RAVENNA, Ohio — Anyone who has participated in the Burning River Kubb Klassic knows that the sound of trains blaring their horns always welcomes you to the tournament. The 2017 edition of the tournament was also greeted with record high temperatures for Ohio—90 degrees and sunny all day long. This made the day quite the challenge not only with good competition, but also with the scorching sun all day.
The morning started with seven rounds of Klassic system qualifying play with a half hour lunch break sold by Stray Dog Cart. After qualifying rounds, the top eight teams were placed into the championship bracket. A new format for the championship bracket was used for this tournament, it was single game matches and triple elimination. This made for a lot of big matches in the heat of the day.
The triple elimination bracket went on until only two teams remained. The Kubb Squirrels (Kyle Weakland, Paul Weakland) and the Jiffy Kubbstaches (Bob Hickes, Bryan Jones). The Kubb Squirrels who went a perfect all morning in qualifying play, stayed perfect in the triple elimination bracket arriving at the championship with no losses. The Jiffy Kubbstaches had only dropped two games all day, both to the Kubb Squirrels—once in qualifying play and once in the championship bracket. With their one loss in championship play that meant the Jiffy Kubbstaches needed to win three games against the Kubb Squirrels before the Kubb Squirrels won twice in order to win the championship.
In the first game, the Jiffy Kubbstaches came out and made a statement by winning on their second turn in just 10 batons, evening their loss total at one a piece. The second game went eight kubbs deep after just a couple turns. On their third turn, the Kubb Squirrels were able to clear all eight field kubbs in two batons and take out the last remaining baseline with the next baton to win the next game. This put the Kubb Squirrels one win away from the championship. In the third game, the both teams got off to slow starts, only taking a kubb every turn or so before eventually getting to nine kubbs in play. At this point, the Jiffy Kubbstaches were able to clear the field in just three more batons and take the third game. This made game four a winner take all showdown for the Burning River Kubb Championship! In the fourth game, the Jiffy Kubbstaches put on a world class performance by clearing the remaining four baseline kubbs with four batons in their second turn to win the game in just eight batons to become the 2017 Burning River Kubb Champions!
- Photo Courtesy of Bob Hickes