The 2004 World Freestyle Disc Championships took
place on the beautiful beaches of Rimini, Italy with preliminaries rounds beginning on
Friday July 30th, the Semi-Finals happening on Saturday July 31st
and concluding with the finals on Sunday, August 1st.
The competition included flying disc athletes from across Europe and America competing in 4 Pro divisions (Open Pairs, Co-op, Mixed Pairs and Womens Pairs). The players performed 4 and 5 minute routines choreographed to music where they attempted to pull off some of the most radical moves possible. This year also featured an intermediate division where new players got a chance to perform. Thousands of fans came out to cheer them on and to witness the worlds best players compete for the sport's biggest prize!
In the Open Pairs division Dave Lewis and Arthur Coddington edged out Tommy Leitner and Pat Marron to defend their title. In the Open Co-op division saw the team of Larry Imperiale, Paul Kenny and Toddy Broduer beat Dave Lewis, Arthur Coddington and Pat Marron by the closest possible margin ".1". In the Womens Pairs & Mixed Divisions Lisa Silvey and Cindy Kruger & Lisa Silvey and Matt Gauthier had decisive wins in their respective divsions.
"Wow, what a wild ride!"
The tidal wave of jamming began weeks before with successful events in the UK and Amsterdam.
The Extreme sports festival in the UK brought freestyle to a new stage and the promoters were stoked! Thanks to Fabio Sanna from Trieste and Jan Soerenson Copenhagen for travelling to the UK to help kick-start the sport in England.
Amsterjam was over the top in terms of fun and player turnout. It was amazing to see so many players from countries previously not known for freestyle: there were 9 players from Germany and 5 from France!
Add to that a large US contingent and players from Belgium, Switzerland, Holland, Denmark and Italy and in the end there were 45 Amster-jammers!
After a few days of rest the the players headed for Italy and the FPA Worlds began with a great turnout of players - I believe 58 in total including some new jammers competing in new intermediate division.
The event ran smoothly and after 3 full days of competition the last team completing their routine just minutes before dusk the partying began. The weekend saw new players and veterans challenge themselves and test the limits of their skills. The wind was not too strong this year but it was tricky since the stage was over a hundred meters from the water where the wind was the best.
The new jam team of Fabio and Stefano from Trieste executed under pressure and made the finals while other solid teams like Matteo and Rodney, Edoardo and Alessandro, Piccio and Andrea Meola and Stefan and Joakim battled changing winds but could not complete enough moves to make the finals cut.
In the co-op division every team was new except the grrrl-power team of Mary, Cindy and Lisa who had competed before and just missed making the finals at the Worlds in Boston in 2002. But this year they fired up and hit their routine making the finals by just barely edging out the Swedish masters Joakim, Stefan and Roland for a ticket to the show.
The other co-op pool was even more difficult with 2 solid teams not making finals: Jeff, Pipo and Reto and Piccio, Meola and Rodney were suprised by Lorenzo, Edoardo and Alessandro's very entertaining and ambitious routine. Fellow Roman jammer Paolo hooked up with Matt and Randy and also made the finals in co-op - Paolo has a really good feel for spont-hein-eous play which prooved to be a good fit for Matt and Randy's 'spank and scurry' style.
In the finals I saw the only the Women and Mixed teams play as I was warming up during the other rounds:
The women's final saw the overwhelming favorites Cindy and Lisa take nothing for granted. Play it safe? No way! They went for their hardest stuff hitting complicated against the spin co-ops and hein indys - they crushed their routine bringing the crowd to their feet - belissima!
The mixed final was much more competitive with Lori and Paul hitting a very entertaining routine, Larry and Mary getting hot in the wind and Dave and Cindy hitting lots of big moves and co-ops...but in the end what may have been the routine of the weekend - if not the year - Matt and Lisa hit and hit and hit co-op after co-op, move after move - wind change, no problem - angle change no problem. They stayed consecutive in very challenging conditions and never lost the flow winning the mixed pairs final convincingly.
The results for the Open pairs and co-op finals were as close as could be - congrats to all the winners and especially to new World Champs Matt Gauthier and Toddy Brodeur! I have to compliment all the players for keeping the spirit of the game flying high all weekend: for example... Fernando helped mentor his freestyle students Luca and Mauro playing with them in co-op, Matt and Randy gave Paolo and opportunity to shred with the big boys, Rodney Sanchez let his crust rub off on newcomers Matteo and Piccio, Alan Caplin hooked up with young guns Oriel and Lusti and John Titcombe with Hila and Jan: Great to see the veteran jammers 'spread the crust'. - lets keep it going on to Seattle!
Once again many, many thanks to the Cota & Tequilla staff and to Jumpi, Clay and Lui for running "eventi magnifico"!
1. Cindy Kruger/Lisa Hunrichs Silvey (66.4)
1. Toddy Brodeur/Larry Imperiale/Paul Kenny (66.7)
1. Lisa Hunrichs Silvey/Matt Gauthier (67.1)
1. Dave Lewis/Arthur Coddington (68.4)
1. Amit Peled (23.0 points)
Mixed Pairs Semi
1T. Cindy Kruger/Dave Lewis (68.0)
Co-op Semi Pool A
1. Arthur Coddington/Dave Lewis/Pat Marron (71.89)
Co-op Semi Pool B
1. Toddy Brodeur/Larry Imperiale/Paul Kenny (68.84)
Open Pairs Semi A
1. Arthur Coddington/Dave Lewis (71.1)
Open Pairs Semi B
1. Matt Gauthier/Randy Silvey (72.2)
1. Paolo Magni (21.6)