After such a successful inaugural event last year, the WFA Grand Slam at the Cambridge Cocktail Weekend made a return. The Cambridge Cocktail weekend has been running for a number of years but it was only our 2nd year holding a WFA Grand Slam at the iconic Cambridge Corn Exchange. The weekend is always a fantastic time, full of bartenders, like minded people and those just looking for a good drink and a bit of flair.
The size of the Cambridge Corn Exchange and more in particular the stage make it the largest venue for any of the WFA Grand Slams. As you can imagine this cooks up a great competition, this year we saw the likes of Deniss Trifanovs, Marek Posluszny, and Evgeniy Yakovenko fighting it out for those top 3 places. As we know Marek Posluszny is the current Cambridge Cocktail Weekend Grand Slam champion, but does he retain his title…
The results are in and despite some amazing qualification performances and a very impressive routine from Deniss Trifanovs in the finals, our current World Champion Marek Posluszny continues his dominance of WFA Grand Slam competitions; taking first place. £2100 was awarded to Marek for the win along with another Black Grade, Deniss Trifanovs came 2nd and was awarded £1000 and a Black Grade, with Evgeniy Yakovenko taking third, £800 and his first WFA Black Grade. Congratulations to Evgeniy. There were also prizes for the ‘Best Craft Flair’ which went to Marian ‘Sikky’ Chmel, best Fabbri Flip that went to Oliver Deak and best female that was awarded to Elizaveta Soboleva.
Take a look at the full results from the final below:
The competition & the competitors
We caught up with Tom Dyer (@thomasdyer-3) to find out his thoughts on this year’s competition as well as his most memorable moment:
“The second edition of the WFA Grand Slam at the CCW proved to be a fantastic success! We definitely stepped it up from last year regarding production and organisation, we also moved the schedule around a little with the comp taking place over the Friday and Saturday with current flair tandem champions Evgeniy and Egor performing on Sunday. Once again Fabbri was our main sponsor and we would like to say a massive thank you to them. It was great to see returning faces in some of the competitors such as Marek, Deniss and Sikky. A massive shout out must go to the staff at the Cambridge Corn Exchange, they were absolute superstars throughout”.
“With the finals taking place on the Saturday night this time it was during the peak of footfall at the CCW, naturally the Corn Exchange was packed out with almost 500 people. The audience were really getting behind the competitors and getting involved in the competition, which was great to see. We tried something a little different this year where we introduced a bit of build up to the competitors coming out. The competitor would appear up in the gallery above the stage before coming down the back stairs and taking the stage.”
“The competitors brought their A game as we knew they would. Deniss is certainly in the running for taking the Roadhouse Grand Final this year with the performance we saw at the CCW. Unfortunately for him his cocktail was what let him down, allowing Marek to pip him to first place as although his flair routine wasn’t as strong, his cocktail was better”.
“It was great to see Evgeniy take his first top 3 at a WFA Grand Slam and his first WFA Black Grade, following on from his recent success in the Roadhouse tandem competition. Ravi Camadoo is someone who has been stepping up his game recently too. His big personality and showmanship on stage really made for an entertaining routine. Although there were a few mistakes, it was clear that Ravi knows how to command a stage and an audience. On a stage as big as this, it goes a long way. It was great to see this stage presence and went a long way in making Ravi stand out as a competitor”.
Most memorable moment?
“The most memorable moment for me this year was the new entrance style. Some of the competitors really took it in their stride and used the new showmanship opportunity to its fullest. Ravi, Sikky and Ricardo all came out on to the stage with power and energy. It was great to see them all full of confidence and believing they are the best – after all this is what makes for a great competition. I think the new entrance style really helped pump up the crowd and the competitors and gives them that superstar feeling. As the competitors come down the back stairs on to stage they are going past the names of some of the great names that have performed on the iconic Cambridge Corn Exchange stage such as Queen, AC/DC, Aerosmith and Fleetwood Mac. We wanted them to feel as awesome as the acts that have been on the stage they are about to step on to and I think it worked well.”