It was cold and windy this weekend at the U.S. National Toboggan Championships in Camden, but organizers say the weather allowed for faster sledding speeds and did not stop record turnout from participants and racers.
About 5,000 people attended the three-day event at the Camden Snow Bowl, including about 1,000 racers, according to organizer Holly Anderson. This year’s turnout was one of the highest the event has generated in the 29 years it’s been held.
“It was an awesome, awesome weekend. We had a record number of spectators come in,” Anderson said. “Because of the cold temperatures, I think a lot of people were coming and going more often, so it allowed more people to come in and experience the nationals.”
Revenue from the championships helps offset the operating cost of the Camden Snow Bowl, which is a town-owned ski area. Annually, the event brings in about $25,000 to a high of $55,000 for the Snow Bowl.
While this year’s revenue is not yet known, Anderson said she is confident this was a banner year financially. Organizers broke a revenue record from the $10 parking fees this weekend, Anderson said.
The high turnout was also met with high speeds as teams of two, three and four people raced down the ice-covered, 440-foot-long chute onto Hosmer Pond. Anderson said toboggans were travelling down the chute at more than 43 miles per hour, with the fastest run time clocking in at 9.3 seconds.
Rain on Friday followed by cold temperatures Saturday morning washed away any snow and kept the ice smooth.
“On really cold days like this weekend was, and when there’s no snow in the chute, things go much faster,” Anderson said. “We had some really fast times.”
Placing first in the two-person division was the team Bolt 2 from Medway, Massachusetts, with times of 9.46 seconds and 9.47 seconds.
In the three-person division, the Belfast team Splittin’ Adams came in first with run times of 9.43 seconds and 9.48 seconds.
In the four-person division, first place went to the team Speedrunner 4 from Bridgewater with run times of 9.45 seconds and 9.5 seconds.
Complete results from the races are available on the Camden Snow Bowl’s website.