Strange Blue Tournament Report

Mixed Tour 3

14-15.May.2011 - Cheltenham

Dear Camdisc,

Anyone who's anyone knows that Mixed Tour 3 took place but days ago in the pleasing surrounds of Cheltenham. No, I don't know where that is either, but a quick google for destinations that take about three hours to drive to gives me the following options: http://goo.gl/maps/PUaZ

MIXED TOUR 3 REPORT TIME

Representing the Blue:
Shannens, Strachens, Natmens, Fenns, Humphens, Maraharens, Rudickens, Borchens, Nick SDens (+ a sliver of Wongens)
Jassing, Katieing, Kating, Sarahing, Pring, Mega (+ a little bit of Nataling)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

SB held seed (22nd) going 3/3 in a slightly windy, occasionally inspirational and regularly gritty weekend. Interesting fact: In only 2 of the 6 games played did we complete the game before the hooter sounded for the start of the next round of matches. We did all of our best work in the cap.
Also, Azerbaijan won the Eurovision. I was going to include it in my 'where is cheltenham' map above but I've never been driven there so don't know how long it takes.

DAY 1

SB 13 - 9 Flaming Galahs

Seeded third in a pool of four, this was the match to lose. The top-pool-seed Galahs should have given us a good warmup and a sound thrashing on paper. Instead we warmed up before the match and gave them a damn good thrashing of our own. Playing up-wind-down-wind, we soon established a little lead and rode it throughout the match. Everything looked pretty composed, particularly upwind, and while both teams were dropping like snoop dogg thinks it's hot, we consistently punished their mistakes a little more effectively than they did ours. I imagine the victory included some sweet rips and teardowns from Shan/T-Bone to Humphs, largely because my weekend was a blur of watching that happen.

Limited 11 - 9 SB

I have a somewhat limited memory of this match, needless to say we jacked it to humphs a whole lot, and after the buzzer made them sweat for a very long time before they got that last point. Also, I'm pretty sure this match was the one where at 2-4 the point was so long that both teams called a timeout during its course (and I think we won it!)

Lemmings win - lose SB

We rather cooked the goose on this one. In a strangely belligerent mood, everyone looked like they were ready to roll over these bottom-of-the-poolers. However, as we started rolling the wheels came off and what was left was humphs dangling off the end of some increasingly ropey hucks. We got silly, then we got annoyed, then we got depressed, all to the background of Lemmings running their passing game unchallenged. As the cap went on, we chucked out a mediocre Junk and they totally choked on it. Like 3 passes. It was sweet. With the benefit of hindsight, the match could have been a lot different, but impeding their o for the last few points while we still couldn't execute our own made for another treacley endgame before they closed us out

EVENING

Then) I think we had pretty much made our peace about the third game before it logically concluded. The results of a confused but enjoyable pool stage saw top-seed Galahs get owned by everyone, and sneaky little bottom-dwellers Lemmings triumph unilaterally. Many of us celebrated by standing on a little bridge and discussing transport logistics for a very long time. Ben led a stretch session which involved the sound of one hand clapping.

After our great work on the bridge, everyone ended up in Katie's parents house in Bristol, picking up Nick Wong as an evening-time ringer (it's where he adds the most to the team). We watched Natman shower for a bit, helped Nick mark some stupid kid's homework and then went to a pub up the hill. Some of us felt the hill. One of us felt the hill twice after narrowly avoiding settling his tab and being hauled back up to the bar to pay.

Once I got back from that expedition everyone had decided to watch the Eurovision. Normally I'm to manly to be bothered, but I joined in with the team to weird out our American euro-virgins and annoy Dan about the German hosts.

SLEEP

DAY 2

SB 13 - 12 MXU

This one was pretty gritty. We cruised the first point upwind and mistakenly thought this would be easy. Thereafter, their three unassuming handlers proceeded to rip 30%ers like it was going out of fashion and come down with 80% of them. It was ridiculous. Our O was fine, but the risk of turning and being hucked past like we weren't there was everpresent.

Cap went on with them 2 or 3 ahead. We started mixing it up on D, ladies running some heads-up poaches and forcing them to take new options. We slowed their attack and made it ours with a 2-stage assault: Everyone throwing at Humphs downwind, Trinity handler Trio driving the upwind attack

SB 14 - 13 Bristol 2

Thinking tactically, and playing to our established strengths, we allowed Bristol to take the game to time with a generous lead (it was 11-6 quite close to time). In the course of this manoeuvring, Katie managed to draw the affections of a chap on the opposition to damaging levels (amorous D == foul), Shannon fouled a guy just by being better at catching than he was.

Cap on and sleeves rolled up. The downwind, downhill line had it easy, here's to the upwind, uphill crew who fought the very forces of nature to bring us victory. Variously Fenn, Natman, Jassy and Me handling like it was going out of fashion, variously Natalie, Katie, Humphs, Sarah and Pri making endless options in the middle, almost no errant hucking long. It was a joy to behold. I loved everyone on that line every point.

BAF 1 12 - 6 SB

Hmm, the young, fit hosts on the last match of a tournament who had previously been seeded noticeable higher than us... Didn't look good. Then Nick Wong showed up, fresh from Mixing for Great Britain, and while it looked better, it didn't ever look good. They had a matching ringer from the GB training, and the pitch at times looked like flocks of tired people chasing hucks. We choked a little - Ben forgot how to catch hucks, I forgot how to through through a wall. Bad times. Then Pri got a huge D (partly on Natman, which in my book only made it sweeter) and let out a warcry that scares me to this day. That seemed to wake us up for the closing stages, but in the end we lulled them into a sense of security that wasn't entirely false.

BOOM

SB enter 22nd seed and stagger out after over 11 hours of gametime retaining seed! It was entirely worth it.

Great work from our pair of d├ębutantes Kat and Sarah, who put in huge efforts on both days and were really coming into their own on the Sunday. It made all the difference when they got settled in and began dictating how their defendee played - an excellent showing for the weekend, good job.

Thanks to Natalie and Nick for abandoning their alternative engagements - with injury and country, respectively - for bringing it in the later stages