Cut from the TCPalm Newpaper:
MARTIN COUNTY — Will and Tara Finlay had entered about 15 barbecue contests on the Florida BBQ Association circuit in the past two years without winning in a single category.The Port St. Lucie residents, competing under the name Smoky Dog, not only won the ribs competition, they placed second in chicken and fifth in brisket Saturday to claim the title of grand champion of the first-ever Martin County Fair BBQ Festival at the Fairgrounds.A bunch of us folks from Sunset Bay were the cheering squad and Will and Tara shared some of their special competition stash with us all. It was incredible. They did well and deservedly won Grand Champion. The trophy was a large Pig that was carved outta wood. Better than the usual metal trophy.
Despite steady rainfall that held down attendance on Friday night, fair officials estimated they drew about 7,000 people for the two-day barbecue festival that drew 22 entrants, 18 of them in the professional competition.
Bill Barrett, lead organizer for the fair board, said expenses totaled about $40,000. He said he hoped to recoup most of that from gate receipts and ticket sales.
The Finlays won $2,300.
"By far and away the most we've ever won," Will Finlay said. "You don't even break even 99 percent of the time."
He said he bought a smoker specifically for barbecue competitions, but now the private yacht captain is thinking about starting a barbecue business.
Will Finlay said that behind every great barbecue cook is a great woman.
"I would cook at home and about two years ago my wife started bugging me to enter a contest," he said.
Congratulations to Team Smoky Dog!