Bethany & Rodney were(and still are) excellent hosts – shuttling people from the airport, making awesome breakfasts, lasagne buffet, hosting the party at gitis central, plus running the freestyle event – you guys are the hein!!!

A very special thanks to Steve Jennings who basically worked himself to exhaustion this past weekend – he made sure everything ran smoothly – nobody can keep a crowd’s attention between routines and rounds like Steve can. Great job Steve! and I hope you get your voice back soon 😉

I’m very glad that Steve, Bethany & Rodney decided to keep this event going even though it conflicted with Masters this year. One thing is for sure, as Arnie says…”I’ll be back!”

Quick overview:
The wind was a bit choppy so overall the play wasn’t quite as hot as day 1 but the crowd made tons of noise and the event was a huge sucess.

Some jammers found the time to see some music too: including James Brown, Paul Simon and Ekoostik Hooka

So much jammin’, festin’, pubbin’, grindin’…so little time.

PS I’ve your ever in Milwaukee there is a park on Lake Michigan that gets great wind and is like a cross between palm park (maples, elms and ash instead of palm trees) and La Jolla Cove. Be sure to contact Steve or R & B to set up a jam.

The weather was sunny and the wind was 5-10 mph north-eastern as the Summerfest Open 2001 kicked off at the Sports Area inside the Milwaukee Summerfest. The Jammers fired up the crowd and the crowd fired up the jammers, resulting in a full day of sensational freestyle. There were around 800 spectators at one time – and several thousand viewed the event over the course of the day. The sound system was epic and the area was an excellent surface for shredding.

The first event was Mixed pairs and it kicked off with a nice routine from Erin (Scott) Waldron/Pat Marron – Pat hit several big double spinning catches and Erin showed she can still play at a high level. Next up was Anne Grave/Tommy Leitner – they played solid with only 3 drops – Anned hit a big gitis and Tommy pulled out a big tipping series. Finishing out the Mixed pairs semi was the ultra-turbo hubby/wife team of Amy B Schiller/Dave Schiller. This was their first event since the ’98 worlds where they won an unprecedented 4th consecutive world mixed pairs title. Just a hint of rust showed through but overall there routine was consecutive hein – biz as usual – the crowd went nuts as they hit big move after big move – they won the pool.

The Open pairs started within minutes of the Mixed Pairs semi…Steve Jennings kept the crowds attention with his MC skills and by doing demos in between routines. Anne & Amy went out first and played very well, they had the 2nd highest execution score of the round and squeezed into the 4 team finals with a 4th place finish. Next up was Tom Sahlit/Rik Downs – they hit some nice co-ops and Rik hit a monster and huge gitis Tom hit a sweet didge but they had a few too many drops. Mark Regalbuti/Alan Caplin, playing to ‘When the Music is Over’ by the Doors, got into a groove hitting their speed flow and co-ops…Buti hit a big Phlared and Alan finished the routine with a crushing gitis – they also made the finals with a 3rd place finish.

Local favorites Matt Hughes/Brad Wendt came out with a really nice routine which had delivered a state championship title last year – but these guys had some tough wind and couldn’t seem to recover from some early drops just missing the finals cut. Pat Marron/Rico Schneider played great – with Pat hitting consecutive skid moves and finishing with double spinning catches and Rico catching lots of big air moves. They recovered well from a few breaks in flow and their strong finish gave them 2nd place in the pool. Last up was Dave Schiller/Tommy Leitner – Chillman was totally on fire hitting long combos and nailing a sick nureons to scarecrow, TL kept the flow going hitting a few nice indys…they won all 3 judging categories and will be the top seed for todays final.

All in all everybody was totally fired up to play in front of a very appreciative and vocal crowd. Buti said it was the biggest crowd he’s played in front of since 1983 Victoria Texas – here are some selected quotes from the players…

“What a rush, man…I haven’t shredded like that in front of a big crowd since the Ronald Reagan Daze”. Buti
“The people are there, the music blares, the palat is set to blend the colors into a huge shred(noun)”. Chillman

“It’s the best audience at a freestyle event in the US” Anne Graves

“What a party – music, jams, concerts. It’s live at Summerfest!” Tom Sahlit

“I am this mystery, here we stand” Baba Rodeshe

“Summer-shred Fest, So many Jams and so little time” Rico

“So many players to shred with and the crowd rocks…you gotta be happy with that” Pat Marron

“The hops in the air, people in the chair, the brewed of Milwaukee drink up the shred” Dude B Schill

“Welcome to the Jam-shred-heino-pip-party-naturale- of the year” Cisco Kid

“I was jazzed to play in font of such a loud crowd” Rik Downs

After semis a brief rain storm interrupted the sunset jam and was followed by a magnificent rainbow over the the Lake Michigan with lightning bolts shooting through the rings. The jam park, Veterans Park, is like a Palm Park like field with low cut grass right on the water front.
Other jammers in attendance but not competing: Bethany & Rodney Sanchez, Ron King, Steve Jennings, Roger Hanlon

Time to rip it up one more time!!!

– Tom


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