Review by Tommy Leitner

This year’s FPA Freestyle World Champions are:
Dave Lewis/Arthur Coddington (open pairs)
Tom Leitner/Sune Wentzel/Paul Kenny (co-op)
Lisa Silvey/Cindy Kruger (women’s)
Lisa Silvey/Arthur Coddington (mixed)

Wow! Fantastico.
This tournament was so well run! From the grandstands, to the warmup area under a big tent, to the large red carpet playing area, the sound system, the media coverage and of course the warm and friendly people making sure everyone was taken care of at all times. Clay, Lui, Jumpi, Manu and all the Cota & Tequilla staff deserve the highest praises for an outstanding event. It was the largest crowd to witness an FPA Worlds final as well as the largest international participation ever.

Everyone who was new to freestyle was literally blown away by the high level of play and the openess of the established players towards all the new players. There was over 70 players – including more than 10 that had learned to play in the past 6 months! This may turn out to be the type landmark event that helps transform a sport. What a tremendous year this has been for freestyle!!!

Players came from 13 countries: Hungary (2), Switzerland (3), Holland (2), Sweden (6), Norway (1), Denmark (1), England (1), France (4), Israel (1), Cananda (1), Germany (1), Puerto Rico (1), Italy (30+) and America (20+).

Not all the players competed but I think everyone had a very memorable and wonderful time. The wind was strong for the finals so teams had to scramble a bit to hit their moves but the crowd was very appreciative of the extra effort and stayed to watch the final routines perform. The number of spectators at a single time was around 600, and over the course of the weekend there was well over 3,000 spectators. Many different local and national television and news media covered the event as well.

When the final results were posted there were many firsts…It was the first time an all Sweden team made it to the Open finals of the FPA Worlds, and the first time a Swedish team took top 3 in Women, Sune is the fist player from Norway to win an FPA World title, Clay’s 3rd place finish in Open pairs was the highest finish ever by an Italian at the FPA Worlds. Congratulations to all the winners and all the competitors for the great spirit shown all weekend! Also, props to Randy Silvey who won the Spirit of the Jam award!!!

But the results and records took a back seat to new friendships made and the great hospitality shown by our Italian hosts – Grazie Italia!!! Hope to see you all again next year in Italy!


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