The mixed season is over once more, so we head into the dubiously-named WORE (Women’s and Open Ranking Event) season. It kicks off this weekend, as you all know, with Nottingham WindFarm. I’ll save you any more preamble and dive right into the preview of the Open division!
A warm welcome to Maya Israel as a ShowGame debutant and for giving us her view on the Women’s division in Nottingham.
This weekend, Nottingham Windfarm tournament will mark the launch of the new ranking events in the Women and Open divisions. It is due to be a particularly intriguing weekend for the Women’s division who will have five national teams present: GB u20s, u24s, Seniors and Masters as well as the Irish u24 team. Last year at this tournament, Iceni were victorious, followed by Reading 1 and Bristol Women’s Ultimate. The likelihood of a similar outcome is difficult to ascertain. GB Women will most likely take one of the top spots, with GB Masters pushing in close behind. However, it is difficult to predict how greatly the loss of club team players to GB will affect the top club teams’ performances. Yet one thing is for certain, the finishing table will be shaken up.
2019 is a new start for Ultimate in the UK, with a totally new tournament structure (farewell Tours, we hardly knew ye) and a new approach with Tier 1 and Tier 2 tournaments littering the calendar. This weekend sees the first of those tournaments, a Tier 1 event in Cardiff named… *checks notes* a welsh thing (ok, it’s Y Ddraig Goch which translates to An Old, Old Wooden Ship in English). There are some interesting seedings and there are some new teams to look at! Let’s dive in.
The votes are in and the 2018 European Young Players of the Year are SMOG’s Rachel Turton and Clapham’s Conrad Wilson. The pair both represented Great Britain at the World Under-24 Championships in Perth earlier this year – Rachel in the Mixed division and Conrad in the Men’s division – and represented their clubs at the World Ultimate Club Championships in Cincinnati.
Charlie Blair continues her previews of the upcoming Eurostars additions…
Thanks to Luci and Isa, Spain is the only nation to have more than one new player represented on Eurostars this year. This is a hugely significant achievement when you consider that the Spanish national teams do not sit with the usual European powerhouses such as Russia, France, Great Britain or Germany. Neither of these players headed out to Cincinatti for WUCC this year. However, this has allowed them the time to prioritise their training and more importantly, their on field connection for Eurostars having made a conscious effort to play together as much as possible this year since the roster was revealed.
Charlie Blair introduces us to another Eurostar…
The second of my interviews with the new players joining the Eurostars tour this year was with Latvia’s Lasma Kublicka. And oh my days, what a pleasure it was! Anyone who has the fortune to chat with Lasma will have a spring in their step for the rest of the day because this lady’s enthusiasm is utterly infectious. Huddled in an echoey corridor as she takes half an hour to slip away from her office desk, we discuss her Ultimate journey and utter shock at being selected for the Eurostars roster.
Even though I’ve yet to have a chat with the rest of the squad, I’m already doubtful I will find a member of the team more excited to be part of this summer’s tour than Lasma. She explains that she only made the application on the day of the deadline, with only five hours left to put together her case for a place on the team. It was all thanks to Estonian frisbee player and friend of 15 years, Kristjan Loorits, who messaged her on Facebook with the link telling her simply “if you’re interested then send your application and see what happens.” While Lasma may have been completely shocked at her making the roster, it seems all those around her were not. After seeing the success of the Russian national team last year at WCBU and also Alisa Tizik making the Eurostars team, many of her teammates where asking why she wasn’t there too.
As EYPOTY submissions come rolling in we want you all to be able to watch them, we will inform you via our Instagram @showgameulti of each one but you will always be able to watch every single one via a handy YouTube playlist which you can access and watch here: