What’s New

How do you create the best UK Hat tournament? – A Discussion with DUFFA

DUFFA Hat is known in the UK for being one of the most successful Hat tournaments, with applications increasing year on year and even an introduction of a lottery system to handle the volume of applications. There is no doubt competition to attend this famous tournament is high, but what makes DUFFA Hat so great? We have been speaking to organisers to try to get a sneak peek of this year’s surprises and find out exactly what goes into running such a successful Hat tournament!

 

History of DUFFA Hat – Why was it first created? What were the aims?

We started our super spirited Ultimate pick-up club, DUFFA with the focus on spirit and inclusiveness and thought this would translate pretty well to a tournament, and so the idea of DUFFA Hat emerged. We noticed that in the UK the focus on Ultimate (especially with tournaments) was on the top-level – Our view was (and is!) that there is so much more to the sport than just the elite.

At the time, we had an experienced TD in the group who wanted to try and make money from our first tournament. Our vision was actually to do the tournament as non-profit and spend as much as possible on making it great. That experienced hand then refused to help and uttered the now immortal line, “You can’t run a Hat tournament without me” – this, if it was needed before, provided the motivation to prove them wrong. Ten years later we’re still proving this wrong.

 

How is DUFFA Hat so successful year on year?

We had the right recipe for a Hat tournament:

* Be super inclusive to beginners (including those that have never touched a disc before)

* Try to be as mixed as possible.

* Ensure that the Spirit prize is better than all other prizes (I mean coming first is cool but winning spirit is much more DUFFA Hat cooler)

* To be non-profit (And ensure we make the tournament as amazing as can be)

* Every year to surprise people. The first year I booked a Brass Band to do the Sunday morning wake up and hadn’t even told most of the organising committee!

* To innovate and ensure Spirit is in everything we do (we have our own custom Spirit ratings score sheets!)

 

About DUFFA

When DUFFA first started, the Ultimate scene in Manchester was in transition. Black Sheep had disappeared and there was only Chevron every level. More recently, we have slotted into the Pickup niche, leaving Black Sheep and Manchester Ultimate to cater for the training and competing side. We’re the consistent pick-up club, there twice a week, rain or shine – always ready to show a complete beginner how great Ultimate is and point them in the direction of our local clubs when, and if, they are ready and want to play competitive Ultimate. Some of our members have never played competitively and we believe there is a lot of scope for more DUFFA style pickup in the larger cities to help promote the “pyramid” of Ultimate! Plus, some of us are getting old and knackered and don’t have time to train and go away for weekends but still love to play when we can.

 

Top themes in the past – What were some of the favourites? Why? Any top costumes that stick out?

We love our attendees’ dedication to fancy dress – especially those that stretch the theme. It’s great to see the interpretation on the theme. During the Jungle theme, we had three separate cartoons of Umbongo, for Under the Sea we had several Jelly Fish (mostly made of Umbrellas and fairy lights!), a pregnant partner of an attendee painted her stomach as the Earth for “Out of this World”.

 

 

We’ve also had: An army of Minions, a WALL-E (and EVA who came separately), a Lollypop person (“When I Grow Up”), an entire “Big Top” on the Circus year and for “A Blast from the Past” had a Mummy in a coffin. The Ultimate community can really get creative.

 

This year is The Wild West–  We are excited to see what costumes emerge!

A full list of past themes can be seen here

 

What are the highlights of organising such a tournament?

One of the highlights of my job is ringing people in the final week before the tournament and offering them a space – Sometimes you hear the crushing disappointment when they’ve already promised their significant other to do something else, but mostly people we ring are excited to get in!

As I type there are various bits of crafts being finished, packing lists being written and the final set of lucky individuals being contacted from the waiting lists to replace last minute cancellations.

 

Any surprises in store for DUFFA Hat this year? – Especially being the 10th edition

Of course there are! But to find out what they are you have to attend!

 

(Sorry guys, we tried to get you a hint…)

 

 

WCBU 2017- A (Ultimate) Couples’ Perspective

Following Sam’s Post-WCBU interview we asked a few others on the VC/Lookfly team about their time at the World Championships of Beach Ultimate in Royan in June 2017.

Andraž Kramberger, one of our photographers, and his partner Alja Sitar, who worked at the VC tent, give us a good behind the scenes perspective of WCBU and working on photography at an event like WCBU!

