Competitors in the upcoming U.S. National Toboggan Championships, taking place Feb. 10 to 12 at the Camden Snow Bowl, are keeping tight lipped about their trade secrets prior to race weekend.

With 417 teams expected to participate in the two-person, three-person, four-person and experimental categories, the annual championships require teams to consider minute tobogganing details from aerodynamic positioning to greasing the sled.

Jim Jefferson of Searsport, a three-time toboggan champion, is one of the few who care to share his.

“The guy with the beard goes in front. He breaks the wind,” Jefferson said. He says he prefers skunk oil for slicking up a sled.

Some competitors will rely solely on themed costumes to get them down the 400-foot-long toboggan chute in record time. Teams with the best times during the preliminaries on Feb. 11 will return Feb. 12 for the finals

Winners receive two prizes: a trophy and bragging rights for the year.

In addition to the toboggan runs, the three-day schedule includes a bonfire, food vendors, music, a chowder challenge, fireworks over Camden Harbor, children’s activities, mechanical bull rides and a pancake breakfast. The Camden Snow Bowl will also be open for skiing, snowboarding and tubing.

Registration for the event has closed, but the public is welcome to watch the tobogganing and enjoy the festivities. A free shuttle service will be available to attendees.

More information about the U.S. National Toboggan Championships is at

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