Boomerang World Cup

For those who haven’t been paying attention: I’m in Perth throwing at the Boomerang World Cup. Held every two years, last held in Australia in 2000 (Melbourne). Has taken me to France, Japan, the USA, and Italy since 2004 (was selected but couldn’t get to Brazil in 2012).

Is being held at Guilford Grammar. There are both teams and individual tournaments, plus long distance (world record is 238 metres out, and back) and a big fun/demo/head-to-head comp day on Good Friday. Viewers welcomed.

I am in the “second” Aussie team. Six throwers in each team, four throw in each event.

The team events are:

Accuracy: a pair of teammates stand in the middle of a “dart board” and throw a minimum of twenty metres out. Don’t touch them when they return, score depending on how close the return was.

Aussie Round: points for accuracy, catching, and range. Perfect throw goes out 50+ metres and is caught on the two metre radius throwing circle.

Relay: run in 30m, throw and catch a 30m throw. Return for the tag, all four go through twice. Against another team on same circles at same time.

Team Endurance: first person runs in 20m, makes as many 20m catches in minute. End of time, runs back to tag teammate. If time remains after the fourth person finishes, someone can go in again and throw until five minutes expires.

Maximum Time Aloft (MTA): keep a rang in the air as long as possible, make catch. Throw and catch to be within a 50m radius circle.

SuperCatch: one player throws up an MTA, the others make as many 20m catches while it is the air. If MTA not caught, no score… pressure! Each player throws the MTA once.

Trick Catch: ten set catches (e.g. one handed behind the back, foot catch) worth different points. Second half requires you to throw two at once, and catch both! My best event, usually.

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DAY ONE, FIRST HALF:
The “second” Aussie team came second (of thirteen teams) in the first event, Accuracy. I sat that one out.
I threw in the second event, Supercatch. My “tally” catching was not great but my MTA throw was 40 seconds, fourth best of the 52 throws. Teammate Simon Bollen from Adelaide threw 42 seconds, but our first two throwers dropped their MTAs!
So we are fifth after two events. The “first” Aussie team is in tenth overall. Competition!

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DAY ONE, SECOND HALF:

At the end of day one, Japan has the overall lead (they’ve never won a World Cup). Takeshi, who came first in the Aussie championship, has backup! The margin isn’t big, though.

After a disastrous Team Endurance for us, and a so-so Team Relay by The Other Aussies, we are tied in equal eighth at the end of day 1 (of 3).

When I am “the reliable one” in Team Endurance, you know something is wrong. I got 9 catches, and in total so did my three teammates! I threw a rang I made on Friday at Roger Perry’s place, and I’m very very glad I did so as everyone else got blown away.

We probably would have come second in team relay if Simon hadn’t dropped one of his throws… Robby started against Fridolin Frost and almost beat him back, which was most amusing.

I discovered today I have a hamstring muscle! Just a very slight twinge in the left leg. I’ve never previously moved fast enough for that to be an issue.

There was the usual first day shenanigans with the shock horror revelation that not many people really know the rules, but we got through mostly on time.

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Prey tell, what other countries compete a boomerang throwing!!??

DAY TWO:

Day two was a day of serious topsy-turvies for Aussie 2 (the Wombats). We started with a very poor Aussie Round and a horrible Relay. I sat out the latter due to the hamstring; little movements were OK but four 30 metre sprints were not a good idea with half of the teams tourney still to go. The wind got progressively worse and the Wombats were last and copped the worst, failing to finish the eight laps in five minutes. The team who ran against them also failed to finish.

And then the topsy started, as the Wombats came third in both SuperCatch and then MTA. In tough conditions this happened because we (Rob, Nick, Simon, me) all made our MTA catches, which very few teams did. Rob’s 36 seconds was the second best of the 52, and the tally throwers were very error free despite the tricky winds. Aussie 1 crashed their first three MTAs.

