Monday, October 28, 2013

Expectations... The AWC Part 3 - Saturday

Saturday morning started off with Small Individual Jumping... And with me forgetting my brain at home... together with my cooler box and several other things... I had friends and husbands driving around and running to my car fetching stuff and generally just trying to mop together all my loose ends...

There is a big difference in the running of the team event and the individual event.  In the team event you have a whole load of other people depending on you not to mess it up... easier said than done of course, one thing to always remember is that our dogs don't understand 'running safe', all they know is what we teach them  and that is generally to 'run fast and all out'... so therefore it is always a good idea to run your team runs hard to get a good result, do what our dogs understand.  However in the individual event there is a little bit extra to that... it is the 'all or nothing' aspect.  In the individual runs, you really have nothing to lose and there are only 2 options: Be on fire or go out in flames...

The judge was Harald Schjelderup from Norway:

I liked the course, I felt it was a good match for the surface (even if it was on the easier side).  I was the only Small dog from South Africa to run for competition... oh for those that do not know quite how it works... each country is only allowed to enter 9 dogs for the individual competition with a maximum of 6 dogs in any height category.  However due to the low entry numbers this year, they were allowing the 'team only' dogs to run as NFC (Not For Competition) at the beginning of the class (actually this was also a huge confusion, since the draw orders were initially published with these dogs running in the middle of the actual competition, which I was NOT happy about... and of course we then prepared ourselves for this draw, just to be told that these dogs would now run at the beginning)... I had some good advice from a friend walking the course.

I think this was the run I was the calmest about.  The favourite to win the event (and an awesome person that I had trained with the week before) was running right before me and I was rooting for him big time.  It was very saddening when he made one small mistake, it really did bring that little bit of 'extra awareness' to my mind.  If I had to choose, I would say this was our best round of the weekend.  He was VERY wide coming out of tunnel number 4, much more so than it seems on the video and my front crosses after the wall and 15 were rather late, but all in all not a bad round.  Our biggest downfall was that by this time Volt slowed down to a near walk in the weavepoles...  This cost us some serious time.  He had been checked out on the Monday before the event, but subsequent to this round I had the team physio take a look at him and his right shoulder was really stiff and taking some strain.  Regardless, this round left us with 0.42 time faults (which could have been avoided with tighter turns after the tunnel, 14 and 15... stupid handler) and in 8th place over-all.

Next up was Medium Individual Agility with judge Gawie Faul:

Less than a handful of dogs managed a good turn out of tunnel 6, but other than that it was a nice course with some good rounds.

And then of course Large Individual Jumping with judge Harald Schjelderup again:

They did however move the tyre to jump 12 though, which I felt was much worse actually due to a TURN after they tyre... AGAIN.  And always for large dogs which makes it so much worse.  It was an interesting course with many different options in the opening sequence.  After the event we actually set up this opening sequence to train and I subsequently timed the splits.  The most economical option, for those that would like to know, was a left turn after 2 and another left turn after 4.

It was finally time for the first 'world champion' rounds of the weekend, starting off with Team Medium Agility by judge Gawie Faul:

There were four teams in this competition, with the team lying in 4th already carrying a DQ from the first round, so as long as none of the other teams had 2 DQ's, their podium places were guaranteed.  The end result was 1st Switzerland, 2nd Germany and 3rd South Africa.

Next up was the Small Team Agility, judged by Gawie Faul:

There were 5 teams in this event and it was the only of the team events where no teams were carrying any DQ's... which at least made for some exciting competition.

Running first was Austria, carrying 20.48 faults through from the jumping round. They had a total of 10 Course faults on the Agility course, so could still be in contention of the other teams had huge problems...

Next up was Switzerland, they were only bringing in 5 faults from the jumping round, so were nipping at our heels.  They managed to run 3/4 course clears in the team to give them 0 faults for the Agility round... and to our knowledge at that point 5 faults in total.

South Africa ran next, with Hilary and Euro leading us off with a nice course clear and according to the score board and announcer 0.37 faults, Nan and Noodle were up next and ran a lovely course clear (it was announced as clear and a clear was shown on the board).  Things were looking good.  Gaby and Scoobie was up next, she had a very unfortunate fly-off on the See-Saw, followed by another contact fault on the Dog Walk.  So by my calculation at this point, to ensure our spot on the podium, I HAD to run clear, there were still two good teams to follow us that was very likely to pull off all clear rounds.  This was my first time running in the last spot and I was half laughing walking up to the start and telling our coach that I hoped I had what it takes to be in this position.  I did it.  I ran a course clear.  It was NOT our prettiest round, all I remembered after the round was Volt's bad faceplant after the long jump and the crowd gasping at his seesaw (don't worry peeps, I know he will stop, he just likes living on the edge :) ), the rest was a bit blurry, super proud of Volt for coping with my retardedness!

So at this point, by my calculation (and the scoreboard's), we were lying in the lead with two teams to come, technically (once again according to the scoreboard) we had 0.37 faults in total with they USA on the start line.  When they had 1 clear, 1 x 5 faulter, 1 x time faulter and 1 x dq this meant we had moved in one spot above them!

Last up was the German Team, a very good team indeed and it surprised no-one that they had 4 very good clears to, without a doubt, win the gold!  While they were celebrating 3 other teams were standing by the marshalling gate waiting for the official results.  I was pretty convinced we had silver and either USA or Switzerland was lying 3rd.  After about 10 minutes they announced the results... but Switzerland was 2nd and we were 3rd.  Please understand that I am not unhappy with the placing, but I was totally confused, so after some celebration, we called over an official and was just repeatedly told that 'they results announced ARE right', but it is only after about 20 minutes that someone bothered to tell us WHY... they had captured the SCT wrong???  The majority of the dogs that we thought was clear and had been announced as clear, actually had time faults.  I feel like a bit of an @ss going on at everyone that they had the results wrong, but in my defence, if you had gone by the display, I kind of was right.

Anyhow, well done the the German and Swiss teams for good performances, well deserved :)

And well done to my Super Sheltie for being... well Super :)

And thank you to fantastic team mates that really supported one another and did their best.

I am going to share my AWC compilation in this post and I will write one last post about the final day of competition:

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