By @SimonCocking. Quick catchup with Patrick van der Valk, who offers practical help for CEO’s and Leaders in SME’s. Over 20 years of experience with startups in San Francisco, London, and Lisbon. Patrick covered Web Summit 2016 for Irish Tech News in Lisbon, for us, and now updates us on another of his long-running successful projects…

When is it on?

The WFDF 2017 World Championships of Beach Ultimate, in association with BULA, are being held 18-24 June 2017 in Royan, France.

How many years has it been going?

The first world championships were in 2004 in Portugal. Since then it was held in Brazil in 2007, Italy in 2011, Dubai in 2015, and now France in 2017.

What was the inspiration to start it?

In 2003 I was approached by an event organizer in Portugal who noticed that although there had been grass ultimate championships since 1983, that never been a Beach Championship. They started the organization of the first World Championships of Beach Ultimate (WCBU) and we managed to get 39 national teams from around the world to commit. However, a few months before the event was to start, the organizer backed out, citing lack of funding. This put the finalization of the event on the shoulders of the small Portuguese Beach Ultimate community but as the Portuguese are a flexible people, the event was pulled off (almost) perfectly.

What exciting things can people look forward to for the 2017 version?

Now, more than ever, national federations have really stepped up to send the best teams. There will be 39 countries participating, including one country that hardly anyone has ever heard of. And it truly spans the globe. From matchups such as Ireland – South Korea, to Guam – Dominican Republic, Russia – Ukraine, and of course the historic rivalry US – Canada.

What opportunities are on offer for people attending?

The #WCBU2017 was so popular that we had to put a limit to the number of national teams (120) and players (15/team) that could play. This increased the need for live online coverage. As a result over 130 games will be live streamed, and all games (700+) will have live scoring. So no matter who you root for, you can always see if your country is winning are not. This can all be followed at The (mobile responsive) website will also include global social media integration, statistics, videos, interviews and much more. It will give the visitor a great idea on what is going on and bring the excitement of the games to the screen.

What tips would you give to people attending to get the most out of it?

Attend the opening game on Sunday June 18 at 13:30 is between the reigning World Champions in the Mixed division Germany and host nation France. That game has all the makings to be a classic. Later that day Canada – Australia in the Women’s division, and France – Philippines in the Men’s division should also be beauties to watch. Then, throughout the week, there will be games streamed online every day between 9 AM and 7 PM. On Saturday, June 24 the finals in the Women, Men, and Mixed divisions start at 12:30. Those are games no one should miss.

How can people book tickets / when does it usually sell out?

No need to buy tickets but I do suggest that visitors show up on time. The Arena seats 4,000 people and we are expecting a full stadium. The live online broadcast of the games in the Arena is free and with the star-studded broadcast team we have assembled, the viewers will not be disappointed. Beach Ultimate is a spectacular sport to watch.

Anything else you’d like to add / we should have asked?

Perhaps for the reader who is not familiar with the sport the question “What is Beach Ultimate?” might be appropriate. In short it is a team sport that is played with a flying disc (Frisbee™). The field has 2 endzones, like rugby, and a goal is scored by catching the disc in the endzone of the opponent. Teams have 5 people on the field each point. No running with the disc in hand, no physical contact, so teams try to throw their teammates until someone catches the disc in the end zone. Sport it is unique in the fact that it is the only team sport that is purely self-refereed. Players call their own fouls and resolve any issues themselves. More info, and a short introduction video, can be found at

Thanks and hope to see you in Royan! Patrick van der Valk

[email protected]

18-24 June 2017: World Championships of Beach Ultimate. Watch all the action at

Why is Ultimate Frisbee such a successful breeding ground for creatives and tech superstars?

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