The 24th edition of the annual human towers competition took place over the weekend at the arena in Tarragona with 32 collas of Castellers taking part.
Saturday was the turn of the smaller collas giving a riveting display of balance, strength and human architecture. With more room among the spectators in the arena it was a good opportunity to watch the exceptional displays close by and from different view points. Sunday was given to the superstars, the greatest collas in Catalonia, with the green shirted Castellers de Vilafranca stealing the competition with an astonishing win followed by the two other heavy weight Cola Joves and Colla Vella from Valls.
Under the watchful eye of Artur Mas, the president Generalitat de Catalunya and curently the more pivotal figure in the European political landscape, this was not only a day about Castells but also another opportunity to rise the cry for independence as the collas broke out in spontaneous shouts for freedom which were echoed by the wave of spectators.
Lasting for more than seven hours and extensively covered by the national and international press alike. the day also had its casualties with several towers imploding and collapsing due to the share pressure and exhaustion and adding to the drama and tensions of the day. Tarragona own belowed Colla Jove and the Xiquets de Tarragona managed a very respectful 4th and 6th place respectively which, considering the competition, is a fantastic achievement.