The best MTA throw was by Japanese Yuuko Kendo (39 seconds) and it is looking likely that Japan will win for the first time. Yuuko would be the first female in a winning team, and with her background as a javelin thrower outpowers many of the men.

Our MTA was built around a 44 second catch by Simon, the best in our circle (there were two circles).

We had a bit of a farce with Team Endurance starting too late, and we Wombats were the very last throwers, well after the sun disappeared. While we finished the events was cancelled retrospectively as it really wasn’t fair (or, strictly, by the rules). I went first and had nine catches in my minute but it was touch-and-go as the (thankfully) white rang would appear suddenly with five metres to go. Nick as fourth thrower with his red rangs had no chance!

At the end of the day the Wombats are 2.5 ranking points ahead of the Drop Bears (Aussie 1). The Drop Bears are kinda out of options with Gary Mitchell re-aggravating his crook ankle.

Tomorrow is rest/excursion day, with the teams cup to finish Thursday.

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Countries involved include Japan, USA (the favourites, though I think 90% would prefer Japan to win), Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Brazil, France, Netherlands, Indonesia, etc. There are some mixed nationality teams.

Aussie 2 has an Aborigine in it.

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As anyone thrown a match before?

There is zero wind today, when we are not throwing. Infuriating/hilarious!

Ah...it all comes back to me, now!

DAY THREE, FIRST HALF:

The Wombats are moving up the ladder. We came fourth in Relay, a second ahead of the Swiss/Italian wunderteam captained by world champ Manu Schutz. In fact there were four teams within three seconds of us. That included the Drop Bears.

After that event we moved up the ladder to seventh, in front of the German Dreckheckens.

Second event was SuperCatch, which I threw in. Another four MTA catches in generally better conditions than the last two days. Simon did 40 seconds and I did 30, both notably better than the average. Still waiting on the scores for that but it should be OK (our tally catching was so-so).

Japan and the #1 US team did well, from what I saw, but unless they bomb in the final events Japan should still win.

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Non indigenous people shouldnt be allowed to participate.

DAY THREE, SECOND HALF:
Did I say something about topsy-turvy and Team Schizo? Aussie Round another disaster, with only Rob Croll doing his part.
That led to Trick Catch, which had been cancelled on the first day as dark approached. There’s a new (and absurdly stupid) rule that says if winds gust (not sustain) 15kph the Doubling portion of this event (when you throw two boomerangs at once and have to make two specified catches) gets cancelled. The brain-dead bit is this measurement can be at any time in the comp. So, as happened today, Rob and I prepared for Doubling and wasted our limited practice time. We did Doubling (not very well, admittedly) and then they cancelled Doubling and every other pair practiced and threw Singling only. It’s a rubbish rule that makes the event too easy and disadvantages early throwers, and was a knee-jerk reaction to strong (much more than 15kph) winds and a crap ground at the previous World Cup.
Anyway… we did merely OK in Singling. I got 34/50, getting to but just missing my hackey and foot catches. Manu Schütz and Fridolin Frost (both four-time World Champs) were the only ones to get 50.
Final event was a re-run of last night’s retrospectively cancelled Team Endurance – which meant we threw last again! Luckily we were about 20 minutes ahead of yesterday, so we could actually see our rangs this time!
Simon was hit in the hand by an errant rang during warm-up, which meant a rapid swap-in of our Queensland aborigine Paul Craft to run the third leg. This is his first really big comp but he has been doing great work back home creating an Aboriginal team/competitions. As we were the last team to run we had a big crowd watching and while Paul may need some more work with comp rangs in tricky wind, he put on a good show in his minute in the middle using his pace to make some crowd-pleasing catches. I came in to make the final three throws (and catches!) of the teams comp, which was a nice ego boost as each one was applauded.
Spoilers now: I can confirm there was a tie for first overall. In the last couple events, Boomergang (Swiss and Italians) caught up to the Japanese. Luckily we had trophies ready for such an eventuality!
And us Wombats? In those last three events we slipped back behind Dreckhecken and the Drop Bears, to ninth. The real story is in the detail, though: the Drop Bears were a persistently boring 6th-10th in EVERY single event, while we ranged from second to last (twice!), with three placings and a couple fourths as well.
When we were good, we were very very good; but when we were bad we were horrid.
Demo/fun day tomorrow. Individual championship on Saturday and Sunday (I’ll be in that, the leg isn’t that bad).

