Thursday, 20 August 2009

British Flyball Championships 2009

I headed up to Southam on Thursday very very excited about the weekend, set up camp before having a few quiet drinks with Mad Mutts and Hotshots.

Friday morning came and we were 1st in at 8.30am in division 32 with the Missiles. The team was Tyne, Sky, Chelsey, Fraggle, Molly and Guiness. With alot of our members including captain Lou not arriving until Saturday we were a little thin on the ground but we managed ok. The dogs had to run on a boomerang as our canam had packed up at Stockbridge, they all coped fine and Chelsey maintained her lovely turn. We were bottom seed so the aim was not to come bottom of the entire show! All the dogs ran really well and despite not having Jive managed to better their seed time by over half a second with quite a late start. We won 2 of our races and the others were close aswell. This put us 3rd overall so we were pleased with that result.

Friday night was neon night, so out came the leg warmers and glowsticks! I had a brilliant night raving in the marquee and then getting drunk with Katie, Kristian and Faye. I then went on for a few more drinks with Livvy and Craig and ended up going to bed around 5am!! Woo hardcore!

Saturday was a quiet day for us with no teams racing. I just milled around and watched racing, tried to keep my dogs occupied by taking them for little walks around by the ring. Bless Tess she was still going mental to get in and show the youngsters how its done! Saturday night was dress up night, I was brave and wore my little dress and partied hard! Katie deserted Owler camp to join us (me, Katie and Sam in he middle of the dance floor bouncing to BEPs was really something to be seen!), the music was fantastic and I loved every minute, still smile when one of the songs played that night comes on the radio! A few of my team then went to play the much talked of Sociables with Cheshire, my god that game is lethal! A certain member of my team got absolutely wasted! We had a wicked time and a slightly earlier night of 4am!

Sunday we had 2 teams racing. Rockets were 1st on in division 8. We knew we were going to be a bit up against it as the seed time we were on was the fastest we'd done all year and we were missing Bonnie the quickest dog on that team. The team was Lacy, Sonny, Smartie, Perry and Jamie. We lost the 1st 2 races in the morning as things didn't really gel and we were unlucky on 1 race where a ball rolled infront of Jamie just before he was released resulting in him getting that ball instead. The afternoon was alot better, we ran much better times (very low 19s) and won the 1st 2 races. The last race was against High Voltage who had managed a fantastic 18.20secs earlier on so we just went for it and weren't far behind even taking a leg off them. Despite winning 2 races we came 5th which gives you an idea of how close that division was with High Voltage being very worthy winners.

Ballistics were in Division 2 which I was very excited about. We were bottom seed on paper but as the seedings list had changed quite considerably since the running order had been done I knew that we had a chance (not that I told anyone else for fear of putting the pressure on lol!). First race was against Shooting Star Comets, we raced well and beat them 3-0 with a time of 17.8something. Next up was Cheshire Set, I knew this would be close and it was, it went to a 2-2 decider when fortunately for us they got a light although I think Bunty was back just ahead anyway. We ran 17.65secs. Next up was Wire Flash who again we beat quite well. In the afternoon, 1st up we had Mutts who again it was very close with, they beat us on the 1st leg then I got a light on the 2nd, luckily we pulled it back to 2-2 and they got lights on the last leg! Final race was against Rotherham who came out and beat us 3-0, I think they had a dog running who is taking a while to be reliable (Scooby?) and so they couldn't run him in every race and I think it was lucky for us that they couldn't! With Rotherham having lost 2 races previously that made us the division winners! I was so thrilled that after the disaster we had last year that we were able to make up for it and more, really was a very proud moment! Don't really want to think about negatives but I wasn't overly pleased with the way Asher ran, his box wasn't great and he wasn't really driving back the way i know he can. His box was probably due to it being a different box (we borrowed 1 from the bandits which I am very grateful for but probably did affect him a little bit). The only thing I can think of over his speed is that he wasn't feeling quite right, he did seem to have a bit of a dodgy tummy and the last couple of days he has been very quiet which is not like him. Luckily he seems brighter today. But anyway we won :-) :-) and I really am so so happy, going up and getting our plaque infront of the crowd was a great moment.

