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2017 NW Regional Smoking Contest

Tom Wolfe  | Published on Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Craig Watness, once again, wins the UPCA NW Regional Smoking contest, but this time he had real competition.


In what has to be the closest finish in a slow smoke, Craig Watness (6-time winner) beat out UPCA President, Tom Wolfe, by only 4 seconds.  It was down to just one puff between first and second place. 

It set out to be a great contest.  Each contestant pa
id only $40 to enter, but went home with the contest pipe, a Salvatore Amorelli pipe worth $225.  Then we had the prizes, which were the best we have ever had, including custom-made pipes, fancy pipe rests, and tobacco, all made by our own members. Every contestant went home with several prizes. (Thanks go to Lennea Wolfe for organizing the contest.)

Then we had the tobacco, SPC's own Potlatch, which was created by Joe Lankford.  This year's batch was on the dry side, which made for very interesting times.  Alex Hidalgo was first out, but nevertheless scored a respectable time of 26 minutes and 44 seconds.  That's right, nobody went out in the first 25 minutes of the contest!

By the 44 minute mark, it was down to just three contestants, Craig Watness, Rick Willoughby, and Tom Wolfe.  All three were at a small table back against a wall.  As the clock showed 49 minutes, Rick sucked hard on his pipe, but went out 16 seconds later.  It was down to just Tom and Craig.

Craig wasn't showing much smoke, so monitor George Bieda put a flashlight next to Craig's lips.  There was still a trickle of smoke.  Then it was Tom's turn.  Monitor Richard Lawton asked Tom if he was still smoking.  Tom produced one puff, but not a second one.  All eyes turned to Craig, who managed a single puff and then was out.  Craig had won! 

Photos from the contest are available in the Seattle Pipe Club's Photo Albums section.
Official contest times are listed here
.
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