The US Cigar Slow Smoking World Championship pre-qualification rounds are now done. Some events were canceled but all in all 17 competitions took place between June 23 and August 6. They offered a various degree of excitement, of course. Some qualifiers were a close race, some not so much. Some of the winners smoked for long while some didn’t have to. Shane Ireland, the champion of Little River, South Carolina, even made it into this year’s Top 20, at least for a while.

The winners will now meet up at BURN by Rocky Patel in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 13 to decide who gets to represent the US at the Grande Finale in Split in the beginning of September.

These are the winners on the circuit:
Drew Emch (Apex, North Carolina) 1:30:01
Dalton Cole (Atlanta, Georgia) 1:39:47
Christina Bartnikowski (Media, Pennsylvania) 1:24:50
Shane Ireland (Little River, South Carolina) 1:47
Nicole Fielder (Germantown, Wisconsin) 1:11:32
Michael Imagna (Orchard Park, New York) 1:14:48
JD Preston (Ashland, Kentucky) 1:23
Mike Lamen (Naples, Florida) 1:39:08
Chris Ginn (Omaha, Nebraska) 1:33
Robb Webb (Huntersville, North Carolina) 1:31:19
Casey Bonincontro (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) 1:32:44
Barrett Johnson (Evansville, Indiana) 57:54
Steve Pullin (Anthem, Arizona) 1:30:02
Michael Gomez (Noblesville, Indiana) 1:21:24
Mike Williams (Houston, Texas) 1:26:39
Mose Ramieh (Troy, Michigan) 1:42
Sergio Diaz (Placentia, California) 1:29

Since graduating with an engineering degree in surveying in 2005, Simon Lundh has preferred to follow a profession in journalism. He stumbled upon the cigar world while working for a non-governmental organization in Estelí, Nicaragua, and is now mainly making a living writing about cigars, metal music, tattoos, and travel.


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