Match racing devotees who can't get to Long Beach will be able to follow the Long Beach Yacht Club's ISAF Grade One Congressional Cup between Tuesday and Saturday, April 8-12, as never before.
For the first time the prestigious match-racing event will be broadcast live on local radio and worldwide on the Internet, and streaming video highlights will be available on the Internet every night.
The club has secured a temporary FCC license to broadcast the event locally each day on 810 AM radio and provide travel and parking information for viewing from Belmont Pier, starting at about 11 a.m. daily. Those broadcasts will be fed simultaneously to Long Beach City College's Web site, www.klbc.org
, which is available to anyone with access to the Internet.
In a separate production, about 15 minutes of edited highlights of the racing produced by GenCast Networks, Inc. of Long Beach will be presented in streaming video each night through a link on the LBYC Web site, www.lbyc.org
That will be accessible anytime from anywhere on the Internet at viewers' convenience.
Event vice chairman Charlie Legeman said, "In order to give our sailing fans and sponsors the maximum exposure to the largest match race in the United States, the Long Beach Yacht Club has stepped up to the 21st century in media presentation."
The radio announcers will be Charlie Tomlinson, veteran match racer Tucker Thompson and Drew Satariano, staff commodore and local racer. Principal race officer Randy Smith has arranged for the on-water umpires to communicate explanations of penalty calls to the announcers.
The field of 10 competitors this year, announced earlier, is led by six recent America's Cup campaigners including two-time winner Gavin Brady, who sailed with Italy's Prada at Auckland. Others are Ken Read of Team Dennis Conner, Magnus Holmberg of Sweden's Victory Challenge, Luc Pillot of France's Le Defí, Australian James Spithill of Seattle's OneWorld and Paolo Cian of Italy's Mascalzone Latino.
Those who didn't sail in the America's Cup are Denmark's Jesper Radich and Jes Gram-Hansen, currently ranked Nos. 2 and 3 by the International Sailing Federation; 1994 winner Chris Law of the UK and Long Beach resident Scott Dickson, who will have older brother Chris as tactician in his seventh Congressional Cup as a skipper.
Chris Dickson, a two-time winner of the Con Cup in '90 and '91, was Oracle BMW's skipper for the latter part of the campaign and has already been appointed by owner Larry Ellison to head the San Francisco team's next challenge in Europe.
The Congressional Cup again will be sailed on the Catalina 37 sloops built for the event. Each boat must have a minimum crew of six and a maximum combined crew weight of 1,200 pounds. The format will be a double round robin followed by best-of-three semifinals and finals. A short windward-leeward race course will be set adjacent to Belmont Pier.