US Champion of champions
31Thirty-one applications from one-design classes were submitted to compete in US Sailing's 2010 Championship of Champions. Of those 31, 20 of the country’s best one-design sailors and their crew were selected to race for the Jack Brown Trophy this week in Greenwich, Conn. for three days of racing in Ideal 18s. The annual Championship of Champions is recognized as one of the most unique US Sailing Championships of the year. All of the competitors have qualified by winning a National and/or North American Championship in a one-design class. Racing starts this Thursday, October 14, at the Indian Harbor Yacht Club and concludes on Saturday, October 16.
US Sailing’s 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Jud Smith will be the guest competitor at this year’s Championship of Champions. Representing the Etchells class, Smith is no stranger to US Sailings Championship of Champions. He won the event in 1984 when the championship was sailed in Albacores.
“I can’t think of a better time of year to race on Western Long Island Sound during fall foliage season,” said Smith. “Indian Harbor Yacht Club provides the traditional New England Yacht club setting on a protected harbor and the ability to run races inside the islands or on the open waters. To my pleasure, my 22 year old daughter, Lindsay, a senior at Smith College, agreed to sail with me for the championship. I look forward to the opportunity to race against the best sailors from many of the top one-design classes in the U.S.”
A number of other notable class champions will be on hand. Mike Ingram will compete in his sixth Championship of Champions, after winning the Thistle National Championship this summer in La Salle, Mich. He won the event in 2005, which was raced in Flying Scots, and has finished second on three occasions. Alan Field makes his first return to the Championship of Champions since his win in the 2006 event, which was raced in Y Flyers. Field qualified this year with his win at the Melges 24 National Championships in Newport, R.I. last June.
Accomplished team racer and local standout, Danny Pletsch will take his first shot at the Championship of Champions. He won the Interclub National Championships last April in New Bedford, Mass. Chris Rabb qualified with his win in last year’s Mercury Nationals in Richmond, Calif. He is making his sixth appearance at the Championship of Champions. Rabb has tallied four top three finishes. Lightning World Champion, Matt Fisher is a long-time competitor in this event. He finished sixth in 1998, eighth in 1996, and fifth in 1977. Fisher won the Lightning Worlds in September of 2009 in Burlington, Vt. Augie Diaz qualified following his win at the 505 North American Championship in Chicago last June. Diaz finished fifth at last year’s Championship of Champions and third in 2007.
Carol Cronin is the fleet’s only woman skipper. She qualified with her win at the Snipe Women’s National Championship last April in Jacksonville, Fla. Ernest Dieball qualified this year with his win at the Highlander National Championship in Jamestown, Pa. in July. His brother, Skip Dieball, won last year’s Championship of Champions.
|1||Matt Allen||Vanguard 15|
|3||John Bright||American Y-Flyer|
|7||Marcus Eagan||Lightning Class|
|8||Alan Field||US Melges 24 Class Association|
|10||Lee Griffith||Snipe Class|
|11||Mike Ingham||Thistle Class|
|12||David Johnson Jr||International 210|
|13||Tim Krech||C - Scow|
|16||Chris Raab||Mercury 18|
|17||Stuart Robertson||Lido 14|