2004 Freestyle Results - European Freestyle Championships
September 25-26, 2004
Many players arrived on Friday only to be met with a short but heavy rain storm that brought several inches of rain in only a few hours. But on Saturday morning the sun was bright and the sky blue as medium to soft breezes swept across the flat playing surface Paul and his staff had prepared for us on the beach. The surface was laid down using sections of wood which had been covered with a thin blue carpet providing excellent playing conditions.
15 teams competed in Saturday's open pairs semifinal with Paolo Magni/Matteo Feller narrowly missing the finals in pool A and Mauro Mercuri and Fernando "Too Sexy" Botrugno tying for 1st in execution in pool B. There was a tie for 1st in pool B between the Roman team Alessandro and Edoardo and Andrea Meola and Antionio "Piccio" Cusma' from Milan.
In the Co-op Semifinal 12 teams battled for 6 spots in the finals and the upset of the tournament happened when the team of Paolo Magni/Matteo Feller/Possenti Massimo went from a 5th seed position to taking 2nd in their pool hitting lots of co-ops and dropping only 4 during their 5 minute routine. Mauro Mercuri/Claudio Massaro/Luca Mazzucato showed much improvement and missed the finals by only 1.5 points. Lorenzo and Fernando hooked up with Roland Karlsson from Sweden and hit a very nice routine winning their pool.
In pool B Clay, Andrea M and Piccio got really hot a won their pool by 15 points.
After Saturday nights 'Quentin Tarantino' party the players were on the field early Sunday to get some in some good jams before the Finals.
Sunday's finals featured players from Sweden, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Holland and Italy. 37 players competed and there were many others on the sidelines including Steve Hays, John Titcomb, myself and several Italian newcomers.
The Open pairs finals was quite a battle with 4 teams having 3 or fewer drops and the lowest score of the 8 teams was a respectable 7.6. Only 2.2 points separated the 5th - 8th place teams and taking 8th place was Fernando and Mauro from Rome - they had a very solid round with only 3 drops. 7th went to Edoardo and Alesandro also from Rome - they scored well in difficulty but had a few untimely drops. The counter /clock team of Tommy Gereben from Austria and Iwan DeMoor from AmsterJam placed 6th - they decided to set their individual combos themselves and paced their routine to reggae music - the combination seemed to work well as they dropped only 2.
Taking 5th place was Fabio and Stefano from Trieste: they didn't hit their routine like they did at the World Championships in Rimini but earned 5th place dropping only 3. Lorenzo from Rome and Roland from Sweden had good difficulty and hit some nice co-ops placing 4th.
Taking 3rd place was Stefan and Joakim from Sweden in one of the most shredding routines of the year. If it wasn't for a short meltdown where they dropped the disc 3 times attempting an upsidedown co-op they would have definitely challenged for the title. Their routine featured a variety of hein spinning combos, a triple, scarecrow brushes foot brush passes and consecutive moves. In 2nd place was the team from Rimini Clay and Matteo, it's apparent that they are comfortable playing together, they hit lots of flowing co-ops and Clay's shredding indys propelled them to near the top of the difficulty category.
Andrea Meola and Antonio "Piccio" Cusma' from Milan were not only able to find the zone but to stay in the zone for almost the entire routine bringing the crowd into a frenzy by the end of their inspired routine. With only 2 drops and 1 minor bobble they won all 3 categories leaving no doubt about who won. Congratulations to Andrea and Piccio!
The sizzling play of the pairs final did not carry over into the Co-op Final as 5 of the 6 teams ended up with 10 drops or more. Placing 6th was the Cinderella team of Paolo Magni/Matteo Feller/Possenti Massimo with Paolo helping hold their routine together making several key catches. 5th went to the "Swe-Den-Mark" team of Stefan, Joakim and Jan Soerenson as the had some great moments - it was the highest finish ever by a Danish Freestyler - congrats to Jan!
The 4th place team of Paolo/Edo/Ale from Rome kept the crowd entertained during their fast paced routine passing the disc more than anyone else and keeping the disc and the bodys moving at all times.
Roland Karlsson hooked up with Lorenzo and Fernando and were able to endure a music malfunction to take 3rd place carried by a very solid performance from Fernando who hit a double spinning gitis at an important point in the routine.
Clay Collera' hooked up with pairs champs Andrea and Antonio and there were moments when they were playing off the charts as they played infront of the biggest crowd of the weekend because the ultimate final had just finished before their routine and hundreds of ultimate players came to watch along with the hundred or so spectators already in attendence. They had the potential to walk away with victory but could not make enough catches to secure the title.
What does Austria have in common with Trieste? Well, they are not very far apart on the map for one thing and now they have one more thing in common - they both have frisbee players who are the current European Freestyle Frisbee Champs. The all counter team of Tommy Gereben, Fabio Sanna and Stefano Mestroni had high difficulty, solid presentation and won execution by 4 drops. In winning the co-op division the young boys from Trieste followed the example set by the cagey veteran from Austria who kept his cool and made good decisions using solid sets for his catches in a changing wind. It was a well deserved win for this team and especially Tommy G. who is the first Austrian to win a large freestyle event. Tommy has been stylin' since the late 70's though his body shows no signs of slowing - his flips, handstand catches, double spins and aerial moves fired up the crowd all weekend. Big props to Tommy for his first big win!
The Intermediate final saw Fabio's younger brother and nephew Marco and Davide Sanna show their stuff - these boys may give Lusti and Amit a run for their money by next year.
Eleonora Imazo stepped up and showed how much she has improved also with Fabio's help. Gaia, Sara, Alice and Matteo continue to show that Torino is becoming another Italian hot bed for freestyle. Timmy Broxap(4th) has been freestyling for 2 months - he has already developed a good wind game and is doing double leg overs. This 17 year old phenom is determined along with friend and fellow UK jammer Russel Scott (2nd) to put England on the freestyle map.
Placing 3rd and 1st in intermediate were jam partners Valerio Occorsio and Giovanni Coppo from Italy. These boys are well on their way reaching the pro level.
Many thanks to Paul Bernier and his staff for organizing this event, providing the stage, sound system, food and accomodations. The beach cabins were great - each win a shower and kitchen for only 10 euros per night. We could not have run this event without Luigina - she worked non-stop through the weekend announcing, keeping time, organizing judges, etc., etc. Grande Bacio Lui!
The future of freestyle is bright here in Europe and we are looking forward to EFC 2005!
European Freestyle Championships
1 Andrea Meola/Antonio Cusma'
1 Fabio Sanna/Stefano Mestroni/Tommy Gereben
1 Giovanni Coppo
Spirit of the Jam: Clay Collera'