3rd Annual Smokin on the Water, Lakeport, Calif.

After winning our 5th Grand Championship for the calendar year at Acorn, we rolled into Lakeport two weeks later with a mission.  Fortunately for us, we had one last chance to try to grab our 7th GC before the Aug 28 deadline to quality for the Jack via the automatic 7 wins.  This was because our Canada win did not count towards the 7th, so we have to win this one.   This well-run contest was sponsored by Konocti Vista Casino. Many thanks go to Darlene in the accounting office and Dan for ensuring that all teams’ needs were met.

Lakeport sits on the edge of Clearlake, California’s largest natural lake wholly within California.    35 professional BBQ teams pulled their smokers into the RV park which had individual power and water supplies.  Since the annual lollapalooza of BBQ, Nugget Rib Cook-off in Reno followed this Clearlake contest by one weekend, we had our share of out-of-state teams who were dropping by to compete at Lakeport before heading over.  Ted Aggeler of Casual Smokers and Mike Peters of Here Piggy Piggy were from Kansas City.  Tommy Houston of Checkered Pig from Virginia and Darel & Dona Martin from Piggy D’s from Winthrop, WA were all in our neighboring area.  The out of state teams without a doubt increased an already high level of competition to a full tilt.

As it almost always the case at each competition, something went wrong.  Our stoker fans were left in a bin at home and we were lucky enough to be next to John Jackson who lent us his extra 10cfm fan but without an adapter.  After some jerry rigging with rope and aluminum foil, we were operational for the night.

Many teams and judges came by before the awards ceremony and wished us all the luck in the world.  We were very grateful to be healthy enough to be participating in a hobby we love and to have so many wonderful people walking beside us on the path.  We cooked a good contest and felt that we turned in the very best quality of BBQ meat we had and crossed our fingers.  We placed 2nd, 3rd and 4th in pork, ribs and chicken but alas, no call-in brisket, a traditional stronghold for the SYD team.  This allowed Mike Peters from Here Piggy Piggy to win the GC three points ahead of our RC.  A big congratulations to Mike and Christine for all of their hard work and good showmanship.  A heartfelt thanks to everyone who came by or sent emails to me wishing us well.  We will submit our paperwork and wait in anticipation for this Friday’s Jack Draw.