MINNEAPOLIS — Captain Ken’s Loppet Kubb Tournament returned to Theodore Wirth Park due to unfavorable conditions on Bde Maka Ska, it’s normal location. There were some welcome upgrades since the last time the event was held in the park, such as the stairs which made climbing up to pitches in Upper Stadium a much less perilous feat. The week leading up to the tournament saw record-breaking cold temperatures courtesy of the polar vortex, but luckily the 50 degree-plus swing came just in time for a rather pleasant mid-30s and sunny on Saturday.

This year’s championship field had 28 teams placed into seven groups. The top two teams from each group and the two highest-ranked overall third place teams from the morning round robin play moved on to the championship bracket. The remaining 12 teams moved into a consolation bracket.

The first few rounds of the top 16 were time-limited to one hour for the best-of-three matches. The semi-finals took place just before sunset. Twin Cities local team Beauty School Dropouts (Steve Dolan, Tim Motzko, Andrew Thibodeau) took on Eau Claire’s Free Agents (Gregg Jochimsen, Joe Pendleton, Cory Shay) while Skol (Evan Fitzgerald, Luke Peikert, Pat Rupp) played against Chaska Red (Jeremiah Frasher, Phil Goetstouwers, John Oman). Both matches went to three games before Free Agents and Chaska Red walked away victorious.

Game one of the finals started with a perfect two-for-two open by Free Agents. They would go on to be first to clear their baseline, but Chaska Red was never far behind. By the time eight kubbs were in play, Chaska drilled and cleared them, with enough batons left to clear their last two back row kubbs and knock down the king for a game one win.

In the second game, Chaska Red failed to knock down any kubbs on their first turn, giving Free Agents four shots at their back row, on which they managed to take out three kubbs. Chaska Red went cold on 8 meters, and did not add one. Free Agents took advantage and cleared the few field kubbs, their last two baseline kubbs, and the king to tie up the match.

Both teams were playing strong in the third game. Five kubbs were in play in no time. Chaska Red struggled to clear those kubbs with some unfavorable bounces and a split. They left kubb one standing. Free Agents drilled four kubbs, stepped up to the juicy line, and easily took care of business, winning the 2019 Captain Ken’s Loppet Kubb Tournament title.

Photo of the 2019 Captain Ken's Loppet Kubb Tournament winners.

The top four teams. Photo courtesy of Emily Jipp.

Watch the finals on YouTube

A video of the finals match between Chaska Red and Free Agents.