It’s an exciting weekend coming up for us in this part of Ontario as well as in Europe.
A number of friends (Rahil, Marc, and others) are heading to Northern Flights in North Bay. We should get a decent look at what’s going on in Ontario Mixed Ultimate based upon weekend results.
Hilco is off to UK Tour II (where he’ll encounter an Australian team that’s on a European tour as part of their WUCC experience). More details on this when he returns.
A younger group of friends are attending training camp for the Canadian U23 team in Vancouver.
An Open and Women’s tournament featuring some of the best in the Central region the weekend promises to be exciting.
Taking first seed in the Open division (schedule) is Madison Club who finished 10th at UPA Finals in 2009. Madcow (13th in 2009) have a split squad at 2nd and 4th seed. Third seed is a team named Pulley who would appear to be unknowns were it not for direction from TD Shawn McCarthy who informs me that they’re actually Machine from Chicago (14th in 2009).
Following the top four are: LouEVIL, Haymaker, Dire Wolf, and Maverick. I don’t know much about Dire Wolf at this time but they should be strong given their position. Haymaker (Chicago) usually fields a strong team and being in the same pool as Pulley (the “A” team) should provide for some fireworks in pool play. Maverick is looking to build upon a reasonable performance in Cazenovia and should have an interesting match against Grand Trunk. Maverick has finished ahead of GT at TUF and May Day; can GT finally get a win vs Maverick? Finally we come to LouEVIL and one of the reasons I attend No Surf.
LouEVIL is a strong team in the Central region that is destined for great things should they pickup one or two star players. The team is full of players that work together and don’t hog the limelight. They’re genuinely great guys that assisted me on the field when I dislocated my knee in Chicago and shared a heck of a number of dirty stories at No Surf last year. I get a chance to square off against them again and look forward to kicking back and enjoying the weekend alongside a great bunch of guys from Kentucky.
Of other significant note in the Open division is A5: Pittsburgh Iron Man Ultimate. I’m not quite sure who they are but if they’re the group I’m thinking off from Pittsburgh then others in group A better watch out. It’s quite likely they’re not but if I were in pool A I’d keep an eye on that team from the get go to ensure that a ringer hasn’t squeaked in undetected.
The Women’s division (schedule) has always lacked at No-Surf and that’s primarily due to the Central Region lacking many strong Women’s teams. Hopefully that’ll change but this year the ladies will be playing at fields far away from the Open teams (two field locations are typical of No-Surf and in the past there have been enough Women’s teams to warrant Open being split between the two locations while the Women play at the polo fields). As such I’ll be unable to provide coverage of the Women’s division.
If you’re a lady that plays on one of the Women’s teams and interested in writing about your experience then please contact me via the Contact Page.
Eighteen teams will duke it out this weekend in North Bay to determine seeding for Ontario Mixed Regionals (early July). It’s an important tournament as teams have only faced each other at TUF and GB which are both tryout and party tournaments respectively. Northern Flights is always the first good look at full strength teams each year.
Most of the regulars in the Ontario touring scene will be present: MONSTER, Mayhem, Tundra, BFC, Zen, BigFish, and SLAG (that’s right kids, you’re regulars now!). It’s not apparent who the North Bay team are (DiscGraceful in the past) but they’re a strong team that went to Nationals last year after a Universe point win over BigFish. Also in attendance will be tournament irregulars Sick Mitts who are a group of friends from Barrie that play primarily Open and Women’s but come together from time to time. Sick Mitts made the finals of “London Calling” last year where they lost to Spanish Love captained by Lee “Bacon” Gonzalez.
Making their Northern Flights debut as a team but not as players will be MuD who are amongst the teams expecting to head to Nationals in August. They’ll be looking to avenge their loss to MONSTER (who played as The Nobodies) at Gender Blender and continue to build experience for their rookie players ahead of Regionals.
Notably missing are Big Hammers who would have been amongst the teams to beat but they’re going to attempt to relax this weekend. Finally the top seed will likely be: The Dockers who have won the past two years and are composed of Toronto Open and Women’s players (GOAT and Lotus primarily).
Hope all y’all have a great weekend, I’m off to Cleveland!