EFC2016 – What an amazing experience!

efc2016-no-dateThis weekend saw us hosting the 2016 European Flyball Championships at Trinity Park in Ipswich.  We welcomed over 150 teams from Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Isle of Man, Poland, Scotland and Wales, as well as a special guest, Liesel Twyman, from South Africa.

As well as hosting the tournament we had 5 teams running – Canines, Continentals, Crusaders, Cosmopolitans & Creche (NFC).  Speed trials were held all day Friday and into Saturday morning to allow teams to post times that would see all 156 teams ranked into 20 divisions for the double elimination to determine the European Champions.  All 5 of our teams were drawn to race on the Friday, with Creche, Crusaders & Cosmopolitans racing Friday morning followed by Continentals & Canines on Friday afternoon.

Canines Bailey Oscar Copper Ruby Layla 10"
Continentals Merlyn Dizzy Poppy Ice Frank Marley 8"
Crusaders Oscar Bryn Sam Amber Wiz Kai 9"
Cosmopolitans Lexey Jazz Charly Mikey Winnie Charlie 10"
Creche Millie Eno Reeva Jack Remus Asha 9"

So Friday morning saw us racing 3 teams – Cosmopolitans, Creche and the Crusaders – pretty poor planning on the behalf of the tournament organiser if you ask us ;). Oh yes, and we were running the tournament as well. Friday afternoon was the turn of the Continentals and the Canines.  All dogs in all 5 teams ran foot perfect, especially our baby dogs in the NFC Creche team.  All teams posted nice times ready to take them through to the double elimination round on Saturday or Sunday. The Creche ended up bottom seed of the whole tournament (as an NFC this wasn’t surprising!) and were drawn to race again Saturday morning in division 20, which they did and were knocked out after 2 races. Crusaders, Cosmopolitans & Continentals were all drawn to race Saturday afternoon which was a tad stressful, especially when we had a ring clash…. But we managed because that’s what we do :).  Crusaders were first to be knocked out in the afternoon giving them =7th place in their division.

CONTINENTALS – Merlyn Poppy Ice Marley
After a slight hiccup when the JRT forgot which lane she was in and a mis-communication (BAD TEAM CAPTAIN!!!) meant a dog was sent in the wrong order and freaked Merlyn out, the Continentals pulled it together for some great racing, reaching the final of division 13, loosing to Be Quickstep!  Cosmopolitans put in some great racing, particularly from some of our younger dogs at their “first” Championships – Lexey, Charlie, Jazz – (alright, Lexey did one leg at EFC 2015!) – getting through to the semi finals in division 16. So first day of DEs done and 2 teams on the podium. It was all down to the Canines on Sunday to pull off a divisional win, could they do it?

CANINES – Bailey Oscar Ruby Layla

Sunday dawned as yet another glorious day (we were seriously spoil with that weather!).  A fairly easy morning for the team really with nobody running (haha, oh yes, we just had a major tournament to run instead…!). Sunday afternoon and it was the turn of our top team for the weekend. This canines line up with realistically an amalgamation of our normal top 2 two BFA teams so some newish crossovers for handlers to manage, but they all came up trumps, especially Pauline and Oscar, those were tight! Yet again the team ran amazingly, coping with the heat and format well. The managed to break their fastest time from Friday clocking a sub-18s time (not sure where that came from TBH!). They had some great, tight racing just getting knocked out by Relentless in the semi finals again, so another podium place but a divisional win escaped all out teams…. never mind, we will try harder next year 😀

CANINES 18.25s Division 7 / Seed 5 3rd (FT=17.95)
CONTINENTALS 20.12s Division 13 / Seed 6 2nd (FT=19.61)
COSMOPOLITANS 20.77s Division 16 / Seed 1 3rd (FT=20.65)
CRUSADERS 21.68s Division 17 / Seed 8 7th (FT=21.41)
CRECHE 27.62s Division 20 / Seed 8 NFC