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Day 6 Update: 2018 US Open – Self Caught Flight, Accuracy, DDC, Freestyle, & Speed Flow Finals

The final day at the US Open was a full day of finals including Self Caught Flight (SCF), Double Disc Court (DDC), Accuracy, and Freestyle. I was in the SCF and Accuracy finals, with SCF being my favourite and strongest event.

There wasn’t much wind for the SCF finals and it was hot and humid which meant thicker air, tougher to get off a big throw, and the realistic possibility of lower MTA’s and TRC’s. In the finals with me were Rick, Tim, Conrad, and Tom. All four of them were throwing Fastbacks, and I have a bigger arm than everyone, so I knew if I could get my Condor high and deep, I could get a decent MTA which would set me up near the lead going into TRC, which is my stronger event of the two. My first four throws I wasn’t able to get much but ended up getting a decent throw on my fifth and final throw, and caught a 10.47 second MTA. That was good enough for second spot heading into TRC, and I was only about 2 metres behind Rick, which meant that I needed to beat him by 2 or more metres in TRC to win the SCF title.

I was also trying to break Rick’s O35 World Record which currently stands at 85.85 metres. I’ve thrown over that before but with the conditions, I wasn’t expecting to get up there. However, I was able to get one out to 79 metres, which was 30 metres further than Rick’s best TRC, and I ended up taking the SCF title with an SCF score of 136.59 (10.47 s/79m). That’s about 30 behind my best ever SCF of 163.55, which I had at the 2013 WFDF World Overall.

I was really happy to throw well, although I would have liked to break the TRC O35 record. Just means that I will have another year to train and practice so I’m ready at the 2019 WFDF World Overall!

Next up was the Accuracy finals, and with the rain threatening, we were hoping to get it in before we got dumped on. The wind was swirly and all five of us took turns throwing one station at a time so it was tough to get into flow at all since you’d throw four and then have to wait for 4 other people to throw. As well, the easiest station, short straight, I only hit one out of four because the wind and rain picked up just before I threw and I ended up not being able to get a good grip or flight on the throws, which was a bummer. At the end, I only hit 8/28 which gave me 5th, but had I hit 4/4 at short straight, I would have tied for 2nd place. This is the second time I’ve made Accuracy finals, and I know I can do better, so for world’s next summer, my goal is to make finals and finish top 3 in Accuracy.

The next finals were DDC, which ended up getting extended due to the rain. The format was a 5 man pool with 4 games, and in the end Conrad came out on top. It was an interesting departure from the typical 2-man team format for DDC, and there are definitely pros and cons. I enjoyed the single player DDC format, but I do also enjoy having a teammate and playing with them every game. I think it would work well for people trying to get DDC started and for pod play to involve everyone, so I’m going to try out the format back in Calgary when I’m able to get some people out playing DDC.

The last final of the 2018 US Open was Freestyle, and I was in a pool battle for 9th place. I actually quite enjoy the Freestyle format they used this year, which is called TurboShred. It’s meant to crown a single winner in freestyle and the format is quite different from a team format. Every player gets 4 turns to do their best move, either self setting, or having someone throw to them. Since I self set all the time when I’m doing school shows, it was familiar to me, but since I don’t have many moves, my ability to score a lot of points is limited. I had a lot of fun regardless, and it’s definitely much less attention on you as a player, since it’s 10-20 seconds four times instead of a 3 minute routine. I see the value and benefit for both formats, and I can definitely appreciate that freestylers would prefer the team format, but it was good to see an alternative format that can be used when you don’t have a lot of players, or players with limited skillsets (especially for kids).

We also had the Speedflow finals after Freestyle, although it’s not one of the official events of the Overall. Sam and I were the favourites going into the finals, after having a 55 in the semifinal round. However, we were out of sync from the beginning, and the swirly wind didn’t help us, so we finished 2nd. Although it was disappointing to not win, we did get a cool old school button from my good friend Jens Velasquez, so that was pretty sweet!

In the evening, we had a banquet at the Elsner’s house, during which time Jim gave everyone a custom made ceramic plate and personalized the presentation to each player which was really nice. We had a great time, and the highlight of the banquet was hearing Conrad’s story about how he was a contestant on Wheel of Fortune when he was a college student (I had heard parts of the story before, but this was my first time hearing the full story. There’s even video of his entire appearance, which you can watch here).

Afterwards, Sam, Jeff, Tom and I headed out on the town for some post banquet bevvies, and ended up playing some rogue mini disc golf, which was so much fun! It’s always fun hanging out with those guys who are all about the games within the games. There’s so many things you can do with frisbee, and I love getting to be a part of it!

Overall, I had a good final day, primarily because I won my favourite event, SCF, and because I got to spend a lot of time talking, laughing, and hanging out with my frisbee family.