We just had so much fun. We spent most of the day with the Yankee BBQ Boys, who are a Connecticut team like us. Their pit boss Mike Lee hosted a competition BBQ class this past April, and I attended knowing that I was going to start competing and figured I would pick up a thing or two. His class gave me the confidence to go ahead and start competing, and it was informative and helpful.
Mike’s team had not scored very well in the BBQ competition Saturday. When we got to their cooking area, they were working on the grilling competition entries. They let us get our hands a little dirty and Sheila loved helping on their turn-ins. However, we take no credit for their final products, and they scored really well. Maybe we just brought them some good karma.
They got three calls and finished third overall. I was very happy for them, and I was glad to be able to share in their day. Mike has been the most supportive person on the circuit for us, and has been very happy our team’s early success. I know they will enjoy more success in the future.
Also got to spend some time with Rich Decker and the Lost Nation Smoke Company. Rich is just a flat out great guy. He’s a big dude with a long goatee, and he always invites us into their camp for a beer and to shoot the breeze. People like Rich Decker and his team are what is good about the BBQ circuit. They score well, but don’t take it too hard when they don’t win and they always seem to have a good time.
Also got to spend a little time with Dave from Qkwannabees, Andy King from the Bastey Boys, Lunchmeat, Purple Turtle and some of the other teams there that we look up to. We also met the Porkaholics, a team that hails from Haddam, a few miles from our home in Norwich.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention that we were honored as Rookie Team of the Year by the New England Barbeque Society. It’s a great honor, and we beat out a few really good teams, including BS BBQ and Sean McCabe and Bourbon and Beale. Hopefully we will prove worthy of the title as we compete more in the future.
Also, it was nice to see I Smell Smoke celebrate their Team of the Year victory. Sheila had the observation that it was a great moment for them, to watch them all celebrate the victory with their families. They are clearly an awesome team, as proven by their massive table of trophies in front of their site.
Overall, Harpoon was a lot of fun for us, and is clearly a well run, well attended event. It is absolutely the crown jewel of New England competitions. Next year, we want to be a part of it. Hopefully, we will be able to get in.