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US Sailing’s Championship of Champions preview

by Jake Fish on 20 Oct 2011
Jack Brown Trophy - US Sailing’s Championship of Champions US Sailing © http://www.ussailing.org

The Championship of Champions will this year be hosted by the Corinthian Sailing Club on White Rock Lake located in Dallas, Texas. There will be three days of racing which is set to take place in Flying Scots from the 20-22 October with a roster of championship skippers and their teams who will race for bragging rights and the Jack Brown Trophy.

All of the competitors are masters in their respective sailing classes and have a track record to prove it. However, this week in Dallas they will be tested in the Flying Scot to see if they can hold their own. This US Sailing National Championship event has a reputation for being one of the toughest and most unique events in the country.

All competitors have qualified for this event by winning a 2010 or 2011one-design class National, North American, or World Championship. The competition will be challenging with many decorated sailors competing on the same course. Among the entries is Tom Ehman (Valencia, Spain) who has been selected as this year’s special guest competitor. Ehman has been on the front line of the America’s Cup since 1980. He is a former collegiate, Sunfish and Flying Scot North American Champion. Ehman is no stranger to the Championship of Champions. He won the Jack Brown Trophy in 1976.

Chris Raab (Sunset Beach, Calif.) has returned to defend his 2010 Championship of Champions title, which was raced in Ideal 18s. He and crew Bill Draheim (Heath, Texas) will be representing the Mercury fleet as the 2010 Mercury National Champion. Raab, who has four top three finishes in this event, captured last year’s Championship by a 12-point margin. Through the years, he has collected over 30 National Championships and two collegiate titles, as well as the 2000 U.S. Singlehanded Championship.

2010 Audi Melges 20 U.S. National Champion, Michael Kiss (Holland, Mich.), paired with Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) will be a force to be reckoned with this year. Michael’s son and crew, Mitchell placed third in the men’s division at the 2010 Laser Radial World Championship in Largs, Scotland for the U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics.

Dick Tillman (Merritt Island, Fla.) comes to the event as a veteran Laser sailor. He raced in the 1976 Olympics in the Laser competition. Tillman has won multiple National and North American Championships in the Snipe, Finn, Laser, Sunfish and in Windsurfing. In 2002, he earned the Laser Masters World Championship. Tillman was named US Sailing’s Yachtsman of the Year in 1965, widely recognized as the top sailing honor in the country. He will be sailing this event with crew Scott Young (Austin, Texas), who is three-time All-American from the University of Texas and he grew up sailing on White Rock Lake.

If anyone has an advantage this week, it could be Andrew Eagan (Metairie, La.).Eagan qualified for this event by winning the 2011 Flying Scot North American Championship. He’ll be sailing with his brother, Marcus Eagan (Madisonville, La.). The duo won the U.S. Men’s Sailing Championship in2010.

The Championship is a Sailors for the Sea - Clean Regattas certification event.

Championship Notes:

- Selection Procedure

- Each applicant is evaluated on the following criteria:

- 40% Sailor Criteria – how many major events have they done in the past three years; number of races in national championship, number of attendants at national championship

- 20% Class Criteria – size, diversity, depth and activity of class nationally

- 40% Other – Sailor Athlete status, class membership in US Sailing, previous experience, demonstrated Corinthian spirit, etc.

- When fewer than eight races have been completed, a competitor’s series score will be the total of that competitor’s race scores.

- When eight to thirteen races are completed, a competitor’s series score will be the total of that competitor’s race scores excluding the competitor’s worst score.

- When 14 or more races have been completed, a competitor’s series score will be the total of that competitor’s race scores excluding the competitor’s two worst scores.

- Four races are required to constitute the Regatta.

- Windward/leeward or Triangle

- Racing starts at 9:30 a.m. Event website
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