“SUN BEAM” is an annual beach Ultimate tournament taking place on probably the most beautiful Baltic sea coast – the coast of the Curonian Spit. This year the Ultimate club “Marių meškos” will be organizing “SUN BEAM” for the sixth time, making it the biggest tournament in Lithuania at the time being. No surprise why most of Lithuanian Ultimate frisbee teams will be there on 16th – 17th of July. And today we are talking with the main organizer of the “SUN BEAM” – Artūras Petrauskas – in order to know, why is it worth to go to this tournament again this year.
Is ithere something in particular that you’d like to start with?
I want to start with a counter-question to you. Why would one not want to come to the „SUN BEAM“ beach tournament in Smiltyne?? Tournament is not expensive, the beach is fabulous, people are beautiful, life’s a beach – I don’t see a reason not to join us, do you?
Honestly, I don’t, I love this place, but could you uncover something about the „SUN BEAM’16“? What about your new slogan – “Life’s a BEACH”, does it have any particular idea behind it?
Well, “SUN BEAM” started as a small beach tournament with the idea, that it should be only about the competition. We said : “let’s charge teams as little as possible and give them the best competition experience they would expect”! That was because beach Ultimate for our team is the type of Ultimate that we love the most. We have a theory that only on the beach Ultimate players can unleash their inner animals, because it is so demanding! One has to fight the wind, to overcome the fatigue when running on the soft sand, to use up all the stamina on the field and even more. I like to say that I feel like a wrung towel after the “SUN BEAM”. And that is a great feeling – to test one’s limits, to test team’s limits. It is much harder and much more exhausting, but at the same time it gives you soo much more pleasure to layout on the sand, to jump in the sea just after the match, to just lay down on the ground and enjoy the sun, the wind, the hot sand, to enjoy life! And so, coming back to the point – we started organizing this tournament with our focus only on competition, we didn’t care much about entertaining players in other ways. But while preparing for this „SUN BEAM“ we realized that most of the players from our team have the same feeling – it’s like the time stops there. The tournament lasts for only two days, but when we try to look back on it – it feels like each one of the „SUN BEAMS’“ took like a week or so. We are not sure that everyone feels about our tournament the same way, but we really wish they did. Thats why our slogan this year sounds as it sounds. The spirit of „SUN BEAM“ is still the same, we still focus on the competition, but we just want to shift players‘ attention a little towards the vibrant nature of the tournament. We want everyone who joins us to give in to the beach. Just like that, relax, forget everything else, because Life’s a BEACH! And we will try to help people do that.
Do you have the side entertainment in mind? I read about it on the page of your team’s blog, but I couldn’t find any specific information. Do you want to share some?
Sure, why not. Well the programme is not completely set yet, but I can share our general idea about it. You see, we thought that we are organizing this tournament on this wonderful beach and there are so many things you can do on the beach, right? The list of fun things to do on the beach is just endless, so we thought we might add some side competition to spice up the tournament. This way those teams that will not make it to the semis will still have an exciting day by competing off the field. It’s also an unique opportunity to reach the revanche to the teams that you have lost to already. We will see how it will turn out. The plan is that players leave with an unforgettable and satisfying overall summer-beach-ultimate experience
Sounds interesting. And what are your future expectations on „SUN BEAM“? Would you like to expand the tournament in the near future, or you want to keep it relatively small and cozy, like now?
We received very positive feedback after every „SUN BEAM“ and we are really happy about that. Positive feedback from players inspires us to expand and to improve the quality of the organization year after year. We are considering to include the women division ant some point. But our tournament is not known that well yet, I think that we need to work more on the publicity at first… Well, we have lots of ideas about expansion and improvements for “SUN BEAM” but we choose to go naturally, to go slow. And we will see where it gets us.
I feel that you are very inspired when you talk about SUN BEAM.
Might be. SUN BEAM is like a first child for me. Really, when everybody are counting days till the New Year, I am counting days from „SUN BEAM“ to „SUN BEAM“.
And what about participating teams? Are they as eager?
Well, it’s hard to say. In the feedback form after the last year’s „SUN BEAM“ we received really positive ratings, when all of the participants of the survey said that they will try to come back nex year. Now we already have quite a bunch of last year’s teams re-registered, so these are probably the eager ones. There are still 4 spots in each division left, but usually most of the teams register around May, so we are still hoping to fill the list up.
Sounds good, we wish you the best luck with the „SUN BEAM’16“. Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you, we talked a lot I just want to say that this year we are trying to make “SUN BEAM” a little bit different. We are trying hard to make it all work and I really hope we will provide teams with much more complete summer beach tourney experience. I’m telling you: -“life‘s a BEACH with us – join in”!
Video of the SUN BEAM 2015:
© Lithuanian Flying Disc Federation