WFA Grand Slam: Flairmania 2017 The Results, Memorable Moments & More

The second WFA Grand Slam is over, can you believe how fast 2017 is going already!? This particular Grand Slam has been a main stay on the WFA competition calendar for 7 years and is always a great event to look forward to.

Over the years Flairmania has seen 4 different winners, you never know how Flairmania is going to turn out and with the ‘Big Ass Move’ award and the Audience award it is quite a unique event grand slam. Held in the beautiful city of Riga, Latvia on the 26th of January, the event is supported and sponsored by local bookmakers OlyBet who always put a lot into the preparation and production of the event.

flairmania 2017

The Results

As a WFA grand slam, the individual bartender’s overall placing will directly affect their place on the 2017 Grand Slam leaderboard. The competition consists of 2 rounds, the qualification round and the final round, each competitor is given 4 minutes for the qualification round and 7 minutes on stage for the final round. Those who placed in the Top 10 following the qualification round will be in the finals. Here is the full list of results and a video of the winning routine:

1. Deniss Trifanovs (Latvia)

2. Marek Posluszny (Poland)

3. Luca Valentin (Romania)

4. Slava Belyakov (Russia)

5. Alexander Shtifanov (Russia)

6. Vitaly Kolpin (Russia)

7. Oliver Deak (Hungary)

8. Roman Zapata (Italy)

9. Miika Mehtio (Finland)

10. Matteo Melara (italy)

Flairmania Roundup

We catch up with one of the organisers of Flairmania, Ivars Rutkovskis on how the event went, his most memorable moments and more:

Flairmania 2017

Ivars Rutkovskis pictured above (centre), alongside co-organiser Martins Rozenvalds (left).

“As Flairmania is now in its 7th year, the organisation of the event, the production and awareness of the event are all getting better year on year. I have to start by sending out a lot of love and respect to the 50+ people that were involved in putting together Flairmania 2017, from the camera workers to the venue staff, commentators and judges – everyone did really well! For at least 3 months it has been non-stop planning and it was great to see it all come together on January 26th. We wanted to look at other flair competitions around the world and try and do something different to what they offer and we think we have achieved that with Flairmania”.

flairmania 2017

“One thing we really like to put a focus on is ensuring everyone is given the best chance to succeed, so we make the running order completely random. It was great to see something we have had at the Flairmania competition for 3 years carrying over into other WFA Grand Slams for the first time this year – instant scoring! We have around 60 people in the qualification round and the running order is completely random – therefore it is not guaranteed that the best flair bartenders will perform later on, when the crowd can be better. We wanted to promote fair play if you like and this we thought was a good place to start!”

“The instant scoring system is always a great addition in my opinion and great to see it being used in all the WFA grand slams this year. It creates a new dimension to the competition and an interesting dynamic. It was clear who was in the lead as the competition went on, as we had all seen the instant scores right after they had finished. So the extra dimension was the tension amongst the competitors and the crowd as they waited for the judges scores, shortly followed by the reaction. It was great, ‘edge of the seat’ stuff!”

flairmania 2017

Most memorable moment

“For me there was two great moments from Flairmania 2017. The 1st has to be Deniss finishing the final round, I had goosebumps all over, the atmosphere was incredible and the performance was great. For him to then win as a Latvian in his home country and part of my team at Martandi, it was a very special moment! The other memorable moment for me had to be Sergey Bulakhtin’s performance in the ‘Big Ass Move’ category. We introduced this award for those who just missed out on the finals (11th-15th) and it is always great fun to watch these guys go for some crazy moves! You have 3 attempts to make it but Sergey pulled off this really cool move 1st time – I won’t be forgetting that anytime soon!”