Perfect weather, steady wind, beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife greeted the players, friends and families who came out for the 6th Santa Cruz Beach Classic at Manresa State Beach just south of Santa Cruz, California. It was, ‘as advertised’, a jam-packed weekend of shredding, where the playing conditions consisted of low tides, sweet ocean breezes and kickin’ tunes (powered by our new, portable sound system). Everybody fired up and the conditions helped bring out their best beach game. There was a nice blend of locals and jammers from abroad as players came from Baton Rough, Minneapolis, Portland, San Diego, Los Angeles and the San Francisco bay area.

Did you see that?

After an awesome open pairs round and a full day of jamming we gathered for a sunset drum circle on the beach and were treated to one of the most spectacular displays of dolphin and seal acrobatics I’ve ever seen (and I grew up on these beaches!). First, there were several groups of dolphin swimming back and forth in front of where we were drumming, coming closer each time, as if they were drawn to the drum beat. Then, just before dusk a dolphin jumped completely out of the water – not a curling dive like you usually see but a straight up, verticle leap extending it’s body to the max. Everybody happened to be watching so we all cheered. In response, the dolphin performed the leap 3 more times in sucession as we continued to cheer it on. Only a few minutes later we saw another rare sight – about a half dozen seals were jumping completely out of the water as if they wanted to get into the act as well. Add to that the otters which were hanging out only meters from the shore and the diving pelicans and you get the idea – our jam day had become a beach safari. 🙂

The entertainment didn’t stop there, after it started to get dark one of our friends, Jill, brought out her fire sticks and did an amazing fire dance backed up by the drums. Everybody on the beach came over to watch and a crowd of about 50 people gathered. What a great sight!

Oh yeah, there was also a freestyle frisbee event happening too… 😉

Open Pairs

Tam Wolfe and Melissa Trail started things off with a bang, they jammed well with Tam hitting a flylng gitis and Melissa nailing the water catch. The 4th place team was Paul Klimek and Anne Graves, Paul hit his patented turnover brushing combo and Anne played confidently in the wind – it seemed like it was just another day at La Jolla Cove for her.

3nd Place went to Pat Marron and Tommy Leitner (me). Our team was on the edge and we hit some ridiculous stuff but the catches bounced off our hands a few too many times. Taking 2nd place with an outstanding effort was Jamie Chantiles and Jake Gauthier. Jamie did some awesome roll-attitude change-invert roll combos and huge gitises while Jake played like the wind master he is – flowin from against move to scarecrow brush to phlaud.

Deaton Mitchell and Skippy Jammer totally ripped it up for almost the entire 7 minutes of their winning routine. They hit all the bonus moves (flying gitis, scarecrow brush, backroll to teammate’s catch) and super bonus moves (water catch, triple spinning catch and bad attittude brush), Deaton hit some big spinning catches and showed a variety of airbrushes and Skippy nailed 5 against moves in a row and hit a scarecrow pull to a vacation. This was the routine of the weekend for sure!

Mixed Pairs

The mixed pairs round was smokin’! All the teams played great. Jake and Tam flowed seamlessly together, Jake went off big time holding nothing back and Skippy commented that he had never seen Tam play better. Taking 3rd place was the suprise team of Danny & Jeanie Cameranesi, who had been camping at Sequoia National Park and decided to drop by the tournament before heading back home. Danny hit several huge combos and Jeanie suprised everybody with her fluent, athletic style of play – she hit a big spinning gitis to end the routine.

Taking 2nd was Tommy Leitner and Melissa Trail, hitting some nice sponteineous co-ops and air brushing runs, Melissa is playing with more confidence than ever. Winning the Mixed Pairs division was Skippy Jammer and Anne Graves, Anne played solid again and showed she has no fear of the water and Skippy….well, lets just say he was in the zone.

Open Co-op

The final event was Open Co-op. In 5th place was the 4-some team of Carl, Anne, Mike Cloud and Melissa. They had some nice exchanges, Carl fired up to hit some mulitple spinning combos. The 4th place team of Tam, Mike and Johnny O were also a lot of fun to watch – and yes, JO did do another huge water catch!

The top 3 teams all shredded hard and the team of Pat, Jake and Dave Lewis had a legitimate shot at winning but a missed water gitis cost them valuable bonus points and they ended up 3rd. Dave totally went off hitting what seemed like every move in the book and Pat and Jake were in sync as well – it was awesome to see these guys shred together. Taking 2nd place was team Counter – Paul, Jamie and Danny. They hit almost everything they tried and put the pressure on. Tommy, Skippy and Deaton started slow and had to call a timeout because of music problems (beware of playing to live Doors because Jim Morrison has a tendency to stop a song and scold the crowd for making too much noise). But once the music went back on the team fired up and hit some big combos and co-ops including several triple spinning catches and water moves.

Thanks to everybody for coming out! Hope to see you at Manpico this fall.

See ya at the beach!

– Tom


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