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Thanks for the report DJR... interesting reading!  All the best for the individual events.

Winds were not silly for today (they were strongest for Fast Catch), but they were very deceptive and hence there were modest scores from many today.
There are about 74 competitors, including a handful who weren’t in the teams comp.
Junji Maiya of Japan won Maximum Time Aloft with a time of 46.9 seconds (in our little group of throwers, the Japanese veteran Togai dropped a 48 second one).
Manu was second on 46.08 - his best throw was his last one, where he gave off a VERY loud “scheisse!” shortly after launch and then panicked as he lost sight of it; it settled, the location was pointed out to him, the rest is history.
“Little” Marie Appriou (now 16) was twelfth with 36.97. She surprised by coming third in GLORP yesterday, too.
Simon was 18th, Matt Barker 20th, I was 24th with 31.33 seconds.
Fast Catch followed, and both my rounds consisted of this sequence: short of 20 metres, three so-so throws, two perfect closing throws. But almost no one got it right: Brazilian André Caixeta Riberio won with a modest 25.5 seconds, with only countryman Fabio Silva dos Santos, Stevie Kavanagh, Takeshi, and Andrea Sgattoni under thirty seconds. So I ended up about 60th percentile in Fast Catch, which is ridiculous for 49 seconds and demonstrates the tricky conditions.
Aussie Round followed, and there were a lot of mediocre scores. The shifty wind conned nearly everyone, at least for some of their throws. I haven’t seen the scores for it yet, but I very much doubt I will be maintaining my overall 39th place from the first two events.
The leader is André, and by a decent margin. Manu was poor in Fast Catch, Frido was almost as bad as me in Aussie Round, Andrea and the American Bower brothers were so-so in MTA.
André was in Rome in 2010 (joint first Brazilian to throw at a World Cup) and, of course, in Brazil in 2012. Is an absurdly nice guy.
2012 breakout star Eduardo Mistico, from Brazil also, had been so-so and then copped an ankle injury during Aussie Round. No break as such, but they’ll need to remove a sharp spur of bone… and he’s out of this comp.
Big German veteran Sascha Winkler is in second place. Matt Barker the top Aussie after day one, in the teens?
Tomorrow is Accuracy, Endurance, and Trick Catch - with the latter due for the afternoon, except another rant from me on those new wind rules…

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Tricky conditions continued into day two, but at least the heat was down. Accuracy was first, in swirly and occasionally gusty winds. I flopped, but at least one of my rangs got Paul Craft 71/100, which was good for equal thirteenth of the world.
It was very much luck of the draw for some, though - those who threw later had near calm! Andrea Sgattoni won with 86, from Yasuhiro Togai (long the guy who led Japan’s throwing efforts) on 82 and André on 81. Manu was 80.
Into trick catch, and the wind stayed down long enough for Doubling not to be cancelled!!! I got a solid 70, 17th in the world. Little whizkid Logan Broadbent won with 93/100, ahead of Frido Frost on 90, and local Grant Perry tied with loud American Richard Bower on 88. André only scored 68, thereby teasing an upset.
But the big news out of Trick Catch was second-place Sascha Winkler suffering a nasty knee injury. I unfortunately had a front-row view of it: toe dug into the ground, and then his whole 100+kg body arc-ed back to the extent the back of his head hit the ground. Just heard ultrasound says no bone break; knee is dislocated, need to ascertain ligaments are good before it goes back into place. Günter Möller got a photo of the exact moment…
So going into the final event André had a lead of 12 ranking points over Manu, and 13.5 points over Richard Bower. And in godawful tricky winds he made 36 catches to hold off any challenge.
I think Grant came first in Endurance, and he might just have made Top Ten overall.
Tomorrow is Long Distance; I know nothing, I’ll give it a go.

