Championship of Champions - Ed Eckert emerges victorious
by Jake Fish on 1 Oct 2012
At Sunday’s finale at the Championship of Champions in Wisconsin, in what appeared to be a runaway for the 2012 C-Scow National Champion Ed Eckert, the 2011 E-Scow National Champion August Barkow, had other plans. Barkow chipped away at Eckert’s 19 point lead from the start of today’s racing. However, his late surge came up just short as Eckert held on for the victory by two points.
The C-Scow fleet enjoyed improved sailing conditions in comparison to Friday and Saturday. The fleet racked up five more races for an exciting finish to this intriguing US Sailing National Championship. Shifty breeze at 10 to 15 knots proposed new challenges for the teams. Eckert (West Bend, Wis.) and crew Matthew Schmidt (Pewaukee, Wis.), who is Eckert’s nephew, hadn’t posted a finish worse than third through six races. He started the day by finishing 14th, which ended up being his throwout. He followed this performance with conservative results of 7-7-10-8.
With the door open for a comeback, Barkow (Chicago, Ill.) and crew Jeffrey Niedziela finished fourth in race seven and they won race eight. Barkow was 12th in race nine, which was their throwout, and they finished the day with third and seventh place results.
The 2009 Championship of Champions winner, Skip Dieball (Toledo, Ohio), also made a late run at the title with crew Jeff Eiber. They improved throughout the day with results of 7-5-4-2-1. The 2011 Thistle and Highlander National Champion finished third, and six points behind Eckert.
'It was really tough out there today,' said Eckert. 'It was difficult to predict the wind shifts. Fortunately, we were able to hold on. Augie and Skip put a lot of pressure on us, but we came through.'
Eckert and Schmidt have been sailing together for eight years and their experience paid huge dividends this weekend. 'It’s hard for others who don’t typically sail scows to come into these boats and compete with us,' said Eckert. 'Our team is set up to succeed in big breeze. We got good starts and boat speed wasn’t an issue.'
'This was a fantastic regatta,' added Eckert. 'The Pewaukee Yacht Club did a great job. It was nice to have a chance to meet with other sailors from other classes. It’s great having a unique mix of sailors here from all over.'
All competitors qualified for this event by winning a 2011 or 2012 one-design class National, North American, or World Championship. Championship of Champions website