The Slow Smoking Season is here

The time is here. The wait is over. The countdown has started. When the qualifiers in Norway and Switzerland take place on May 4th, this year’s Cigar Smoking World Championship season will once again be officially underway. And it starts with one of the heavyweights. In 2023 Norway was one of the best performing nations on the circuit, with two names in the top 20, Tormod Skarmaas in second place and Rolf Broch right behind him. With times well over three hours and a fifth place in the grand final for Skarmaas they are two of the favorites also this year.

“The remarkable smoking times of 3 hours 30 minutes and 3 hours 10 minutes, respectively, stunned the smoking community,” CSWC founder Marko Bilic says. “Tormod’s subsequent performance in the Grand Final affirmed his prowess, solidifying Norway’s presence as a force to be reckoned with in competitive smoking.”

But they have a lot of competition to beat. As always, the Brangelina of slow smoking, world record holder Klaudia Ide and 2022 world champion Borys Szkodzik from Poland, are big favorites, despite Szkodzik’s surprising exit after just one hour in the 2023 final.

“The highlight of the CSWC Season 2023 was Klaudia Ide’s groundbreaking achievement,” Bilic says. “Ide shattered Igor Kovacic’s long-standing world record with an astonishing smoking time of 3 hours and 53 minutes, etching her name in history as the first woman to hold the CSWC world record.”

Defending champion Hauke Walter and runners up Andrej Leontijev and Anastasia Arsenova are of course also up there, as well as the 2021 world champion Henrik Kristensson from Sweden, Marcin Sakowski of Poland, Drew Emch of USA and many more. All we know is that the ever growing smoking phenomenon that is the CSWC gets less and less predictable for each year.

“With record-breaking performances, unexpected triumphs, and disappointments, the landscape of competitive smoking saw a significant reshuffle in 2023,” Bilic says. ”That season brought about seismic shifts and unprecedented surprises, setting the stage for an exhilarating season this year. Will new records be set? Will underdogs rise to the occasion once again? Only time will tell.”

In total 45 qualifiers will be held around the globe and who knows? Maybe the 2024 champion will even be someone from one of the six new countries on the circuit; China, Andorra, Cyprus, Jordan, Hungary or La Réunion.

“It’s very exciting with these new countries, because it means we’re constantly growing,” Bilic says. “Other big news is that the US will have just one big event instead of many small ones, and one of the judges will be Rocky Patel himself.”

Nachdem Simon Lundh 2005 sein Ingenieursdiplom in Vermessungstechnik erwarb, entschied er sich für eine journalistische Laufbahn. Er entdeckte die Welt der Zigarren während er für eine nichtstaatliche Organisation in Estelí, Nicaragua, arbeitete und verdient seinen Lebensunterhalt nun größtenteils mit Artikeln über Zigarren, Metal Music und Tattoos sowie Reiseberichten.


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