Division 1 was amazing to watch, Bassetts deserved the win, they really just looked like they were coasting for much of it and I'm sure they'll break the british record again in the near future. What really seems to set them apart is the amazing boxwork, it really does shave so much time off each dog and of course that cracking little dog that goes by the name of Lizzie who is pretty much unbeatable so huge congratulations to Bassetts. Also big well done to High Flyers who pushed them more than anyone else and stepped up their game from last year. They were gracious in defeat and I'm sure will be back fighting again next year.

I had the most fantastic weekend, I'm actually really sad it's all over. The atmosphere was brilliant, everyone was so friendly and the racing was all so close. Roll on next year.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Fairview Farm

Ok so this is over a week late, but as they say... better late than never! We had 3 teams in. Rockets ran Saturday.

Rockets were in Division 3. We had Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny, Perry and Jamie. Weather was a bit rubbish on the Saturday so it was a bit slippery. Bonnie was alot better on the box although still fumbling a bit, she was running around 4.2secs when her box was ok. Lacy was fab as usual, then I was running Perry and Carol was running Sonny as Louise was on holiday. We just swapped Perry and Sonny so as to keep the team fairly consistent with Jamie on the end. They ran really well and ended up winning all their races and therefore the division with a best time of 19.43secs.

Had a brilliant night Saturday, playing games with my team then after most of them went to bed we invaded the Mutts and then the few of us left standing invaded Lightning and somehow stayed up til gone 4.30am. Don't know where the time went! Was up again by half 8 and I swear I was still drunk! Had to go run a dog though!

Ballistics and Missiles raced Sunday. Missiles were on 1st and bottom seed by quite a margin. We decided to put Jive in this team to give them a little bit of speed. They still ended up coming last but did take a couple of races to 5 legs and raced quite consistently.

Ballistics were 5th seed in Division 1, we had Rosie back from her holidays so had a team of Diefer, Asher, Rosie, Smartie and Bunty. 1st race was against Barkshire Bandits, we went without Smartie, and proceeded to break our seed time 3 times in a row by doing 2 times in the 17.50s and then a 17.46secs! We won that 3-0 and it gave us a lot of confidence to go and face our next competitors... Shooting Stars. Ordinarily we would rest one of our faster dogs as we wouldn't think we had a chance of beating them on time but now we decided to were gonna go for it! We rested Smartie again, went in and did a 17.42, then a faster time than I could of dreamt of for this year 17.37secs!!! Stars got lights on both of these legs so we were 2-0 up. 3rd leg was sooo close, no lights, they did 17.55, we did 17.52... Omg we'd just beaten Shooting Stars! That was it for the morning, in the afternoon, 1st race was against Maples which is nearly always eventful! We went 2-0 up, the 1st one they got a light then the next we beat them on speed. 3rd leg, Diefer came really wide off the box and ran out so 2-1, then we were late on our changes so 2-2. Last leg there was a lot of pressure but we held it together and won it! Then we also beat Shooting Star Comets. Last race all went a bit pear shaped against Hampshire but we'd won 4 out of 5 and won Division 1!!

I can't remember the last time we won Div 1, it was literally years ago. I had a goal for this year which I set back in January that was for ballistics to go sub 17.50secs, i thought after the way some of the comps had gone this year and after it taking so long to come together that this aim was a bit unrealistic so I am so thrilled that we beat it by over a 10th of a sec and hopefully we can go a little bit quicker! It's funny how everything happens for a reason, and how an unplanned chain of events can lead you to success. E.g. If it hadn't been for June (with Rosie) and Lou and Bobbie being on hols at Becketts Farm then Smartie never would of been in the 1st team. Smartie can't change to Diefer cuz she loves him so much she nips him on her outrun so Asher had to go 2nd. If it hadn't been for this we wouldn't of realised how much better Angie with Buntys changeovers would be to a slightly slower dog. We also wouldn't have known how much better Diefer would be with Asher running to him. He was back hitting 4.1s at Stockbridge which he hasn't really done all year and we believe it is because although Asher is fast he is also very inoffensive and non-confrontational unlike the other bossy bitches in the team! So from Frimley to Stockbridge just swapping Rosie and Asher round improved the time by half a second! Obviously some of this has got to be improved racing fitness but it really makes you think!

So yeh bring on the Champs! Can. Not. Wait.