WFA Grand Slam: The Fabbri Flairsupply Roundup

Fabbri Flairsupply went down on the 17th and 18th of November and the first WFA Grand Slam in Hungary proved to be a grand success! The event was widely talked about in Hungary leading up the weekend of the 17th of November, including in various newspapers and magazines and on two separate TV channels. As you can imagine the turnout for the event was fantastic and the level of competition certainly did not disappoint.

With some of the world’s best male and female flair bartenders in attendance including Hungary’s very own Julianna Buda and Oliver Deak as well as Marek Posluszny, Luca Valentin, Alexander Shtifanov and Miika Mehtio. As one of only a few WFA Grand Slam competitions left to take place in 2017 and with a very tight WFA Grand Slam leaderboard every competitor brought their best. €7000 were up for grabs, as well as prizes for Best Cocktail and Best Hungarian bartender.

Our current WFA Grand Slam leader, Marek Posluszny, took top spot as well as best cocktail, whereas long time competitor Oliver Deak took best Hungarian and Julianna Buda took best female flair bartender. We spoke to the organiser Szabolcs Szoke to find out how the first edition of Fabbri Flairsupply went:

“As this was the first time our company FlairVenture had put on a flair competition and we jumped in the deep end with a WFA Grand Slam that is for sure, as this is the largest flair bartending competition you can attempt to organise! We were just focussed on ensuring the event was a success and we hope we achieved that!

The venue in Budapest was fantastic and exceeded our expectations. In total, we expected about 20-25 flair bartenders to sign up for Flairsupply when we created it; to have 50 guys and girls all signed up withing 3-4 days – all with their entry fees paid, was amazing and very unexpected!

It appeared people were very eager to take part and as this event was in Hungary it also opened the door for a number of flair bartenders who sometimes will struggle to make it to competitions due to visa issues, such as a number of the Russian competitors for example. As well as a great turnout from Russia, we also saw a strong showing from the Italian flair bartenders and even three flair bartenders came over from Japan – including the favourite for Best Female, Ayako “Ollie” Kumashiro.

Flairsupply also marked the return of two great names in the world of Flair Bartending, Christian Delpeche and Denny Bakiev. Christian, one of the most decorated flair bartenders, returned to the scene as a judge and it was great for so many of the young flair bartenders to meet this true flair legend. Denny is a competitor who was certainly considered one of the best in the world. Around 3 years ago he moved to Bali and this was his first return to competitions, renowned for his strong music interaction and choreography it will great to see Denny back in the mix.

Winner of Best Female, Hungary’s very own Julianna was the surprising winner of this category. With nine different female flair bartenders taking place it was a good turnout including the likes of Ayako “Ollie” Kumashiro and Silvia Daniella Istrate, these two ladies were favourites for Best Female particularly as Julianna has been out of practice for some time having just been married and giving birth to her first child, just four months ago. It was incredible to see her return in such a short time and not only compete but also take the top spot!”

We also spoke with Judge @thomasdyer-3 to find out his thoughts on what he saw at Fabbri Flairsupply:

“For me this competition came at a great time, just a matter of days before the Roadhouse World Finals and I must say I am very impressed and exited by what I saw! As you get closer to the Roadhouse World Finals each year, you start to see some of the top competitors opening up and trying new and different moves and choreography. A number of these new ideas were explored on stage at Flairsupply and it was great to see.

When the flair bartenders bring new ideas and choreography to the stage it always makes for a more interesting and exciting competition, in particular for us judges and the crowd. Amongst the competitors themselves it can push them on to try bigger and better things, as you see each flair bartender try and out do each other. So I was very happy to see this approach from the top flair bartenders at Fabbri Flairsupply and expect to see more of the same this weekend at the Roadhouse! Bring your A game bartenders…”