So tell us about yourself, in a few sentences, Alja 

My name is Alja, I’m from Slovenia and I am very new to Ultimate. Andraž is the one who introduced it to me (our relationship is as old as my knowledge of Ultimate), so I’ve seen some games, but to tell you the truth I’m even bad at throwing the disc, that’s why I haven’t tried playing Ultimate yet. Otherwise, I’m an art therapy masters student, I play flute in an orchestra and love chocolate and Andraž. 🙂

Andraž, I won’t delve too much into your relationship with Ultimate, that has been covered in a previous interview with VC and that you played for your local team around a year and a half before turning to photography. Do you still play Ultimate?

Andraž: I don’t play anymore, I just love to shoot top players from around the globe!

Ever get the urge to play when shooting?

Andraž: Sometimes, when I shoot some really intense games with really good spirit I would definitely jump into the action if I got the chance.

Was WCBU like what you anticipated?

Andraž:  It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be and the town was much prettier than Google images showed before coming here (I did my research beforehand).

Alja: Yes, pretty much. I haven’t seen much of Ultimate yet, so I’ve built my expectations around Andraž’s descriptions which were quite spot on. But still, seeing the vast beach and all the excitement, it was an amazing experience.

What was it like seeing all of the teams in Lookfly gear?

Andraž: To see five teams rocking Lookfly at WCBU was amazing and it only shows there are good things to come for the company.

Alja: It was great, especially because I had a feeling they connected people in a different way when I passed a team in Lookfly gear I instantly felt like “This is our team”. Even though there was no Slovenian team, they felt “mine”.

So Andraž, how many photos in total did you take?

Since I also worked at the VC tent the number of shots I got was a bit limited, I only managed to take about 5000 shots in the week.

Alja, how fun was it watching Andraž go through all the photos, all night, every night? 😉

I actually really like observing Andraž when he is working. I usually snuggle next to him and fall asleep watching and I’m so used to it that it somehow feels very comforting and homey. Sometimes he asks for my opinion or tells the story behind the shot or we debate about things. Also, I wasn’t able to see many games so this was the closest I got to most of them. Of course, I really like Andraž’s work, and this way I have VIP access to all of the photos, even those that don’t make the cut. That way I feel very privileged. 😀

So, we have to ask, what were some of the best uniforms on the beach?

Andraž: I really liked the Danish, Canadian, Dutch and Czech uniforms.

Alja: I really liked the Czech uniform, I liked the colours and the idea behind the design. Nice and Simple. Between the Lookfly kits, I would have to go with the Danmark one, the women looked great!

What was life as part of the VC Lookfly team?

Andraž: It was a pleasure. The whole team was very nice and the atmosphere was warm and it felt like home pretty much instantly.

Alja: Incredible. I was a tiny bit worried before arriving because I was new to the team and new to the whole Ultimate scene. Especially on this level, but the worries were gone straight away. Every single person I met was as incredible as the whole experience. Combine wonderful people and great spirit and you get our VC Lookfly team. SOTG to us! 😀 Everyone made you feel very welcome and you felt like a big part of the group. I loved our evenings together because the atmosphere was very laid back but the work still got done. And I think we did a great job.

How did you find working WCBU? The players, the locals, the venue?

Andraž: It was a delight to see how many locals and other non-ultimate people came to watch some of the games and even buy discs or other gear. It really felt like the whole community of Royan was involved in the championship in some way.

Alja: It was wonderful. I loved how Royan’s locals got involved, from young volunteers who were also a massive cheerleading group, to groups of older people taking photos of the French team and cheering loudly and proudly – You always knew when France was playing – although I don’t think everyone was even familiar with the sport. Older gentlemen were buying matching jerseys for themselves and their wives and when they discovered the price was too high, they still took one for their lady. Young families were buying discs and now probably every family in Royan has one. Maybe Ultimate will get some new players now!

So guys, any funny stories from your time at Royan?

Andraž: One funny story for me was when I started using our Neckies on my camera as a protection from the sand which was blowing all over. Then after Adriana told one of the other photographers about the ‘hack’, soon a lot of other photographers came for their set of the now rebranded “Lensies”.

Alja: Maybe not that funny, but they hold some humour for me.

Once on a break in the lounge area I saw two Danish girls kicking a** on table football, they were really loud; screaming, singing, laughing and dancing. On the other side were four quite young volunteer boys, they were silently and desperately taking turns on the other table, obviously not as successful.

