Beach Westerns Write-UpMar 15th, 2016 | By AndyBandit | Category: Articles, Game Recaps, Tournaments
What is better than sunny, beautiful weather and a competitive beach ultimate tournament? Very little, it turns out. Especially when said tournament is bursting with talented players from Colorado, Texas, Vancouver, and from up and down the California coast.
This is written from the point-of-view of someone who plays ultimate in 20+ tournaments every year – having narrowed down my most-important-elements-in-a-tournament, I can confidently say that Beach Westerns 2016 gets an A.
Naturally, I’m biased, given that this tournament was held in our backyard and in light of my obvious preference for beach ultimate, but there’s a reason why 10 teams out of 26 traveled to play in this inaugural tournament. Beach and sand quality varies significantly around the world and the beach in Santa Monica is up there among the best in terms of space, ideal depth of sand, and proximity to great restaurants and affordable lodging options. A
Caliber of Competition
I think, appropriately, Brach had an “if I build it, they will come” approach to this year’s event. Ultimately, had we only had the 16 “local” teams sign up (that’s inclusive of all teams from Santa Barbara south to Orange County), we would have had a very solid weekend full of close, exciting games, and a ton of fun. However, thanks, due in large part to Brach’s active recruiting outside LA and Ventura Counties, we got a handful of San Francisco teams, not 1, but 2 women’s teams from San Diego, a Canadian (!) team, and a great group from Colorado. Ultimately, both the Women’s Champions and the Men’s Champions were non-LA teams (both from San Francisco), but it’s always a delight to play against people you don’t get to see at the local-level, and this weekend was the perfect mixture of fun and competition, and hopefully, we’ll see an LA team on the podium next year! A+ (on the women’s side | it certainly seemed very competitive on the men’s side as well)
Overwhelmingly, in all of our post-game spirit circles, the feedback about the event was positive – the schedule was great, we started on time, granola bars + water were provided for each team, the bathrooms were right there – but the thing that almost every opposing team mentioned was how unique it was to be getting to play single-gender beach ultimate, 5v5. I think it’s easy to take this for granted since we play single-gender beach league in Los Angeles for 6 weeks every spring, but it’s a great reminder that not everyone has that opportunity. As a predominately Mixed player, I like to point out how spectacular it was to get to play beach ultimate with and against such talented women. B+
I can’t weigh in on the party, as I wasn’t able to attend but it sounds like it was great! I know that a lot of thought went into choosing a venue that could accommodate everyone, and one that was close enough to be accessible without relegating people to just one neighborhood for the entire weekend.
I know that I speak on behalf of Glitterati when I say that we’re already looking forward to Beach Westerns 2017!
Congratulations to the winners on the men’s side, Gyros, and to The Beachelorette Party, a women’s team comprised of such talented and spirited women, losing to them in the finals was only a momentary let-down. Just getting to play against them was an honor. And a final shout-out to Eric Brach for creating – completely from scratch and over the course of just a couple of short months – a fun, spirited, competitive, extremely well-run tournament!