Monday, February 14, 2011, Camden, Maine

Top Story for 2011

4 Wingnuts Retake Top Spot at 2011 Toboggan Championships

Three year wait pays off

Royal Dutch National Toboggan Team Conquer Costume Contest

It was a sweet victory and redemption for Jim Jefferson of Searsmont at the 2011 US Toboggan National Championships at the Camden Snow Bowl. Up to this year, Jefferson had earned 8 trophies with teams such as the Wingnuts, Refit Misfits and Bunch of Yahoos but his teams were completely left out of the 2010 winner’s circle.

This year he along with Graham Milkay, Randy Whistler and Rob Stevens managed to claim first place with the Four Wingnuts, tie for second with Not All There and capture third place with Refit Misfits in the highly regarded 4 person division. Team #331 Weekend Plans tied Not All There for second place.

Jefferson said he entered four, 4 person teams and one 2 person team this year using a total of 6 different toboggans all custom built by himself. All of his sleds are the raised slat style, none having flat bottoms. When asked what their secret treatment was for his toboggans, Jefferson replied in his typically concise style “I wax it”. No more information was forthcoming.

Meanwhile, Chuck Bates, spokesman for the Saco based defending 4 Person division champs Redneck Racers, can’t put his finger on why none of his four teams placed.

“It’s still a mystery to us” said Bates after the race, “but we’re already starting to strategize for next year”.

Bates and crew work for General Dynamics and for this race brought three new teams of co-workers who were more focused on besting the original team than placing in the Nationals. One of the new teams did score better than the original team by a few thousandths of a second and they vowed to let the entire company know how they beat the 2010 champs at their own game. “Oh well” Bates replied preparing himself for at least a year of ribbing “It’s all about having fun” he said.

The real success story came in the third place finish of the three person division. Getting his first trophy after 18 years of serious attempts was Andy Hazen and his team Flying Beer Boys of Lincolnville. This year, the Lincolnville microbrewery owner entered two 2 person teams, two 3 person teams and a 4 person team. Running four toboggans made by Hazen himself, the Flying Bear Boys finally pushed into the trophy zone.

“I’m absolutely excited” Hazen reported on the day after the finals, “we’ve been contenders for at least 12 years earning a lot of fourth, fifth and sixth place finishes but now the drought has ended” he said. Hazen reports he is nursing a few bruises but he is still smiling. What does he use on the bottom of his sled? Hazen answers, “moose juice”.

In other races, Cracker My Ash, Team #118, took first place in the 3 person division while Iron Factory, Team #81 from Derry, New Hampshire, cinched 1st place in the 2 person division during the weekend of overcast but very suitable winter weather.

Apart from racing, the biggest and tallest attraction of the weekend was the Royal Dutch National Toboggan Team who took first place in the costume contest with their outrageous outfits. Apparently losing there way from either the carnival in Reo or New Orleans’ Mardi Gras, the towering Dutchmen painted their faces gold and wore the orange, yellow and gold of Dutch Royalty in the form of wild, poofy pantaloons, sequined shirts with wild gold lame sleeves. No description would do justice describing their head gear.

Oscar Verest, owner of a local inn and tallest of the Dutch invaders said the costumes were made in Holland and brought over by visiting members of the team. “We had the customs officials wondering” he reported.

The team brought the fun of the outer fringe to Mid Coast Maine and the Toboggan Championships. As local businessman Tim Lawrence remarked “They brought us just what Camden needs”.

448a Four Wingnuts
An 8.82 second run in Sunday's finals puts Team #287 Four Wingnuts into 1st place in the 4 person division. Jim Jefferson, third man on the toboggan from Searsmont, Maine, heads up the team. Sitting in front is Randy Whisler while Graham Mackay id sandwitched in between. On the rear might be Rob Stevens, or not.

205a Redneck Racers

Team #243, Redneck Racers, the 2010 Toboggan Nationals 4 person division 1st place winners, have trouble coming out of the chute in the final runs of the 2011 Nationals. .

071 Royan Dutch and fans

Race spectators Andrea Beeckel, Leah Pouliof, Steph Beeckel, and Asia Le (left to right) stop to pose with members of the Royal Dutch National Toboggan Team. The team passed out multi-color wigs to race fans just to add color to the festivities. They took first place in the costume contest.

More Photos Below!

170b Andy Hazen Andy Hazen of Team #112 Flying Beer Boys adjusts a strut on one of his team toboggans on the first day of the nationals. The team went on to take third place in the 3 Person division. It was the first trophie the Lincolnville, Maine team has taken from the Nationals in 18 years of competition.

156aWeb Chili Newly weds Venessa and Roger Jump of Atlanta, Georgia taste and rate the chili at the Chili Challenge in the Welcome Tent at the 2011 US National Toboggan Championships. Only spectators at the race, the couple enjoyed devising a system to rate the food presented by several local restaurants at the event.This year chili was presented on Saturday while chowers were sampled on Sunday. This year Prism Restaurant and Gallery of Rockport took first place in the Chili Challenge followed by the Waterfront Restaurant of Camden and Black Bull Tavern of Rockland. In Sunday's Chowder Challenge first place was earned by Graffam Brothers Seafood Market. Hatchet Mountain Publick House took second while Cappy's Chowder House of Camden won third.

409a Revit Misfits in Chute Team #289, Refit Misfits, yet another Searsport, Maine team headded by Jim Jeffferson, shoots the chute. The team ultimately placed 3rd, in the 4 Person division. Well, technically they placed 4th because there was a tie for 2nd place elliminating 3rd place but don't feel bad for Jefferson; his teams also took first and second places. At the front of the sled is Jon Mitchell followed by Graham Mackay, Jim Jefferson and Rob Stevens.
2.12.244b 3 guys a girl and a toboggan Team #271, Three Guys a Girl and a Toboggan wait for the green light and for the chutemaster to drop them down onto the track to begin their run.
317 Big Kshoonas Team #122 Three Big Kahoonas complete their run at 9 seconds flat in the 3 person division as they hit a bump on Hosmer Pond.
363a Fastest all Female team Team #171, Hot Women on Wood, from Union, Maine was the toboggan that took the trophy for fastest all-female team with their 21st place finish in the 3-Person division.
120b Soggy Bottom Boys Team #6, Other Two Soggy Boggin Boys hit hard at the bottom of the chute after completing their 9.09 second run in the 2 person division at the 2011 US National Toboggan Championships. The Lincolnville, Maine team placed 20th in their division.

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