44FESTIVAL, the freestyle contest brought to you by the good folks at 44FESTA, with support from yo-yo clubs from all over Japan, was held on March 20th and 21st, presented by YoyoRecreation.
The contest is not part of the official Japanese contest calendar, and the objective is bringing all those yo-yo clubs and putting together an event organized by players for the players.
Regional contests (44FESTIVAL East and 44FESTIVAL West) were held in October and December last year, respectively, with winners guaranteeing a seed to this event.
Prelims were held on the first day, along with performances from DJs Roan (Hiro Irifune) and Koichiro Ueta.
Judging was in good hands, with very experienced judges taking care of both technical and performance scores.
In addition to the preliminary round, a trick showcase and the now obligatory after party were held after the freestyles.
Finals day was packed, and all eyes were on the competitors, who did not disappoint! The contest is not divided into the usual 1A-5A divisions, and all players compete together instead, which makes for a very interesting and slightly unpredictable event!
A few years ago, such a contest would be heavily biased towards 1A and 2A players, but with all divisions reaching such a high level and maturity, it’s no surprise that the top places were not from either of those! Check the full results below:
- Hajime Miura
- Hideo Ishida
- Yamato Murata
- Toru Miyazaki
- Takumi Hakamata
- Yuuki Nishisako
- Yamato Fujiwara
- Akira Kato
- Daiki Tanaka
- Tsubasa Onishi
You can check all of the freestyles on this playlist.
44FESTIVAL comes to and end, but Masanobu Iwata and the fantastic folks at 44FESTA and the yo-yo clubs from around Japan are already hard at work putting together their next meetings and events. If you’re in Japan, be sure to attend any of those great events and thank the organizers for all the effort and love they put into their local events!