The year is 2004 and the very first World Championships of Beach Ultimate are open for registration. Ivan Cestero, US citizen, and his friend Minh are eager to play at this championship but for multiple reasons feel like they shouldn’t participate as a member of their own respective national team.
Solution? Invent a country.
“This letter is to certify that the Currier Island government wishes to be represented at the World Beach Ultimate Championships by the petitioning party led by Ivan Zoltan Cestero. The Currier Island chain, while not a large nation has a long and proud athletic tradition of playing Ultimate…”
The original Currier Island team consisted of two core groups: one were a bunch of Dartmouth college graduates, and the other part was a group of players from Budapest, Hungary. Both the USA and Hungary fielded teams for this event, but none of these players felt like playing for their own country as they preferred playing alongside their good friends from all around.
“WTF? Where is Currier Island?”
WCBU tournament director and BULA (Beach Ultimate Lovers Association) president Patrick van der Valck was amazed after receiving this letter, googled Currier Island without any results, went “what the f*ck” and replied to the letter. The Currier Island crew managed to convince Patrick by explaining him that “Currier Island lives in the heart of people”. Couldn’t be any cheesier, but in a way it is the truth, something Patrick realised pretty soon as well.
Excitedly and with Patrick’s help, Ivan and Minh recruited frisbee players from France, England, US, Canada, Italy, France, and other countries.
The entire team got together about a week before the actual tournament for some sightseeing, wild camping and learning how to throw 140meter scoobers (“which came pretty handy when playing Germany later”, says Ivan).
The team had a great time on the beach in Portugal, played some very tight and exciting games and built a solid foundation for Currier Island’s future to be built upon. CI may look like your regular pickup team but don’t be fooled, under the supervision of BULA, CI has grown into a solid competitor at Beach Ultimate championships. Attention to geographical equality among the players is what sets them apart from your regular let’s-all-play-together-this-weekend-bunch.
There was a women’s Currier island team at WCBU 2007 in Brazil, and in 2011 in Lignano, Italy. Currier Island featured a Mixed, Open, Masters, and Mixed Masters team. In Dubai in 2015 CI will have Women, Open Masters, Mixed Masters, Women Masters, and Grandmaster Currier Island. An impressive expansion to 5 teams for the most beautiful country in the world.
Currier Island will proudly be representing their colors on the Dubai beaches, so if you come across any of its players or have the privilege to play against them, just give them a high five or a pat on the back. Currier Island inhabitants are what separates us Ultimate players from other sports. We all do, but the inspiring story of Currier Island is one that tells the tale of creativity, and believing in the power of humans to connect in a positive way.