(Photos © Noah Saydel/EighthInch.com)
This is a guest article submitted by Eric Crandall of Portland Bike Polo and a member of the Portland United team.
This past July 6-8 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the city’s best polo players, Portland United, battled North America’s top teams in a bid for bike polo supremacy. With each of the 48 participating teams having previously earned their birth in regional qualifying tournaments, the competition was truly the finest our continent has to offer. Portland United finished 4th in the championship tournament, beating out current world champs, the Vancouver-based Crazy Canucks.
The first two days of competition saw United playing nine “Swiss round robin” games in utterly oppressive 105-degree heat. With seeding games completed, the dehydrated United headed into Sunday’s double elimination bracket ranked 6th.
A welcome break from the heat for Sunday’s big dance was exactly what the team needed to focus on their game. After a close third round loss to last years 2nd place team, the Chicago-based Clobber Politics team, Portland United battled their way up through the losers’ bracket only to meet Clobber Politics in the 6th round once again. In an epic sudden-death match, United was able to rise above and take the win 5-4 to secure their 4th Place finish.
Below are a few more photos from the tournament:
Eric Crandall takes a big swing…
Between matches, the team sits down for a strategy meeting (L to R: Jason Stevenson, Arlyn Bement, Eric Crandall)…
Arlyn Bement on the attack…
With an extremely strong finish at the North American Championships and a current 7th place world ranking, Portland United now focuses their polo on the World Championships in Geneva, Switzerland. This August 16-18, the team will travel to foreign lands and represent their beloved city in competition against the best bike polo teams in the world.
Thanks for sharing the story Eric!
I think these guys are doing something really special. They’re continuing a long and proud Portland bike polo tradition, they’ve come together as a team, secured sponsors, made cool uniforms (as you can see in these photos), and they are dedicated to representing Portland with pride on the world stage. But to get to Switzerland, they’ll need some help from the community. If you can spare even a few bucks to help defray travel costs, donate to the team via PayPal using PortlandUnited (at) gmail (dot) com. Keep up with the team at PortlandUnited.tumblr.com.