FPAW2017 takes place on Aug 3-6 in Udine, Italy. FPAW2017 is the premier annual freestyle Frisbee event. In attendance will be at least 70 of the best players from around the world showing off their most advanced skills and choreography, vying for a world championship title. To help get you excited for the event, I thought I’d pick out some of my favorite teams.
In attendance will be the winning co-op team for 2016; Florian Hess, Christian Lamrad, and Alex Leist. These guys put on an amazing show in 2016, and have attacked 2017 with even more intensity. They took co-op at Frisbeebeer 2017 co-op and the German Championships so look for them to be in full performance mode in an attempt to defend their title. However, this may not be an easy task. The team of Randy Silvey, James Wiseman, and Ryan Young have been preparing all year and put in a few wins of their own: namely at Virginia States and AFO 2017. Randy is known for putting on exciting routines and Ryan and James are hungry to take the world of freestyle to new heights.
In the mixed division, look out for the team of Matt Gauthier and Lisa Hunrichs. Though they have not played together in a mixed division this year, they have won the mixed division for 4 years running. They always come with a fun routine full of creativity, difficulty, and emotional engagement. Also on the hunt in this division are Paul Kenny and Ilka Simon. They took the Frisbeer mixed title and are set to put on a show at FPAW. Other teams to watch that of Lori Daniels and James Wiseman and Eleonora Imazio and Fabio Sanna. Lori and James are both top players with the skills to throw down some shred. Elle and Fabio are a veteran team with a previous win and always have great chemistry and imagination in their choreography.
In the open division, there are so many great teams to choose from. I can’t pick a favorite. James Wiseman and Ryan Young have been on fire, taking The Jammers and AFO 2017. They are both playing out of their minds, practicing daily in preparation. However, there team of Paul Kenny and Merdad “Graf” Housanian won pairs at Frisbeer and have the 2015 title as a pair. These guys have experience on their side, not to mention that Paul and Graf are two of the most innovative players competing at the top level today. Then you have Tommy Leitner and Daniel O’Neil. Tommy won open pairs last year with Christian Lamrad. Tommy is one the all-time heinest players and certainly has the most competition experience of anyone in this division. Daniel is a just a joy to watch, with buttery flow, yet explosive movements. These guys are playing at WFDF to warm up and could put on a show that brings the house down. And the list keeps going. There’s Christian Lamrad and Florian Hess, Jakub Kostel and Freddy Finner. All 4 of these players are at the peaks of their game.
Finally we have the women’s division. Interestingly there are no teams from the recent competition history so this really could be anyone’s division. The team to beat is probably Lisa Hunrichs and Bianca Strunz. Both these women have world women’s titles under their belts. Both have mad freestyle skills. And, they are the top ranked team according the FPA rankings. However, it won’t be a gimme. The teams of Ilka Simon and Sophie Rickers, and Lori Daniels and Anna Merlo both have one world champion and one up-and-comer who is hungry for their shot.
You can check the list of players and teams for FPAW2017 here, and the FPA rankings here. You can also see event results and some performances from earlier in the year here. I’d love to hear your analysis of FPAW2017. Who do you think you will win and why? Let me know in the comments below.