European Ultimate Championship Finals
This past weekend the last regional finals were played to determine the European finalists. Sixteen open teams and eight womens teams will battle it out at the European Ultimate Championship Finals in Spain on October 1-3.
For the EUCF, Europe is divided in four regions. Each of them delivers four open teams and two women teams to contend for the Championship title. To quote the European Flying Disc Federation:
“Regions will be formed not only geographically but also on strength of region. It’s hoped that each region will be roughly equivalent […] The 2010 regions are as follows:
- North East – Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Iceland.
- Central East – Denmark, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Croatia, Ukraine, Belarus.
- West – United Kingdom
- South West – Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Israel, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg”
Click here to see the ranking of all participating teams across the four divisions.
In the open division the NE and W regions tend to be strongest, with England and Sweden as dominant European powerhouses. These countries have consistently produced the best club teams over the past years. The four finalists from these regions are favourites for the title and are made up by Viksjöfors (SWE), Skogs (SWE), Clapham (UK) and Chevron Action Flash (UK).
Chevy will be looking to defend their 2009 title, but on paper Viksjöfors and Clapham appear strongest. They both placed first in their respective regions, as well as finishing as the highest European teams during WUCC 2010 this summer (8th and 10th respectively). Skogs look strong as always – finishing second in their region with only eight players. They are planning to bring a seriously stacked troupe to EUCF which according to Skogs spokesperson/captain Niklas Tehler seems to be ‘the best Skogs team on paper since 1997’.
I’d say the main competition from the other regions is Freespeed, Ragnarok, Karhakopula and Flying Angels Bern. The entire elite of European ultimate will be represented, and we can expect some tough battles between all 16 teams.
In recent years womens ultimate in Europe has been dominated by the English ladies of Iceni and LeedsLeedsLeeds together with the continental Hot Beaches (CH). Germany now boasts the rising stars Woodchikas who finished as best Europan womens team during WUCC this summer. These four teams seem to be top contenders at this years EUCF. That is, unless NE and SW Regional winners Cosmic Girls and Misscoldisco step up to stake some ground.
London’s Iceni are reigning EU champions but 2009 runner ups LeedsLeedsLeeds are hot on their trail. Iceni did take this years UK Tour but their five year winning streak at the UK Nationals got broken by LLL. The ladies from Leeds took home the gold in a closely contested final and claimed first spot in the West Region qualifiers for EUCF.
It’s hard to make a side by side comparison between Woodchikas and the Hot Beaches. Both squads were very convincing against non-European teams during Worlds (finishing 8th and 12th respectively, as the highest EU womens teams), but the English ladies might be savvy enough to retain their European dominance. Eight teams are qualified, but who’ll be this years European Ultimate Champion?
3rd Hot Beaches