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 paid 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 minut