Strange Blue Tournament Report

Burla Beach Cup

19-21.Sep.2008 - ViaReggio, Italy

Team and Zombie head

Dear All

This is a true and accurate account of the Adventures of Strange Blue on Tour at the Burla Beach Tournament 2008, which took place in ViaReggio, Tuscany, Italy on the 19th - 21st September. Normally a tournament report would go through and breakdown each match point by point, killer move by killer move. This report however is a little different - as I have no recollection of any of the scores and indeed only a hazy knowledge of who we played. I realise this is a serious omission on my part for which I am very sorry. I also apologise for the awful state of this report, but I seem to have fried/pickled my creative juices in Italy.

This being a beach tournament, most of our waking hours (of which there were many) were either spent drinking, snoozing on the beach, eating, and occasionally running after a piece of plastic through sand. We decided to pitch ourselves into the 2nd division (lower than the uber-competitive 1st div, but above the 'beginners' 3rd division). Burla is a BIG tournament, there were a total of 84 teams from all over the world, and in our division there were 36 teams. We had our sights set on doing well and hopefully finishing at least in the top-half of the table.

I remember losing our first game, which was against the Wanna-Beeeez (a team of yoof from Belgium, related to the Freez-Beeez and the Hazz-Beeenz). Basically a group of insane 16 - 20 year olds dressed in yellow that were very distracting in a number of different ways. Our paths were destined to cross with them alot over the weekend, and a certain yellow-suited female hottie caused much distress to a few members of the team. Firstly from being insanely good-looking, then from being only 16 (therefore very dangerous) and finally by throwing up outside our bungalows...

After the initial loss we went onto beat the next team, which was totally great as they ended up beating everyone else in our pool. We lost the other two games we played in our pool, I'm not really sure why as none of them were particularly good, but we just didn't seem to get it going on. And to add insult to injury because the team we beat ended at the top of the pool apparently none of our points counted against them (I didn't really understand this rule, but the math-mos assured me it was correct). So we ended up 3rd in our Pool. Lame. Still it meant a late start to the next day, which was a bonus.

It was Friday-night party time, and we were treated to probably the best Muse tribute band I have ever seen, or at least they were in my top 5 Muse tribute bands of all time. What a load of old crap, SB were there to party and all the band wanted us to do was slit our wrists. Crys of 'Less Suicide, More Party' were rudely shouted at the stage and eventually the evening ended on a high note by Sam attempting to spin on his head infront of some adoring fans. We then invited approximately 25 people round to one of our 5 man bungalows, and got abused by the campsite warden for being too loud.

The next morning Thor's Boner made an appearance, and it seemed to inspire the team. Although we were already knew we were going to end in the lower half of the division we didn't mind and came out fighting with a sharp double-line-up. The Bungalow Line (Berry, Paul, Adam, Mark and Rob) and the Taxes Line (Me, Mark S., Tom, JK and Sam). The ladies (Alex, Snoj, Susanna and Mel) showed us all up by inter-mingling with each line and ensuring that the opposing teams always bought out at least one woman (who was without exception dominated by the SB ladies). I seem to remember we didn't have great success on the Saturday, only winning our last game. Again I have no idea why as I thought we were pretty good, in any event we did very well in all the calls after the matches.

The party on Saturday night was the highlight for me (as always). With a Zombie theme we all dressed in red ties. white shirts, neon orange beards and name badges and came as Shaun of the Dead. We were all rippin' up the dancefloor and Rob made a serious impression by putting a red hand mark on pretty much everyone. We left the party at 05:30 with a huge papier-mache zombie head, smiles on our faces and one of the team MIA. The main problem was our next game was at 09:30.

It was a horrible, horrible morning and pretty much everyone was insanely hung-over and there was some vomiting. After each point the Line came off and collapsed in the sand, taking the opportunity to catch 5 winks. Rob for some reason played the first point in his waterproof jacket and trousers and still managed to sky the opposition. We somehow won the game and Rob did an inspiring post-game speech where he seemed to spend 5 minutes saying how great he was and not saying anything about the game or the opposition. Our last match (for 33rd or 34th place) was vs. the Mohawks. We had danced off with them at the party until the bitter end, and knew they were in as bad a state as we were. In true SB-on-Tour style our drinking training finally paid off and we had a far superior mastery of our hangovers. Despite the burning sunshine, the dry mouths and small puddles of vom on the sidelines we handed the Mohawks their asses on a plate and finished the tournament 33rd.

Thanks to everyone who came along and made it all such a wicked weekend, we didn't do that well in the tournament - but to be honest we spent the weekend running around a beach in Tuscany with a whole bunch of mates. It don't get to look any better than that! I guess the next beach tournie is Paga (fingers crossed), or maybe back to Costa Brava - either way if its anything like Burla you sure don't want to miss it!