Saturday, 3 April 2010

Paganello Day 2

Those of us who understand that Paganello is as much the parties as it is the play, were there last night when the winners of Paga Idol took to the stage for and extended set of tightly crafted versions of 60s and 70s hits to get the crowd into the mood for a boogie. Some of us were also lucky enough to catch the 2nd place finisher who opened the night with a loud Hendrix influenced series of head banging, face melting guitar rock!

After two nights and two days of Paga it's getting exciting. The Have made up for their shock loss yesterday to top their pool as planned by defeating Tequila Boom Boom today and ending the day with a Arena match point for point trade against Hot Beaches that nobody watching could have called until Hot Beaches managed to close the deal and leave the finals predictions for the Womens divisions completely up in the air.

The weekend saw it's largest spectator turnout in mid-afternoon as Inside Rakete turned a 2 point lead over tournament favourites UTI into a sudden death crowd pleaser with UTI needing the turn and score to deliver a defeat. One perfect huck to Justin Foord and what looked like the upset victory of the event was now another UTI Paganello sudden death win.

Willy & de Schellekes put in a very re-spectible performance and provided Los Tiger with an early wake up call punching through 8 points against the Americans, more than any competitor so far including Iznogood who topped their first round pool.
Huck 'n Sea came back from the tight loss to Iznogood brushing aside the Russian squad to chalk up their first win of the new pool structure. This was followed by a crushing defeat at the hands of upset kings CUSB La Fotta who are continuing to have a stellar Paganello XX.

Stinks have already shown that this may be their year by pressuring Scandal into their first defeat on the weekend in what looks to be the most difficult of the top open pools with Freespeed and Supermanschaft also competing for the top 8 in this group.

Some educated predictions can already be made in the Mixed and Junior divisions. The Swing Kings have not only won all of their matches in the Juniors division but have scored 70 points to only 15 against. That's 30 more goals than the nearest team in that Division. In the Mixed division the Horned Melons and CGNU have shown their comfort on sand in all conditions as the day ended with a chill sweeping through the Rimini, and the wind as always provided a levelling influence that truly separated the good the bad and the ugly today.

The day ended with an unfortunately almost deserted grandstand as SuperManschaft surprised everyone with a possessed performance against Stinks. The Swedes were kicking the sand, throwing hats and one even started digging in the sand like a dog in frustration as the ex-junior division squad scored two in succession to take the game to 6-6 and could only hang their heads in dismay as Manschaft turned and scored to take the lead 7-6. Stinks are the Paganello flavour of the experienced Skogs and are comfortable in pressure situations. Both teams traded the game out to 7-7 and then 8-8, each forcing turn-overs in spectacular fashion until, experience dominated over pure adrenaline and Stinks finished the day with a 9-8 sudden death win.

Tomorrow will bring the beginning of the quarter finals starting in the womens division at high noon across the 4 centre pitches. The finalists will be decided across the board only a few hours later with back to back semi finals in all divisions. We're hoping to see a Super Hot Pot vs Tequila Boom Boom final in the Arena to see if Hot Pot can withstand the enormous local support that Tequila will garner on the day.

Report by Steve Giguere - reproduced from "Roar of the Talking Fish"

Friday, 2 April 2010

Paganello Day 1

1500+ athletes took to the beach this morning under sunny skies to churn up the sands and cast off the red wine induced haze from last night's incredible showing of flame, fun and fireworks that opened the festival of Ultimate.

It can often be said that there is a certain comfort that can be derived from predictability. Thursdays at Paganello have a tendency to progress in a very forseeable way and thus leave us begging for that dark horse team that has been underseeded for any number of reasons. If we look across the divisions in search of some of the more interesting results, the morning started off with JetSet sneaking out an unexpected victory over Cheek in the mixed division. We also saw the Slovakian/London contingent Golden Ants bring their A-game to the Clan to secure their position as a potential rising star.

The biggest news of the tournament in the minds and hearts of the Rimini locals was the tragic loss suffered by the highly seeded Cota Rica at the hands of neighbouring Italian squad CUSB La Fotta in probably the most heated battle that took place in the Arena pitch today. Perhaps they were missing some of the wisdom and patience from the older Cota mem-bers that are representing as Cota Gold at this years Paganello. Cota Rica will be a team to watch tomorrow as every game will now be critical to keep in contention for a place in the quarter finals and the guys from Bologna will be looking to continue their winning streak and potentially have a record performance.

Last years junior finalists Willy & de Shekelles are proving strength and maturity beyond their years today. In there first day at Paganello in the open division they have managed to sweep aside the oversized Dutch squad Cambo Cakes and only loose in a sudden death point to Stolichnaya. Friday will be an interesting day as they should provide surprising resistance to Los Tiger who (like UTI) strolled through all matches today visibly unhindered.

The womens division has without question provided the most interesting results for today. The pool of The Have, Copenhagen, Tequila Boom Boom and Hot Beaches has been turned completely upside down. The Have, lost in a surprisingly convincing way to Copenhagen in the early afternoon showcase match in the Arena while on the adjacent pitch 7 the lower seeded locals Tequila boom boom were busy making up for Cota Rica by shutting down Hot Beaches. Both of these underdogs later met each other for what should have been the battle for bottom. With the added new found intensity of two teams now playing for the top of the pool both clearly brought every-thing into this one. When sand settled it was Tequila Boom Boom, previously seeded 4th in the pool who have come out on top. What remains to be seen is whether The Have can recover and if Tequila have got enough in the tank to go all the way.

Report by Steve Giguere - reproduced from the "Roar of the Talking Fish"