27th annual event

Bolt 1, Spudrunner 3, Two Wingnuts, Magic Carpet Ride rule U.S. National Toboggan Championships

Racers, spectators brave cold, snow for fast, winter fun during three-day event at Snow Bowl
By Beth A. Birmingham and Ken Waltz | Feb 13, 2017
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Team "Ice Ice Babies" bring it home after racing down the chute during the 27th annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships on Feb. 11 at the Camden Snow Bowl.

Camden — The 27th annual running of the three-day U.S. National Tobbogan Championships is in the books, as hundreds of racers, with all manner of creative team names, braved cold weekend weather and heavy snow the first day to slide to division titles and top-10 performances.

Click for photos from this year's event.

Click for photos from recent year's events.

Click to view the official event website.

Click links below the photos to see complete results, team lists.

After all the runs down the famous 400-foot wooden chute had been made and times for the two days of official racing on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 11 and12 at the Camden Snow Bowl had been tabulated the division winners included:

Two-person (with first run, second run and total time listed) — 1, Two Wingnuts, 9.32 and 9.33 for 18.65; 2, Spudrunner 2, 9.36 and 9.33 for 18.69; and 3, Yahtzee, 9.38 and 9.38 for 18.76.

Three-person (with first run, second run and total time listed) — 1, Spudrunner 3, 9.24 and 9.26 for 18.50; 2, Three Big Kahoonas, 9.31 and 9.32 for 18.63; and 3, Bolt 3, 9.31 and 9.33 for 18.64.

Four-person (with first run, second run and total time listed) — 1, Bolt 1, 9.3 and 9.23 for 18.53; 2, Sled Man Walking, 9.28 and 9.26 for 18.54; and 3, Bolt 5, 9.34 and 9.23 for 18.57.

Experimental —1, Magic Carpet Ride, 9.24 and 9.22 for 18.46; 2, Rum Runners and Section 8, 9.31 and 9.29 for 18.6; and 3, Bull Moose Moose Banshee, 9.43 and 9.42 for 18.85.

Other winners from the popular event were:

Fastest female team — Chuting for Neverland, 9.35.

Fastest student team — Deedles, 9.34.

Fastest college team — Toboggan Games: Mocking Dyer, 9.67.

Oldest team — Two Pounds, 74.5 years old average.

Best crafted toboggan — Pennsylvania State Champions.

Best costumes — 1, Blizzard of Oz; 2, Shear Madness; and 3, When Penguins Fly.

The three-day event began Friday, Feb. 10, with a brisk wind and headed into day two with several hours of competition, consistent snow and cold temperatures. Day three completed the weekend festivities.

After being forced by warm weather to hold an alternative event in 2016, races at the Camden Snow Bowl this year took off with a vengeance Saturday, Feb. 11 as fluffy white snow fell and racers flew down the chute onto Hosmer Pond.

With the ice as thick as 10 inches-plus, compared to last year's measurement of less than three inches in places, participants and spectators enjoyed a true cabin-fever reliever.

The chute provided enjoyment, as well as terror, for participants, as teams from as far away as California took their turns down the icy terrain.

Chute Master Stuart Young said earlier in the week that weather conditions had aligned to provide ideal sledding for this year's participants. More than 380 teams were expected to participate in the event.

The original toboggan chute was built in the fall of 1936; however, the chute riders sped down this weekend was rebuilt in 1990 by Jack Williams, after whom the wooden structure was named.

Heavy snow returned for the first day of official racing for the championships this weekend, but, this time, the popular show went on as planned on the chute.

The event is a significant fundraiser for the Snow Bowl as well as a financial boon for the Midcoast.

According to the event's website, the most revered prize from the event is  first place in the four-person division. The division has twice as many teams as the other two combined, and has twice as many teams in the finals, based on fastest times.

No matter which division one is in, everybody goes down the same 400-foot-long wooden chute, some at close to 40 mph, ending their journeys on frozen Hosmer Pond.

