Sunday October 5, for the fourth time in a row, the Castellers de Vilafranca took home the title as Catalan Champions of Castells (the assembling of human towers). As of tradition, the competition was held in the re-modelled bull fighting arena (Plaça de braus) of Tarragona.
The Castellers de Vilafranca opened bravely by assembling a 9-level tower, dismantled via a so called needle (4 de 9 amb folre i agulla; descarregat) and then an 8-level human pillar (pilar de 8 amb folre i manilles; descarregat).
In the third round they presented a tower of 8 levels with only two people per level and without extra support at the base (torre de 8; carregat). This is a very difficult construction which has never ever been brought down in a controlled way and I my YouTube-clip reveals that I was among the spectators who thought that the vilafranquins did not even manage to assemble it this time.
After a long wait came the judges’ verdict; the tower was approved as “assembled” (carregat). The other teams (colles) were protesting loudly and only a re-run on the big TV-screens finally calmed down the emotions - we could all see that the top child (enxaneta) had, in fact, put down her feet before the tower fell apart.
Only the three best rounds per team are being counted to determine the final score, but to prove their strength, the champions assembled another 9-level tower without extra support at the second level (4 de 9; carregat). With a total of 5.997 points, the winners were far superior to the competitors and this was the second highest score ever reached during a diada castellera. It is worth mentioning that it is the Castellers de Vilafranca themselves who hold the record, since the Diada de Sant Fèlix in 2005.
The traditionally strong teams from Valls - the origin and still unofficial capital of the art of human towers - both failed to assemble their most emblematic constructions and therefore obtained surprisingly low scores. The Colla Vella dels Xiquets de Valls were second (2.619 points) and the Colla Joves Xiquets de Valls (2.046 points) was third. After them followed the Capgrossos de Mataró in the fourth, the Colla Jove dels Xiquets de Tarragona in the fifth and the Castellers de Sants (Barcelona) in the sixth position.
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Media links: Avui 1, LaVanguardia 1
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Earlier blog entry on the Castellers de Vilafranca.
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Technorati tags: Castellers, Catalonia, Human Towers, Penedès,