EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. — The first Eau Claire Orion Charles Miller Kubb Tournament kicked off on Saturday, Oct. 13 with sunny skies and a bit of wind. The afternoon started with eight rounds of one game matches using the Klassic system. A playlist of tunes inspired by Orion was played throughout the day, and prizes selected by his family were given to the top finishers. There were plenty of new players in addition to veterans that made up the 18 participating teams.
The eight rounds of qualifying seeded a top eight championship bracket and a 10-team consolation bracket. The consolation side would continue one game matches to determine a top three, while the championship bracket would turn to best-of-three game matches.
The semi-finals matched up four local Eau Claire teams: Appetite for Destruction (Scott Forster, Gregg Jochimsen) versus PS Kubboom (Pat Klages, Steve Nelson) and Tyr’s Tre (Eric Anderson, Cory Shay) versus Pixie and Jenna (Dave Ellringer, Sy Ellringer). Both matches would finish in two games, with Appetite for Destruction and Tyr’s Tre coming out on top.
By now, the lights had come on, and a small crowd started to gather around the finals pitch to watch the ensuing battle. The first game of the finals was a real marathon. Tyr’s Tre started strong and had their back row nearly cleared very early, but the last kubb seemed to elude them. Appetite for Destruction nearly caught back up, but Anderson and Shay were finally able to put away that pesky last kubb and end the game with a win.
In game two, Forster and Jochimsen started to find their rhythm and Appetite for Destruction able to get the win, sending this match to a third game.
Really giving the onlookers their money’s worth, the third game was a very tight back and forth affair. Both sides would answer the other’s progress, turn after turn, eventually making this a “real kubb game” with all 10 kubbs in play. The last few turns were exciting to watch as both teams were in the “red zone” and could win it. Anderson’s 10 kubb drill and the clearing he and Shay left them with the baton they needed to slay the king and become the first Eau Claire Orion Charles Miller Kubb Tournament champions.
Photo courtesy of Christopher Jones.