The names of the teams continued to be colorful, delightful and in many ways humorous. Among some of the best were: Nothing to Luge, Team Fluto (fat, ugly, tired and old), Red Sleaded Hut, Skidmarks, Cooter Scooter, Pirate Panty Raiders, Raise a Flask to Sliding on our Ash, Absolute Zeros, Hairway to Heaven, Hell Freezes Over, Snalligator, Mitten Sniffers, Waterboarders, The Frost Biters, Sharpest Tools in the Shed, Chute, That's Fast, Fast as Molasses, Lucky Mother Foxes, Hair Way to Hell, Chute Happens, Hot Piece of Ash, Slide Over, I'm Driving, Cactus Clowns, No Viagra Needed, Blood Bath and Beyond, Snow Way This Will End Well and Beavis and Buttsled.

The top-10 finishers in each division but Experimental this year included:

Four-person — Bolt 1, 9.3 and 9.23 for 18.53; Sled Man Walking, 9.28 and 9.26 for 18.54; Bolt 5, 9.34 and 9.23 for 18.57; Spudrunner 4, 9.25 and 9.33 for 18.58; Nine Lakers, 9.34 and 9.31 for 18.65; Cape Racers, 9.34 and 9.33 for 18.67; Cuttyhunk or Bust, 9.34 and 9.34 for 18.68; Red Ash Baboons, 9.32 and 9.37 for 18.69; and Slap City Sliders, 9.36 and 9.34 for 18.7; and Refit Misfits, 9.37 and 9.35 for 18.72.

Two-person — Two Wingnuts, 9.32 and 9.33 for 18.65; Spudrunner 2, 9.36 and 9.33 for 18.69; Yahtzee, 9.38 and 9.38 for 18.76; Thundah Struck, 9.42 and 9.43 for 18.85; Bolt 2, 9.43 and 9.43 for 18.86; Fat Bloated Idiots, 9.43 and 9.46 for 18.89; Two Pounds, 9.4516 and 9.4698 for 18.9214; Throbbin Boggins 2, 9.4495 and 9.4815 for 18.931, Sokwajiweg Vets, 9.49 and 9.46 for 18.95; and Other Two Big Kahoonas, 9.48 and 9.48 for 18.96.

Three-person — Spudrunner 3, 9.24 and 9.26 for 18.5; Three Big Kahoonas, 9.31 and 9.33 for 18.64; Bolt 3, 9.31 and 9.33 for 18.64; schooner Olad, 9.31 and 9.33 for 18.64; Throbbin Boggins, 9.34 and 9.31 for 18.65; Wax That Ash, 9.34 and 9.34 for 18.68; Three Slab City Sliders, 9.34 and 9.35 for 18.69; Deedles, 9.36 and 9.36 for 18.72; Absolute Zeros, 9.35 and 9.39 for 18.74; and Splittin' Adams, 9.39 and 9.38 for 18.77.

Last year

Event organizers had to adapt and go with the flow as Mother Nature threw them a curveball, in the form of unseasonably warm conditions in 2016.

While the popular toboggan festival had to be limited to one day of competition and run on a nearby Camden Snow Bowl ski slope rather than the historic 400-foot wooden chute because of warm weather and rain that made the ice on Hosmer Pond unsafe, glorious weather greeted the always cheerful, fun-seeking competitors and spectators.

Held a day after the Midcoast was hit with a rare snowstorm for 2016, the "shoot-the-chute" toboggan event still drew plenty of competitors and fans to what is now marketed as "Maine's Mardi Gras."

The event always is fun for a multitude of reasons, the hair-raising, adrenaline-inducing rides down the chute (or manmade snow course, this year), the flamboyant, over-the-top costumes, the food, the atmosphere and the overall festivities.

And, of course, the interesting, catchy team names, with clever word play, always are a hit.

