A 16-year-old upstart and a former champion each entered Sunday’s racing with a chance to win the Jack Brown Trophy at the Championship of Champions, hosted by the Edgewater Yacht Club. Recognized as US Sailing’s most unique National Championship, the 2014 edition was nothing short of this description.
Sunday’s showdown featured Mike Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.), a J/24 sailor and the 2005 champion of this event, and Jack Parkin (Riverside, Conn.), an International 420 sailor and member of US Sailing’s 2014 ISAF Youth World Championship Team. Ingham is also a six-time Thistle National Champion.
The race committee tallied two more races Sunday, pushing the race total to 11 for the regatta. With fewer than 12 races, a boat’s worst race score was excluded, instead of two.
Parkin and Ingham were even atop the leaderboard to start the day, with Parkin taking the tie-breaker advantage. Ingham’s throw-out score was a 21 and Parkin’s was a 10. However, Ingham took control Sunday morning with a win in Race 10 and he placed 13th in Race 11. Parkin was fifth in Race 10 and 17th in Race 11, his worst score of the regatta. Ingham edged Parkin by one point to earn his second career Jack Brown Trophy.
Mike’s wife, Delia Ingham (Rochester, N.Y.), and Dan Fien (Webster, N.Y.) crewed for Team Ingham this week. Parkin’s crew included Florian Eenkema van Dijk (Darien, Conn.), an Youth World Team member with Parkin, and Jack’s father, Barry Parkin (Riverside, Conn.).
“We had a big battle at the pin today in the last race,” said Mike Ingham. “We started putting ourselves in a bad spot and they took advantage of that. Fortunately, we battled out of it after beating him on one tack at the end.”
“It was nice to see a young man take the lead,” added Delia on Parkin’s racing this week. “He sailed very well this week. It was great work on his part.”
“We were the underdogs coming into it and we didn’t expect much,” said Jack Parkin. “We were hoping to finish it off today and maintain the lead. On the last race, we tried to engage them on the start and push them outside the pin. We were able to slow them down, but it wasn’t enough.”
All helmsmen qualified for this event by winning a 2013 or 2014 one-design class National, North American, or World Championship. Helmsmen and their crew were tested in Thistles this year.
The Championship of Champions is sponsored by Gill North America and is a Sailors for the Sea – Clean Regattas certified event.
Final Standings (Top 5 of 20; 11 races, 1 discard)
1. Mike Ingham [J/24], 6-[21/RET]-3-1-1-3-2-6-2-1-13- ; 38
2. Jack Parkin [Intl 420], 1-3-5-5-3-1-10-5-1-5-- ; 39
3. Paul Abdullah [Y Flyer], 4--7-9-11-7-3-7-3-2-1- ; 54
4. Brent Barbehenn [Jet 14], 8-4-1-10-2-6-13-1-10--2- ; 57T
5. Greg Fisher [J/22], 15-6-2-2-10-8-1--4-3-6- ; 57T