Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tournament 3 - Observation One - I'm still alive

This morning I described Paganello to some friends as the equivalent of two Gender Blenders packed together plus a little more. In other words, Paganello is a party tournament like none I've ever been to, and the ultimate is solid too.
I've told many people that this tournament is the only one I really knew about coming from North America (other than the European championships). In this post I'll give you a little flavor of the tournament. For a more visual perspective checkout Blockstack TV.It starts with an arrival in Rimini, and for me, a walk from the train station to my hotel. A brief unpacking and I'm at the first party on the beach. Wine, fish, and pasta are served. Next thing I know there's some medieval story being played out behind me with actors mounted on stilts. Then, for the first time in my ultimate career (other than Jazzfest which is on Canada day) we get to watch a fireworks display. For those interested, Italian (I think) rap music blares in the Arena (the big circus tent). That's night one, and night one was tame in comparison.
On Friday morning, games start. There are three 35 minute games spread out with two hour breaks in which you can eat, watch various demonstrations, catch the freestyle competition, or go back to your hotel and catch a much needed nap. If you think 35 minutes is too little, your wrong. On the Friday night, teams start off at a number of bars and restaurants spread around the beach strip and then congregate at the Arena to dance. Apparently, the live band is spectacular. I wasn't with full wits, but thought the DJ (which was actually the live band) was great.
Saturday involves another three games with the same format. At night, teams head out for Italian meals or more bar time before heading out to a local club for the third party of the night. I thought I would take it easy that night and instead went to our team, Mr. Twister's bar of choice - The Barge. From my sources, the party had an excellent one to two hour techno set with lasers, smoke, and the works. My casual night finished off at 2 or 3 in the morning.
More games on Sunday morning as teams begin to position themselves for cross-overs, quarters, and semis in their brackets. That night the big party happens. Surprisingly, we start at the Barge after eating and preparing your costume. From the barge you head to the tent, where many (80%) of the players are dressed up. I saw smurfs, a time pilot, multiple sheep, Elvises, Marilyns, Mr. Incredibles, Vikings, and more. The DJs rock the house until late (maybe 5am). Then to the Barge until sunset. At this point, sleep is probably a waste, and some of us head to our morning games without sleep.
Monday games for the lesser teams are early so that everyone can congregate for the three finals. The tournament cast watches the cream of the crop battle it out for beach champion. Back to the Arena for awards and then off to the Barge for the final party. The final party is no less intense than the preceding four.
Tuesday is heading home day. A simple tip is leave yourself lots of time since you might not be moving as fast as you would hope. Return home and ask yourself what you just did. Contemplate if you'll do it again next year, but at least, you lived a little.