After the world championships, three players were locked in a very tight battle for number one – Jake Gauthier, James Wiseman and Arthur Coddington. Only 16 points separated the three.
James Wiseman struck first post-worlds by playing the Oktoberfest event. His runner up finish with Sophie Wolf was strong, but there weren’t enough entrants to boost his ranking point total. No problem, he just went to the Berlin Hat Autumn 2013 Edition, drew Tobias Burzan and Freddy Finner as his teammates and won it for 146 points. He was the leader in the clubhouse going into Beach Stylers, where both Jake and Arthur would compete. The Berlin Hat win also moved Freddy into the top 20 and Tobias into the top 80.
The math looked like winning Beach Stylers could put either Jake or Arthur on top. The math, though, was more complicated because of Beach Styler’s two divisions – pairs and turboshred. Arthur teamed up with Matt Gauthier to win pairs on the first day of the tournament, with Jake and Amy Schiller coming in a close second. The next day’s turboshred was disastrous for Arthur, where he was edged out of the final by Dave Zeff. Jake had no such problems, sailing through to the final, then winning the event. Jake accumulated 128.75 points across the two divisions, seven points short of James’ point total.
Another interesting dynamic emerged at Beach Stylers. By winning pairs and finishing second in turboshred, Matt Gauthier entered into the mix for the end-of-year number one spot. Matt has had an insane year, winning two titles at the world championships and coming less than a point away from sweeping Open Pairs, Open Co-op and Mixed Pairs. With Virginia States and Beach Stylers wins, he’s racked up dominating results. The factor keeping both Matt and Arthur 30-50 points away from James and Jake is the fact that neither played in the 2012 world championships. Their advantage in closing that gap is their 8th best result. Both of them have much weaker 8th results than James and Jake, giving them big upside for any strong tournament finish.
The 2013 rankings battle is not quite over. James has entered Lazzaroni later this month, and a Northern California turboshred event is forming around the annual post-Thanksgiving jam at Sonoma State. JikJam looms too. Strong finishes by any of the four top players could shift the end-of-year rankings picture.