<< previous (advanced tips)
2008 Tournament Results
(schedule) next >>
The 2008 Paganello World Freestyle Challenge
March 21-23, 2008
Rimini, Italy

Here's my review of Paganello 2008........

If you look at the group photo that was taken on Saturday at this, the 10th anniversary of freestyle at Paganello...

You'll find Steve Hays who appropriately, won the spirit of the game award...'The Beast' was here again representing the Northwest jam community at Paganello, a community which had played such a big factor in keeping the sport alive - especially during the 90's before it's recent resergence.

You'll find Darryl Allen, who in 1985 hit a triple spinning barrel gitis off a body roll at the World Indoors - the move of the year - a move which had brought huge cheers from the big crowd at that event... How special it was to see him back in front such an appreciative crowd again - and Darryl responded by hitting a variety of hein combos in every round.

You'll also find Rob Fried, a players whose roots in the sport are firmly planted and whose influence continues to grow with every trip to Europe.

You'll find also find Joey Hudoklin, the Legend, the King, the Oracle... A mentor to most if not all the top players of my generation, it was his fire for the sport that pushed everybody else who had the pleasure to play with him to new levels.

You'll find Clay Collera' who almost single-handledly kept the sport alive in Italy before 1998...and Lui who has kept the tide going ever since.

There in the photo you'll find other American jammers as well and players from 10 other countries - England, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Israel and Tunisia.

But in that photo you wont find 2 players who were among the original 15 who had competed at the first freestyle event at Paganello 10 years ago. Morgan Fiorani and Fernando Direito have both passed away since then...It's sad to think they couldn't be here for the 10th acrobatic paganello, but I know they would have both been very happy to see how the event and sport have grown in size and still kept their same spirit.

It was this same, wonderful spirit that greeted Joey and Rob when they arrived on the beach on Thursday afternoon and were swarmed by dozens of fired up young jammers. The wind was perfect and there was more hard pack than usual clearing the way for some awesome opening day jams. I'll leave the details of the Parties on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights to your imagination - and we'll just say that the freestylers may have finally won the party at the disco as at the end of the night we nearly outnumbered the ultimate players on the dance floor and on the last bus. Maybe the colder weather contributed to the high party ratio since everybody didn't jam themselves to the ground during the day like years past - and actually had some strength left for the parties ;-)

On Friday - imminant rain and bad wind moved the event inside the big tent where there was a good sized audience of about 400-500 at any time and over 1,000 throughout the day. The noise level often peaked as many teams shedded - especially Reto and Paul - with Paul making some incredible double disc moves and catches and Reto hitting several out of this world (Altro Mondo) combos. Other very solid performances were put in by Jan Shreck and Flo, Valerio and Giovanni and Joey and Rob (who kept the disc moving the whole time).

The most competitive pool was pool C, where 3 teams hit their routines - Matteo & Arthur, Claudio and Clay and the Hungarian phenoms Balu and Geri.

On Saturday we had a break from the bad weather and Lui decided it was best to take a chance on playing outside although the forecast had called for rain and dark clouds were looming over the red carpet.

The decision paid off and the outdoor co-op semi drew a huge crowd - comparable to last years finals crowd. The wind was ok and the players were fired up to play outside...

The routine of the day might very well have been the spontenious shred by Flo, Emmanuele and Danilo. They kept their energy level and quality of passes high throughout their 5 minute routine with Flo sealling everything within his reach - the crowd went crazy for these guys.

To get to Saturday night's disco round Lui organized an early freestyle bus, so everyone could warm up and get ready for the 16 team semifinal...She set up 2 sets of 6 judges so that we could do alternating pools which eliminated any pauses between routines...The first teams had to play a bit early before most of the ultimate players had arrived, but were able to take advantage of the extra space to perform. By the end of the round the teams were sizzling - it was evident that the level of the players has really reached a new level. The crowd had responded with lots of noise, though the crowd reaction wasn't able to rival the frenzied reactions of the early years at Altro Mondo - I guess freestyle at Paganello has finally lost a bit of it's newness.