On my other break, Andraž was taking photos of the game that was happening in front of the lounge area, that’s why I took my lunch there and wanted to take a seat in front so I could watch. The Philippine guys were there, waiting for their game, one of them came over to me straight away and started introducing everyone. He obviously wanted to have a conversation,  he was asking a lot of questions, but his English was not that good. Once I mentioned a boyfriend in one of the answers, he stood up and left.

Also, for those interested in photography, or those who just enjoy awesome pictures, check out Andraž’s Instagram @krambergera

We are so lucky to work with lovely people like Alja in our teams, and extremely talented photographers like Andraž, you can see most of his Ultimate shots on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

The Ground Crew of WCBU 2017- What was it like?

It has been a whole month since the World Championships of Beach Ultimate (it has flown by, hasn’t it?!)

Well for anyone who was in Royan last month you will have seen the VC tent and our lovely volunteers and staff members. As part of our reminiscing of sunnier beachier times, we are releasing a sort of interview with one of our staff to give an insight into what it is like working at WCBU.

First, Sam Stott, a VC/Lookfly events team member:

 

So tell us about yourself, and your relationship with Ultimate:

I’ve been a part of the Ultimate Community since 2005 as a player, coach and ambassador.
I became a member of the VC/Lookfly family as an event team member at WUGC 2016 in London.

Was WCBU like what you anticipated?

WCBU was an extremely rewarding and memorable experience #BetterThanLondon.
I was proud to be a part of the brand and represent its values- which players and supporters trust and respect.

What was it like seeing all of the teams in Lookfly gear?

It was great to see so many National teams wearing Lookfly gear and their unique designs. It says a lot when National teams are confident in choosing Lookfly as their official gear provider.

What were some of the best uniforms on the beach?

Being biased, but I don’t care, Great Britain’s kit is very cool and is a professional looking design for the world stage.
Having said that, Denmark has also got a great design.

What was life as the VC Lookfly house like?

Life at the VC/Lookfly house was pretty sweet. Even if I did have to bunk with Dan… (Just kidding… But not really.)
We were in a great location, really close to the beach, there was no excuse not to go for a swim after a long day at the office. Overall, it was a great space to chill together and have more than a few laughs. (Mostly at my expense.)

How did you find working WCBU? The players, the locals, the venue?

The location, the tournament, the teams, the tournament staff, the volunteers, the supporters and locals, all made it come together perfectly. It was an exciting and really memorable experience.
Last but far from least, our team. Working events is always about working each problem as they arise and working through the problem together and always thinking about what’s next? Which for me really goes hand-in-hand with a personal motto passed down to me, “Work Hard, Play Hard” and this year’s team really embodied that, which is why I think we all worked really well together. It was sad to leave it all behind.

Finally, any funny (appropriate!) stories to share from WCBU?

Funny stories…Funny stories… There were more than a few and most I don’t think are remotely appropriate to share.
But there was this one time, in the VC/Lookfly tent, when I was part working/part watching a game when suddenly, my jam came on the stereo and I just had to rock out. Now it’s all over Facebook. Thanks for that.

 

For anyone who missed Sam’s amazing moves we have provided a link to the video here:

Think you have better moves?

Keep updated with our social media for any chances to be part of our team at events in the future.

What’s Up With Lookfly?

VCLookfly Logos

Wondering what’s been going on with Lookfly lately? You’ve probably heard about our new connection with VC, our new products, and the gentle stirrings of change – but what does it all mean?

Steve Giguere, the founder of Lookfly, explains it all here. The best way to look forward to a new year is to start by looking back and seeing where we’ve come from. Read Steve’s message below!


My name is Steve and way back in 2001 I was lucky enough to have founded Lookfly. It’s been a while and Lookfly has seen many changes over the past few years and more specifically the past few months. We have rebuilt the Lookfly crew, product line and structure – and I couldn’t be more excited. Here’s how we got here.

Let’s skip back to 2009 (we were 8 years old). For a moment in time, wearing a single colour plain jersey with a printed logo was the rage! Lookfly were innovating with our fully recycled high end fabric and 16 colour offerings at great prices!

WOOOOOOooooooooh oh oh….Skip only a few years forwards.

