The European Freestyle Championships were held
last weekend in conjunction with the Burla Beach
Ultimate Tournament Cup in Viareggio a beautiful
beach resort town in Tuscany on Italy’s west
coast. The vibe for the whole weekend was great
and the spirit and level of play were awesome!

Many players arrived on Friday only to be met
with a short but heavy rain storm that brought
several inches of rain in only a few hours. But
on Saturday morning the sun was bright and the
sky blue as medium to soft breezes swept across
the flat playing surface Paul and his staff had
prepared for us on the beach. The surface was
laid down using sections of wood which had been
covered with a thin blue carpet providing
excellent playing conditions.

15 teams competed in Saturday’s open pairs
semifinal with Paolo Magni/Matteo Feller narrowly
missing the finals in pool A and Mauro Mercuri
and Fernando “Too Sexy” Botrugno tying for 1st in
execution in pool B.
There was a tie for 1st in pool B between the
Roman team Alessandro and Edoardo and Andrea
Meola and Antionio “Piccio” Cusma’
from Milan.

In the Co-op Semifinal 12 teams battled for 6
spots in the finals and the upset of the
tournament happened when the team of Paolo
Magni/Matteo Feller/Possenti Massimo went from a
5th seed position to taking 2nd in their pool
hitting lots of co-ops and dropping only 4 during
their 5 minute routine. Mauro Mercuri/Claudio
Massaro/Luca Mazzucato showed much improvement
and missed the finals by only 1.5 points.
Lorenzo and Fernando hooked up with Roland
Karlsson from Sweden and hit a very nice routine
winning their pool.

In pool B Clay, Andrea M and Piccio got really
hot a won their pool by 15 points.

After Saturday nights ‘Quentin Tarantino’ party
the players were on the field early Sunday to get
some in some good jams before the Finals.

Sunday’s finals featured players from Sweden, the
United Kingdom, Denmark, Holland and Italy. 37
players competed and there were many others on
the sidelines including Steve Hays, John Titcomb,
myself and several Italian newcomers.

The Open pairs finals was quite a battle with 4
teams having 3 or fewer drops and the lowest
score of the 8 teams was a respectable 7.6.
Only 2.2 points separated the 5th – 8th place
teams and taking 8th place was Fernando and Mauro
from Rome – they had a very solid round with only
3 drops. 7th went to Edoardo and Alesandro also
from Rome – they scored well in difficulty but
had a few untimely drops. The counter /clock
team of Tommy Gereben from Austria and Iwan
DeMoor from AmsterJam placed 6th – they decided
to set their individual combos themselves and
paced their routine to reggae music – the
combination seemed to work well as they dropped
only 2.

Taking 5th place was Fabio and Stefano from
Trieste: they didn’t hit their routine like they
did at the World Championships in Rimini but
earned 5th place dropping only 3.
Lorenzo from Rome and Roland from Sweden had good
difficulty and hit some nice co-ops placing 4th.

Taking 3rd place was Stefan and Joakim from
Sweden in one of the most shredding routines of
the year. If it wasn’t for a short meltdown
where they dropped the disc 3 times attempting an
upsidedown co-op they would have definitely
challenged for the title. Their routine featured
a variety of hein spinning combos, a triple,
scarecrow brushes foot brush passes and
consecutive moves. In 2nd place was the team
from Rimini Clay and Matteo, it’s apparent that
they are comfortable playing together, they hit
lots of flowing co-ops and Clay’s shredding indys
propelled them to near the top of the difficulty

Andrea Meola and Antonio “Piccio” Cusma’ from
Milan were not only able to find the zone but to
stay in the zone for almost the entire routine
bringing the crowd into a frenzy by the end of
their inspired routine. With only 2 drops and 1
minor bobble they won all 3 categories leaving no
doubt about who won. Congratulations to Andrea
and Piccio!

The sizzling play of the pairs final did not
carry over into the Co-op Final as 5 of the 6
teams ended up with 10 drops or more. Placing
6th was the Cinderella team of Paolo
Magni/Matteo Feller/Possenti Massimo with Paolo
helping hold their routine together making
several key catches. 5th went to the
“Swe-Den-Mark” team of Stefan, Joakim and Jan
Soerenson as the had some great moments – it was
the highest finish ever by a Danish Freestyler –
congrats to Jan!

The 4th place team of Paolo/Edo/Ale from Rome
kept the crowd entertained during their fast
paced routine passing the disc more than anyone
else and keeping the disc and the bodys moving at
all times.

Roland Karlsson hooked up with Lorenzo and
Fernando and were able to endure a music
malfunction to take 3rd place carried by a very
solid performance from Fernando who hit a double
spinning gitis at an important point in the

Clay Collera’ hooked up with pairs champs Andrea
and Antonio and there were moments when they were
playing off the charts as they played infront of
the biggest crowd of the weekend because the
ultimate final had just finished before their
routine and hundreds of ultimate players came to
watch along with the hundred or so spectators
already in attendence. They had the potential to
walk away with victory but could not make enough
catches to secure the title.

What does Austria have in common with Trieste?
Well, they are not very far apart on the map for
one thing and now they have one more thing in
common – they both have frisbee players who are
the current European Freestyle Frisbee Champs.
The all counter team of Tommy Gereben, Fabio
Sanna and Stefano Mestroni had high difficulty,
solid presentation and won execution by 4 drops.
In winning the co-op division the young boys from
Trieste followed the example set by the cagey
veteran from Austria who kept his cool and made
good decisions using solid sets for his catches
in a changing wind. It was a well deserved win
for this team and especially Tommy G. who is the
first Austrian to win a large freestyle event.
Tommy has been stylin’ since the late 70’s though
his body shows no signs of slowing – his flips,
handstand catches, double spins and aerial moves
fired up the crowd all weekend. Big props to
Tommy for his first big win!

The Intermediate final saw Fabio’s younger
brother and nephew Marco and Davide Sanna show
their stuff – these boys may give Lusti and Amit
a run for their money by next year.

Eleonora Imazo stepped up and showed how much she
has improved also with Fabio’s help. Gaia, Sara,
Alice and Matteo continue to show that Torino is
becoming another Italian hot bed for freestyle.
Timmy Broxap(4th) has been freestyling for 2
months – he has already developed a good wind
game and is doing double leg overs. This 17 year
old phenom is determined along with friend and
fellow UK jammer Russel Scott (2nd) to put
England on the freestyle map.

Placing 3rd and 1st in intermediate were jam
partners Valerio Occorsio and Giovanni Coppo from
Italy. These boys are well on their way reaching
the pro level.

Many thanks to Paul Bernier and his staff for
organizing this event, providing the stage, sound
system, food and accomodations. The beach cabins
were great – each win a shower and kitchen for
only 10 euros per night.
We could not have run this event without Luigina
– she worked non-stop through the weekend
announcing, keeping time, organizing judges,
etc., etc. Grande Bacio Lui!

The future of freestyle is bright here in Europe
and we are looking forward to EFC 2005! (maybe
in the Canary Islands)

– Tom

Place & Time