Sunday, May 26, 2013 Jacksonville Beach, Florida
The day has dawned clear blue skies, with the wind southeast to east, aka puffing in off the ocean, promising another fine day of jamming on the beach at the 2013 Jammers Freestyle Championships. Saturday was great, with kind conditions all day long, plenty of jams, and a round of open that saw some stellar play. The Spread the Jam Project production crew was in session at dawn again, as well as after dinner underneath a bright and shiny full moon, capturing silhouetted jammers moving against the backdrop of a glittering sea. To top off the day for most, the Tribe gathered 48 people strong in the banquet room at Siam Thai for a nice dinner of hanging out, conversating, and tasty food.
Saturday’s weather was a complete turnaround from Friday, with fresh, less humid air blowing in out of the northeast. Perfect weather for beach chilling and freestyle jamming. The wind was steady all day long, moving from a medium heavy pace to a medium pace as the day progressed. There was a rip-tide in the near off-shore, so swimming was a bit of a watch out for your life exercise rather than a relaxing, lulling floating experience. Still, refreshing and cooling to take a dip post jam.
More jammers arrived Saturday to enjoy the fellowship of sun, wind, beach and the jam: Zack Murphy from San Diego; Toddy Brodeur from Massachusets; Geoff and Nannette Gregory from Orlando; Bernie and Rich from South Florida; Daryl and Lisa Allen from Alabama; Jonathan Willet from Boulder. Wives and girlfriends, husbands and boyfriends, and sons and daugheters gathered throughout the day to complete a nice frisbee family scene.
Saturday’s competition consisted of one round of Open made up of 9 teams, with the round of Mixed being moved to Sunday. Judging was by the rank system, with a rotation of judges: each team had one judging sheet to complete, judging all the teams except the 3 teams before their time to play. There was an anomoly with one team making a mistake on who they were to judge, so the numbers were a bit uneven, which led to a couple of ties in the final results.
Play was inspired across the board with the round kicking of with Craig Simon, Geoff Gregory and Kurt Warner. Kurt’s game has elevated since the last time I saw him play, demonstrating smooth mastery of the clock wind game. I just saw bits and pieces of the next three teams, as we prepared for our turn to take the field. Up second was Carl Emerson, Tito Andino and Cookie, jamming a steady wind game. Following them were the team of Steve Pops Scannel and Daryl Allen. These guys played solid with each pulling out their wind games to great effect. Is there anyone out here this weekend with a smoother game than Daryl? His command of the disc in the wind is a joy to watch. Yet another southern jammer with an understated technical prowess who makes the difficult appear easy. Both Steve and Daryl, and the next team, Tony Pellicane and Ryan Young, seed busted up the order, with the latter two doing it big time.
Ryan and Tony had their Worlds routine in full dial-in mode, jamming in mock tuxedo T-shirts to a mixture of songs, starting off with some super suave and swinging Frank Sinatra. They kept their theme and controlled co-op play together throughout, hit some nice indies, and really played solid. Come August on the grass at UC Santa Cruz, it will be interesting to see where they are with this routine – a team to watch out for when Worlds arrives.
Up next was Lisa Hunrichs, Jonathan Willet and myself. We sputtered a bit, with a definite burp, in the first minute and a half or so. After that moment of air relief mid-way through, we caught the groove and made it respectable with some decent indies and passing moves. Nice to play with these 2, and to be able to pick a routine “uniform” from Jonathan’s pile of Tye-dyed T-shirts. Sometimes finding joy in life is so simple.
Following us was the stellar routine of Matt Gauthier and Cindy St. Mary. Matt was on fire again, just as he was at Virginia States, pulling out move after move with complete control: flat here, rimming there, pulling with the spin and against, finishing with a multiple spinning flourish into the catch. Totally on the top of his game. Cindy played a solid counterpoint to Matt’s excellence, as they played to the whole 6 minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, and it was nary a moment too long.
Then came the team of Pipo Lopez and Larry Imperiale. These guys had a bit of a struggle, got stuck by some well-meaning audience members who were creating a wind shadow, and unfortunatley their awesome beach jamming potential was not reached this day.
Playing next to last were Jeff O’Brien, Paul Kenny and Jame Wiseman. These guys really brought it with excellent individual moves, great spontaneous co-ops, and several “oh he’s not going to get that….oh, yes he is” – kick brush, bash, angle adjustment, flying gitis catch moments. They really got the crowd going, keeping the flow and excitement moving throughout. James looked like Tommy Leitner at one point, sans the hair, spinning with abandoment and speed into a double spinning pull into double spinning phlaud catch. Jeff was all O’Brien-y, on the brush and wind, angle adjustment game, with Paul home field advantage Kenny pulling off those strange turn overs, control brushes and mulitple spinning catches with great ease.
Last up were Jake Gauthier and Dave Murphy. There was quiet anticipation as these guys took to the field, ’cause they tend to shred it up together with ease when on the beach together. Jake hit a couple of nice moves, and Murf was on the edge of almost getting it throughout. Unfortunately for them and the crowd, though, they just could not find the tear it up switch, and the fireworks did not commence.
After the round was done, everyone took to the beach for more amazing beach jam time in the sun and breeze of the north coast Florida scene. This is a really fantastic event, geared toward jam time, with minimal need to stress over competing. The fellowship of the Tribe basking in the warm, loving embrace of Cheryl and Paul Kenny. A super time indeed.
Open Round Results
1st Paul Kenny / Jeff O’Brien / James Wiseman [video]
2nd Tony Pellicane / Ryan Young [video]
3rd Tie Matt Gauthier / Cindy St. Mary [video]
3rd Tie Jake Gauthier / Dave Murphy [video]
5th Daryl Allen / Steve Scannell [video]
6th Lisa Hunrichs / Rodney Sanchez / Jonathan Willett [video]
7th tie Larry Imperiale / Pipo Lopez [video]
7th tie Cookie / Tito Andino / Carl Emerson
9th Geoff Gregory / Craig Simon / Kurt Walters [video]