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The good thrower is on the left!
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Belatedly: yes, Grant Perry of Perth came 10th, just pushing four-time World Champ Frido Frost of Germany into eleventh. He had to become new World Champ of Endurance to do it though!
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There were five other Aussies between him and me, at 42nd (of 74).
LONG DISTANCE:
The American organiser of our Long Distance comp has often noted that “Long Distance is the red-headed step child of the boomerang event family”. And I agree. I have done it once now, and that was enough.
We used the same large long field as we used for the main tournaments, and after a bit of fussing around early on the wind did the right thing and blew pretty much along the long axis. In Long Distance it’s easy to get a rang out a very long way; it’s a different challenge altogether to also get it back, as is required. My first comp throw (with a borrowed boomerang) was 54 metres out and more than that back (the returning boomerang has to cross a line 20 metres either side of where you throw from; no need to catch it). That’s kinda pathetic (I have “normal” rangs that do that) but it’s a very different throw, almost completely sidearm. The next throw was 85 metres with return, after which I “upgraded” to a different rang and found that while I could go out further I could not get it back… In the second round I managed to upgrade that to 95 metres, with a 100+ metre one returning just left of the line it had to cross.
That’s not unusual; there were a few heart-breaking returns that fell, literally, less than a metre short of that line.
That ended up with me at 11th of 20 (three thrower had no returns!). In first place was (shock horror) Manu Schütz, with 185 metres. He also placed one in a tree upon its return; we know where it is, we just haven’t got it out yet. They’re returning today with a longer rope and a weight at the end of it, which should get it down…
Big man Alessandro Benedetti of Italy made 141 metres. And Yank Stevie Kavanagh had just one successful throw all day: he made 128 metres on his second last throw.
Other Aussies throwing were Paul Craft (debut) and Nick Pritchard, both with 90 metres, while Simon Bollen (comp debut, though he has made his own long distance rangs; go figure) had to settle for 72 metres (I think). He had longer throws but couldn’t finesse the return.
So no Twinkies (100 metre throw required) for us!
Now why do I say I’m not doing it again? Because 1) it took most of the day for everyone to get 13 throws in and 2) I simply do not see the ■■■■■■ things when I’m out spotting distance. When I throw, or stand behind the thrower, I can follow the path; which is needed, as they can come back like banshees. This is legit dangerous; you take out chairs and other obstacles to hide behind if you lose sight or they are coming at you.
In the spotting positions (you line up people either side of the throwing corridor, use triangulation to determine where the furthest point was, and then use laser rangefinders to determine the distance) I reckon I independently spotted about 10% of the throws, worked out another 20% by watching other spotters, and totally missed 70%. This makes me a useless spotter and a likely victim for a bad throw. It appears most people could hear the rangs; being half-deaf, I could not.
Stuff that, I’m retired from Long Distance!

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Enjoyed the updates DJR... and well done re the event!

The tied winning teams: Samurai (Japan) and Boomergang (mixed “dream team” of 3 Swiss, 2 Italians, and 1 Spanish). Note that a national team (at least four of six from the same country) must win.
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Your top three individuals, from left: Richard Bower (USA, third), André (Brazil, first), Manu (Switzerland, second).
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Top three women individuals, from left: Yuuko Kondo (Japan, first), Betsylew Miale-Gix (USA, second), Marie Appriou (France, third). Hey, at least I beat Marie.
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Aussie teams, including one Indonesian on my team (similar role to Paul; the experience gained by those two should hopefully result in greater things in years to come). Simon Bollen (SA), Roger Perry (WA), Nick Pritchard (WA), Josh Smith (WA), David J Richardson (VIC), Gary Mitchell (WA), Paul Craft (QLD), Grant Perry (WA), Rob Croll (VIC), Matt Barker (WA), Yudhiana Ardisoma (Indonesia).
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I presume DJR is ranked one.

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