DC Breeze delegates may have brought the east coast January weather with them to Santa Monica, California last month for Lei Out 2017, but they also brought some top competition.
Jon Pressimone played for team CUT Camp and locked down a 3-1 weekend record, while Max Cassell lead a University of Maryland squad named the Off-Season Whales and enjoyed a 4-0 weekend. On Mixed Team USA Beach, playing under the alias “Tanks Obama,” David Cranston, Markham Shofner, and Breeze alum Nicky Spiva combined forces to win the tournament with a 7-0 record.
On team CUT Camp, Pressimone represented the Breeze among players from across the AUDL; Pat Shriwise and Andrew Brown (Madison Radicals), Dylan Freechild (Dallas Roughnecks), and Tristan Green (Raleigh Flyers). Team CUT Camp went 3-1 on Saturday, even notching a win over Team USA’s “Clown Town.”
The Off-Season Whales took the field early Saturday morning, and were graced with one of the few fields that were oriented straight up (or down) wind. The team started with 13 players, and dwindled down to 7 throughout the day. Despite the roster casualties, the Off-Season Whales scrapped together moments of upwind progress, complimented by a nearly equal number of throws going backwards.
Tanks Obama had a powerful Saturday, sweeping the competition.
A blustery but sunny Saturday gave way to a chilly and rainy Sunday. Cassell reported it candidly: “we survived exactly zero minutes outside on Sunday.”
An eternal optimist, Shofner looked for an upside to the gale force winds and driving rain. “The miserable weather gave our team an avenue to bind itself more tightly together, through mild adversity. That’s what I tell myself at least.” Foul weather can sometimes dampen even the heartiest souls.
Tanks Obama played through the inclement weather, facing off against the national Mixed Masters team and team E.R.I.C. to clinch the Lei Out 2017 champion title. This was a repeat Lei Out win for Shofner, and a three-peat win for Spiva. “Markham and I also won Lei-Out with the Beach Mixed team two years ago before Beach Worlds in Dubai. I also won with a World Games crew in 2014.” As for championship game fans? “There were more seagulls watching the final than people. Forty times more seagulls in fact, because there was only one person,” Spiva and Shofner observed.
Lei Out 2017 also provided an opportunity for Spiva to see the Mixed Beach team that he and Sally Mimms had assembled come together on and off the field. The same crew will represent the USA at Beach Worlds in Royan, France this spring.
Much to Pressimone’s dismay, the AUDL powerhouse of team CUT Camp opted for a variety of brunches over playing Sunday. Despite the rain, Sunday did contain a highlight for Pressimone: the random dance party in the middle of the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, featuring Markham’s sister, Jesse Shoffner.
“While the wind, and the rain, and the hail blew high, it was still an awesome weekend,” Pressimone reports.