> US SAILING Media > Latest News > 2010 > Raab Takes Commanding Lead at Day One of US SAILING’s Championship of Champions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
US SAILING Communications Manager
PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (October 14, 2010) – Twenty of the country’s top one-design sailors and their crew had a busy day of racing Thursday in Ideal 18s at US SAILING's 2010 Championship of Champions. Mercury 18 National Champion Chris Raab (Sunset Beach, Calif.) and his crew Robert Kinney have a 12-point lead through seven races. All of the competitors have qualified by winning a National and/or North American Championship in a one-design class. This year’s championship is hosted by the Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Conn.
The day belonged to Raab, who is making his sixth appearance at the Championship of Champions. Raab has placed in the top three on four occasions, and is in search of his first Jack Brown Trophy. Consistency was the key for Raab today. He won race six and finished in the top five in every race (4-3-4-3-5-1-3). Raab leads Marcus Eagan (Madisonville, La.) and crew Cardwell Potts by a 12-point margin. Eagan, the 2009 Lightning North American Champion, won the final race of the day and race three to stay within striking distance of the leaders.
“We really needed that win in the last race,” stated Eagan. “I grew up sailing Flying Scots, which is a slower boat and requires strong tactical skills, so I think it relates to the Ideal 18s.”
This year’s special guest competitor, Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.), winner of the 1984 Championship of Champions and the 2006 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, shot out of the gate early by winning race one handily. He followed up with another win in race two to take a four point lead over 2006 champion Alan Field (Los Angeles, Calif.). Smith is sailing this week with his daughter, Lindsey Smith. In race three, Smith dropped out of the lead and is currently 16 points behind Raab.
The competitors raced around the windward leeward course twice on Long Island Sound. Winds came in from the east at approximately 10 to 12 knots. The left side of the course paid off for sailors in the morning and the right side worked out better in the afternoon. Sunny skies prevailed for most of the day. Tomorrow’s forecast looks gloomy with thundershowers and high winds predicted. The race committee will attempt to complete 20 races through Saturday.
The Indian Harbor Yacht Club will provide a limited number of spectator boats. Spectators are encouraged to make advanced reservations by contacting the front desk at the club by phone at 203.869.2484.
US SAILING’s Championship of Champions is sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. and Dry Creek Vineyard. Please visit the event web site for standings, results, daily reports, photo galleries, and more.
For up-to-the-minute updates from Greenwich, please visit US SAILING’s Twitter and Facebook sites.
About US SAILING
The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING), the national governing body for sailing, provides leadership for the sport in the United States. Founded in 1897 and headquartered in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, US SAILING is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. US SAILING offers training and education programs for instructors and race officials, supports a wide range of sailing organizations and communities, issues offshore rating certificates, and provides administration and oversight of competitive sailing across the country, including National Championships and the US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics. For more information, please visit www.ussailing.org.
About Rolex Watch U.S.A.
Since Rolex Watch U.S.A. first presented timepieces to America's Cup defenders in 1958, the company has consistently recognized and encouraged excellence in every important arena of competitive sailing, including US Sailing Team AlphaGraphics preparation, US SAILING championships, disabled sailing, offshore, one-design and women's events.
About Dry Creek Vineyard
Founded in 1972 by David S. Stare, Dry Creek Vineyard is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley, just outside of the charming wine country town of Healdsburg. The winery is known for producing some of California’s finest Fumé Blancs and Zinfandels. In addition to these “flagships,” Dry Creek Vineyard is also known for excellent Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. In 1997, the family released a new vineyard designated Cabernet Sauvignon from their estate Endeavour vineyard. Then, beginning with the 2004 vintage, the family introduced a new proprietary blend called The Mariner. Each wine has redefined the concept of terroir as the winery continues shape their portfolio for future success. Dry Creek Vineyard owns over 200 acres of vineyard land, primarily in Dry Creek Valley and the Russian River Valley. For more information on Dry Creek Vineyard please visit www.drycreekvineyard.com.