HOW SWEDEN became the LEADING COUNTRY OF THE CSWC WORLD
Swedish slow smokers hold two of the world's most powerful positions in the CSWC.
Igor Kovacic the "Swedish Tiger" - actual World Record Holder
Although it is not widely known, Sweden was one of the few countries that recognized the value and welcomed the concept of the Cigar Smoking World Championship from the beginning. As a result, one of the very first qualification events took place at Mellgren's Cigar Shop and Lounge in Gothenburg, a historically significant location for the CSWC. Mr. Ulf Zandhers, owner of Mellgren's at the time, and his team were such gracious hosts and supporters to the very young CSWC project.
This is a golden era for Swedish cigar enthusiasts and slow smokers. The positions they currently hold in the CSWC world are so difficult to secure that they deserve a great deal of respect and admiration. The path was long, but it was strong, and it paid off. Add to that the fact that one of the sharpest judges is also from Sweden, and we can say that Sweden has made a significant and lasting impact on the CSWC World and it's history.-Marko Bilic. CSWC Founder
Ulf Zandhers from Mellgren's Fine Tobacco
Karl Martin Brix from Kind Cigars
Swedish smokers quickly accepted the CSWC, and many of them traveled from all over the country each year to compete and represent Sweden at the CSWC Grand Fina. Of course, knowing Swedish Viking mood we knew that some slow smoking stars will be born there and from very beginning, it was easy to identify one smoker who stood up from the start with his beautiful competition spirit - it was Igor Kovacic, the first ever Swedish Champion. The story of Igor Kovacic, nicknamed "Swedish Tiger" because of his Tiger competition attitude, is simply incredible. He is currently one of the most well-known names in the CSWC World. He currently holds the CSWC World Record for the longest time. He finished second in the Grand Finals two times and set two world records. He has won a number of open qualification tournaments around the world, including those in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Denmark.
André Bornecrantz Dias, one of the CSWC organisers from Mellgren's
Henrik Kistenssen, actual World Champion
Pierre Gusstavson, former Swedish Chamion and now official international CSWC judge
Later on, André Bornecrantz Dias, a great friend of Club Mareva, took the initiative for organization, followed by the now famous Karl Martin Brix from Kind Cigars, who was supported by Pierre Gustavsson, a former Swedish Champion and now one of the sharpest CSWC International judges. The Swedish smokers' uprising was a long but powerful journey to the top of the Slow smoking world, where they now stand. Following his amazing success, Igor Kovacic began to share lessons and his experiences with fellow Swdish smokers. Because of that, they improved their skills and motivation with Srecko Pavicevic as one of the first of them. The true boom of the Swedish slow smoking community came from the qualification event in 2019, when Igor established the current World record at home in Helsingborg, on which Pierre Gustavsson also Won as Swedish Champion with much more than 2 hours of smoking and followed by Mikael Zander with also amazing smoking time. That was proof that they can do a big time inthe CSWC and that they are just warming up.
CSWC Judge Pierre Gustavsson, Swedish Champion Mikael Zander with Marko Bilic, CSWC founder
The boom of Swedish slow smokers continued in the prequalification tour for season 2020, with more than 80 people from dozens of cities taking part in this CSWC tour. It was clear that there were new faces on the scene. Covid arrived, and the online season "Stay Strong" premiered on the ZOOM application. That was a true training campaign for Swedish smokers, who began on each session by easily smoking slowly for close to three hours. That was a fantastic learning experience for them, as well as preparation for the real, live CSWC season in 2021. And then it happened: Mikael Zander won title of Swedish champion with big smoking time, they marked four names in the top 20 list of the season, three names in the top ten best positions, and the ultimate one - the World Champion Title. With the World Champion title in the hands of Henrik Kristensson and the World Record in the hands of Igor Kovacic, they accomplished almost - mission impossible - in the slow smoking world. Let's see if they are strong enough to keep that unbelievable position for the Swedish flag in very hot upcoming CSWC season 2022.