Folks from all come to Camden, for the 32nd U.S. National Toboggan Championships

In its 32nd year, annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships have been a tradition for decades!
National Toboggan Championship
National Toboggan Championship(WABI)
Published: Feb. 5, 2023 at 7:17 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CAMDEN, Maine (WABI) - With temperatures rising back above zero, it’s time to sled.

The sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day to hit the slopes and the chute, down in Camden.

Despite the delay, the races are underway.

In its 32nd year, annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships have been a tradition for decades!

And you never know who you’ll run into.

Like the U.S. Coast Guard from the Rockland station.

Walter Lange was with a crew helping load the toboggans at the top of the chute, He said, “The active duty crew and the reserve crew are here this weekend working to make the race here smoothly participate in this historical event.”

Coast Guard recruiters were also there. Recruiter, Meghan Barnaby was surprised to see a certain familiar face. “We’re out here looking for some more capable candidates, and just made a reunion right here. I was his recruiter a couple of years ago when he joined,” said Barnaby.

With music, costumes, and a crowd to cheer teams on, folks are having a fun February day!

Even for a couple, who recently moved up to Maine in Summer of 2022.

“It’ was great! (laughing). This is our first year here. Yeah, we just moved up here from Florida.”

We’re told 45% of those who turned out for the event are from out of town.

Some from around the country, and some from around the world.

“We got people as far as Ireland we’ve got California Texas Hawaii North Carolina’s here, really all over the place. It’s really cool to talk with people up at the top of the chute and figure out you know what they’re doing here how long they’ve been racing,” Lange added.

Over the years, the champions ships have only had one cancellation, and that was due to COVID-19.

But this year, with having dangerously low temperatures for the first half of the weekend, the event had to be consolidated into one day.

Also, this Winter has been a challenge for creating the best chute conditions.

“Suga” Shane and his team came up from Roanoke, Virigina, and has been for years. He said this year conditions were certainly different this year. “So today’s a little bit different because shoots a little bit slower, it’s on snow rather than eyes were foreign to defeat when we’re on the ice and now it’s like 100 feet so little bit different but it’s fun, you know, you better bring your A game,” said Shane.

But, at the end of the day, win or lose, it’s always about bringing people together and having a fun in the winter weather.

“I love the community. I love everything about it. like bringing all my southern boys here to Maine. I told them before, it’s like Southern hospitality meets New England and when I brought me up there I did everyone’s super nice and caring and brings back to the community and having some inner winter event that keeps everyone going and alive. It’s awesome,” added Shane.