The sixth annual Tampico Open went down as scheduled on the beaches south of Santa Cruz over the weekend of October 28th and 29th. Saturday was a jam day amid intermittent rain showers. The wind stayed constitent all day however and some epic jamming was had by all.

Sunday was an absolutely clear and gorgeous a day with warm steady breezes. The tide was high for the warm up jams but by tourney time, it was perfect. Routines were 8 minutes long. The first team featured John Titcomb from Seattle, Tam Wolfe from the United Flyers of Sonoma and the ever improving Melissa Jean Trail. The all passed the disc well, hit some big moves and warmed up the crowd. Some of the highlights were Tam’s scarecrow catch, Melissa’s big bad attitude and a stunning gitis by John Titcomb for the last catch, right on cue. He immediately announced that he had to leave to catch a flight. What a way to bow out! Tam (alien) and Melissa (skeleton) jammed in costume.

The second team consisted of the UFOS Carl Dobson, Doug Korns and Mike Esterbrook. They featuted an elaborate passing game. Carl enhanced the jam with spinning catches. Doug went for some classic beach moves and looked as smooth as ever. Mike Esterbrook was playing great all weekend and continued his strong play here.

Next up was Skippy Jammer, Tom Leitner, Joey Hudoklin and Mike Esterbrook once again. Mike was playing so well, that this team wanted him to stick around and get them going. And get going they did. The team pulled off some specatular moves, Skippy did 6 skids in a row (all different). Joey pulled off huge combination after huge combination. Tom caught what was perhaps his best “Roots” ever in competition. Mike continued to be the glue. The main aspect of play for this team was not individual moves but passing the disc. It was an intricate exchange that bordered on the edge and sometimes on the absurd leaving members giggling after some notable exchanges. Joey’s wore a Lakers uniform with the number 8 and went had an assit to turnover ratio of infinity – a dozen assits and no turnovers.

Last up was Mark “Buti” Regalbutti, Richie Smits and Paul Klimek. This team came out smoking too. Buti was fired up and in a shred or die mode from the get go. Paul Klimek played consistent pulling off some huge turnovers in strong wind. Richie looked like he had been transported back in time like some kind of time capsule. His play was superb all weekend and he hit nothing but big moves in the final – including a fully submerged water move with his shoes on. He is, in all likely hood, the most underrated players ever. In a beach environment with a steady breeze, he is one of the greatest ever for that style of play.

A side note: This tourney marked the end of an era. Joey Hudoklin is moving back to New York City after living in California since 1978. It was at sometimes very emotional as he is loved by one and all and will be sorely missed. The one blessing is he is going back to NYC where the jam scene is thriving as always.


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