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Mikael proven that he is one of the best in the World, Henrik was solid and  "sickness" as reason of  Igor’s no-show was intriguingly timed. 

by Pierre Gustavsson

photos by Simon Lundh


Mikael Zander-  now already the most legendary Swedish Champion

The Cigar Smoking World Championship (CSWC), recently witnessed a highly engaging and competitive Swedish qualifier. The start of the Zeke dynasty, a day filled with tension, strategic gameplay, and some unexpected twists – a true testament to the ever-evolving dynamism of the cigar world. Mikael "Zeke" Zander, the reigning Swedish champion, came out victorious with an impressive timing of 2 hours and 12 minutes. However, the path to his victory was not without its trials. Twice, he teetered on the edge of his cigar going out – a game over scenario in CSWC. Despite these close shaves, Zeke's resolve never wavered, and his early lead of 1 cm over former world champion Henrik Kristensson, 30 minutes into the competition, proved instrumental in his triumph.


Zeke in full slow smoking action


Usual hands position with full control of Henrik Kristenssonn

Henrik Kristensson, ever the formidable contender, finished second with a time of 1 hour and 58 minutes, a result he was visibly dissatisfied with. Yet, Kristensson’s place in the cigar world cannot be undermined. His impressive skills, coupled with the determination to reclaim his former glory, make him a force to be reckoned with. The surprise of the day was Bosse Petersson, a newcomer who secured third place with a respectable 1 hour and 19 minutes. In the first 45 minutes of the competition, Petersson was neck and neck with Kristensson and another competitor, Kristoffer Björk, who unfortunately saw his cigar extinguish at 47 minutes.

However, the talk of the event was the conspicuous absence of Igor, the former world record holder. Citing "sickness," Igor’s no-show was intriguingly timed, considering the pressure he has been under since losing his world record only two weeks ago.


Hot start od the CSWC qualifier in Sweden


Plenty of smoke from little competition mareva


Full focus on racing fire on the top of cigar

The event was diligently judged by Pierre Gustavsson, a highly respected CSWC ambassador. He, along with Martin Brix Nelson from Kind Cigars, flawlessly organized the competition, ensuring every detail was attended to with meticulous precision.

Several noteworthy sponsors enriched the event with their unique offerings. Les Fines Lames, renowned for their exquisite cigar knives and bracelets featuring a hidden punch, added an element of elegance. Cuervo y Sobrinos, the watchmaker, contributed a beautiful ashtray, while ST Dupont provided a stylish cigar case. InterTabac graciously provided a VIP ticket for their fair in September to the winner and day tickets for the other participants. Boveda further enhanced the experience with their humidbags and pouches.


CSWC team Sweden  -  amazing group of great cigar aficionados in Helsinbourg

The CSWC Swedish qualifier encapsulated the spirit of competitive camaraderie unique to the world of cigar smoking. With Zeke's win, the 3rd in a row, the anticipation now turns to the grand finale in Split, where the remaining competitors must strive for the top 20 spots and wild cards. The stage is set for another thrilling showdown, promising more unforgettable moments in the saga of the Cigar Smoking World Championship.


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