Madera Rocks!!

11 11 2008

  This last weekend the dogs and I traveled to Madera, Ca for the last UFLI tournament of the 2008 season. The Madera tournaments are by far our favorite tournament, no doubt about it. Racing is done on tough-spun rubber matting, the lanes are under a pavilion and out of the badest weather, and the competition is always intense.  We left late on Friday, after work, but to my suprise hit no traffic on the way and made it to Super 8 motel without a hitch.  They were very booked that weekend, so i had to settle for a smoking (YUCK!) room right next to the pool. However, the motel was right across the street from the site, which means i could sleep in later.

Saturday morning started early, racing begining at 7:30, and the weather was crisp yet sunny. The club was running 3 teams, and only had 5 people to do it. So you know, that means there’s 4 people to run 4 dogs, and then the 5th to boxload. We were without a much needed passcaller, so were on our own in terms of passes. The fast team, Loose Dogs, was attempting to run a new best time and was at the bottom of Standard, Division 1. 

Jet was able to run as start dog all day on Saturday on Loose Dogs.  On the first race of the day he ran a 4.18 with a .70 start delay, and then ran 4.2-4.3 the rest of the race. The competition was awesome, and Jet was really in his element. On the third race of the day he also ran a 4.16 and continued to run the rest of the races between 4.1-4.5 seconds. On Saturday the team ran a new best time of 17.8 seconds. The dogs on the team were Jet, Page, Jinx, and Bailey.  This team had lots of room for improvement, since some of the original fast dogs were moved from that team, and we ran that  time without having the best team put together.

I had lots of yummy treats ready for Riley’s races. She was getting a combination of dried lamb lung, hot dog, Natural Balance, and fresh chicken. She was truely in Riley heaven. She was running as anchor dog on Stray Dogs, our variety team. It was time to put our passing prowess to the test! Not only was she passing reliably, without lunging in on the returning dog, but i was able to get fairly good passes with her. She did have one blip on Saturday-she went down to the box, and then proceded to look up at the boxloader as if she was about to discuss the weather. She did recover and bring her ball back, though. The hesitation was mainly due to the enviornment-Riley hasn’t ran in a tournament enviornment with so much noise and so little room between teams before. Madera is a venue in which the barking is magnified in the pavilion. Mostly, she took it all in stride, happy and enthusiastic to play. She even earned her next title, Top Flight: Level 2.

Leap of Faith Flyball team always puts on a great tournament-with a potluck and nice venue, but it does tend to run long, and sometimes Saturday racing doesnt end until 8 pm. Not so this year…as we got out at a fairly good time and actually had a nice team dinner right next to my hotel! Whoo!

It rained on Saturday night. I slept like a rock, and when the alarm went off at 5:45 am, i almost didn’t know where i was. I packed up the car and drove-across the street!-to the site, which was damp and cold. It began raining again early in the morning, and as all 5 of us met up at camp we all noticed everyone needed a Starbucks for that extra pick up.

The Loose Dogs team changed for Sunday. Jet was moved from first to third, so i needed to remember my passes on Riot, without a pass caller. The team was now Jinx, Riot, Jet, and Page. The first race was awesome, we broke into the 17’s easily, even though our passes needed to tighten.  Moving to third in the lineup didn’t phase Jet, as he was running the same times he has been in start the day prior. The first heat he ran 4.2 with a close pass and then 4.4 with late passes. Late being around 5 feet. Because I was tired of guessing my passes, I visited some teams and asked for a helper to call for us. Finally with a passcaller, everyone tightened up. Dogs dont typically run the same times in a passing position as they do in Start, but Jet was having no problem. The last race of the day were were racing Leap Of Faith’s 16 second team and Jet posted several 4.3’s, 4.2’s and 4.4’s. Those included a pass! He was whipping off the box so fast that i could see the spit flying from his mouth more than 50 feet back.

Loose Dogs set a new club record on Sunday of 17.4 seconds, the fastest we’ve ever run! The dogs were Jinx, Riot, Jet, and Page.

Riley ran great on Sunday. I was able to get close 1-3 foot passes in on the other dog, and she ran her best personal time of 5.4 seconds. Her box was consistant…a four footed turn that was up high.  A team mate even commented on her having one of the best turns in the club. We’re not fast, but we have a kick butt Box! She got a bucket load of points and got another title, Top Flight Level 3, on Sunday.

Jet also got a new title on Sunday, Top Flight Premier Level 2. That puts him at 14,800 points and only 5,020 points to go until we get out first Plaque award! With the number of UFLI tournaments in store for 2009, we may be able to do it next year!

One of our green dogs also debuted last weekend. Flick, the manchester terrier earned her Top Flight title and found her racing legs! Go Flick! The teams also did well, Jet’s team getting 3rd both days, impressive since were at the bottom of the division, and Riley’s got second place on Saturday and then First on Sunday. Go Stray Dogs!

Overall, it was a wonderful way to end the racing year, with everyone having a fun, fast, and super time!

…later…

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