The first ever ‘Manpico’ Open was another great success in the spirit of all the Santa Cruz Beach Classic and Tampico Open events of years past. Since 1991 Santa Cruz has hosted 5 Beach Classics, 5 Tampico Opens, 2 FPA World Championships (’94, ’99), one WFDF (’91) and now one Manpico Open…that’s 14 events in 10 years – woohoo!
Bob Boulware and the Hubbards came early and camped out with me thursday night. It’s so great to have an extra day to setup camp and be able to chill out before the event. The weather was the warmest we’ve ever had at Manresa – it hit 88 at the beach and a record 100 degrees just 10 minutes inland at Watsonville.

Friday morning more jammers started showing up and there were several hot beach jams friday. During one of the jams a Dolphin jumped out of the water and into an on-coming wave right in front of where we were jamming – it was awesome! By friday night both camp sites were packed with jammers – and we got to enjoy one of Boulder Creek Brewery’s finest beers, Redwood Ale. Later we headed down to the beach for a full moon beach hike and jam.

Saturday everybody beach jammed and jammed and jammed from 11-4pm then we had a quick judging meeting and skippy explained the bonus and super bonus moves. The pairs routines were 7 minutes long and each team was given 1 timeout they could use whenever they needed…Almost every team used their timeout but for different reasons – to change the music, get an attitude adjustment or to find a disc that had been lost in the surf.

The first team up was Mark Regalbuti and Sandy Kelp. They played great with Buti nailing a big flying phlaud to secure extra bonus points on the final move. Next up was Matt and Jake – these homeboyz fired up big time – hitting sick combos all the way through…wait until you see this on video!

Mike Esterbrook and Paul Klimek came up next and Paul wasted no time hitting a crushing c&b (crash&burn) gitis on his first move – I didn’t seem him do it but I heard the crash and looked over to see him grovelling in the sand with disc in hand. Farmer Mike hit an sweet double spinning flamingo at the end of their routine. Skippy Jammer and Bob Boulware were next and they hit some huge co-ops and some techno-turvey indy’s Bob was quoted as saying jamming on the beach was like a “full serve air bush buffet”.

Carolyn Yabe teamed up with Melissa trail and they flowed through their routine nicely with Melissa hitting some cool air brushes and Carolyn going off on some consecutive indys. Doug Korns and John Titcomb played next and both showed how much they’ve improved over the summer. Doug did not shy away from the water and earned his new nick name, “Otter”. John continues to work on all aspects of his game including both spins whether delaying or brushing the disc.

Tom Sahlit and Mike Cloud came out next and these guys showed what they’re all about…shredding! Tommy is playing better than ever combining technical moves with athletisism and Mikey was solid as usual, he got really fired up by the String Cheese Incident song they were playing to.

Johnny O’mally and Tam Wolfe hooked up and put on quite a show. Tam has a really good understanding of how to set good angles for her partner and she gave JO some sweet sets. Johnny once again hit the water move of the tourney – he completely extended his body to reach a gitis he had no business getting to in the first place and of course he got it – right before the wave hit him (or was it vise versa).

The final Open Pairs team was counter wind Gods, Larry Imperiale and Steve Hubbard. These guys flat out ripped! Once again you’ll have to consult the video for this one…it was just off the scale. But in the end Matt and Jake took the title – congratulations boys!

The Co-op finals were held on Sunday and like Saturday the play was inspired even though the wind was lighter than usual. First up was Matt & Jake Gauthier teaming with Skippy Jammer. What a thrill for the G-Bro’s to hook up with Skippy for an eight minute routine. It almost goes without saying – these guys shredded…the Boys really got Skippy fired up – he hit some ripping against combos and a ‘2 week long’ vacation. They tried increasing their gitis ratios but a few too many found sand not skin.

John Titcomb hooked up with Johnny O’mally and Mark Regalbuti for another fun round – they hit some really nice co-ops and benefitted from a music change to the Doors during a time out. Tom Sahlit and Mike Cloud teamed with Melissa Trail and they played really well together with Melissa hitting a big water move. ‘Otter’, Mike and Tam played like they’ve been playing together for years…oh yeah, they have. Otter returned to the water time and again as if he was looking for nice kelp bed to hang out in.

The final team was Steve Hubbard, Larry Imperiale and Paul Klimek. And after seeing Skippy and the G-bros shred they knew they would have to raise their games to the next level to have a chance to win…They started a bit slow, and when Larry went off on a brushing run but couldn’t save the disc because he was wearing shoes, so he decided to call timeout. He took off the shoes and from then on they raised their level of play and began hitting on all cylinders – just phenomenal to watch.

So the power clocksters couldn’t muster enough mojo to keep Larry, Steve and Paul out of the winners circle.

Zach Hubbard then finished the tournament off by demonstrating all the moves he’s been learning – nice job ‘Zacharia Zachypoe’!

Congratulations to Matt and Jake on their 2nd straight win. And kudos to Paul Klimek on his first freestyle win and to Steve Hubbard for his first win in…well, too long. Mark Regalbuti won the Most Valuable Jammer prize and was awarded a Derek Jeter bobble head doll. Thanks for everybody who helped out all weekend. peace.

– Tom


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