CSWC in Latvia

Latvian slow smoker Nikola Branjak is probably way too familiar with the concept “close but no cigar” by now.  Last year he was in the lead when his cigar suddenly went out and he had to concede to Denis Demitch. This year he came in second again, only a minute and a half behind first time competitor, Alexander Ostrovskiy.  

Since it was an open competition contestants not only from Latvia, but also Estonia, Finland and Lithuania, came to fight for the title of Latvian Cigar Smoking World Champion at the magnificent 19th century KK fon Stricka villa in Riga, a setting worthy of slow smoking if there ever was one. After enjoying a full day of activities and live music in the garden, 25 smokers sat down in the beautiful old house and started smoking. In the end, Ostrovskiy wasn’t the only surprise of the day. In fact, like last year the 2023 Latvian CSWC qualification round turned out to be almost all about the rookies. In 2022 everyone in the top three were newcomers, including aforementioned Nikola Branjak, and this year third place went to another newbie, Olexandr Lytvynenko. 

1. Alexander Ostrovskiy 1:55:00
2. Nikola Barnjak 1:53:33
3. Olexandr Lytvynenko 1:39:00

Since graduating with an engineering degree in surveying in 2005, Simon Lundh has preferred to follow a profession in journalism. He stumbled upon the cigar world while working for a non-governmental organization in Estelí, Nicaragua, and is now mainly making a living writing about cigars, metal music, tattoos, and travel.


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