What better way to wrap the first edition of European Beach Ultimate Club Championships than with three amazing finals – and jaw dropping games they were!
The rain started waning as the Seagulls from Hamburg and the Cosmic Girls from St. Petersburg hit the sand and the sun was shining by the end of the match when Eurostar Nici Prien snacked a disc out of the air for an amazing layout win of 10-9 for the Seagulls, crowning the German club European champions. Both teams were yet undefeated coming into their last game, with the closest game for the Cosmic Girls having been 12-6 against Catchup Women. The Seagulls had also won all their previous games by 5 points or more.
After an exciting first half of top-level women’s ultimate with both teams trading points, things got really exciting when the Cosmic Girls scored to finalize a long point (11 minutes at 6-6!!) and take it to 9-7 as the 45-minute time whistle blows. It looked like the Russian ladies would be taking home the medal… but this time, the Seagulls took their best disc tricks out of the bag for an amazing 3 points in a row for the victory!
Our second final of the day in the men’s division, between Moscow’s Real Five and Fendisc from Santander, was as captivating as the women’s matchup. This time the Russian club took the medal after a grueling fight going down to universe point. Fendisc showed incredible spirit retracting a call in the endzone that would tie the game at 9-9. The game ended in 10-9 for Five.
Fendisc came out strong at the beginning of the game with a few breaks while the undeterred Russians continued their deep aerial assault scoring quickly to level the game before half. The Spanish and Russian teams seemed physically well matched with high energy on both offense and defense. A few calls as the game ended with Five’s main handler making a 180 pivot to break the mark and throw to his teammate for the point. A great game all around!
Usually there is at least one so-so final at large tournaments, but that definitely does not describe the final between the young GRUT squad from Amsterdam and the Midnight Cobras from Moscow. An incredible match going to 11-11 when time is called and ending at 13-12 for GRUT. Both teams played beautiful mixed beach ultimate, trading points throughout plenty of skies, layouts, Ds and incredible throws. In the end, Benjamin Oort caught the final point, after playing a game in which he threw perfect almost indoor like throws and caught the disc as if it was catching him. Incredible game by both teams and all the players.
If you haven’t seen the finals yet, do so on FanSeat. Live footage of the first European Championships shows beach ultimate at its best in all divisions. Kudos to the commentators as well!
Also important is spirit of the game, which generally was excellent throughout the three days. It was great to meet Henrietta Papp, who did a notable job as spirit director. Congrats to SOTG winners 3SB (Budweis, Czech Republic) in women’s and Solebang (Cham, Switzerland) in mixed. There was a tie between Hassliche Erdferkel (Marburg, Germany) and Scorillaz (Bern, Switzerland) in the men’s division, and so two spirit winners. As a believer that numbers and stats help us learn, I thought to share with you that most “2 average” spirit scores were lost to rules knowledge and/or fouls and body contact followed by fair-mindedness.
In the end it is the players that run the show and EBUCC2018 had the best, coming to a close with three awesome finals! The growth of beach ultimate in Russia is impressive, with a clear Russian presence in all finals and semi-finals and a gold in the men’s division. Germany also marked their spot with the women from Hamburg, a game that took the commentator’s breath away! And the Dutch team GRUT coming in to take mixed, a first in beach ultimate! What a weekend +1!! And, the best part is that it is just the beginning… European beach ultimate is visibly on the rise. See you at EBUC2019 representing your nations!