• The Scarborough Novella (2nd Weekend)

    Saturday Teams : 2 Weather : Sunny and Wet Crowns : 6 Tiaras : 3

    Sunday Teams : 1 Weather : Clear Crowns : 0 Tiaras : 0

    Chapter One - The Hour Of The Wolf

    The mist crept into the valley, filling it so completely it looked like someone had poured a large tub of extra white emulsion into it. As night settled in and the darkness descended across Olivers Mount the small group of DogStar's huddled under the gazebo, the fire pit casting orange shadows over the area. The sudden sweep of headlamp beams from a moving car caused them to look up, even the dogs sitting around the fire for warmth glanced over as the car came into view, bumping over the rough terrain.

    "What took you so long, we were starting to get worried" said Liz as Paul and Teresa climbed wearily out of the car.

    "Slight packing issue" Paul replied and chuckled looking over at Teresa. It had been a long journey.

    "Pull up a chair" Julia called over cheerfully when the dogs had been removed from the car and settled and motioned over to the marshmallows.

    As the fire started to dwindle the team slowly wandered off back to their tents and caravans, aware that a full day of racing lay ahead. The weather forecast looked fine, with just a couple of small showers predicted in the afternoon and a high of only 17 degrees. Perfect racing weather.

    Relaxing now, the dogs closed their eyes and dreamed of tennis balls and grass.

    Chapter Two - The Devils In The Detail

    As the sun started to creep it's way across the sky and burn off the slight dew that had settled on the ground the DogStar's slowly appeared, stretching, yawning and sorting out the dogs requirements. Clyde welcomed the morning by producing a poo the size of a small welsh mining village before turning to watch and Paul could swear he was grinning in a 'thats going to be a 2 bagger' way.

    Today was to be the first time the new DogStar Devils team had run together in competition with this particular lineup and the tension was palpable. As they made their way over to the ring each member was lost in their own thoughts and concerns. How would they do? What would the weather do? Would the ice cream man come today? For some it felt like their school exam where you turned the page and were faced with the question 'If Johnny has 3 apples and Peter has 2, calculate the mass of the sun'.

    It wasn't long before some of these questions were answered. Yes, the mass of the sun is 1.989 × 10^30 kg and No, the ice cream man wouldn't be coming. An exasperated sigh was released among the crowd as attention turned into the ring and the first race.

    The team entered the ring, Domino, Archie, Seve, Nahkohe, Angel and Penny all ready to take on all comers in this battle royal. As the whistle blew to sound the end of the warm up the dogs lined up, their owners focused on the line and the impending start. The lights counted down and the dogs ran recording a fastest time in the first race of 21.91 and winning the leg. Perplexed as to how slow Domino's starts were Teresa suddenly realised she was releasing him on light 3 instead of 2 and vowed not to make the same error.

    The sun started to shine with a ferocity it hadn't displayed earlier in the morning. Within what seemed like seconds the dogs were back in the ring again and this time recorded a best time of 21.43 and stretched the opposing team to 4 legs. At one point Domino ran up to Seve and barked in his face. Seve stood there impassive but knew the meaning - Domino had achieved his Graduate award.

    Race 3 came and went, with the DogStar's putting up a brave show, but ultimately losing in 4 legs. The team was still hovering around the 22 second mark but was showing a remarkable consistency. High hopes were expressed for the team as the morning session broke.

    Chapter Three - Making A Pointy

    With the morning session over for Devils, the Dark Knights took to the ring. Sparky, Melora, Arthur, Bedevere and Fidgit lined up ready for their turn to shine. In a seven team division the racing would be hard fought and exhausting, but at least it wasn't raining. It had cooled a little since Devils had left the ring and was ideal Whippet racing weather. They did however have the handicap of a stand in box loader rather than their regular, how much of difference this would make no-one knew.

    The first race went to 5 legs, but DogStar did win the final leg and left the ring with a win under their belts. The team beamed smiles at having the first race under their belts and the hopes were high for a good day.

    Andrew came over and stood briefly with the team. A DogStar made a comment about Flyball being 70% social and 30% racing. Andrews eyes narrowed slightly, his demeanour stiffening. "Flyball is 95% racing" he said. The point was made that in DogStar it's 10% Marshmallows as well.

    From race 2 onwards things did not go so well. Despite running race 2 to 5 legs Dark Knights lost the final one and the race. Race 3 was lost in 3 legs.

    Melora had recovered well from her pad scorch the previous weekend and Fidgit was running well when he gave Bedevere a rest so everyone was optimistic for the afternoon session.

