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Greatest Amateur Champion of All Time: Steve Rajeff

by Ross Purnell, Editor   |  August 14th, 2013 2

Steve Rajeff hoists his 41 US Grand All Around Casting Championship trophy.

Steve Rajeff (again) won the Grand All Around Casting title at the recent  National Casting Championships in Oakland, California. This brings the number of consecutive national titles to 41, a feat that has likely never been replicated in any national amateur sporting competition from golf to bowling, shot put, or anything else. Rajeff—who has also won 14 World All Around Championships—is likely the greatest amateur sports champion of all time. He won his first US championship in 1972 at the age of 16, and although in some years he has been beaten at some individual events, he has never lost the Grand All Around casting title.

Rajeff won nine gold and three silver medals, and all of the men’s combination awards at the Aug. 1-4 events. Henry Mittel placed second in the Grand All-Around with two gold, five silver and three bronze medals. Elaine Gong won in the Senior Women Division, Nicole Kozicki won in the Women Division, and Tony Ramirez won the Senior Men Division.

Rajeff has held the world record for distance casting with a single-hand fly rod since 1973, holding the current record of 243 feet.

 

Steve Rajeff with a Kispiox River steelhead. Greg McDermid photo

  • dale13er

    Wow, what a mind-boggling accomplishment! By the way, there appears to be a small error in this report. Either that, or there was a year between 1972 and 2013 that the National Casting Championships was not held. If this event has been held every year, and if Steve has won the title each time, that would be 42 titles, not 41.

  • Pablo E. Negri

    Besides all of this amazing titles… Steve might as well be one of the most – if not “the” most – humble guys all over the fly-fishing world arena. That not only speaks about a great and best-ever champion of all times, but also of a great human being. :-) PABLO NEGRI

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