The USA came away with the gold medal in five of the six divisions of the 2011 World Championships of Beach Ultimate, a week-long event finishing Saturday 27 August and held in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. The event was co-hosted this year by World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) and Beach Ultimate Lovers Associations (BULA).
This was the biggest World Championship of Beach Ultimate by far, with 1,060 players on 72 teams from 29 countries and five continents. The tournament, directed by Max Vitali and overseen by Patrick van der Valk (WFDF Beach chair and BULA president), was held on the beach in front of Getur Sports Village, a 90 minute drive from Venice on the Adriatic Sea. This was the first World Championship of Beach Ultimate co-hosted by WFDF, with previous events held in 2007 in Maceio, Brazil and in 2004 in Figueira da Foz, Portugal.
“WFDF was pleased to be able to co-host Beach Ultimate as an official WFDF World Championship for the first time, having signed the memorandum of understanding with BULA earlier this year,” stated WFDF President Robert “Nob” Rauch. “Beach Ultimate has become an increasingly popular sport and it is exciting to be able to showcase it in such a beautiful setting. It was a pleasure to see such competitive, athletic, and spirited play throughout the entire week.”
The World Championships hosted six divisions: Open, Mixed, Women, Masters (players born in 1978 or before), Mixed Masters (players born in 1978 or before), and Grand Masters (players born in 1972 or before). Each of the 29 countries participating was awarded one team per division. Games were played to 13 points or capped at 45 minutes, to keep the intensity high and exciting for both players and spectators. The format was the traditional five-on-five beach game, on 75m x 25m fields with 15m endzones.
In the Open division, the USA beat Philippines 13-9 in front of an audience of nearly 3,000 spectators. The USA had lost to Italy earlier in the week in pool play. Switzerland took bronze, with India winning the Spirit Award. In the Women’s division, the USA edged Canada for gold 10-9, with Great Britain taking third and France winning the Spirit Award. In the Mixed (coed) division, the USA narrowly beat Germany 9-8 under difficult wind conditions, with Australia taking bronze and Germany awarded the Spirit trophy. In Masters, the USA handily defeated Austria 12-5, with France taking third and Spain winning the Spirit Award. In Mixed Masters, Great Britain prevailed over the USA 11-7, with Germany taking bronze and Great Britain awarded the Spirit Award. Finally, in Grandmasters, the USA beat Austria 13-7; Germany took third and Great Britain won the Spirit category. Full final standings are below.
The official website of the event at www.wcbu2011.com features results scoring, reports and images from the WCBU.