31st annual Toboggan Nationals

postponed to 2022

CAMDEN (12/15/2020): The 31st annual U.S. National Toboggan Championships (Feb. 5-7, 2021) has been postponed to Feb. 11-13, 2022. The Toboggan National organizing committee had been meeting over the past three months, formulating a plan to hold the event safely before coming to today’s difficult decision.

“We had developed a plan to run half the number of teams, with 25 percent of the number of racers and no spectators,” said Committee Co-Chairman Stuart Young.

“And while we felt these numbers would be manageable in terms of adhering to Maine’s Covid-19 mandates, the rise and continued high numbers of infections makes it impossible to assure a safe event,” said Co-Chairman Holly Anderson.

The U.S. National Toboggan Championships are annually held in February at the Camden Snow Bowl. And for 30 years, without fail, the event has dealt with weather-related concerns. One year it was a blizzard that enveloped New England in whiteout conditions and forced the event to condense to a single day of racing. Other years racers have endured gale-force winds and pouring rain, the former that made for frigid temperatures, the latter that turned the chute exit into a cold flume ride.

“We have also dealt with warm temperature years that in all but one case turned around in the final days before the event to make the ice on Hosmer Pond safe enough to race on,” said Anderson. “The one year the ice was deemed not safe enough, Snow Bowl staff and volunteers rallied to plow snow and make a chute on the hill and we were able to hold the event, complete with winning times and trophy awards.”

The Toboggan Nationals was conceived in 1991 as a mid-winter lark and a way to celebrate the rebuilding of the historic 400-foot-long wood toboggan chute, which was originally constructed by community volunteers in the 1930s. The event has grown to become an important economic engine for the Midcoast, with thousands of racers and spectators trekking to town during the shoulder season.

“While we are saddened that our event, like so many others in Maine, as well as the entire country, has been impacted by the pandemic, we know this tough decision is the right one. And to all the racers who have been calling and emailing me, we know you will join us in making the 31st annual the celebratory event that it should be, that it will be,” said Anderson.

A look back at 2020 U.S. Toboggan National Championships

For 29 volunteer firefighters from Rockport, Maine, competing in the 2020 U.S. National Toboggan Championships was all about sharing an unforgettable outdoor experience that would bring them closer as a team than ever before.

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