GLOUCESTER — Jason Favaloro was just feeling it yesterday.
The Friday greasy pole walker had the best walk of the courtesy round, making it more than 3/4 of the way across the pole, and nearly grabbed the flag in the second round before he eventually won in the third round, crowning himself the 2009 Friday greasy pole champion.
Favaloro, 22, made it to the end thanks to a flawless walk where he never lost his balance during the 40 foot march to victory.
"I was feeling it on all three walks," Favaloro said. "I don't know what it was, it was just my day I guess."
Yesterday's greasy pole did not come without it's fair share of close calls. Leo Cannavo, Derek DeCoste and Joe Brancaleone nearly grabbed the flag in the second round, with DeCoste coming a mere step away. After Favaloro nearly walked the length of the pole in the second round, he watched Tim Callahan, Steve Russo and Joe Pacheco come close before ending it later in the third round.
It was nothing but pure elation for Favaloro following his win and first greasy pole flag.
"It's an unbelievable feeling," said Favaloro, who is an assistant coach for the Gloucester High School boys' soccer team. "It's everything I ever thought it would be and more."
Favaloro was carried off of Pavilion Beach and down Beach Court by his fellow walkers and was greeted by fellow walker Stew McGillivray.
"I'm catching up to you," Favaloro joked with McGillivray, who currently has three championships.
Favaloro now has the choice to walk on Sunday, or walk first in today's greasy pole (4:45 p.m., Pavilion Beach). While both scenarios have their benefits as walking first on Saturday gives you the first chance to take the flag down, and walking on Sunday pits you against some of the best walkers in the history of the sport, Favaloro's decision was an easy one.
"I'm walking (today)," Favaloro said. "I have always wanted to walk twice in one year and I've always wanted to walk first. Now I get the chance to do both."
The newly crowned 2009 Friday champion dedicated the victory to his late grandfather, Sophie Favaloro, who passed away five years ago.
According to Favaloro, his grandfather always urged him to walk the pole, but passed away before his grandson was old enough to compete. You must be 18 or older to walk the greasy pole.
"I always dedicate my walks to my grandfather," Favaloro said. "He always wanted me to walk and now I have a win under my belt for him, it's the best feeling in the world, just spectacular."