By Sacha Delfosse
The local flair tending fraternity gathered once again at the Paddington Arms Hotel, in Sydney on June 19 for the final round of the Australian Bar Pro Flair Challenge.
Competing in the heats were Nando Imamura, Noriel Calub, Jay Jay Karanouh, Daniel Farr, Benn Evans-Fong and Igor Pachi, who each had five minutes to showcase their routine, with Calub, Evans-Fong and Farr qualifying for the finals.
They were joined by Dennis Gray, Ravi Camadoo and Ricardo Milhouse (the top three from the previous challenge) for the final round, were they were given seven minutes to perform their flair routine.
The three judges – Leeroy Petersen, Alex Dickson and Andrew Lee, had a hard task ahead of them, but the end of the day, it was Farr’s seamless, stylish and superb flair set that won the judges and crowd over.
Robbie Stowe, Daniel Farr and Andrew Lee
The Queensland based bartender received a return flight and accommodation to go to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, on July 27 to represent Australia at the Bar Pro Australiasian Grand Finals.
Second place went to Gray while Camadoo came third, with Milhouse getting a consolation prize of $100 after wining the last of the Flair Battles that popped up in between rounds that saw Karanouh, Pachi and even Petersen going head to head in 30 second flair face offs.
The local Bar Pro challenges were organised by Bar Pro Australia New Zealand directors, Robbie Stowe and Andrew Lee, with Stowe the driving force behind the competition.
“I was getting asked by all the boys when next competition would be on, so I decided to put the feelers out to see if we could get some sponsors and put on some events to help flair in Australia. The motivation came from rest the flair guys out there who wanted to come out and compete,” Stowe says.
“I want to give a big thank you to all supporters who turned up to all the events and helped build this, as well as our sponsors Stolichnaya Vodka, Red Bull and the Paddington Arms Hotel for letting us hold the challenges there.”
There will be further flair events later this year, Stowe explains, with the ABG cocktail and flair classics coming up in six weeks time, as well as state flair competitions as well as a Trans Tasman battle all planned for this year.