by Jake Fish
The US Sailing Championship of Champions victory for 2011 was taken on Saturday by the Eagan brothers, skipper Andrew (Metairie, La.) and crew Marcus (Madisonville, La.). The duo took the lead after the first race on Friday and never looked back.
Eagan Brothers - US Sailing Championship of Champions 2011
They won by an impressive 36 point margin over skipper Mike Gillum (Loomis, Calif.), who sailed this week with his wife Mardi and his daughter Alison Gillum (Loomis, Calif.). The 20 teams competing in the 2011 Championship of Champions, hosted by the Corinthian Sailing Club in Dallas, completed six more races Saturday on White Rock Lake in Flying Scots. The fleet finished 20 races total in this US Sailing National Championship.
Eagan, who qualified for this year’s Championship by winning the 2011 Flying Scot North American Championship, had an eight point lead through 14 races coming into today. Team Eagan picked up where they left off from yesterday. They won the final race conducted on Friday, and parlayed that to back-to-back wins to start Saturday. The Eagans won four of the six races this afternoon, eight out of 20 overall for the Championship, and 14 top threes. They tallied 42 points for the Championship.
'My brother and I have been sailing together for a long time,' said Andrew. 'As the week went on, we started to figure out White Rock Lake. We are used to normal sea breezes and had to get used to the land coming into effect.'
There was plenty of wind throughout the day. Breezes ranged from six to eight knots this morning and 10 to 15 knots this afternoon.
'It was quite the experience sailing with all these class champions this week,' said Andrew. 'It was great to meet all these great sailors. Everyone has a different story.'
Gillum qualified for this event by winning the 2011 Day Sailer North American Championship. The Gillums had a good week, which included four race wins and 12 top fives. Defending Champion and 2010 Mercury National Champion, Chris Raab (Sunset Beach, Calif.) with crew Bill Draheim (Heath, Texas), a two-time Flying Scot National Champion, finished in third place.
Gillum - US Sailing Championship of Champions 2011
They led by two points through the first six races on Thursday. Tom Ehman (Valencia, Spain), who was selected as this year’s special guest competitor, and crew Kelson Elam (Heath, Texas) finished fourth. Ehman, a former Flying Scot North American Champion, won the 1976 Championship of Champions.
All competitors have qualified for this event by winning a 2010 or 2011 one-design class National, North American, or World Championship.
US Sailing Championship of Champions website
The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.