A Glimpse Into Wonderland: What To Expect at Paganello 2013

by | March 27, 2013, 5:30am 0

For the first time in the tournament’s 22-year history, Skyd will have a presence at the most famous beach ultimate tournament in the world: Paganello. Dutifully fulfilling my role as Skyd’s European correspondent, I will be making the trip over to Rimini for four days of beach ultimate madness, starting on Friday, March 29 and ending with the finals on Monday, April 1.

Life is a Beach

Paganello 2013: Wonderland will feature more of the same goodies that long-time players have come to appreciate: four huge parties, including the legendary opening party with free spaghetti, saraghina, and wine for all, live SMS alerts for all teams (up to three mobile numbers can be registered, players receive a complete game schedule each day as well as party and event info), and four full days of ultimate on the beautiful Riminese sand.

But this year, Paganello players and fans all around the w0rld can also expect something totally new. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be lending my commentating voice to something that has never been done before at Paganello: live internet streaming. The Czech lads from Strizna, the video production outfit who did the World Ultimate Club Championships in 2010 and the European Ultimate Championship Finals in 2012, will be trucking out to the beach this year to set up a live stream for all games on the showcase field at Paganello Arena. But wait, there’s more: the stream will be completely free! Follow the Strizna website and the Paganello Facebook page for more information.

I’ll periodically be tweeting as well. Follow me @Skyd_LiamRosen and let me know what you think of the live stream.

Divisional Previews

Writing any sort of accurate competition preview at Paganello is difficult, given that teams switch around every year, throwing out regional boundaries entirely and looking to pick up friends from all over the world, as well as the odd US or Canadian club player that might be wandering around Europe. In any case, here are my takes for the favorites and notables in each division:

SeXXXpensive takes on Scandal in the 2012 final


Last year’s Open final featured two Paganello mainstays, the Chicago-based Scandal against the (mostly) European pickup SeXXXpensive, with Scandal eventually taking the victory. The 2012 third and fifth place finishers, UTI (Clapham with some Swiss pickups) and Big Bang, will be back, as well as the two local Rimini teams, Cota Gold and Cota Rica, who are seeded fifth and sixth, respectively. Noticeably absent this year is the Swedish team Stinks, the beach team of the recently disbanded Skogshyddan, who finished fifth last year. The seeding looks as follows:


1. Scandal
2. SeXXXpensive
3. UTI
4. Big Bang
5. Cota Gold
6. Cota Rica
7. Gigolo
8. Jurassic 5
9. Zamperl
10. CUSB La Fotta
11. Mohawks
12. French Open
13. Matanga
14. Canieporci
15. Adult Daycare
16. BIIIM Team
17. Russo Turisto
18. Midnight Cobras
19. Hardfisch
20. Milano
21. German masters
22. CUSB Red Bulls
23. Hot Sweaty Beavers


Rimini natives Tequila Boom Boom are always a favorite for one of the top spots

As with the Open division, the top two seeds in the Women’s division are the two finalists from last year, Super Hot Pot and Sandschland, the German Women’s National Beach team. With the European Championships of Beach Ultimate only three months away, Sandschland will be looking to use Paganello as their main preparation tournament, but a finals appearance may not be guaranteed as they integrate new players into the team and test out new strategies. Super Hot Pot has to be the favorite to win it all again this year with their eclectic mix of the top GB players as well as a few Canadian and American faces. Looking further down the list, the mysterious new team Bullseye, coming from the USA, were awarded a third place seed, while Tequila Boom Boom will look to improve upon last year’s fourth place finish. The Austrian, Swiss, and French Women’s National teams round out the rest of the notables.


1. Super Hot Pot
2. Sandschland
3. Bullseye
4. Tequila
5. AUT women
6. Swiss National Women’s Beach Team
7. Cosmic Girls
8. Chupa
9. H.E.U.
10. GB Women’s Masters Beach Team
11. Dyki Krali


Although numbers are down in general from past years, Mixed remains Paganello’s biggest division, featuring 28 teams battling for a chance at glory.

For those that missed it, the last year’s edition featured one of the most exhilarating mixed finals in recent memory (full game video available on YouTube). Corocotta, a team virtually unknown outside of Spain, steamrolled every opponent on their way to a finals matchup against Made in USSR, a contingent of Russia’s top players complemented by Italian big man Max Vitali. Then, they suddenly and inexplicably collapsed. Capitalizing on Corocotta’s miscues and overthrows, Made in USSR shot out to a 10-3 lead and looked to have the game on lockdown as “five minutes left” sounded out over the event speakers. Suddenly, the tone of the game changed completely. With the crowd chanting their names from the stands, Corocotta began a spectacular comeback to take the lead 11-10 in a game to 12. Made in USSR would finally put in the equalizing score, putting them on serve for universe point. Corocotta worked it all the way down to the end zone and took a time out, but the would-be game-winner floated out the back of the end zone and Made in USSR took a deep shot to put the game away 12-11.

Made in USSR celebrate their 2012 Mixed victory

Both finalists will be returning with some tricks up their sleeves to ensure they make it back to the big stage. Vitali will be taking a break from his Major League Ultimate duties to return for Made in USSR, while on the women’s side, rumor is that Corocotta has picked up a secret weapon who they hope will contribute height, speed, and aggressive deep game to complement their already fast ladies. Both of these favorites could, of course, easily be upset by a host of other teams. The Finnish team Ässämix (2010 mixed champions) and Paga mainstay Horned Melons (mixed semifinalists 2010-2012) are returning, and that’s not counting the host of national teams who are using the tournament to prepare for ECBU 2013: Germany, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, and Ireland. Look for some of these teams to break seed in a big way, especially Ireland after coming off a tournament win at the Monte Gordo Invitational earlier this month.


1. Made in USSR
2. Corocotta
3. Horned Melons
4. Ässämix
5. Team Sandsturm
6. Steve French
7. Gold Blend mixed
8. French mixed
9. INNsiders
10. Shocker
11. Team Belgium
12. Big Brother
13. Swiss Mixed team
14. HED
15. AUT mixed
16. Free Smile Island
17. Crunkzilla
18. Jetset
19. CTA
20. Irish National Team
21. BID –  Built in a Day
22. DiscoBolo
23. The Durhamazing Experience ft. The TimMen
24. Alligators Masi
25. Fermidisc
26. Cutting Edge
27. Not So Brighton
28. Brighton Sparks
29. DiscoBolo juniors

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