Last year, there were 93 registered two-person teams, 84 three-person teams, 137 four-person teams and eight experimental teams. That is about 1,000 participants, give or take a handful of duplicates who rode on several sleds or those teams that did not show up.

The official 2016 award winners, with first and second finals' runs and total time listed, were:

Two-person — 1, Birthday Muscles, 7.56 and 7.7 for 15.26; 2, Throbbin Boggins, 7.65 and 7.86 for 15.51; and 3, Valley Kingdom Babes, 7.69 and 7.84 for 15.53.

Three-person — 1, Schooner Olad, 7.93 and 7.9 for 15.83; 2, Krewe Des Jackass, 7.92 and 7.96 for 15.88; and 3, Throbbin Boggins, 7.96 and 7.94, for 15.9.

Four-person — 1, The Dirigo Pups, 8.03 and 8.02 for 16.05; 2, Throbbin Boggins, 8.02 and 8.05 for 16.07; and 3, Curiouser & Curiouser, 8.08 and 8.04 for 16.12.

Experimental — 1, Magic Carpet Ride, 7.88 and 7.87 for 15.75.

Fastest female team — Valley Kingdom Babes, 8.10.

Fastest student team — Junior Skeeters, 7.79.

Fastest college team — Clark University, 11.37.

Best crafted toboggan — Maxcy Pad.

Best costume — 1, Purple, green @ cold; 2, Thunder From Down Under 1; and 3, Curiouser & Curiouser.

There had been other years when significant snow or warm, wet conditions hampered the event, but 2016 was the first year the event was unable to use the actual wooden toboggan chute for the competition.

Later in the afternoon, times down the man-made snow chute — constructed in seven hours during Friday's snowstorm — got faster as the sun set behind the trees, which firmed the snow.

One of the modifications to the new course was to use hay bales to help stop the toboggan racers as they finished their runs. When the regular chute is used, toboggan racers simply slide onto Hosmer Pond and either intentionally/unintentionally wipe out or glide to a stop on the ice.

Courier Publications staff can be reached at 594-4401 or via email at news@villagesoup.com.

Toboggan 1
Team Sled Man Walking, front to back, Joe Drenski, Jason Lincoln, Kim Lincoln and Mark Embury make their first run in the finals Feb. 12 at the U.S. National Toboggan Championships. (Video by: Aaron Lincoln)
Toboggan 2
Team Schooner Olad makes their final three-person run in the 2017 U.S. National Toboggan Championship Feb. 12. (Video by: Kim Lincoln)
Team 'Blacksteps RVA' makes its first run. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Team 'Buzzards Roost 2' makes a safe landing on Hosmer Pond. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
A familiar scene at the 2017 U.S. National Toboggan Championships as temperatures barely broke 20 degrees and snow was relentless the first day. Bob LaFlamme of 'Team Bolt' of Massachusetts keeps the fire going. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Caroline Carmody enjoys a ride on dad Brian Carmody's shoulders. They traveled from New Hampshire to attend the toboggan event. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Liam Menard of team 'Oh Chute' sports a popular item — a Go Pro camera — to record the ride down the 400-foot wooden chute. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Lots of snow and racing fun on a snowy Saturday. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Man and canines watch the races. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Team 'Blacksteps RVA' comes in for a hard landing. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Members of the Rockport Fire Department prepare for their run down the chute. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
The official scoring. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
First-timers 'Team Gettin' Yelled At' prepares for their run down the 400-foot chute. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Members of team 'Anger Management' make a safe landing on the frozen pond. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Team 'Cactus Clowns' from Arizona enjoys the cold and snow. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
The annual costume parade is a sight to behold. Craig McLeod leads his dragon through the crowds, with Cam and Hannah McNaulty. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Picture-taking time. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Scene at the U.S. Toboggan National Championships. (Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham)
Keeping the official times and announcing the weekend's events from inside the timing shed are, from left, Aaron Lincoln, Mike Bridges and Tom Dowd. (Photo by: Kim Lincoln)
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