One of the world’s biggest and best flair bartending competitions, Olybet Flairmania, is over for another year – and what a year it was! Flaimania never fails to kick off the WFA Grand Slam Tournament in a grand fashion and depending on which bartenders take part and where they place it also usually gives us a good idea of who we are going to see battling it out for the top spots, during the year to come.
Our current WFA Grand Slam World Champion is Latvia’s very own Deniss Trifanovs. The holder of the Flairmania title from 2018 however is previous WFA Grand Slam World Champion Marek Posluszny. Both came to battle it out for Flairmania 2019, although the likes of Alexander Shtifanov, Eugene Sokolov, Miika Mehtio and Giorgio Chiarello were also in the running. The only question now is, what was the result?
As you can see below, the finals were hard fought with the current WFA Grand Slam World Champion Deniss Trifanovs continuing his success in 2019 with a 1st place finish in Olybet Flairmania 2019. Marek Posluszny placed in second, with Slava Belyakov taking 3rd place in his highest placement at a WFA Grand Slam yet. Congratulations to Slava. 4th-6th were occupied by Alexander Shtifanov, Miika Mehtio and Giorgio Chiarello:
There were also awards for Best Cocktail (Marek Posluszny), Best Female flair bartender (Ayako ‘Ollie’ Kumashiro ), Monin Special Prize (Olya Sabinina), and of course Big Ass Move (Dario Dicarlantonio).
Here is how the WFA Grand Slam leaderboard looks after the first event of this years tournament:
The competition & the competitors
In typical fashion, we sat down with co-founder and co-commentator on the day Andy Collinson, to get his thoughts on the competition, the competitors and his most memorable moment of Flairmania 2019:
“As with every year, Flairmania continues to be probably the best organised flair competition in the world. It is an excellent way to start off the Grand Slam year and it is the only competition that uses the instant scoring system, which always keeps things interesting. The bartenders certainly seem to appreciate it as they know immediately more or less where they have placed.
We had a couple of different sponsors involved this year which is always nice. It means we get to see some new ingredients in play when it comes to the cocktail making and of course some new cocktails too! We have continued to see growth in the quality of the cocktails made on stage in WFA Grand Slam tournaments and with the importance Grand Slam competitions continue to put on the cocktail we hope to see that progress even further.
We saw some really excellent performances this year at Olybet Flairmania. For me, Deniss’ was a really stand out performance. In fact during the commentating with Tomek, I overflowed with so much awe and excitement following his finals performance that I blurted out, he’s won it! Which of course isn’t terribly respectful when there are still other bartenders left to take the stage! It was great to see Giorgio back on the stage again as we haven’t see him at many of the Grand Slam competitions recently. It was also great to see Rodrigo Delpech returning to compete in Europe once again after his performance at the Roadhouse in London in November. Finally, we always welcome new faces in the final, so congratulations to Anthony Gorokhov for making his first WFA Grand Slam top 10”.
Most memorable moment?
“For me the most memorable moment this year was a move from new guy Anthony Gorokhov! As I have already said it is always great to see new faces breaking into the Top 10, however with moves like he was pulling off you can see why. He achieved an astonishing move in the finals, throwing and catching the bottle on the back of his hand in a stall, behind his head! If this is a taste of what is to come from Anthony, we can’t wait to see more!”