified competitors have a platform to compete and show off their skills. ”
And while all eyes are now on next week’s big event, the honor and prestige of the Ficker Cup itself cannot go unnoticed. This respected Level 2 regatta was created by the Long Beach Yacht Club to honor sailing legend Bill Ficker, whose own meteoric rise began with summer sailing in Newport Beach. World All-Star Champion in 1958, his America’s Cup victory in 1970 gave birth to the slogan “Ficker is quicker”. He won the Congress Cup in 1974.
Dedicated in his honor in 1980, the Ficker Cup became the gateway to the Congressional Cup – which is the gateway to the America’s Cup. He dedicated the magnificent trophy that Kjaer received today. Before Ficker’s death in 2017, he attributed it personally.
Deon Macdonald, Ficker’s daughter, greeted the LBYC teams on Friday, saying: âHow lucky we are to be able to enjoy the sport of sailing, which we all love, with our friends. This sentiment repeated itself today.
âThere’s a reason everyone wants to be in the Ficker Cup and the Congressional Cup: the place, the club, the people, the volunteers, it’s just great,â said competitor Peter Holz. “It was champagne conditions here, and just amazing to be at LBYC.”