POWHATAN – A Powhatan man with an affinity for growing stylish facial hair recently took his passion international by competing in the 2019 World Beard and Moustache Championship in Belgium.
Patrick Quinn of Powhatan placed third in the Sideburns Natural category of the contest, which saw competitors coming from all around the world to show off their moustaches, beards, and sideburns of all shapes and sizes.
The competition saw travelers from counties such as Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Belgium, England, Canada, Switzerland, France, Italy, New Zealand, and the United States coming together to vie for the top places in 17 categories.
“This is most definitely a next-level beard competition. It is the highest you can go as far as beard competition. You have to make sure everything is perfect,” Quinn said.
The competition is open to anyone but participants may only compete in one category. Quinn, who also refers to his beard style as mutton chops, said the sideburns category involves making sure your chin and neckline was clean shaven and has crisp lines.
The Sideburns category was introduced for the Carson City worlds in 2003 to honor the King, Elvis Presley, according to the international competition’s website. The category has remained controversial since its inception, the description continued. The Association of German Beard Clubs translates the name of this category into English as “Whiskers ‘Freestyle’ & ‘Sideburns’,” but the German description excludes sideburns, a term not used in German and a facial hair style not common in Germany.
Quinn had his own little adventure when he flew to Europe on May 15 and the airline lost his luggage, which included his stage outfit. The luggage was finally located on the day of the competition and he rushed from Antwerp to Brussels to pick it up even as the competition was about to start. Several delays and train switches later, he was headed back to the competition.
“The whole time I was on my way back to the Antwerp where the competition was being held, I was getting updates from friends on how close it was to my category. I shaved and cleaned up on a moving train getting dressed in my competition outfit and made it to the venue with only 20 minutes to spare before my category. I went up and I was able to snag the third place in my category,” he said.
Since he began competing in 2013, Quinn has attended numerous shows around the nation, including the 2017 World Beard and Moustache Championship, which was held in Austin, Texas. He placed second in the Sideburns Natural Category of the international competition.
He also won first in Sideburns/Mutton Chops in the 2018 Great American Beard and Moustache Championship in September 2018 in Richmond. He will defend his title again at the competition when it is held in November in Chicago.
If anything, Quinn said his involvement with beard competitions has only increased in the last few years.
Quinn isn’t paid for his victories. Instead, the competitions have charitable connections and proceeds go to them. Quinn also loves and appreciates the relationships he has built and continues to build in the recent years and the opportunity to explore the cities where the competitions are held.
“I have judged several competitions. I have started my own beard club, which is called the Facial Hair Club of Mianus. I now have two sponsors for my beard, Mean Beard, which sells beard products, and Damn Near Kilt 'Em, which sells utility kilts,” he said.
Quinn said he recently had to cut off 10 inches of his beard because of an accident with a circular saw in early April.
Laura McFarland may be reached at Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com.