19 December 2007

Aussie Spirit

So the Aussie Women won Spirit at the World Beach Championships in Brazil.

This adds to a long list of Australian spirit winners at international tournaments.

Australia has won Spirit in at least one division at an amazing string of World Championships (Worlds, World Clubs and Beach Worlds):
  • King Brown - Open - WUCC1997
  • King Brown - Open - WUCC1999
  • Thorny Devils - Women - WUGC2000
  • King Brown - Open - WUCC2002
  • Thunder - Junior Mens - WUGC2004
  • Barramundis - Mixed - WUGC2004
  • Crocs - Mixed - World Games 2005
  • Thunder - Junior Mens - WJUC2006
  • Terra - Junior Womens - WJUC2006
  • Fear Discinsonia - Masters - WUCC2006
  • Phoenix - Women - WUCC2006
  • Fakulti - Open - WUCC2006
  • Blokes and Sheilas - Mixed - WUCC2006
  • Australia - Women - WBUC2007
  • Australia - Junior Women - WUGC2008
Australia hasn't missed out since 1998. Amazing. And there are at least 10 other top 6 finishes in that period too. I think the Wombats realised this pattern only requires winning Spirit at World Championships, so they gave other teams a chance at the recent Asia-Oceania Champs :) Plus they had Woodley :)

Correction: there was no Spirit award in Taiwan - I'd assumed another team won it. You're off the hook for now, Woodley.

And as for what happened before 1997... well, the records for our sport are pretty incomplete. Who wants to be a historian for our sport? I'll back you.

11 December 2007

Silver, Gold and Bronze

The Asia-Oceania Ultimate Championships and World Beach Championships just wrapped up, and Australia brought home the medals.

At the Asia-Oceania Ultimate Championships, the Wombats came 2nd.

At the World Beach Championships, Australia came 1st in Open and 3rd in Womens. The women also won Spirit!

The Wombats join an esteemed list of Australian teams to win a medal at a WFDF Championships:
  • Return of the Red-Eye (3rd) - Masters - WUCC1999
  • Dingoes (3rd) - Open - WUGC2004
  • Crocs (2nd) - Mixed - World Games 2005
  • Terra (3rd) - Junior Women - WJUC2006
  • Eastern Greys (3rd) - Masters - WUCC2006
  • Thong (2nd) - Open - WUCC2006
  • Chilly (3rd) - Open - WUCC2006
  • Wombats (2nd) - Mixed - Asia-Oceania Championships 2007
The World Beach Championships aren't WFDF endorsed and aren't regular ultimate, but, crikey, I am proud those Salty Crocs brought home a gold! They ended quite a run of silvers and bronzes.

Australia seems to be doing as well as you can do without claiming a WFDF gold. In fact Sarah Wentworth may be the only Aussie with one (she played with Jinx, a German team and winners at European Club Championships 2005).

And with six strong teams being assembled for Worlds 2008, we may not have to wait much longer to fully close that door.

3 December 2007

Melbourne Hat

Some observations from the Melbourne Hat, which I played this weekend.
  • The Hat is still a lot of fun, all these years after my first one.
  • There were four pools of teams on Saturday, and I think my team was in a strong one. The 2 teams who finished 5th (my team), and 6th (Evel Knievel), cleaned up our opponents in cross pool play on Sunday. Our pool winner lost the final by 2 points.
  • The winds came through again, making Saturday arvo and Sunday morning a zone-fest. Not the most enjoyable conditions for the numerous beginners, because the disc tends to be kept in the hands of the veteran handlers on offense.
  • A Moulin Rouge party theme is a wondrous spectacle in terms of costumes for the ladies, and is just a token top hat for the men.
  • Popping is fun, so much fun. I made a point of putting our strongest throwers as middles or poppers to a) give more touches to other players in the handler positions and b) replace the risky dump-swing, go-nowhere offence with a powerful cup-busting, quick-passing offence. I think it was productive. It was definitely fun.
  • On teams with a wide range of abilities, huck and hope is a winning tactic. It can be unsatisfying for those wanting a short passing game (who get looked off), but it seems to win games. The two teams in the final seemed to be lead by two of the best huckers in the tourney. However, the crowd (and I count myself among them) wants to see teams win using all their players. The eternal juggling act of hat tournaments.