We couldn’t be further from 2009. Full colour sublimation has taken hold and we’ve gone about as far as you can from those simpler days. Beautifully artworked jerseys are now in fashion and are looking here to stay. As one might not understand, making that switch essentially involved a costly complete throw-away and redo of our manufacturing process. Being honest about it, Lookfly wobbled. You may have heard it. Quality was still high but it wasn’t reaching our own expectations on value. New competitors emerged but local loyalty kept us alive and for that we thank you all.

Enter 2015. After a few manufacturing fumbles we were looking for a new strategy and given the exponential growth in Ultimate it made sense to partner up. This May, we did just that.

Some of the players we’ve spoken with hadn’t heard of VC Ultimate before. They are one of the oldest Ultimate companies on the planet starting in 1998 and were the founding fathers of sublimation jerseys, printing sub jerseys for GB back in 2004 when the process was very risky and new. They are ethically minded, promote locally made and their research and development into the highest quality fabrics and fit has always been second to none.

In May, Lookfly and VC Ultimate became Lookfly… by VC Europe.

We have been asked… did VC buy Lookfly? Are we partners? Did Lookfly by VC? What happened is Lookfly is essentially now the European brand of VC Ultimate.

What does that mean for Lookfly and for Europe? Plenty!

Lookfly’s sublimation manufacturing is now cutting edge and ethically minded. VC’s production team has streamlined us and we now even have a VC endorsed new fabric that has just launched. Softer than a unicorns tear brushing a kitten’s hug and coming in at only 110 grams, Lookfly now offers arguably the best, and potentially the lightest jersey in the game. Our jersey patterns are now a direct match to VC Ultimate’s incredibly popular fit allowing for switching between brands. It’s a game changer. Add to that, our range is currently expanding to fully sublimated soft-shell jackets and hooded tops in 2016 with new products being added throughout the year.

Imagine your favourite shirt. We all have one. The one you wear when you have an individual choice whether it be practice or going to the gym. Our aim is to be that shirt. Try us and see.

Let’s start over. Our name is the same but our company, our quality and our spirit is all new! If you were thinking of giving Lookfly a go again… now is definitely the time.

Steve and the team at Lookfly, VC Europe and VC Ultimate
info@vclookfly.com

Welcome, Bienvenue, Brice!

VC Ultimate was started in 1998 in Montreal, which is a predominantly French-speaking part of Canada. While our production team is bilingual, the VC customer service team has never had a fully French-speaking member – until now!! We are so excited to announce that we are now able to offer our customers – in Europe, here in Canada and around the World – the best service not only in English, but also in French… and German!

Please allow us to introduce you to the newest member of our team, Brice Daudel:

Brice EUC

Just look at that warm, welcoming smile!

Brice will be working for VC Ultimate for the French speaking countries of Europe and French Canada. He started playing ultimate in 2012 with the Monkey of Grenoble and loved it right away. Soon after, he decided to help out for the European Championship of Beach Ultimate 2013 and got completely hooked on volunteering. When he is not throwing or organizing events, he is spending his time on his web design company based in the UK. Brice is also very passionate about languages so he can meet more people when travelling around the globe. You can contact him at brice@vclookfly.com / brice@vcultimate.com.

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VC Ultimate fut fondée en 1998 à Montréal, qui est principalement une partie francophone du Canada. Tandis que notre équipe de production est bilingue, l’équipe du service client n’a jamais eu un membre Français – jusqu’à maintenant!! Nous sommes très heureux d’annoncer que nous pouvons désormais offrir à nos clients – en Europe, ici au Canada et autour du Monde – les meilleurs services non seulement en Anglais, mais aussi en Français… et en Allemand!

Permettez-nous de vous présenter le nouveau membre de notre équipe, Brice Daudel:

Brice Volunteer

Bienvenue Brice!

Brice est le nouveau représentant commercial de VC Lookfly pour les pays francophones. Il a commencé l’ultimate en 2012 à Grenoble, au club des Monkey. Il a tout de suite adhéré à cette pratique sportive. L’été 2013, il décide de participer en tant que volontaire aux European Championships of Beach Ultimate et c’est à ce moment là qu’il s’est trouvé une nouvelle passion dans l’organisation de tournois. Quand il ne lance pas de frisbee ou organise des événements, il consacre son temps à son entreprise de design web basée en Angleterre. Brice à aussi un intérêt affirmé pour langues vivantes, ce qui lui permet de faire beaucoup de rencontres lors de ses voyages autour du monde. Vous pouvez le contacter par email à brice@vclookfly.com / brice@vcultimate.com.