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2020 U.S. Match Racing Championship cancelled - Looking ahead to 2021 in Long Beach

by US Sailing 3 Jul 2020 15:40 BST 1-3 October 2021
2018 U.S. Match Racing Championship © Sara Proctor

US Sailing and the U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee have announced the cancellation of the 2020 U.S. Match Racing Championship, originally scheduled to be hosted by the Rochester Yacht Club in Rochester, NY.

The U.S. Match Racing Championship Committee had planned to issue invitations at the end of June, but with travel restrictions put in place in New York, they do not see a realistic way to hold the regatta safely while conforming to local and state guidelines and restrictions.

The 2021 U.S. Match Racing Championship is scheduled for October 1-3, 2021 at Long Beach Yacht Club in Long Beach, Calif.

Bill Simon announced the news during a U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee call Monday evening commenting, "As the Chairman of the U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee, I want to express our appreciation to Holly Stevens, Richard Sullivan and the Board and Staff of Rochester Yacht Club for trying everything possible to find a way to run this event. The umpire and race management team who were willing to travel and support the regatta as well as the many skippers who requested invitations and just wanted to sail because they love match racing should know we tried our best but could not overcome the risks. We hope everyone is safe and healthy, and look forward to seeing you next year in our 2021 Qualifier Series and U.S. Match Racing Championship."

"After 18 months of planning for the U.S. Match Racing Championship with an excellent umpire team in place, housing arranged, and race management organized, it comes down to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel to the area recently put in place in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from high risk areas of the country, making it impossible for Rochester Yacht Club to safely hold an event of this level," said Rick Sullivan, Event Chair for Rochester Yacht Club. New York is proud to have handled the pandemic well to flatten the curve and as responsible members of US Sailing, we support the decision to cancel this event for the health and safety for all those involved."

The U.S. Match Racing Championship, founded in 1967, features up to 10 talented teams comprised of both male and female skippers and crew who race over three days for the coveted Prince of Wales Bowl. Selection is made through qualification events or by invitation. The winning skipper receives an automatic invitation to the following year's event.

Made popular by the America's Cup, match racing pits one boat against another around a short two-lap windward/leeward course. This race format emphasizes the need for great boat speed, strong boat handling, teamwork, and communication. The tournament-style format makes it fun by maximizing the number of races per day.

Pearson Potts (Newport, R.I.) won the 52nd U.S. Match Racing Championship in 2019. Learn more about the U.S. Match Racing Championship.

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