Vilanova i la Geltrú is celebrating its annual Town Festival – Festa Major – and last Saturday did we have the big exhibition of human towers. It started with all three teams entering the square with so called walking pillars (pilars caminants), where the team Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona excelled by turning their construction 450 degrees before dismantling it. After this followed a highly exiting day of human towers, at least for the two teams from Penedès.
We in the local team, Bordegassos de Vilanova, had lived several weeks of good rehearsals, so we were extremely ambitious and had decided to attempt two human towers which we have not built for years. We opened with a 4d8 (c), which was crowned but collapsed during the disassembly, but compensated for that by immediately achieving a 3d8 – a construction which our team had not managed to complete since 2005.
After that we made two attempts with 2d8f – for quite a few of us the first time ever we had been up on the base (pinya), to build a second support ring (folre). Both attempts fell before crowning, but the conclusion by most members is that we have this within reach. We have a very solid stem (tronc) for our 2d7 and just need to learn to manage the increased swaying you get when you add a folre. Bordegassos rounded off with two pillars of 5 levels and apart from the results of the day, we could also celebrate that there were so many of us and - above all - so many new and young faces. An important signal for the future!
When Castellers de Vilafranca visited us last year, they achieved their best exhibition until that date in 2011, and since they had the same target this time, expectations were high in the square plaça de la Vila – "Els Verds" are, after all, the by far best team in Catalonia. And - although that is not surprising, but still highly impressive - they delivered 100%. They opened with a rapid 3d9, followed by 2d9fm, whereby the spectators saw the first “gamma extra” construction of the day. After this they built a 4d9 and then raied the bar and rounded off with their first Pd8fm (again “gamma extra”, of course) for this year.
The third team, Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona, for their part could look back at a great exhibition here in 2011, but had to lower their expectations this time. A few recent falls with human towers of 9 levels had scared their top children (la canalla) and this made them opt for safe constructions. That still left them with the second best total of the today, since they easily completed 5d8, 3d8 and 4d8.
An additional nice memory I have from this day was how one casteller from Vilafranca used the expression “here at home” when he commented on the square in Vilanova. I believe that we have started to build a new nice spirit of mutual support and that feeling is confirmed when you look at the photos of the human towers and see the great amount of members who supported the other teams with their pinyes. I am personally one of the yellow dots in the photos of the giant Pd8fm but have problems identifying myself, since there were so many of us.
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The Festa Major of Vilanova i la Geltú has started but the most traditional parts are still to come, during its main days August 4-5. Find here the full program in English.
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Photo by Maite Gomà