2010 U.S. National Slow Smoking Championships


By Bob Tate


Every year, since 2003, the United Pipe Clubs of America (UPCA) hosts the annual U.S. National Slow Smoking Championships at the Chicago Pipe Show. This year it was held on Sunday May 2, 2010 which was the last day of the show. Slow smoking contests are where contestants get together and see who can smoke their pipe the longest with just one light. Once your pipe goes out, you are out of the contest. The last person smoking is the winner and, at the U.S. Championships, is declared the U.S. Champion.

Each year, the contestants are issued a new, unused competition pipe that is made to specific specifications for use in the contest. Each contestant is issued a pipe, 3 grams of tobacco, a tamper, two matches (one for the charring light and one for the true light), and a piece of paper. For the 2010 contest the pipe was an Aldo Morelli line made by Lorenzetti and the tobacco was G.L. Pease Barbary Coast.

Aldo Morelli 2010 U.S. Competition Pipe
Aldo Morelli 2010 U.S. Competition Pipe

Aldo Morelli 2010 U.S. Competition Pipe
Aldo Morelli 2010 U.S. Competition Pipe

2010 Competition Tamper
2010 Competition Tamper

2010 Competition Tobacco - G.L. Pease Barbary Coast
G.L. Pease Barbary Coast
2010 Competition Tobacco


Pipe smokers from all over the world come to the Chicago Pipe Show and compete in the U.S. Slow Smoking Championships. This year, Kevin and I both entered the contest. This was our first ever slow smoking contest and we had no idea what we were doing. We were quite surprised by all of the rules and different ways that you could be disqualified. You can read more about the rules of preparing your pipe for smoking in the contest by clicking here, Smoking Contest Preparation.

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The first person out this year was Reggie Stevens from the UK with the time of 8 minutes, 30 seconds. He was awarded the UPCA First Out trophy and a jar with 1,000 matches in it to keep his next pipe lit.
Second place went to Steven van Puyvelde (Steven) from Belgium with the time of 1 hour, 9 minutes, 28 seconds. He received a Northern Briars pipe made by Ian Walker.
First place, and the 2010 U.S. National Champion is Raymond Lykins (Birmingham0irish) from Alabama, U.S.A. with the time of 1 hour, 11 minutes, 29 seconds. Along with his trophies and Bonfiglioli Pipes Plaque,he received a Le Nuvole pipe.

Everyone who competed in the competition received a prize. The prizes ranged from lighters, all the way to pipes. Kevin received an 8oz tin of Sutliff Private Stock Sunrise Smoke and I received a Savinelli 2009 U.S. Competition Pipe.

2010 U.S. Champion, Raymond Lykins
Raymond Lykins - 2010 U.S. National Champion

Raymond with His New Le Nuvole Pipe
Raymond with his Pipe and Plaque

Steven van Putvelde – Second Place Winner
Steven van Puyvelde - Second Place Winner

Reggie Stevens
Reggie Stevens - First Out


Here is the complete list of the 2010 U.S. National Slow Smoking Competition results:
1. Raymond Lykins            1h    11m    29s
2. Steven van Puyvelde     1h    9m    28s
3. John Hamilton               1h    7m    48s
4. Red Hat                           1h    4m    58s
5. Chris Slater                     1h    4m    45s
6. Tom Pfaeffle                   1h    01m    10s
7. Roy Fazalare                   0h    59m    02s
8. Fat Max                           0h    56m    52s
9, Martin Bader                  0h    53m    41s
10. Pierre Pams                  0h    53m    28s
11. Brad Berard                   0h    53m    15s
12. Doc Garr                        0h    50m    24s
13. Craig Watness              0h    48m    22s
14. Buddy Winemiller        0h    48m    14s
15. Mike Rothenberger      0h    47m    31s
16. Jackie Craen                 0h    46m    44s
17. Robert Vacher              0h    45m    18s
18. Burt Brown                   0h    44m    30s
19. Terri Weist                    0h    43m    55s
20. John Warner                0h    42m    11s
21. Lou Carbone                 0h    42m    00s
22. Jeff Weiner                   0h    41m    10s
23. Aaron Harris                0h    41m    08s
24. Andrei Knotko             0h    40m    41s
25. Dom Anticev                 0h    40m    30s
26. Joe Molieri                    0h    39m    38s
27. Hank Saatchi                0h    38m    31s
28. Lev Vasilyev                  0h    37m    18s
29. Bob Tate                        0h    36m    36s
30. Manduela                      0h    36m    24s
31. Alain Letulier                0h    33m    25s
32. Kyle Southern               0h    32m    45s
33. Curtis Ellis                     0h    31m    55s
34. Jim McFadden              0h    31m    41s
35. Jim Lissner                    0h    31m    34s
36. Bill Miller                       0h    30m    49s
37. Ian Walker                     0h    30m    03s
38. Rickey Harris                0h    29m    45s
39. Martin Vollmer             0h    28m    45s
40. Antoine Grenard          0h    28m    30s
41. Mike Keilty                     0h    27m    46s
42. Jaden Hewlen               0h    26m    19s
43. Craig Cobine                  0h    25m    54s
44. Steve Greathouse          0h    25m    44s
45. Nathan Harris               0h    25m    42s
46. Craig Norris                   0h    23m    43s
47. Tom Dinelli                    0h    22m    58s
48. Greg Kowalczyk            0h    22m    18s
49. Tony Pascual                 0h    22m    15s
50. Jotham Tausig              0h    21m    19s
51. Harry Malin                   0h    21m    08s
52. Kevin Godbee                0h    20m    28s
53. Milton Strasburg            0h    11m    41s
54. Reggie Stevens              0h    08m    30s

When we first signed up for the contest, we initially thought that it would just be something fun to do while covering the contest. But once we actually started the contest, and lasted longer than one minute, we started to become serious about it. Once Kevin saw that he was not the first person out, he became super serious and I couldn’t even coax one word from him. He just stared straight ahead and was concentrating on his pipe. It was a great time and we had a blast. If you have never competed in a slow smoking contest, make sure that you enter the next available one that you are able to attend. You will have a great time!

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