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Bill Draheim Wins Championship of Champions

28 October 2002 (Lake Norman, NC)—Bill Draheim of Rockwell, TX, along with crew Scott and Natalie Mauney took top honors at US SAILING’s U.S. Championship of Champions at Lake Norman Yacht Club (Charlotte, NC), beating out 16 other national sailing champions.  The event was sponsored by Rolex Watch USA; Rolex sponsors all US SAILING Adult Championships.

Draheim, the national champion in the Flying Scot class, finished with 29 points in the 13-race series that ended Saturday, October 26.

Mike Ingham of Rochester, NY, representing the Thistle class, finished in second place with 44 points, and Dick Tillman of Syracuse, Ind., the national windsurfing champion, finished third with 51 points.

The only female competitor, Allison Jolly of St. Petersburg, FL., finished in fourth place with 59 points. Jolly is the national champion in the Fireball class.

The races were sailed in Flying Scot sailboats provided by Lake Norman Yacht Club. Two races were completed in light air on Wednesday before the wind died completely. Thursday dawned cloudy, with light winds, and the sailors were able to complete five more races. An additional five races were sailed in Friday's rainy, blustery conditions, and the final race was completed Saturday morning, after which the winds went calm.

The annual event is held at different locations around the country. Lake Norman Yacht Club hosted the event once before, in 1985. In 1993 US SAILING named the Championship of Champions trophy in honor of Jack Brown, a former Lake Norman Yacht Club member who was active in national sailing circles as a judge, regatta organizer and member of US SAILING Committees until his death in 1993.

Ken Gorni served as Championship of Champions Regatta Chairman and Bob Smither was Event Chairman.  For more information about the Championship of Champions, visit

Three sailors from North Carolina participated in the event. Dave Johnson Jr. of Raleigh, the International 210 national champion, finished in eighth place with 90.1 points; Mike Evans of New Bern, the San Juan 21 national champion, finished 15th with 161 points; and Harold Blanchard of Lake Waccamaw, the Tanzer 16 national champion, finished 17th with 191 points.

Other sailors competing in the regatta were Tony Passafiume of Calvert City, KY, Y-Flyer class, 60 points; Benz Faget of Metairie, LA, Ensign class, 65 points; George Fisher of Hilliard, OH, Lightning class, 83 points; Scott Savage of Columbus, OH, Interlake class, 112 points; Ian Gill of Westport, CT., Blue Jay class, 121 points; and Newton Wattis of Surf City, NJ, Mariner class, 122 points.

Also, Keith Stauber of Duluth, MI., San Juan 24 class, 123 points; Don Carsten of Erie, MI., Catalina 22 class, 130 points; Tim DeVries of Madison, WI, Buccaneer class, 147 points; and Daniel Thompson of North Oaks, MN, X-Boat class, 161 points.

The United States Sailing Association (US SAILING) is the national governing body for the sport of sailing. The mission of this volunteer organization is to encourage participation and promote excellence in sailing and racing in the United States. More information about US SAILING, which is headquartered in Portsmouth, RI, is available at




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