Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Pro Kicker acquired the domain this week

In a deal finalized today Pro Kicker tm and Yves Archambault finalized the acquisition of the domain name. Might be looking for fresh ideas and partnerships for a mighty commercial operation.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The end of the road for Yevez

Yeah! It looks like it's the end for me as a Pro Footbag competitor. Yesterday I blew my left knee again (2004) while playing a little Peteca with a friend. I must say that I had a great run as I played for 28 years including 25 years as a competitor.

I won my first tournament in Montreal in 1985, then it took us four years to organize another one here. That's when I started a series of at least one win in an open tournament for 20 years in a row, including two open doubles World Championships. I won a lot of East american tournaments at first including Montreal, East Coast and the Funtastik Summer Classic. These three tournaments used to be called the Devil's triangle. I added the Midwest regionals, Southeast regionals, US open, Texas State, New Jersey Spike and Shred, some European Championships and French open to the list as well as my last victory ever at the second South American Championships in December 2008 in Venezuela.

The sweetest victories: Worlds 2001 with Alexis Deschênes, my first singles win at the European Championships 1999 and the 2000 US open with Rob Adams.

Of course there were also a lot of tough losses but we tend to forget more about them right?. Still I'll never forget Alexis and I loss to Allan Petersen and Peter Shunny at the great 1997 Portland World Championships. To this day I still think that we were the better team but nervousness got to us. At least we had the chance to come back 4 years later and win it all in San Francisco.

I was not the most talented player but I worked my ass off. For over 15 years I practiced 6 days a week, 6 hours a day all summer long. In the end I won a lot of matches against better players because I was practicing more than they were.

It's all been a lot of fun but now it's time to move on. I want to wish good luck to all the serious competitors out there and I wish to think that some of you will believe that it'll be a little easier not to have to meet me on the other side of the net :-)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The 2009 World Footbag Championships in Berlin, recap

The 30th edition of the IFPA World Footbag Championships was held in Berlin this year (July 20-26) and the finals day was a great success. The ARENA was the finals location and had bleachers with very comfy seats on three sides facing a huge stage.
The day started with the women's singles net finals. This match was scheduled for friday evening but due to different time constraints it ended up on finals day. Maude Landreville won the title over Geneviève Bousquet, both players are from Montreal. Women's singles was the only title missing on the glorious Montreal Footbag net club list. Mission accomplished.

The next match featured Emmanuel Bouchard facing JF Lemieux, both from Montreal, again. Bouchard won the open singles title for the 12th year in a row over JF in 2 straight games. Then the women from Montreal came back to face Irena Marc and Llena Mlakar from Kranj, Slovenia. Maude and Geneviève won their second career doubles title (Montreal 2004) over the very improved Slovenian team. Mixed doubles was next and guess what: Two teams from Montreal were facing each other. JF Lemieux and Maude Landreville won over Luc Legault and Geneviève Bousquet. If we all know how to count right this makes three titles for Maude. Winning the triple crown, very impressive.
The most important title of net is open doubles though and unfortunately this one escaped the feet of the montrealers. Favorites Florian Gotze and Patrick Shrickel from Germany won the coveted title over 2008 champs Emmanuel Bouchard (Montreal) and PT Lovern (Chaos club California) This was a 3rd title for the Germs (2007-07). They had a great start winning the 1st game easily with textbook offence and great defence. They lost it in the 2nd game, probably feeling the pressure of the 1,100 spectators heavily pushing them for a quick victory in their land. The 3rd game started as bad for them, at one point they were loosing 2-7, but they rallied nicely at the end to fly over the finish line with a sweet victory. Congratulations to Flo and Patti, well done. Some very good KICK VOLLEY was played that day but my favorite match of the week was men's semi-finals 2. Luc Legault and Gilles Demers lost a heartbreaker 14-16 in the 3rd set against PT Lovern and Emmanuel Bouchard. Luc and Gilles tied for 3rd place with fellow Montrealers JF Lemieux and Benjamin Rochon.

The doubles match, as well as the next events, was streamlined live over the internet, a first at the WFC. Pro Kicker Impact Footbags were the official net bags for the tournament.

The rest of the evening was all freestyle events. Lets just say that Tina Aeberli won the women's title. I think she started her domination in 2005 (Helsinki) and she is still clearly ahead of her competitors. In men's singles routines Vasek Klouda regained his title brilliantly with the only dropless routine of his bunch (8 finalists) and probably from the whole night.

After that the night returned to music, party and chaos, Berlin style. A solo artist and a band entertained the crowd for a while at the ARENA and then we moved on to the Glashaus on the same site, some to celebrate their victories, some to drind away their losses, promising themselves that next year would be better.

Benjamin Rochon blocks Jani Markkanen's toe reverse in a quarter finals match

Friday, June 19, 2009

The 2009 Green Cup, Footbag Net at its best part 2

Finals day at the Green Cup.

We finally get a sunny day and the weather is perfect for playing KICK VOLLEY. As stated in article 1 there are 7 montrealers out of 8 players in the doubles semis, cool. The first semi-finals opposes JF Lemieux and Ben ''Rock on'' Rochon to Alexis Deschênes and François Depatie-Pelletier. It takes a lot of fire power to get past JF and Ben's defence and Alexis and Frinki just don't have enough in them that morning. Winners and on their way to the finals in 2 straight games: JF Lemieux and Benjamin Rochon.

