Read about our experience watching 1500 athletes on 80 teams from over 13 countries competing within multiple divisions for gold at the PAUC 2019.
The WFDF 2019 Pan American Ultimate Championships was recently held in Sarasota, Florida, bringing together 67 teams from 13 countries.
This event was a very special one, and we thought we'd share a few reasons why we had such a great time.
If you're looking to pick up a piece of PAUC 2019 gear, check out the collection in our online store here!
THE ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
World Flying Disc Federation does great things, and Oshadega brought it up a notch. Rodger Oakes, with his team lead by Dale Wilker, knows how to run a player-focused tournament that is also incredibly good for sponsors and companies who come to be part of, and support the event. The WFDF and Oshadega combination, as seen previously with WUCC 2018, is one of, if not the best, in the ultimate world.
PAUC 2019 was held at the Sarasota Polo Club. If you play competitive ultimate in North America and that name isn't familiar, it's likely that you're just too young. USA Ultimate (and formally the UPA) ran Club Nationals at this venue for years. The facilities are top-notch (real bathrooms!), parking is ample, and the fields are well kept and easy to find.
Most importantly, this venue is located minutes away from the white sandy beaches of Siesta Key. This means you can stop by your vacation rental to change before diving into the warm ocean, then enjoy an overpriced premade sugar-water drink at the Daiquiri Deck post-swim.
Sarasota Polo Club fields at sunset
MEETING OF MINDS
PAUC brings together a lot of engaged organizers to talk about the growth, issues, and future of disc sports in the region.
Brian Gisel, WFDF's Ultimate Chair, was one of the organizers overseeing the Pan-American Congress event which happened onsite before the competition started. Following updates from WFDF and Jesus Loreto, who can be credited for bringing ultimate to Venezula, participants got together at round tables for engaging conversations spanning everything from rules to increasing the participation of women in disc sports.
Jesus Loreto sporting his VC-made Yanomami jersey!
Spirit of the Game was overflowing at PAUC 2019. One of our favourite parts was the drumming and dancing happening on the sidelines and at the beach.
A bit of history on this for you: at VC's first Worlds in 2002, we met the players from Yanomami. We were introducing the world to VC gear for the first time, and had rented a condo in Waikiki, Hawaii.
There wasn't even a knock before the door to our place flew open, and a conga line of Yanomami drummers and dancers came barreling through. Not a bad way to get introduced to the vibe at international ultimate events, eh?
FRIENDS FROM HOME
Seeing friends from Canada enjoying international events is a real treat. Many of them also wear VC gear, which always makes us happy to see at tournaments - we appreciate you!!
WORK HARD PLAY HARD
Working a week-long tournament is much harder than you'd think... being up early every day, managing responsibilities at home/at the office, and handling A LOT of heavy boxes and pesky wire hangers!
A favourite thing we do off the field is hosting our fellow sponsors for a team dinner at the VC house. Shout out to our friends at Universe Point (especially Ed for catching and BBQ'ing the fish!), Discraft, Kikko Socks and Mr. Highlight Nathan Kolakovic for joining us to celebrate our involvement in the community!
Also, special shout out to Brian Gisel from WFDF and BC Ultimate. We'd be lost without you.
THE VC TEAM
Without going into details, we can state that the VC team at this event was the perfect combination of old school (Adriana, Daniel) and new school (Miriam, Molly). Next time you come across the 6ixers, find Mingle and try to get the story of her new tattoo...
THAT'S A WRAP
With the 2019 tournament season now over, we'd like to say a sincere THANK YOU to all of the volunteers, organizers and players who made this past year so wonderful. We appreciate you, and look forward to seeing you next year!