The U.S. National Toboggan Championships will instead be held Sunday once temperatures rebound.
The team Clam Chuters of Camden carry their toboggan to the track before competing in the 31st annual U.S. National Toboggan championships at Camden Snow Bowl on Feb. 12, 2022. Credit: Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald via AP

The U.S. National Toboggan Championships scheduled to begin races on Saturday in Camden has been postponed to Sunday due to frigid temperatures headed toward midcoast Maine.

The start of the championship races has been postponed to Sunday, said Holly Anderson, assistant director of the national championship committee. The races usually take place over the course of two days, but will be packed into one day this year.

The championship also has been moved to a different location within the Camden Snow Bowl because of unsafe ice on the pond where the races usually happen.

By Friday night, Camden could be hit with wind chills as low as minus 23, according to the National Weather Service

“Out of an abundance of caution for everybody, including the volunteers that would have to be standing outside all day to race to load up and watch the teams, we have moved all of the racing to Sunday,” Anderson said.

This is just the third time in the national toboggan championship’s 32-year history that the committee has had to postpone the racing due to weather. Unlike 2016 and 2013, where blizzards pushed the racing back, it’s the first time the championship is battling the bitter cold.

This is also the second time the committee has had to relocate the racing. The championship usually takes place on Hosmer Pond, using the Snow Bowl’s 1936 toboggan chute. Anderson said that the committee recently learned the pond hadn’t yet frozen over enough because of warmer weather. Volunteers then created a makeshift chute out of snow on Ragged Mountain. Tobogganville, where there are usually vendors and tailgaters, has been moved to the ball field.

People will be able to check in and have their toboggans inspected Friday and Saturday, but all racing will happen Sunday. There are 375 teams registered to race.

Temperatures will be warmer on Sunday, but the committee is still cautioning spectators from spending a long time at the championship.

“Maybe this isn’t the year to pack up the kids and the dog and come out. Maybe let the racers do what they need to do on Sunday, what they’ve been building up to,” Anderson said.

For those that do want to brave the cold, the committee is encouraging people to cover exposed skin, take breaks from being outside and take the shuttles from downtown Camden because parking will be limited.

“The really important thing is to be prepared if you’re going to come out here on Sunday,” Anderson said.

The championship will kick off on Sunday with preliminary races at 8 a.m. The committee is planning to kick off the final round at 1 p.m.