In the second semi-finals veteran Yves Archambault and his partner Luc Legault start the match as major underdogs. They face PT Lovern and Emmanuel Bouchard, the reigning World Champions. As planned Lovern and Bouchard win the 1st game but Archambault and Legault put on a good fight. Then the underdogs won the second game to send this match in an ultimate set. The turning point happened at 3-7 (PT and Manu in the lead) when it took over 20 side-outs to get another point for the champs. The rest of the game was pretty much a walk in the park for Lovern and Bouchard but the match was much longer and tougher than expected. That situation would signify a heavy toll to pay for Bouchard.

The 3 rd place match is played right after this semi-finals and Legault is clearly exhausted. He had to spike so many times in the previous match that he doesn't have much left in him. It shows as he misses a lot of serve receptions, very unusual for him. Deschênes and Depatie-Pelletier cruise to an easy victory in 2 straight sets.

Then the doubles finals started and it promised to be a battle. The first 2 games are a split and moving on to a 3 rd game the red team is very confident (JF and Ben). After 3 points Emmanuel Bouchard has to forfait from the match due to severe leg cramps. The grueling duel of the semi-finals has taken its toll and the Green Cup once again evades the hands of PT Lovern and Manu.

In 2008 they lost at the same stage against germans Patti Schrickel and Florian Gotze.

The new Green Cup champions: From Montréal, Jean-François Lemieux and Benjamin Rochon.

After this match JF defeated frenchis Greg Lima in the singles finals sweetening his doubles victory with yet another title.

In the mixed doubles PT Lovern and Jodi Welch won over JF Lemieux and Lisa Monti.

PRO KICKER footbags were used throughout the entire competition.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ultimate Fighting in Toronto, Not barbarian?

I saw this guy on the news tonight, claiming on all possible tones, that ultimate fighting should be permitted in Toronto and in Ontario in general. Well let me disagree on the one point he was trying so hard to defend: Is Ultimate fighting barbarian?

The argument he was making was that no death has ever been recorded in this sport, yes I do call it a sport 'cause it can be, how lame an argument is that? It implies that death could be possible. All of this with mixed images of fights with blood splatters all over the place.

If you want your sport to be accepted you have to recognize that it's totally barbarian, and that's what our world is ready to pay for. I watch it sometimes and as much as I can appreciate the training level, technique and all, it is still barbarian to me. Boxing is already on the edge, ultimate fighting is a warrior's dream that only relates to the past.

Rock on sports of the future: Skateboarding, yes you can kill yourself on the ramp but you're not agressing any one else, it's your fight, your fear, and it's much more coureagous. KICK VOLLEY is the symbolization of a martial art fight with no contact allowed, a fight being a communication on a primitive level, the symbolisation of the fight in another level towards balance, equity, communication and control over human problems. Human problems being exported to the planet.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The 2009 Green Cup, Footbag net at his best

The Green Cup is always very special for me as it is a good occasion to visit spectacular San Francisco. My partner Luc Legault and I took off for Burlington, VT early in the morning and we flew to San Fran from there, through Philadelphia. Smooth flight, no problem. We then took the public transportation to the city. We were hosted by Footbag legends Eric Wulff and Carol Wedemeyer. They had a real nice apartment and they treated us first class. Viva California.

We celebrated Benjamin Rochon's birthday on Thursday night and it was nice.

On Saturday the tournament started. We were a strong group of 10 montrealers, well trained and focused. Some players came as far as Russia (Sacha and Yulia) to feed the tournament. Once again, nice.

The Chaos players were well trained too, Jack Harris impressed everybody with some of the hardest spikes ever. Wow. I like it. The 2 France representatives were also there to play. Grischa and Greg really made an impression at their second attending, much honor to them and their family.

After a lot of hard fought prelim games in an unusually freezing Oakland. there were 7 Montrealers left and 1 Chaos member in the doubles semi finals. The biggest surprise though has to be awarded to Greg Lima, from Paris, who managed to climb his way to the Singles finals. Good work cousin.

Some upsets happened in the semis but I'll talk about it in another article. The goal of this one was to present you a photograph that totally describes the intensity and the focus of the players in this wonderful tournament. Ladies and Gentlemen meet one of the rising stars of KICK VOLLEY I named François Depatie-Pelletier.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

KICK VOLLEY 01 will be replacing The Windchill footbag tournament

The Montreal Windchill Footbag tournament ran For 18 years. The name has changed for KICK VOLLEY for the coming edition. KICK VOLLEY 01 is scheduled for March 21st and 22nd at the Cegep du Vieux-Montréal (easier to google map than an incorrect translation)

I sincerely believe that the much more descriptive name KICK VOLLEY should be used in the future to replace Footbag Net. How many times have I had problems with people hearing ''Football'' instead of Footbag, this is a bad start when your trademark is confused with something else, something much stronger in this case.

KICK VOLLEY conveys the 2 most important parts of our game. KICK stands for the martial arts part, high kicking tae kwon do style smashes and VOLLEY tells you right away that's it's played over a net.

All the information on KICKVOLLEY.COM, you can also look for the KICK VOLLEY group on Facebook. KICK VOLLEY and AKI FILET are PRO KICKER initiatives.