Mixed Tour 1
We attended UKU Mixed Tour 1 last weekend with our Ultimate specific boots in tow. Our goal: to wow our UK audience and figure out what exactly this tour thing is.
The weekend started early for us, as we set out on Thursday afternoon to get to Cardiff without getting too exhausted in the process. This was the first tournament we were attending outside of France since launching at the end of 2017, so we were nervously excited about what the weekend would bring.
Travelling in Freight Style
The fun started in earnest as our little rental van joined the real lorries in line to board the Eurotunnel Freight Shuttle.
Because this happened at border security, and one does not take pictures at security, I don’t have any pictures of Robin leaning up and out of his window to reach the check-in terminal designed for proper freight vehicles. It required some contortionist efforts on his part, and was rewarded by a failure to check in. Perfect, just perfect.
We then joined the other freight traffic on the Freight Shuttle, we blinked, and we were in England! Only miles to go before we reached Cardiff and the sanctuary of our faux-French accommodation. Accommodation highlights: the dining room decor. Nothing like a French man being confronted by the caricature of his people: the arrogant frog.
At last: Saturday and the start of Mixed Tour 1 arrived! We setup in the best mud on site and rolled out our artificial grass in welcome.
We were running a disc giveaway to the first player to catch a Callahan score and throw a successful Greatest pass. Within the first game, the Callahan disc was quickly claimed by Matt Bolton of Reading Ultimate 1. In their game against Black Eagles, Bolton snagged a cross-field dump pass in the endzone for the score. Although part of Reading’s strong start, they went on to loose the game. This has become a pattern in our disc giveaway contests: winner of the disc looses the game. But at least they got a disc out of the bargain?
Despite the high number of intensely fought games with impressive actions from all teams, the Greatest pass disc was not claimed during the weekend. Something for the UK scene to practice, its always good to have a strong Greatest play in your playbook.
The Wonderful People of UK Ultimate
We had an excellent weekend full of great conversation and even a day full of sunshine! Since Robin stayed near the tent while Ingeborg roamed the fields, it was Ingeborg who ended up with the sunburn.
Minor sunburn aside, we were thrilled to receive excellent feedback from players already playing in the cleats and those trying them for the first time. Many people put on their new boots directly and happily reported that they didn’t need any breaking in and had great grip despite the muddy terrain!
Also, we have a new favourite tournament game: I spy with my little eye, somebody wearing TOKAY’s! Despite the mud, our expert eyes are getting increasingly practiced at zero-ing in on our beloved cleats in action.
On the road, we really enjoy meeting old and new friends in the Ultimate community. Mixed Tour 1 was no exception. In addition to the wonderful new people we met, we also re-met a few old friends. It was great to meet Fatemah in person, one of the generous people who backed the project, and find out more about her team South Wales Storm and her love of Ultimate specific products. Robin was also temporarily reunited with Robin of Thundering Herd, the man who first introduced him to Ultimate and inspired the company’s name. Quite the influential man about town!
We look forward to spending more time with the excellent people of the UK Ultimate scene. We will be heading back through the tunnel to attend UKU Club Open and Women’s Tour 1 come June. Have your own TOKAY’s shipped to that event for free by placing your order by May 30th 2018 with coupon code: WINDFARM 2018.
See you all on the fields soon!