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Legends of Flair Interview - Christian Delpech

Dec. 5, 2009 by John Collingwood

Hi again guys. I’m back, and this time I have been chatting with flairing LEGEND Christian Delpech. He is constantly one of the leading names in flair and pushing the boundaries of the sport. If you like flair you should check out his site, flairlive.tv.

Have a read through this interview and check out Christian’s insightful answers. Enjoy!

How long have you been flairing?

I’ve been fairing for about 15 years, since I was 17.

What does a standard practice session involve for you?

First of all, warm up, and then it depends what you feel like doing, some days you just create new stuff, and that’s all you do, and other days you just work on your new moves, practice or make a new routine for a comp, etc.

What is flairing about for you?

I divide Flair in three different scenarios, work, competitions and shows / performances.

Work is about working flair and how you involve it into your work, not forgetting the excellent costumer service, the speed, efficiency, accuracy and knowledge. Not that easy uh?

Competitions are about reading the rules properly and building a good routine (within our capabilities), with a good stage presence.

Shows / performances are about knowing how to put a clean, nice and entertaining routine together for the spectators.

However we have to know how to dress and act accordingly to the place and occasion.

E.g. if we are performing on a corporate event in a 5 star hotel, we shouldn’t perform in blue jeans and a t-shirt.

Who do did you look up to when you 1st started?

I use to watch videos back in the day when Alan Mays, Ken Hall and Bill Long where the top guys.

Who do you look up to now?

I look up to professional athletes like Tiger Wood, Messi, Roger Federer, and others. I admire the dedication and determination that these people have, and the mentality that leads them to be the best in what they do.

What is your favourite competition? Why? And have you ever won it

There are a lot of competitions that I like. I don’t have a favorite one. I like Legends because is the most complete flair competition ever (speed, pour test, working flair, exhibition flair), I won Legends 4 times in a row.

I also like Road House (just flair), Quest (speed, flair and showmanship), Blue Blazer (Flair and Mixology), UFBC (flair and showmanship together). And yes I won at least once in all these comps.

You’ve just organised your 1st competition, how did that turn out, and was it difficult to put on? Did it get the turn out you hoped for?

Well, it is hard to organize it, but I organized it with highFlairPR.net, and it made it a little easier, however it is really hard.

I didn’t have as many competitors as I wanted but the finals were one, if not the best, of the year, with an amazing line up of pro’s such as Tom Dyer, Danilo Oribe, Rodrigo Delpech, Dario Doimo, Vladymyr Buryanov, Gianluigi Bosco, Rafa Arce, Rodrigo Cao, Joshua Nemerow and Colin Griffiths.

And we got all the support from our main sponsor Rums of Puerto Rico.

What are your goals in flairing?

My goals in Flair are for Flair in general. I would love to see Flair everywhere (done properly though). And I would like to see it on TV all the time.

I wanted to be able to see it live on a screen but then we have already accomplished it with www.flairlive.tv (the first and only web to broadcast a flair comp show live).

Where would you like the sport to be in 10 years?

Everywhere , I would like the people to be very educated about it and accept flair as it is, entertaining.

Is there anything you think should be done to push the sport?

Yes, there are a lot of them in my opinion, and we started to do some already, like flairlive.tv, I think is going to push the sport through the roof, and is good to have the support from sponsors and organizers to make it happen.

This year we Broadcast 3 comps live Big Kahuna (support of Kahunaville, CBF which stand for Competitors Bartenders Federation), Fire Starter Challenge (support of Kahunaville and CBF), Quest (support of FBA and High Spirits), and also we did specials on Legends (FBA and High Spirits support) and IBA Germany 09 (with IBA support).

Plus another monthly shows that we have on the web.

“Note that we didn’t broadcast live or do an special on US Flair Open 09 and Road House Grand Finals 09 because we weren’t allowed to do either one”. Not because we weren’t there.

Did you ever think things would evolve like they have? (In the sport and with your skills)

Well, yes, I believe in progress, however, I don’t like the direction that flair is taking in competitions, as far as Skill-Difficulty.

I think that the showmanship and stage presence has been replaced for big moves, in some cases big “attempts”. When back in the day (only two or three years ago only) it was more about style, personality, stage presence and not to see who can throw the most objects in the air and catch them, but this is not the competitors fault, they just follow the rules breakdown, and obviously we have to consider evolution in this too, in a positive way.

Now when we talk about Working Flair in my opinion has been hurt big time, because rules and judges are encouraging the competitors to throw crazy moves on the working flair part (3 tins 2 bottles, 4 tins one bottle, etc), so to me that IS NOT WORKING FLAIR.

This is just exhibition flair with half full bottles, because we do working flair every night at work (Carnaval Court which is probably the busiest Flair Bar in the planet) and let me tell you that the working flair we see in Competitions today, does not look like what we do everyday, not because of a skill reason, it’s because of space reasons, security of the costumers, other people working with us behind the bar, speed, perception, etc.

We can’t take an owner or manager of a club, bar, pub or restaurant and tell them, “ hey, watch the working flair part, that is what a flair bartender does working behind the bar while making drinks”, because for sure he’ll never have Flair behind his bar.

Before we could say that without a problem, because Working Flair looked more like Bartenders making drinks with flair and style, and I would like to emphasize, “THIS IS NOT THE COMPETITORS BARTENDERS FAULT” they just do what is needed to win a competition.

Just my opinion.

Do you have any advice for a budding flairer?

Learn how to walk before you start running. And of course, practice, practice and practice.

Cheers

Christian

Written by Sam Martin