UFO Major: Opole, Poland

Hi there,

The first news item from Europe will be from me and hopefully lots of news items from different European countries & frisbee players will follow.

I traveled to Poland end of March to judge the Polish major in the city of Opole. From where we live it's about a 10 hour drive, pretty far for Europeans. I was there last year as well, but we crossed the German/Polish border a little more north than last year. And we had 100 kilometers of extremely bad highway... Normally you can drive about 120 kilometers an hour, but on this road 50 was really max. It was very funny though, seeing huge trucks driving like they were on an ocean with big waves.

When we came in Opole, the very friendly people of the Polish club welcomed us with a huge beer and a bbq. The weather forecast for the two days of the major were not too good, though... After the bbq we went to the hotel, located in a former factory. The road to the hotel is very small (see pictures). All one big adventure. And the language... I can speak lots of languages, but this is just so hard. I learned a few words: gratulazia (congratulations) and piwo (beer). The rest I can't remember. Really difficult language.

Saturday the long shot competition was played. With a lot of male and female players! And also two little juniors, one 7 year old girl and an 8 year old girl. The females played first, but throwing was very difficult in the storm. The wind was heavy and lots of rain. The 7 year old Amy from Holland was still in the match after the third round. She threw the frisbee over the 30 meter line, but unfortunately her dog did not catch it. Three Polish girls won the longshot competition. They all have great long distance techniques and some of the ladies can easily throw over 60 meters.

The longshot men was also a Polish party. A few Dutch and Swiss competed in the longshot, but they really had troubles with the very windy conditions. The border collie who won in the women longshot also won with his male owner in the men longshot.

We visited Opole, watched the city, did some shopping and went to a local, nice Polish restaurant. A couple of Dutch people already ordered their food, had no idea what they ordered and what they would get, so the group I was with ran to their table to check their food. And then... we just asked the very nice cook to make his very best menu. So he did. Great food.

The next morning we woke up with... snow. Everything was white, it was below zero Celsius. Cold... The competition started early, but the problem was the lines. The white lines in the white snow, hahaha. But the snow was gone in time. The whole day we had sunshine, rain, hale, snow, heavy winds. The competition was nice, I've seen really cool shows and very fast border collies. There are a lot of young, very good frisbee players in Poland. Great to see.

At the award ceremony the Polish club gave special attention to the juniors. Two really cool junior girls (7 & 8 years) competed with their dogs. And they went home with huge awards and a medal.

Though it was cold, rainy, windy, etc. the Polish made us feel very welcome and we had a great time. Thanks again!

Karen Mulders

- Karen Mulders