VII Torneo Internacional de Gran Canaria

I don’t know what the winter has been like for you, but in London it’s been dark, grey and cold. That’s probably why I was a bit over-excited last thursday to be boarding a flight with Dom and Sally, bound for blue skies, warm weather and the start of the European Beach Ultimate season, in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
I’d never been to this tournament before, so didn’t quite know what to expect, but one look at the list of players told me all I needed to know. So many of the “usual suspects” were flying in from all over Europe that a great time was virtually guaranteed. What I didn’t know much about was what the local scene was like in the Canary Islands, but I was not to be disappointed!
Arriving on Thursday afternoon, and after setting up camp at the Hotel Cantur, we met up with John Scully and the Irish contingent was complete. We set of with Miquel, Jens, Tim and the gang, and got to the All Blacks Pub for the team draw. The party kept swinging till the early hours. I have vague memories of Cuba Libres, saying hello to lots of people I hadn’t seen for a while, and a sore head the next morning. So far so good.
I suppose at some point I should mention playing, well here it is. A round-robin format meant we all got to play one-another, with the top two teams contesting a final on sunday afternoon. The one thing that surprised me the most was the level of play. Considering that the teams from Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Tenerife, all have to go island hopping to play each other (not to mention flying hundreds of miles to mainland Europe to play anyone else), the standard of their players was really impressive. In fact one of the Atis Tirma players on my team had 100% stats for the weekend. Dani had no drops, no throw-aways, and managed to score about a third of our points. Plus his band rocked the friday night party! We ended up finishing in fourth place, with 4 wins and 4 losses.
The story of the weekend was how tight the games were. Lots of sudden-death games and on or two surprises on the way, but in the end, and after a great final it was Rue Veitl and his team who were triumphant.
Many thanks must go to Juhv and all of his assistants and helpers who really helped start off the Beach Ultimate year with a bang. Their organisation was fantastic, from the accomodation and to the pitch-side food, drinks and massages. The parties, and especially the band, rocked. Cheers also to everyone who came to the Beach bar on sunday night to wind down after the tourney. To those of you lucky people who are staying on in Tenerife for the tourney next weekend, I am very jealous….
See you all on the beach soon
Ian aka Jazz