OFF TOPIC--A REMONTE MATCH FOR THE AGES Posted on September 20, 2019 at 04:28:11 PM by jsolo
For those of you who don't know, Remonte is a Basque Pelota modality that is probably the most similar of any to Jai Alai (although it developed on a different evolutionary "tree"). Originating in 1904, it is now a professional sport, played mostly in Navarre and outside of Donostia (San Sebastian). The cesta used is similar to Jai Alai except that it is much firmer and shallower, making remonte a "raquet" sport rather than a catch and throw sport. The pelota appears smaller and perhaps a bit lighter, but seems to me to have more bounce. In Remonte the back court player serves. It is played on both short (36 meter) and long (54 meter) courts, but the major professional matches are played Thursdays and Saturdays at the 54 meter court in Hernani (The Galarreta), just outside Donostia.
Recently the most prestigious singles tournament in the sport was played at Hernani, the 37th Torneo Kutxabank. It was played from July 27-September 14. 3 of the 14 matches were televised on the Basque TV Network EITB. Which is why I am sending you this.
The Final was a match for the ages, between the best front in the game, Javier Urriza (Remonte's version of Goikoetxea, a big and strong frontman who presently dominates the game--4 time defending champion in this tournament), and Endika Barrenetxea (Barrentxea IV), one of the best two backs in the game (not quite on the level of a Lopez in Jai Alai, but there is no Lopez in Remonte at the moment).
I have spent the last 3 days summarizing the Tournament match by match (I fell woefully behind in my Remonte coverage and needed to catch up). The three televised matches are all at my blog post for the entire Tournament. Note that all videos linked from the blog post begin near the second half of the video--I have listed the exact times.
Take a look, if you have the time and inclination, at the final. It is one of the best Remonte matches I have ever seen. It was played, as all singles partidos, to 30 points and lasted about 55 minutes. No one I can think of will be able to appreciate the skills of the sport better than those on this board. I hope you enjoy it if you get the time.
By the way, in 2015, Urriza played an exhibition match against Imanol Lopez, on an outdoor 60 meter concha at Club Mundet, Mexico City. Urriza used a Jai Alai cesta, while Lopez used a Remonte cesta. Guess who won. The brief match article, along with a couple of pictures, is availble at Carlos Zuluaga's magnificent Manista blog, which has covered all things Basque Pelota (mostly in Hegoalde--South Basque--Spain) since 2006. It is one of the major models and inspirations for my blog. The language is Castilian, but most browsers now have auto-translate available through the settings.