On Sunday the rain didn't let up the whole day, and neither did the bone chilling wind...I heard from several ultimate players that it was the most difficult conditions they've ever competed in - playing barefoot in the sand and having their hands and feet become numb. We were fortunate to have the tent for the finals though it was still chilly and a bit hard to get warm. The crowd in the tent was really fired up - which helped fire up the players - soon after the rounds had finished everybody who had been competing or judging were jamming together....At the awards ceremony we got to see the extatic reactions of Manuel and Fabio as they were presented with their first Paganello titles and the humbled Steve 'The Beast' Hays given the spirit award and a suprised and even emotional Joey Hudoklin be given the Lifetime Achievement award...Joey gave a speach of thanks and said how happy he was to see the next generation carry on the sport which he worked so many years to help create.

Joey was then interviewed by Sky Sports Italia who will be airing a special on Paganello in the coming days.

The jams on Monday were awesome as we had consistent wind and even a little sunshine between the clouds...concurrent jams went on all day on the beach and inside the tent.

Beyond the competition and parties I'll remember Paga 08 because I can say "I was there to see Joey meet the next generation"

Z ya round!

- Tom

video montage


1. Tom Leitner/Fabio Sanna
2. Clay Collera'/Claudio Cigna
3. Matteo Gaddoni/Arthur Coddington
4. Paul Kenny/Reto Zimmerman
5. Valerio Occorsio/Giovanni Coppo
6. Darryl Allen/Steve Hays
7. Jan Schreck/Florian Hess
8. Balu Major/Gery Nemeth


1. Clay Collera'/Paul Kenny/Manuel Cesari
2. Dan Yarnell/Steve Hays/Darryl Allen
3. Tom Leitner/Claudio Cigna/Luca Medri
4. Arthur Coddington/Gery Nemeth/Balu Major
5. Matteo Gaddoni/Valerio Occorsio/Jan Schreck
6. Emmanuele Faustini/Florian Hess/Danilo Torzolini
7. Anton Capelleman/Jan Soerensen/Kolja Hanneman
8. Sergio Arrighi/Marco Prati/Andrea Poli

SPIRIT OF THE GAME: Steve 'The Beast' Hays LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Joey 'The Oracle' Hudoklin

Co-op Semi pool A

1. Emmanuele Faustini/Flo Hess/Danilo Torzolini
2. Matteo Gaddoni/Valerio Occorsio/Jan Schreck
3. Dan Yarnell/Steve Hays/Darryl Allen
4. Clay Collera'/Paul Kenny/Manuel Cesari
5. Paolo Magni/Filippo Cavalca/Giovanni Coppo
6. Eleonora Imazio/Markus Goetz/John Titcomb
7. Raffaele Pilla/Gloria Alessandrini/Davide Bianchi
8. Lukas Lacina/Jakub Zahradnicek/Jan 'Dexter' Struz
9. Jakub Matula/Jakub Sedlak/Nico Bernold

Co-op Semi pool B

1. Claudio Cigna/Luca Medri/Tom Leitner
2. Arthur Coddington/Balu Major/Gery Nemeth
3. Sergio Arrighi/Marco Prati/Andrea Poli
4. Anton Capelleman/Jan Soerensen/Kolja Hanneman
5. Fabio Sanna/Antonio Cusma/Joey Hudoklin
6. Oren Meron/Ofek Agmon/Yarden Borcow
7. Sergio Marconi/Andrea Dini/Pavel Baranyk
8. Ale Berra/Matteo Ceresa/Merciano
9. Jakub Hosek/Fathi Abdelli/Niki Thoma

Pairs Semi pool A

1. Clay Collera'/Claudio Cigna
2. Tom Leitner/Fabio Sanna
3. Matteo Gaddoni/Arthur Coddington
4. Darryl Allen/Steve Hays
5. Eleonora Imazio/Dan Yarnell
6. Marco Prati/Luca Medri
7. Filippo Cavalca/Sergio Arrighi
8. Kolja Hanneman/Nico Bernold

Pairs Semi pool B

1. Balu Major/Gery Nemeth
2. Paul Kenny/Reto Zimmerman
3. Valerio Occorsio/Giovanni Coppo
4. Jan Schreck/Florian Hess
5. Oren Meron/Paval Baranyk
6. Anton Capellman/Andrea Dini
7. Joey Hudoklin/Rob Fried
8. Manuel Cesari/Andrea Poli


paganello.com - Paganello's official web site

FPA - Freestyle Players Association

<< previous (advanced tips) Top ^ (schedule) next >>