Local sailors win 2020 Championship of Champions regatta in Newport Beach
Huntington Beach’s Jake La Dow and Newport Beach’s Alex Curtiss took first place honors at US Sailing event hosted by Balboa Yacht Club.
NEWPORT BEACH—Two local sailors teamed up to win US Sailing’s 2020 Championship of Champions event, Oct. 11. The win gave Jake La Dow of Huntington Beach and Alex Curtiss of Newport Beach the Jack Brown Trophy. La Dow and Curtiss, both Lehman 12 Class national champions, won six races and placed in one of the top four slots in 17 of 21 races during three days of racing in Newport Beach.
This year’s Championship of Champions competition, which was the 46th iteration of the event, was hosted by Balboa Yacht Club. It was one of the few regattas held in 2020, as most yacht clubs and sailing organizations canceled competitions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The regatta’s competitors were national and North American one-design class champions.
Curtiss and La Dow won the regatta by a 44-point margin. La Dow acknowledged the class of the competition.
“Everyone who is here knows how to win. That’s what’s so cool about this kind of event. Sailing against all these legends is incredible,” La Dow said. “It’s great to make the Lehman 12 class proud.”
La Dow also thanked Balboa Yacht Club for safely hosting a regatta in the middle of a pandemic.
“All the competitors felt comfortable being here and racing at this championship. The Balboa Yacht club, Organizing Authority, and all the competitors did a great job of social distancing, staying outside and being safe,” La Dow stated.
Curtiss said he and La Dow had been competitively sailing together since their college days.
“Jake and I were college roommates and teammates at St. Mary’s College at Maryland. We’ve been sailing together for about eight years, and that includes match racing, J70s, Etchells, you name it,” Curtiss stated.
Balboa Yacht Club Press Officer Peter Bretschger, in a released report, said the third and final day of racing featured “near perfect conditions.”
“The final day of racing was near perfect conditions, with 8-9 knots of wind and comfortable sailing condition,” Bretschger said. “La Dow with crew Alex Curtiss were almost flawless over the three days [of competition].”
Sunset Beach’s Chris Raab finished the race in second place; the third-place winner was Bill Menninger of Newport Beach. Raab is La Dow’s father-in-law. All of the winners are members of Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
The 2020 Championship of Champions was held in Corona Del Mar, Oct. 9-11.