With more than 400 teams registered to compete in the 23rd annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships Feb. 10 at the Camden Snow Bowl, one might say winning in one division would be quite a feat. However, for the same two people to be on three winning teams would seemingly not only be a challenge, but a daunting task.

But that is what happened as Warren and Turner men hold bragging rights as champions in not one, but three divisions, including the two-, three- and four-person classes at this year's weather-shortened event.

Fat Bloated Idiots, Absolute Zeros and the Bull Hoss Fusiliers have two common denominators. The first is they all nabbed the coveted top spot in their respective divisions at this year's popular wintertime event. The second is they included the same two area riders, Doug Pope of Warren and Tim Flick of Turner. Vince Beemis of Rockport was a rider on two of three winning teams.

Fat Bloated Idiots finished first in the two-person division with a 8.89 first run and 8.83 second run for 17.72 total time, while Absolute Zeros won the three-person category with a 8.84 first run and 8.83 second run for a 17.67 total time. Bull Hoss Fusiliers completed the winning trifecta in the four-person division at 8.82 and 8.4 for 17.66 winning time.

Despite the more than two feet of snow that buried the Midcoast courtesy of the storm system Nemo, tobogganers and spectators still turned out aplenty for the event shortened to one day of racing. Among those who came to ride — and apparently to dominate the competition — were Pope, Beemis and Flick.

Pope, Beemis and Flick are seasoned riders, having been part of a core three-person team at the event for 21 years. The fourth man for their four-person run often varies Pope said. Last year Pope's youngest son, Colin, was a part of the team, the year before his oldest son, Tristan, was a member.

"It's pretty amazing," Pope said of this year's toboggan trifecta. "We have been successful in the past."

Wins for Pope, Beemis and Flick have included the four-person team last year, and Pope, alongside his brother in-law, won the two-person team twice many years ago. This year Pope's wins were in the two-person, three-person and, for a second year in a row, the four-person division.

The U.S. National Toboggan Championships are held annually at the Camden Snow Bowl. Hundreds of teams register, and tobogganers from all over the world take part in the three-day event. It is often a spectacle of racing, food, flamboyant costumes and camaraderie. For more than two decades, Pope has happily been a part of it all.

"It's a family thing," he said, adding that they have friends come from New York who have participated before as well. "Vince calls it the Cabin Fever Reliever," Pope said.

In essence, a way to take a break from shoveling and plowing snow, something this area has seen plenty of this winter season.

The crowd, atmosphere, the costumes and Saturday (usually the first day of competition), in particular, are Pope's favorite things about the championships. Saturdays he said he enjoys because there are more people there, whereas with Sundays there are often fewer people because not everyone qualifies to come back for racing that day. While Pope's teams do not opt to wear costumes, he said, they do wear brown Carhartt or Dickie coveralls.

They also use two different toboggans for racing, Pope said. Sometimes teams competing in multiple divisions will use the same toboggan in all divisions.

"It's a lot of fun," he said.

Pope hopes for next year is that his teams will do well again and qualify for Sunday's championship racing. He said that they have been off pace in their preliminary runds before and didn't qualify to come back to race in the finals on Sunday. "It would be wild to win again," he said.

And not just one win. But the terrific trifecta.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.