    Chapter Four - Hard Rain

    Lunchtime came and went with the unusual respite at flyball of downtime due to a mandated lunchbreak as the lanes were moved. It wasn't long before the inevitable resumption of racing and Devils headed back to the ring. Bouyed by the mornings progress they strode into the ring realistic but confident that the team was coming together nicely. In the fourth race they were pushed to 5 legs, but managed to record their fastest time of the day at 20.92 and coming away with a win.

    The team moved into the final race of the day enthusiastic and managed to win the race in 3 legs with Penny running as well in this set of legs and performing admirably. It had been a hard days racing, but there had been some really good, close races involved and the dogs retired back to their temporary homes for a well deserved rest.

    As Dark Knights made their way to the ring the dogs looked skywards as large black clouds loomed on the horizon and the tell tale spotting of rain started. The temperature had dropped substantially and a cool breeze was now whisking across the open field.

    Lined up in the ring the heavens opened and the rain came down heavy, the water running off the marquee in sheets. Melora stopped at the line and turned to Bedevere. "Im not running in this" she said

    "Don't blame you, if you aren't then I'm not either so humpph" replied Bede much to the bewilderment of Keith who almost tripped over him.

    With shivering whippets the team lost the 4th and 5th races. The ground in front of the box had become a mud bath and several of the faster dogs slipped on the grass in front, fumbling the balls as their small feet struggled to gain purchase. Fidgit had stepped into the breach and put in some good runs in both lanes, Lesley beaming on with pride.

    With the rain still hammering down like marbles on a table the team weren't sorry when the 6th race was complete, and despite winning that one everyone was too cold and miserable to care as they trudged back to the cars, their shoes squelching, water running off their jackets into every conceivable nook and cranny.

    Despite their valiant efforts, Dark Knights mustered a 5th place, with Devils coming in 2nd in their division.

    As racing finished and people drifting away Julie and Keith departed in the Whippet Wagon, Teresa going off to a concert in Scarborough. The remaining flyballers huddled around the fire and feasted on the magnificent banquet cooked for them by Phil and Julia. Burgers, Hot Dogs, Salads, Potato Skins, Garlic Bread. The food was fantastic and was cooked to perfection. Toasted marshmallows were served up for desert.

    Leaving the others to finish the cocktails, Paul had to go and collect Teresa from the concert, little knowing that Rick Astley had decided to run on by 40 minutes. No, thought Paul, we won't be together forever Rick, and to be honest yes it did feel like you were never going to give the stage up. By the time they got back the DogStars had retreated for a well deserved nights sleep.

    Chapter Five - You'd Better Start Me Up

    Sunday arrived and with it the Starters competition. As Jenna, Alva, Penny, Fearn and our two guest dogs Sonic and Mist strolled into the ring they knew they faced a challenge. Jenna's initial runback turned into a game of cat and mouse as she was determined to use the entire time to play 'see how many times you can run back and forwards' much to the non-amuseent of her other team members.

    With assistance from everyone in the ring the dogs all managed to complete the runs, but lost the first race. Liz, standing in as team manager, pondered the running orders and using Quantum Mechanics and a scrap of paper sorted a fair running process where all dogs had equal runs.

    Unfortunately despite the other dogs behaving Jenna suddenly dropped her brain at the box. Turning repeatedly she looked in vain for the missing brain which had clearly fallen out of her bottom. "Whersit, whersit, whersit" she repeated while Paul on the box shouted "In your head, go!". Despite this, we managed to win the race overall and Jenna was given a brief timeout while she fitted her brain back in place.

    As morning drew in to afternoon the fortunes of the Super Six improved, each race became more consistent and each of the dogs shone. The stand in dogs made a real difference to the team and everyone contributed, even brainless Jenna thanks to some sterling footwork at the side lines. With one race to go Delinquents had won four of their five races.

    With the last race entering the ring the dogs gritted their teeth with steely determination. Jenna slotted her brain in place for the last time that day. The other team won the first leg, but by fantastic teamwork and crossovers Delinquents took the 2nd leg.

    Facing off across the lanes, the final leg started and each and every dog pulled it out of the bag, managing to pip the other team by a whisker much to their amazement.

    Confident of a 2nd place, the Delinquents almost dropped their cocktails when the results were announced. 1st place! It had been a hard day, fraught with near disasters and they had pulled it out of the bag.

    The End

    And to top it all off, a new section - the webmasters arbitary awards for anything he chooses :

    The award for patience in the arms of frustration goes to Liz for managing starters. Thanks!

    The award for hanging around with no dog while being uber helpful in the ring goes to Lesley. Thanks!

    The award for most matter of fact perfect starts goes to Louise with 5.

    The award for most stern look at the mention that flyball is 70% social goes to Andrew. Sorry!

    The award for best teamies in the whole country goes to my DogStar Team Mates. Thanks!


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