Monday, February 18, 2008

Congo Cup

LONG BEACH, Calif.---As a globetrotting professional racing sailor, Gavin Brady doesn't spend much time in any one place, but spring will usually find him in Long Beach.

As usual, that places him in the lineup April 29-May 3 for the Long Beach Yacht Club's 44th Congressional Cup, duking it out with world-class peers in America's only Grade 1 match racing regatta. Brady, a New Zealand native who has lived in Annapolis, Md. since 1988, has won the Congressional Cup three times---most recently in 2006---and is poised to equal Rod Davis and Peter Holmberg with his fourth victory.

Another former winner in the lineup is Dave Perry, who won in 1983 and '84 and has successfully resurrected his match racing skills in recent years.

Brady's first win came in 1996 when he was 23 and relatively unknown on the world scene, followed by his second in '97.

"This yacht club gave me a break when I was young, so this is a really special event for me," he said.

This year's field features three of the world's top 10 match racers and six of the top 20, as rated by the International Sailing Federation. Brady isn't in either group because other commitments, including last year's America's Cup with BMW Oracle, allowed him time for only five match racing events over the past two years. Read full story by Rich Roberts