For the first time the US qualification rounds for the Cigar Smoking World Championship will be held on the same date, and on a much smaller scale. Instead of 17 local competitions like last year there will be five, all at Burn by Rocky Patel lounges around the country. On July 23rd American slow smokers will compete simultaneously in Naples, Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, Atlanta, Georgia, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Contestants have a single opportunity to demonstrate their proficiency in the art of slow smoking and the winners from each location will compete in the US final in Atlanta on August 6th for a chance to represent the US in the Grand Finale in Croatia.
“We are very excited to host the US qualifiers for the CSWC at our Burn locations,” Rocky Patel says. “We want to offer our guests a unique and exclusive experience that combines luxury, fun, and competition. We also want to support and promote the art of slow smoking, which is a passion for us and many cigar lovers around the world. We invite everyone who enjoys cigars and wants to challenge themselves to join us on July 23rd and be part of this amazing event.”
Among the contestants are reigning American champion, Andrew Emch, famous for his record-breaking time of 3 hours 19 minutes and 24 seconds, Boston Jimmy, a veteran smoker and the creative force behind Stogie Press, Dalton Wayne, a promising young talent and seasoned smoker Mose Ramiah, ranked 16th on the world ranking all-time list.
“This year’s US qualifiers will undoubtedly offer an exciting display of skill, endurance, and passion,” CSWC ambassador Pierre Gustavsson says. “It will be an exciting battleground showcasing a blend of seasoned professionals, emerging talent, and passionate newcomers, all with the common goal of mastering the art of slow smoking. Their collective dedication, determination, and passion will ignite a fierce competition, elevating the very essence of this luxurious pastime to new heights.”
Whether former world champion Darren Cioffi will partake or not remains a hot topic, though. Although he hasn’t competed actively since 2019, Cioffi’s victories and influence still resonate, and the cigar community eagerly awaits any hint of his potential return.