Sunny skies and steady breezes graced San Francisco’s Ocean Beach on March 6 during the third annual Wintershred. Overall it was a great day of jamming and celebrating spin with a stellar group of shredaholics. Unfortunately, there was also a dose of bad news as two competitors, Mike Esterbrook and Arthur Coddington, both suffered moderate knee injuries. Both appeared to be sprains, and we all hope and pray that they will be back playing soon.
Other than the knee mishaps, the fun meter was pegged most of the day. By the time I arrived in the late morning, Mark Regalbuti, Mike Esterbrook, Tam Wolfe, Alan Caplin, Doug Korns, Steve Stotter, Keith Armstrong and Dr. Bob Morrissey all had been warming up the sand for quite a while. Soon Arthur Coddington, Greg Riley, Tommy Leitner, Dave Schiller, Keith Kleiner, Scott Weaver, and Melissa Trail arrived and full-scale mobbing ensued for a couple hours. The wind was perfect in the morning, and picked up as the afternoon progressed, but it was always smooth and manageable.
During the mid-afternoon we switched gears for a competitive round of open pairs. We had a great turnout with eight pairs on the score sheet. Each team had five minutes to shred their stuff, and we drew names randomly for playing order. Judging was as simple or as technical as each judge desired, with the ultimate score being a placement on a 1-10 scale.
First up was long time UFOS great Scott Weaver and Bostyler Alan Caplin. They got the energy level pumped up early with some nice co-ops and Alan polishing off a diff series with a big spinning gitis. Alan played great all day. It was a real treat having him come all the way out west. Scott was working all angles and showing off his wide variety of rolls in the stiff breeze. There was no lack of diff during their five minutes, but the wind may have bit them a bit as the disc found the sand more than they liked. All in all though, a great start.
Next were Buti and Keith Armstrong. Buti was in fine form all day, perhaps honed from the time he’s spent recently with a personal trainer. Keith was playing big, too. Even though he doesn’t play as much these days, he can still hang with the best. They started off hot, passing, and hitting some nice seals.. They seemed unaffected by the breeze, and used it to hit some big multi spinning catches. They had the momentum going throughout and a little past midway Buti got real determined on an indy, which he finished off with a huge gitis. A very solid round by these two.
Third up was the doctor, Bob Morrissey and TD, Carl Dobson. Bob got the show off to the right start early with a big indy and very nice double spinning gitis catch. Also, early on they worked in a variety of passes, brushes and shoots before Carl finished off the co-op with a double spinning flying laser. Carl managed to take advantage of the steady wind, setting out a few triple and quad spinning moves/seals. The breeze did get the best of us a few times, but all in all they had a fun round.
Great anticipation greeted our next pair featuring Greg Riley and Arthur Coddington. The World’s #1 and the marvelous flow master Greg had been shredding up to a high degree in the mob’s earlier. In fact, they seemed to have taken their games to new levels. I still was shaking my head hours later after watching Arthur take one of his patented moves to a new level. We’ve all seen him do his multi-spinning somersault move to a cool seal, but this is what we witnessed – Triple spin to a somersault to a spinning btb pull/shoot to a huge triple spinning aerial gitis. Wow.
The first minute of Greg and Arthur’s routine was superb. Big moves, nice co-ops, great flow and some huge patented seals. Greg’s big spinning Flamingitis and Arthur’s spinning crows and barrel catches highlighted the early going. But it abruptly came to a halt as Arthur planted for a move and his knee buckled in pain. He could not finish the round, and unfortunately they had drop out.
After a few anxious minutes and a break to take care of Arthur’s knee we resumed play with another much anticipated pair. Dave Schiller and Tommy Leitner had drawn the next playing position and were fired up and ready to shred.
And shred they did. Both are classic beach jammers, they were fully comfortable with the considerable ocean breeze, and what ensued was a clinic of huge moves, sick series and diff pass/takes. Tommy often went turbo using the wind to set out flat shoots for multi-spinning consecutive series ending in huge seals. Both were hitting brushes from all over the map; Btb’s, Crows, Bth’s, Osis, Triple fake and foot brushes during co-ops and indis. Schillman even did a little toe jammin’ early on during one of his series, which ended in a difficult fully extended double spinning aerial gitis. Tommy went off down the beach, on a run that started with a quad spinning UL, to a Triple spinning UL, to a bad attitude shoot, to a big double roots attempt that just fell off the clampers. Over and over they demonstrated extreme prowess in beach shredding.. People from all over the beach dropped what they were doing and came over to watch these two as they put on a tremendous show.
Steve Stotter and Melissa Trail were up next and had the daunting task of following a massive routine. But it didn’t faze them at all as they calmly went about their business. Steve is a rollmaster of the highest order and he had his sticky front and back rolls working in the wind just fine. Melissa continues to improve and now impress with great finish moves like full-extended Bad Attitudes, flying gitis, and Scarecrows. Late in the round Steve went turbo and stuck a nice double spinning flying UL. Both looked as if they were having a great time jamming in the sand and all of us enjoyed watching them play.
Next were home beach styler’s Tam Wolfe and Doug Korns. These two play Ocean Beach as much as anyone and they seemed right at home as they played smart and clean freestyle. After watching most of us struggle trying to do a bit too much in the wind, these two decided beforehand to keep it simple and build through the routine. It paid off, they played great, both hitting all their signature moves, and they hardly dropped at all. I really enjoyed their round.
There wasn’t an eighth team when we started the tournament, but because of a late appearance from Johnny O’Malley and Tom Sahlit, we were able to enjoy yet another great team performance. In contrast to the previous team these guys were determined to lay it all out from the get go and to not stop until we made them. It worked for them, too. Tom Slick left every ounce of shred he had in the sand, hitting some big series, gitis and crows. Johnny O was flying all over the beach, brushing, rolling, and attempting one of his patented aerial gitis (see the Frisbee.com photo). It was a nice routine to energize the cold judges and spectators and transition us back to the mob seen.
Except for the two knee injuries, it was a perfect day of playing, fun and disc camaraderie. We didn’t stop until sunset, and afterwards many of us enjoyed a fine Italian dinner at Pasquali’s restaurant in the sunset district of San Francisco.
Final Scores (1-10 scale)
1. Tommy Leitner and Dave Schiller 9.33
2. Mark Regalbuti and Keith Armstrong 7.48
3. Dr. Bob Morrissey and Carl Dobson 7.46
4. Johnny O’Malley and Tom Sahlit 6.80
5. Alan Caplin and Scott Weaver 6.63
6. Steve Stotter and Mellisa Trail 6.15
7. Tam Wolfe and Doug Korns 6.00
DNF Arthur Coddington and Greg Riley
(Greg Riley rolls.)
(Bob Morrissey shoots the disc into the ocean breeze)
(Dave Schiller focuses on an angled disc.)
(Dave Schiller seems to blow the disc as he directs it with a touch brush)
(Mark Regalbuti handles the UD delay.)
(Tommy Leitner takes advantage of awesome winds with a multiple spinning move.)
(Tommy Leitner keeping it restricted.)
(Tommy Leitner kicks toward Melissa Trail.)
(Melissa Trail tries her own kick.)
(A subtle cuff by Tommy Leitner.)
(Johnny O’Malley sends a brush across the Ocean Beach sands.)
(Tommy Leitner keeps the disc low, while Greg Riley fights for the high disc.)