In a preliminary report, the Cigar Smoking World Championship organization released the current Top 20 list as of April 19, 2019. Several national qualifiers in the Caribbean, Europe and Asia have been held in 2019, but the majority of tournaments is still outstanding. The actual World Championship will be held September 1, 2019 in Split, Croatia.
The current Top 20 ranking still lists Darren Cioffi (USA), owner and founder of Nashville-based Principle Cigars as the holder of the world record. With a time of 204 minutes and 27 seconds Mr Cioffi has taken the world record for the sixth time on June 15, 2018 at the qualifier in Bucharest, Rumania. Four out of the 20 slowest smokers are US-citizens.
Russia is also represented with four names on the top 20 list, two of which (Oleg Pedan and Alexander Shagai) have held world records and the title as world champion.
Poland and Germany are dominating the Top 20 list with five representatives each. Poland is also home of the leading female contestant, Agata Piotrowska, who is also the first woman to brake the 3 hour-mark in a competition.
The reigning World Champion (2018) Hauke Walter from Germany, slipped two notches in the 2019 qualifier season – from the fifth to the seventh position.
Marko Bilić (pictured), founder and president of the CSWC, states: „It has been a great start of the 2019 season and we expect much more to come towards the world championship which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.