Strange Blue Tournament Report
Lloret Costa Brava
With 9 games and some serious partying spread over 3 days, a match by match account really isn't going to happen. I know for me anyway most of the details have blurred into one heck of a totally awesome tournament, but here are just a few memories and highlights which hopefully capture some of the good times and epic team play had by the SB team of "At least I'm not pastey white" Pedro, Kelly-Pamela Anderson-Matos, Golden Scorer Rob, SchuMegan, Jez Bird and Berry Stu, Prime assist Ryan, Jassy Dance Machine and Yours truly Laura JTM.
With the renowned punctuality, comfort and efficiency of ryanair, most of us made it to Costa Brava on Friday in one piece and it wasn't long before we hit the beach to throw around and chill. It's legal for tourists to drink on the beach, right? This was going to be a good tournament, we knew it, and the welcome party confirmed it.
Thankfully we were scheduled to play the 3rd match of the morning and so play for us started at 10:40 against Peixets. We came out hard and within no time found our flow. There were awesome bids from the start and a memorable layout endzone D from Rob and the development of Pedro-Rob combinations throughout the day continued to secure points. Mr Consistency Berry (aka poster boy for his artistically engineered blue face on all the tournament flyers) had some amazing grabs and crazy layouts to both pull down discs for scores and save the occasional strays and Stu had some great early D. Half way through the day Ryan joined us and immediately stepped in adding another handler option and allowing Pedro to go long and exhibit his sand-defying acceleration. There were some great calls and all the matches were really well spirited.
SB 13 - 1 Peixets
SB 13 - 4 Better Than Rex
SB 7 - 9 Freezzz Beezzz
SB 11 - 5 Patatas Bravas
To finish a day's great play we celebrated with ice creams. Good, good ice creams. After heading to the pub where we were suitably entertained by the offer of 8 pints for 10€(!!), drunken English men hollering at the Liverpool Fulham match, and Jassy and Rob's 3 pint sangria challenge. We warmed down in the pool (well, as good an excuse as any) and where soon involved in another night of partying where we were treated to a funky, costumed 80s megamix dance show and a freestyle display in the club.
Ok, so it took us a little while to get into the first game. I think some of us were feeling the warm up a little more than we wanted to, but nevertheless it was a pretty close match, with the South Africans taking those crucial final points. It was then decided it would be a good idea to get a bit more kip so we headed back to bed before the next couple of games. We had kept our group seeding of 2nd and suddenly the quarter finals were in sight.
SB 7 - 9 Jika Majika (lost)
The extra sleep seemed to pay off with a comeback of great connections between Jez and Berry and some great D from Jassy. Kelly both handled and made sweet cuts and Ryan was connecting incredibly with everyone. As the wind was picking up through the day, Pedro decided to define 2 separate lines to also better cope with tiredness. The balance of players on the line was ace, with Rob and Laura cutting and running for longs. Stu had a particularly awesome last game with some huge important grabs and Megan did a great job creating space and marking out the girls eyeing up the long cuts. This was our new tactic and, as the teams we played seemed to rely on their girls for speed, we made sure ours were not beaten. It certainly opened up space for Rob and Berry to receive hucks. We also had the first serious zone put on us, but as their captain said, it worked well for the first couple of minutes only, then we had no problem swinging the disc and finding the gaps.
SB 10 - 5 Disctèrics A
SB 9 - 5 Jet Set (QF)
Thrilled with our quarterfinal win we were suddenly faced with the possibility of the final... hmm, sleep, party, sleep, party... But there was no way we were going to leave Costa Brava without showing the world just what hot a Baywatch lifeguard team we make!
To defend our choice of theme against Pedro's insistence that Baywatch was in fact a 90s show and is not really ideal for an 80s themed party, we took the only suitable course of action and decorated our various body parts with the date of the first show, 1989... just to lessen confusion of course. Complete with all the essential life saving kit (whistles, wigs and carefully positioned stuffed socks) SB hit the party en route having to make our first team rescue - a disproportioned stuffed bull falling from the sky, which we took great care of and later became our sideline supporter.
With the last of us arriving back well into Monday morning we managed to grab a couple of hours sleep before attempting (and failing) to fuel ourselves with breakfast before the semi-final against Diz-cu.
SB 5 - 6 Diz-cu (SF)
This was a match that we knew we had a great chance of winning. We had some good play and it wasn't for lack of determination on our part that Diz-cu just beat us to the cap. Trading points for most of the match, right up until 5-5, we had to battle for every point and, despite injuries faced by Ryan, Rob and Jassy, everyone kept chasing down all possible options. Some great mid play from Kelly, a sweet lay-D from Jez and, again, running from Rob and Pedro kept up the spirits but it was our legs, after 7 games of running and 3 nights of dancing that maybe couldn't take the 45 minutes. Perhaps we should have won, but putting all thoughts of disappointment behind us we were well up for some revenge against the Freezzz Beezzz.
SB 9 - 7 Freezzz Beezzz (3-4)
With our characteristically tiring first match of the day over, SB clicked into sweet ultimate again. Trading points to 7-7, then with a cap on with SB 8-7 up, the situation looked scarily similar to our last encounter with this youthfully energetic team... but this time we weren't having any of it and the match saw some serious Ryanair time and a perfectly timed high release break from Megan to Berry for a score. Laura just managed to keep her feet in the endzone having grabbed Jez's upline pass and Kelly rescued a fluttery disc in the corner to win us the upwind point and match.
Despite our relatively little experience on sand, SB played some sweet, sweet ultimate to finish 3rd in a tournament of 24, a massive step up from last year's rank. No fun compromised, this was achieved on top of our tri-night dance floor destruction, cold-shock dips in the sea and creative use of sangria. But the successes of the team were not over... at the awards ceremony Rob received the Golden Scorer award for a sensational 26 scores... pretty impressive in a competition with well over 250 players! The guy with the mic also paid tribute to Ryan's fantastic number of assists, before announcing the top 3 teams and those of us remaining collected the cup in our oh-so-sexy red Baywatch shirts.
The spirit between the teams was amazing and Disctèrics, the hosts, did an amazing job at organising it all. An awesome weekend.
Well done for getting this far... I seem to have written more than I thought!
So good luck to those off to Paganello, go kick some ultimate ass and keep the SB rave flame burning.
PS - For the satisfaction of seeing SB domination of the tournie website (ranked 3rd, our very own Golden Scorer Rob and face of the tournament Berry): Costa Brava Results