Greg Hosfeld did it all this past weekend, hosting a Freestyle/Golf/K-9 tournament at the picturesque Cypress Gardens resort in Central Florida, just south of Orlando.

He and Rimini-winner Paul Kenny took first, but to say they took first isn’t really enough. A roaring wind smacked the other teams hard. Hosfeld and Kenny smacked back harder and put on a terrific performance. Call it the Howling Wind Jam.

It was a short field. Buddy Adams and Scott Sailor had a two-disc routine worked out that could have been a contender, if only the environment had cooperated. Things had gone well-enough for them the day before, and even better during the mid-day practice when the playing area was calm, warm, and humid. But after the winds suddenly kicked up, as if on cue ten minutes before the finals, they gambled and chose to stick with their planned program.

As it turned out, it the tasty low z moves they had designed were fodder for the blustery weather. More than once their disc was pulled beyond the bounds of the jamming area.

Vic Ouzoonian and I (Craig Simon aka Rip Van Winkle) finished as we seeded third, but it was a placement severely schooled by the wind. More than one of my bread-and-butter behind the back sets terminated as way-out-of-reach-misfires.

Vic, with more of a beach game, courageously attempted a variety of edge-guided and one-handed turnovers, but didn’t get to show his stuff. But I think we both felt better about Sunday’s struggle than Saturday’s run, even if we had both hit more in the prelims. It was fun for me at least, to actually play that intensely for a few short minutes, to hear a few cheers when I nailed a scarecrow and few other old-timer seals, and then to walk off the field with my leg muscles reminding me what a great workout freestyle is.

And, as we all know, freestyle provides a great workout for the brain, too. If there’s any doubt, watch Paul Kenny put a disc through its paces, turning it any direction at will. Seeing what he’s developed over the four years since I last saw him is why I feel like Rip Van Winkle. Paul defines the future that I’m now living in.

This weekend also gave me my first chance to see elegant and energetic Scott Sailor up close, and to hear firsthand from him what it was like to put on a professionally choreographed on stage in a New York City theatre with Ted Oberhaus. It was also a chance for me to see Buddy get massive with power spins, peeling off muscular triples into perfectly timed flying gitises. Now a mature nineteen year-old, perrenial Junior champ Renee Pardo was there too. She put on a polished routine with Paul, the lone entry in a nominal mixed pairs category, held on the sun-drenched prelim Saturday.

I started out by saying Greg did it all. There he was Friday night handling registrations, and then putting on a mini-clinic. And there he must have been. Saturday morning running and playing golf while the party of jammers snoozed and had a big slow breakfast. And there he was at dinner Saturday night doing non-stop over-the-head improvisational comedy, bewildering the waitress, while simultaneously demonstrating the fine art of launching forks and spoons off the table, flipping them through the air, plopping them into a pre-designated cup and not my watchful eye.

And there also was Greg in the final round of golf (placing high in the final rankings I presume). And of course, there he was in the final round of freestyle, with just a few minutes warmup, triumphing in one of the best executed wind jams I’ll probably ever see. But he actually didn’t do it all. He missed the parking lot jam.

The crowd departed; the wind calmed; the day cooled, and after the awards ceremony out by the lake (punctuated by a water-skiing bevy of slender blonde females dressed in skimpy day-glo) Paul, Scott, Buddy, Vic and I found our way back to a nice open spot on some not-at-all-hot asphalt by the hotel. More leaping and spinning and mind-bending extension. There was slight attrition after that, but the die hards went on to enjoy a hot tub and a refreshing dip in the Best Western pool.

Instead of experimenting and lounging, it’s a good guess that Greg was probably working, taking care of some last pieces of business.

Yo Greg! Thanks for a great weekend…Craig Simon



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