106. World Ultimate Club ChampionshipsDate: 03/07/2010 - 10/07/2010
Location: Strahov Stadium, Prague, Czech Republic
Team name: Sexy Legs
Finishing postion: 28/40
This was my second WUCC and Estonia's first time in a WFDF sanctioned event. We had relatively low expectations, but felt it would be a bit of a failure if we only made our seed of 38th out of 40.
The tournament was a little disorganised. It took us an hour or so to check in to the accommodation. The dorm style rooms were a quite rundown but they were rooms of two and with the whole place being frisbee players it wasn't too bad. The food was a disappointment. There were breakfasts without bread and cereal would run out, which is quite bad when your choices are cornflakes or ham and cheese sandwiches. Dinners were not much better.
The facilities were in some ways impressive (the shear size of the 8 field stadium) but in some ways very disappointing. The Strahov stadium was massive, but looked like it hadn't been touched since the 70s. It was very rundown. Other stadiums were OK. There wasn't a lot of extra space around the fields, so there were often bits of metal within a metre or two of the sideline. Some fields were about 3/4 size, and there were fake turf fields which were good to run on, but not good to layout on and got very very hot.
Our draw was 6 days of play and 10 games. Our first pool was difficult as expected. We only scored 6 against Credo (NZ 1) but made a good showing against Mental Floss Tycoons (3rd seed). A major highlight of the tournament was taking half against Pie Wagon. They were far too good in the second half and beat us about 17-11. The last game in our pool was against the local Czech team who were seeded about 10 above us. We expected to beat them comfortably because they hadn't fared nearly as well as us against the other teams, but they were scoring readily and it was a game to the wire. On universe point they had the disc on our line, but we got the turnover and won with a bit of help from the wind with a dodgy floaty throw over the defenders head. It was Estonia's first win at Clubs, but also mine as Redbacks hadn't won a game in 2006 (Redbacks only won one game at this tournament). We were all pretty pleased.
The only bad thing at this stage was that we'd lost Lauri early on the second day to knee injury. This left us with 15 players for the rest of the tournament.
After the second day I was more exhausted than I've ever been. I got to bed early and quite a good amount of sleep, but was still pretty tired the next day. We only had one game organised, but we didn't even get to play that. A vicious storm came up late in the morning and games for the rest of the day were cancelled to preserve the soaked fields. The highlight of that day was the Colony vs Heads of State game, that was tied at about 13 all when the storm came along. They finished the game on the fake turf after the storm was over and Colony took it 17-13.
By the fourth day I was basically recovered, which was lucky as we had three games. We were in a low end pool of four. If we topped it we would go into the 20th - 28th playoffs, last we went down to 37th - 40th, and otherwise 29th - 36th. The game against Brazzinga was more difficult than expected, but we still won reasonably easily. Luxembourg had more depth than Brazzinga, but the margin was the same.
We were expecting a tough game from Slovenia, but we weren't expecting a spirit timeout in the first point. Their captain couldn't break Alina's mark in our zone and was bumping her a bit, she called foul whenever he did, and after a few of these he called a spirit timeout. Afterwards the game was a bit more cheerful, but it didn't really clean up. They played very aggressively, with lots of contact, and our players call some fairly weak fouls, so it was never really going to work. There was quite a bit of bitching, but we were playing better and won it fairly easily.
We were top of our pool which meant we couldn't come less than 28th and could let loose a little that night. It was quite lucky for us, as with our small team we were getting exhausted. For the next few games we did well in the first half but couldn't keep up in the second. We came 28th, but I feel if we hadn't been in that pool a lot of the teams below us would have had a more juice left at that stage of the tournament.
Kristjan recognised that we we had three quality pickups and wouldn't have performed as well without them (Mike, Jeff and Alina). Anyway, 28th was a great result. One positive note was that although we only won 4 games out of 10, we won 7 of our first halves.
The best thing about the tournament (other than our very pleasing result) was the party. Apart from too little food (a recurring problem throughout the tournament) it was made for good times. There were boat cruises along the river from the party venue and back, and we started with that and quite a lot of vodka, and from then on it was drunken shenanigans until the wee hours.
For me the most pleasing moments were winning that first game against Czech, getting a layout deep grab on the fake turf (which leaves a somewhat stinging graze), and one of my scores after we had called a timeout at the endzone.
Official WUCC website
Scores and stats
Photos by NZ including some of us
Blockstack TV episode with mentions of Estonia
Jose Pires' photos