The finals of the Acrobatic Paganello 2001 were
played on the beach in a stiff wind, making it a
survival test. A large audience again saw some
excellent play despite the conditions. Larry Imperiale, Dave Lewis and Clay Collera went first and despite the conditions, went for an aggressive routine. The wind bit them a bit and was a warning to the other teams to be careful. The highlight of their round was Larry’s behind the neck outer rim hover delay which lasted some 5 seconds. Up next were Jeff Kruger, Carlos “Pipo” Lopez and Toddy Brodeur. These guys played great in the conditions. Pipo is the recognized master and all three hit some strong indies. They won presentation by a good margin and fired up the crowd.
They seed busted to an impressive second place finish.
Up next were Randy Silvey, Dan Yarnell and Paul
Kenny. Paying heed to the wind, this team played a strong game with Paul able to do some turnover stuff, Randy hitting his neck catch thingy and Dan did his goofy stuff despite the wind and a bit of a hamstring pull from the the previous night’s semifinals. This team ended up champions of the Acrobatic Paganello 2001. Sune Wentzel and Reto Zimmerman went last and played well. Sune hit a spinning scarecrow with only his thumb and index finger. Reto went for a quad spinning flamingo when a 6 spin move was called for. This Eurojammer team ended up third.
The semifinals in Altro Mondo studios was a
thing of beauty. After last year when a couple teams fired up the crowd, this year all 6 teams did. The only thing louder than the thumping music was the crowd noise. It was absolutely
incredible. Being in the back room warming up, I was unable to see the routines, only watching the teams as they returned from their routines. The highlights were basically 2. The first
was the roaring for Sune and Reto.
Year after year, these two absolutely own the Paganello semifinals. The other highlight was Randy going on a ridiculous osis fest, clearly carrying his team. But the highlight of the evening occurred after the teams finished.
With this year’s Acrobatic Paganello dedicated to Fernando Direito, the jammers asked the audience to share a moment in his honor. A candle was lit next to his picture on the jam floor and everyone began clapping in unison for many minutes.
There was not a dry eye in the house and as I
write this, I again well up. We will miss him, but his spirit is in all of us.
The preliminary round was played outdoors with a kind wind and everyone going off. Everyone shredded. This year’s field was very deep and it is obvious this is the tournament everyone targets.
Due to a harsh overnight storm where the tides came up and literally washed away the jam
surface along with prevailing strong winds, the B-round was moved indoors. This round is where those not making it automatically to the Altro Mondo semis were allowed to again compete for 2 more spots in the night show. It was a great move as the jamming again was hot with the
highlight being Gary Aurerbach and company putting on a choreo-show that ruled.
Inclusive to this round indoors was the first Italian National Championships, aka the
Paganello Underground. Only teams from Italy competed (5) and it was done with the same
judging panel as a way to objectively evaluate them relative to the others. The play was great,
everyone having fun. One of the Roman teams used 3 players and their own video camera, swapping
it amongst themselves as they went through the routine.
Italian jammers RULE and are seeming to be taking over!!
Enrico, Lo Zio and Tommy came up with the big Italian fish and their scores would have put them
in the middle of the pack in the regular round.
Special thanks go to Clay and Lui Collera and Mimmo.
These folks spared no effort to ensure the jammers were comfortable and having a good time.
They are the reason we keep coming back. Jumpi, thanks to you and your staff for allowing us
to tap into the biggest party in the world. See you all next year.
-Paul Kenny


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