Ultimate Interviews – Aurélie Mindel – Force Lake

written by Mark Earley 24/03/2014
Ultimate Interviews – Aurélie Mindel – Force Lake

Hello Aurélie! How are you?

Hello Mark! I’m fine and happy to write this article!

Where do you live and what Ultimate team do you play with?

I live in Lausanne. I play with FlyHigh and have done so for almost three years.

How did you first get playing the sport? What attracts you to the sport of Ultimate?

I first played ultimate at an event called “Ultipote” – a mix of the words “ultimate” and “pote”, a French slang word for “buddy”. FlyHigh organizes this event to introduce friends to Ultimate. We learn the basic rules, play a small tournament and end up chilling around a BBQ with some beers.

It was the first time I tried a team sport and it really appealed to me. At first glance, this sport looks easy, very fun and accessible. And at the same time, it also looks serious, strategic and physical. An activity that sounds complete!


What are your top 3 favourite Ultimate tournaments and why? 

Do you mean what are my three favorite tournaments after Force Lake? Because it is the best. I liked Bundesbeach, a hat tournament in Bern on sand. A crazy party in a house with a sparkling DJ and it was the first time I won a tournament! I also had a really good time at the Flying Dahu, an indoor hat tournament organized by Budwig, the club of Neuchâtel. Good atmosphere and crazy party too with fun costumes. And finally, Talampaya because I also like to play with my team in a highly competitive tournament and have sore legs after 3 intense days play.

If you could go to any tournament in the world, which one would you choose and why?

I heard that Copa Pescadisco is a great tournament and I think I want to try that next.

Tell us a little about Swiss Ultimate. 

There are just over twenty clubs in Switzerland, four of them in the French part.

The Swiss championships are separated in two: one part with the open and the women’s divisions that is played in June and another part for the coed division in September. This set up allows the players to compete in two divisions.

The women’s division was created in 2012. It is still small with only six teams. The open division has a high level, and two dominating teams (Flying Angels, Bern, and Freespeed, Basel) that often compete against each other for first place. The mixed division exists since 2007. There are two national leagues in the mixed division, A and B, each composed of eight teams. FlyHigh competes in the first mixed division and finished third last year. We are already training hard to beat that this season.

At the XEUCF in 2013, the Swiss women team Lotus won the bronze medal and Freespeed won the silver medal.

How many tournaments are there each year in Switzerland? Who do they cater for?

In addition to the Swiss Championships, there are about twenty tournaments, including hat and junior tournaments. Most of the people or clubs that come to these tournaments are from Switzerland and the neighboring countries. Talampaya is one of the biggest coed tournaments in Europe and it attracts high level teams from all across Europe.


What in your opinion makes a tournament memorable?

Frisbee & fun & friends!

You are one of the people behind Force Lake, a hat tournament in Lausanne. Tell us about the history of Force Lake.

The first edition in 2003 was one day long. In 2006 it grew to a two day tournament. And in 2007 the official parties and dormitory in the Swiss bunkers were introduced to create the basic Force Lake package that we have today. Last year, we celebrated the 10th edition with a bigger event with 10 teams for 130 players. It was on the Ascension weekend and players could arrive two days before to visit the region.

Talk us through some of your favourite memories from previous Force Lake tournaments.

My favorite time was the last edition. Firstly because we had really good weather conditions during the weekend! Secondly because it was the 10th anniversary and the theme of the tournament was “pyjamas” so there was a huge pyjama party on Saturday night with plenty of scantily clad Frisbee players having an awesome time. The players also really appreciated the funny shorts (made by the brand Force Ultimate) as player gifts that we now see at every tournament we go to! There was also an enormous pillow fight during the party that turned in to a diving contest in the pillow fluff that remained afterwards.

But as I only participated to two editions of Force Lake, I also asked my teammates about their memories. They told me about the famous “papet vaudois” (a regional dish) and a big rainfall and storm five minutes after the closing ceremony. The first time that you sleep in the Swiss bunkers (military dormitories of 40 beds in one room) is an unforgettable experience for the nose, the eyes and the ears! In 2010, the Moustix from France made a surprising apparition with their T-Shirt “I’m in Lausanne, Bitch”. In 2005, it was the “Star-Wars” edition and the Ewoks won against the Wookies in final!

What makes Force Lake different to other hat tournaments?

It’s a tournament that has always evolved and still wants to improve in the aim to deliver, year after year, an incredible ultimate experience!


Who is behind the tournament? Tell us about the organizing committee you have.

We are five people who work all year long to organize this tournament. Some of us have done it for already many years. All our FlyHigh teammates, about 30 people, help out during the tournament and the days before.

Do you have any partners or sponsors? If yes, what do they do for your event?

Yes, we do. At the moment, our confirmed sponsors and partners are:

  • Sky physio, an association of students from the physiotherapy school of Lausanne. They come and offer their service and massages to players during the tournament.
  • Five Ultimate, for the player gift.
  • The town of Chavannes which lends us the fields.
  • Boxer, a local brewer.

If people arrived early or stayed on after the tournament, what would you recommend they do or see nearby?

First, I would recommend they visit Lausanne. The old city is nice to walk around with panoramic views of the lake and the Alps. Some museums are worth a visit like the Olympic museum, that has just been completely renovated, or the museum of photography, Musée de l’Elysée. The lakefront offers a long and pleasant walk. Having a lakeside BBQ and a swim at the beach is a good option to finish the day at this time of the year.

Just around Lausanne, it is amazing to chill out in the vineyards, pass through small picturesque villages, admire the nice view of the mountains again, and try some wines or regional products. As we are not far from mountains, I would recommend doing some hiking. There are plenty of possibilities, like the Grammont, an easy walk with the top about 2172 meters just at the other side of the lake. We will be happy to host the players that would come earlier or stay longer.


What is the main aim of the tournament? 

To play intense ultimate, party hard and meet new players!

What sort of players does the tournament attract? 

There are many regular players that come every year because they like the tournament. Most of them come from Switzerland and France but also from Germany and Italy. Each year we also have new people sign up who have heard by word of mouth how fun Force Lake is. We usually have a range of experience levels in all of the teams, from the top national superstars to the less experienced local players. Of course, everybody is welcome!

When is the 2014 edition taking place? What will make it a weekend to remember for visiting players? 

It will take place on the 21st and 22nd of June.

This year it will be a bit different. Firstly because of the date is a bit later than usual. It gives an even greater chance of having nice weather. The fields have also changed but they are close by and actually closer to the dormitories.

Ultimate players like to party. What are the Force Lake 2014 entertainment plans?!

That’s exactly what I am not allowed to tell you yet… but the party will definitely be in line with the traditional FlyHigh party style! It will take place in an awesome venue and will be unforgettable.



What are excited about most for this year’s tournament?

The formula of tournament stays the same with a player package including a player gift, the nights in the bunkers, a welcome party on Friday and a big party on Saturday. The new date, the new place and other new stuff that I cannot tell you yet… but trust me it will be amazing!

Check out our website http://flyhigh.ultimate.ch/forcelake and don’t wait any more to register! You only have until the 11th of April!!