Monday, December 14, 2009

Torneo de Playa 2009

Summer is here, and do you know what that means? Beach Tournament!!!!!!!! Loyal readers with amazing memories, and those who were there, will remember that on Dia de La Virgin in 2008 we were on the beach at Monte Hermoso for Uliti Fest en la Playa 2008. Many also remember my famous YouTube clip involving very broken Spanish in a hopefully endearing if not slightly humiliating interview for the local news.
This year Dia de La Virgin was badly timed (it was a Tuesday, not a Monday, so no 3-day weekend), which coupled with the tournament in Colombia, made us think for a time that there would be no Beach Tournament '09. I was sad but moving toward acceptance when it was announced that there would be a beach tournament after all at a very "top" beach five hours outside of Capital Federal called Pinamar. This was a slightly unfortunate twist of events since Nick, Josh, and I had already made plans to spend Christmas there!!!! We almost didn't go because we decided we couldn't afford it, but Ian (one of the organizers and our friend) wouldn't hear of it. So we sold banana bread and will sell some more to pay for Christmas and headed to meet the bus Friday night. Because this is Argentina and Frisbee people are always late and Sabina was waiting to get out of an exam we left an hour and a half late and stopped on the way. We arrived at four in the morning.
Pinamar should be a really nice beach. Its very long, has beautiful sand, rolling dunes, and only a little bit of trash. There isn't much of a city, just a downtown area so the lights are dim at night and I don't think I've ever seen so many stars in the sky at once. Not to mention the biggest meteors I've ever seen. While there is very little light pollution there is something strange that I've never seen on a beach before. There are more cars, four wheelers and dirt bikes riding back and forth all day and night that you feel like you are actually sunning yourself next to a sandy highway. And its even more expensive than Capital Federal, which I didn't think possible. On the beach there was a restaurant where we used the bathroom and had dinner on Saturday night. Hamburgers sold there for thirty pesos!! A small beer was twelve, and I don't even want to know what a whole liter cost. Of course nobody could pay for it, so when lunch time rolled around on Saturday we stopped one of the guys on the Tatu Empanada four wheelers and ordered empanadas for three pesos a piece. That's still a little pricey but not as bad as thirty pesos a hamburger. The owner of the restaurant got so mad that we weren't buying her food! and she yelled at Diego. Not a fan of capitalism. So the next day we all made sure to bring out own sandwiches and I brought my hard boiled eggs. MMMMMM....protein...

Watching games in the sun

Una ronda de Blackjacks!!

There were six teams this year. My team captain was Mike Foster (who is providing all of the photos for this post) and the rest of my team was made up by Fernanda, Ian, Emiliano and a newby Gabriel. It was an amazing team of people I'd never played with before but who I had played against many times. Mike is the best captain ever and I learned more from him in those two days than ever before.

Nick taking a little nap

For those of you new to the Ultimate scene, picking a good team name during a tournament is a big deal and shows what kind of spirit you have. We were having a hard time coming up with one and when I asked Mike what he thought he was in the middle of filling up his maté with Yerba from Uruguay. How about Abuelitas? He asked. (Uruguay has the craziest brand names for their Yerba. I bought a bag of La Mulatta while I was over there. Its just so inappropriate). Abuelita means little Grandma, and so the Little Grandmas we became. The name stuck and we embraced it with a Grandma dance. What is a Grandma dance you might be thinking? Its when you team lines up and pretends to be walking with a walker to a rhythm. Its great.

Diego, captain of the Cadillacs, making some moves

I was having so much fun playing that as usual I wasn't really caring whether or not we won, but we kept winning!! Under Mike's coaching our flow was amazing. I haven't been on a winning team for a while, so the unexpected feeling of winning was refreshing and made me want more!!!
After Saturday's games came to an end we headed back for some much needed showers and warmer clothes (the beach was unseasonably cold due to a wind from the South). To my surprise, there was a heated pool behind our hotel full of Frisbee players by the time I got back from the market so I hopped in with the hope of helping my tired muscles out a bit and then Diego made an impromptu asado because its not Ultimate without Choripan!!!!! We then headed back to the beach for bad pizza, good Quilmes and dancing.

Nick's hair has never looked better. I worry it will never look this good again.

I love being on the beach at night, and in between dance numbers I headed out with a few friends to do some star gazing and I couldn't believe how many shooting stars I saw. This of course prompted funny comments reminiscent of college talks about far away the stars how and how some might not even be there anymore...

The second day was warmer and not as sunny and we played a good game against Josh's team the Blackjacks, and won with our unbeatable flow that Mike Foster fostered. We were already in the championship round after that but played a fun game against Anana where most people were kinda laughing the whole game as Antonio feigned an overly aggressive desire to win. I think it was feigned.

Mad layouts

We played the Aceitunas in the Championship round, and my right leg was pretty sore. I was having a little trouble walking around let alone sprinting for discs in the sand or jumping for them. But out of no where came this endless source of energy that ended all to quickly once the game was over leaving me with nothing left for the walk to the restaurant. It was the best game I ever played. I was blocking and diving, throwing and catching, and handling the s*#* out of that disc against Aceitunas zone defense.

Actually catching the disc!!

Mike, my captain for the weekend

Una ronda de Abuelitas

Diego after he found out that Bonfield, his soccer team, won the championship for the first time in history and a sprint to the sea

We won, and it wasn't a close game, but they made us work for it. It was all I could do to keep myself from falling asleep at the closing ceremonies, but I had to get up and receive my prizes (emphasis on the s) because we also won the Spirit award!!! So we won a cool t-shirt and awesome Ultimate shorts. This was particularly exciting to me seeing as I've made a reputation for myself as the girl with one pair of shorts, them being green shorts. Now I've got a black pair to wear as well!!

Award ceremony

I'm paying for my fun with a cold as usual, but it was an awesome beach tournament. Now I'm wondering how I can somehow make it back for next years...

The whole crew