Championship of Champions 2017
by Brent Bomkamp

Between October between October 5th and 8th, The WaterFront Center was pleased to host US Sailing’s race for the Jack Brown Trophy, also known as the Championship of Champions. This unique event is open to any sailors who have won a national, North American, or world championship in any US Sailing sanctioned class over the past year.
The competition was fierce and varied, with competitors traveling from as far as California and Texas representing classes from J/22s to Interclub dinghies. From Friday through Saturday afternoon the winds were light and variable, resulting in unpredictable racing. Many of the favored boats were unable to pull away in these conditions, leaving the event open to anyone after a day and a half. By Saturday afternoon the breeze freshened and the favorites began to separate from the pack. You can watch the recorded course-side footage with expert commentary by Jon Rodgers.
In the end Steve Benjamin, 2017 Etchells world champion and 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, won the event with three firsts and 37 points overall.
“Today was the most exciting day of all because the wind was up to 15 knots and gusts up to 25 out of the Southwest with a little bit of rain coming through,” explained Benjamin. “It was a fantastic conclusion to what I believe was a wonderful championship because the competition was extremely tough.” ~US Sailing~
In second and third were Chris Raab and Paul-Jon Patin, managing to keep racing close with 42 and 45 points respectively. Despite the challenging conditions to start, the event was well-run and finished with a complete rotation of 13 races to ensure an even series. Congratulations to the racers on an excellent event to close out the Sonar season at The WaterFront Center!
You can catch up on all the details in a recap article by US Sailing! There are more quotes from competitors, photos of the action, and video of the award ceremony!