The 2017 WFA Grand Slam World Championship is hotting up to be a really good one. With competitors switching place on the leader board after almost every Grand Slam, nobody is currently a favourite for the title. That of course makes it hard to predict and there is nothing we love more than a wide open flair bartending competition. With this in mind we have had a look at the WFA Grand Slams so far, the winners and how the leader board is looking, with just two Grand Slams left to come in 2017.
We have had a grand total of 5 WFA Grand Slams in the Championship this year and we have had almost as many winners. It all kicked off in January with Hard Flair where the out and out winner was last year’s Grand Slam World Champion, Luca Valentin of Romania. This was followed up by another Grand Slam in Europe, Hard Flair in Latvia. Deniss Trifanovs took 1st place at this Grand Slam and put himself up there with Luca to challenge for this year’s title. Next we had Gaeta Flair Passion in Italy, up stepped Roman Zapata of Argentina to become our first South American Grand Slam winner. Finally, within a few weeks of each other we had Skilled Flair Bartender in Mexico and the Cambridge Cocktail Weekend in the UK. Someone who has been placing in around the top 6 at most of this year’s Grand Slam”s ended up winning both of these latest Grand Slams, Marek Posluszny from Poland.
With the competition heating up, we take a closer look at our current top 3 flair bartenders in a bit more detail:
Marek Posluszny: One of the longest running competitors on the scene, Marek is a veteran flair bartender. A former World champion, Marek has won numerous competitions around the world, including the Grand Slam World Championship once before. Marek’s flair bartending strengths certainly lie in his stage presence, entertainment factor and choreography. An all rounder, Marek will often attempt moves of a high difficulty and originality. His flair is explosive and particularly visual and always works well with the music he has chosen and he has a good knack of covering up any mistakes and missed choreography without the audience noticing. He also makes a fantastic cocktail. Although Marek doesn’t compete as much as he used to, the only 1st place that eludes him to this day is the Roadhouse Grand Finals, could this be his year?
Miika Mehtio: Although Miika has been flair bartending for a large number of years it is only in the last 3 years we have seen Miika start consistently challenging for those top spots in the flair bartending competitions, shortly after. Current Finnish Flair Champion, this year in particular has seen Miika rise up the Grand Slam leader board impressively, where he now sits in 2nd place going into the last two Grand Slams of the year. Miika’s style of flair focuses on the flow, connections and technicality of the moves, blink and you might miss it! Miika is very good at flowing with the music his choreography is usually of a very high standard. Mesmerising at times, when watching Miiika flair you know that move after move is leading to grand crescendo that will no doubt tie in with the music in some way.
Alexander Shtifanov: Shtifa is one of the flair bartenders who certainly has some of the most difficult moves in his arsenal at the moment. Another flair bartender who has been competing for many years, Shtifa has a phenomenal stage presence and communicates with the crowd particularly well. His interaction with the music can be second to none and his style of flair is relentless. When Shtifa steps up you know there is a good chance he is going to perform more flair moves than any other competitor on stage. Fast, fearless and a force to be reckoned with, he is a previous winner of the Roadhouse Grand Finals as well as a former World Champion and winner of the WFA Grand Slam World Championship – only one of five flair bartenders to own the WFA Golden Shaker.