The New Jersey Hammerheads are ready for Berlin

The top US Underwater Rugby team, the New Jersey Hammerheads will participate in the 2014 Champions Cup in Berlin, the most important Underwater Rugby Club tournament in the world.

The Champions Cup was originally named the “Masters Cup” in 1987 by the German Club F.S. Duisburg. It is a yearly tournament that invites the champion team from each country. In 1999 the tournament was renamed “Champions Cup” and in 2004 the women’s tournament was held for the first time.

The  New Jersey Hammerheads are already making history being the first team from the US participating in this top level tournament. During 2014 the NJ team finished 3rd. on the Canam UWR Tournament held in Milwaukee early in february. Later on March the Hammerheads got second place at the 7th North American UWR tournament in Montreal on which Club Camo from Montreal got the first place. Recently the NJ team won the first place on the 8th NA UWR tournament held in Toronto last October after winning on a couple of exciting games to their long time rivals Club Camo. The main objective of this participation is to gain expericence with the highest level clubs in UW Rugby today, as Molde from Norway (the current  and 4th consecutive winner of this tournament), Bamberg (Germany), Orcas (Colombia) among others.

2014 will be a record year for the Champions Cup. A total of 14 men’s and 12 women’s teams representing equal number of nations  will participate to fight for the gold.

The New Jersey Hammerheads win the 8th North American Underwater Rugby Tournament

Finally after several consecutive championships from Montreal’s UW Rugby team Club CAMO, the previous runner-ups, the New Jersey Hammerheads took the Championship title in a very exciting final game after winning all the group games, the semifinal and final games during the weekend of October 4th-5th. in the city of Toronto, Canada.

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A total of 4 teams participated in this event, CAMO (Montreal) and Toronto UWR (Toronto)  from Canada, the NJ Hammerheads (New Jersey) and the new team SF Giant Sea Basses from San Francisco California, USA .

Toronto UWR, a new canadian club with a few players from Club Liberation (Brantford, On.) was the club host for this tournament. For the first time, the city of Toronto hosted a tournament  with a new venue for UW Rugby at the Riverdale Collegiate Institute.

The tournament was played as a round robin where the New Jersey Hammerheads and Club Camo won their games against Toronto and the New San Francisco teams. The first game between the favorites CAMO and the NJ Hammerheads ended with a close victory 3-2 of the american team from New Jersey over the previous champions, Club CAMO.

On the final game despite the advantage on number players from Club CAMO (11) over the Hammerheads with only 9 players, The club from New Jersey got an impressive victory over Camo for 4-1

Rafael Brunet (Camo) got the top scorer award with 10 goals followed by Mateo Galeano (New Jersey) with 9 and Cesar Florez (Camo) with 8.

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The New Jersey Hammerheads won the best defense and best top sorer team awards.

All the teams are looking forward to the next tournament in the US, the Canam UW Rugby Championship to take place in Milwaukee Wisconsin on February 6-8, 2015

New Jersey Hammerheads coach on the 2013 European Underwater Rugby Championships

Jose Echeverry, coach of the New Jersey Hammerheads Underwater Rugby team, and former 2003 USA National Team player, was invited to participate as referee during the 2013 Underwater Rugby European Open Junior Championship held in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark last November.

Coach Echeverry had the opportunity to participate as underwater and deck referee in over eight official matches between national teams and share with experienced international referees as Tito de Morais (Sweden), Olsson (Norway) and Lindell (Finland).

“The level of European game is remarkable for the tactics, speed, and game system ” Echeverry highlights of the teams which were distinguished by their great fitness and performance.

Echeverry says his participation and experience during this tournament will help to share with referees and teams of the North American Tournament, the latest changes regarding rules and refereeing . “The sport is evolving and we must get updated in terms of game rules , refereeing and other aspects of the game”.

Coach Echeverry plans to participate with the New Jersey Hammerheads on the “2014 CanAm Midwestern Underwater Rugby Championship” to be held on January 24-26 2014 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  http://canammidwesternchampionships.com/uwrugby/