The Weston Whirlwinds have been participating in North
American Flyball Association flyball tournaments since 2000.
We currently have 17 dogs at various levels of competition and
training. The mission of the Weston Whirlwinds Flyball Team
is above all to have fun with our canine companions while
training to be the best we can be and exhibiting good
Regular Team Best Time: 17.238 seconds, October 2013 (Gunnar, Mattingly, Finn and Krave, jumping 8 inches).
Multibreed Team Best Time: 18.479 seconds, November 2012 (Mattingly, Eika, Addie, and Zak, jumping 9 inches).
Flyball is a relay race for teams of dogs in which each of the four dogs on a team must run down a 51 foot course, jump four hurdles, trigger a "box" which releases a tennis ball, and return back over the hurdles with the ball. Each dog must run in turn and may not cross the start line before the previous dog has returned.
Races occur between pairs of teams running on parallel courses and are electronically timed; sometimes races are decided by as little as one thousandth of a second.
A fast-paced sport open to dogs of all sizes and breeds, Flyball is unique among dog sports in that it is truly a team sport - all the dogs on the team as well as their handlers must work together in order for the team to be successful.
Flyball at the Fair 2014
Weston Whirwinds made a sweep of second place at the 2014
Flyball at the Fair tournament, May 10-11 at the Franklin
County Fairgrounds in Greenfield, MA, with Lightning, Hurricanes,
and Thunder placing 2nd in Regular 1, Multi 1, and Open 2.
In a tournament that promised to be much more chaotic than
it turned out to be, the dogs and people all rolled with
the punches to end up meeting or beating their seeding
in two out of the three divisions they raced in.
We co-hosted this tournament with Ruff Enuff, and we can't express enough how impressed we were with the way they kept things moving throughout. We can't remember the last time setting up or tearing down a tournament has been so easy, and the placement prizes they provided were wonderful.
Even the weather (mostly) cooperated. After a foggy and drizzly start on Friday evening and Saturday morning, the skies cleared and the thunderstorms missed us, leading to a Saturday evening that was a delight to everyone camping at the fairgrounds, and to an absolutely gorgeous day on Sunday. It was nice to experience some warm weather racing for a change - it's been a long time coming.
We owe huge thanks to everyone who helped keep the tournament running as smoothly as it did - all the Ruff Enuff crew, of course, but also to Lorraine who was able to come to the tournament and split the judging duties with Cindy. We also owe thanks to everyone who helped with box judging and line judging, especially when the two hosting teams were running against each other. Kudos and thanks especially to Jess from Ruff Enuff for spending so much time manning the scorer's table when the rest of us were busy running dogs.
Special thanks to Kristen, who came on Saturday to give her dog Patches a taste of what a tournament is all about and ended up boxloading for us for a few races. We really appreciate your help, and we hope we didn't scare you away!
Also thanks to Dave from Canine Mutiny for running Bella.
Remi - FGDCh-30k
Henna - FDCh, and she ran 8 races in start
Special Note: Jeter's Retirement
This was Jeter's final tournament. After more than 10 years in the lanes, Jeter has made it clear over the past few months that it's time for him to stop racing. And so we wish a fond farewell to "Iron Dog" Jeter - you have been a calm presence on this team for so long; you have been so patient and so forgiving of the stumblings and transgressions of countless green dogs and junior handlers. It will be strange not to have you running with us.
Pictures of the tournament can be seen here.
A video of some of Jeter's last runs can be seen here.
Spring Wing Ding 2014
Weston Whirlwinds Lightning placed 5th in Regular 2 at the
Buffalo Wings annual Spring Wing Ding tournament, May 3-4 at the
Kenan Center in Lockport, NY. The team of Mattingly, Addie, Remi,
and Torre ran well but were totally outclassed by the competition.
The Kenan Center is a great venue, with plenty of room to spread out both inside and out. Having the lunch vendor on site again this year was a special treat, and the pre-orders were a great idea. We hope this tradition can continue! It would have been nice if the weather were a little warmer, but it was warm enough to crate outdoors so the dogs were able to rest between races. At least it didn't snow!
Our team owes special thanks to the crew from Howl, who let Henna run with them on their open team. We really appreciate it (and as always it's fun to watch Gail bowl her dogs down the lane).
Special thanks also to Kevin and Piper from Buffalo Wings for running Mattingly and Torre, and to Chris from Howl for boxloading for us. We came to the tournament with only three people so we couldn't have done it without you.
Pictures of the tournament can be seen here.
Spring Fling 2014
Weston Whirlwinds Lightning took 3rd in Regular 1 while
the Hurricanes (Multi 2) and Thunder (Regular 3) both took
1st place in their divisions at the 13th annual Spring Fling
tournament, April 12-13 at the Dover Ice Arena in Dover, NH.
There were plenty of high notes from this tournament, the most notable being our own Cindy "Iron Judge" Henderson who took over sole Head Judge responsibilities when Lorraine had a family emergency and couldn't attend. Cindy, we work with you every week, and we know you had it in you but we still don't know how you do it.
With Cindy judging full time, things got a little interesting in the dogs department. Torre, being the momma's girl she is, wouldn't run properly even though Angelica and Hunter did their best to get her going - she managed a few runs but not anything consistent. Of course we can't blame her - most of our dogs don't run very well if at all for other handlers, and when momma is standing right there and won't even say hello it can be very upsetting. But the team as always was flexible, with Zak pulling almost double duty (way to go Zak! you really saved the day) and Sophie also got in on the act for enough runs to get into the record books. Truly a great team accomplishment.
The weather for the weekend was a mixed bag - gloriously warm and sunny on Saturday, cold and wet on Sunday - but that's to be expected at this time of year. In any case it didn't snow, and it was nice to sit outside in the sunshine during lunch on Saturday.
The team owes huge vote of thanks to Dave Dubois from Canine Mutiny for running Mattingly and to Hunter from Ruff Enuff for running Torre. Also we'd like to thank Jeannie and Rachel from NASDOG for helping us with Henna during warmups. We couldn't have done it without you guys!
We also had several Junior Handlers helping us out - Peyton ran Sophie, and Keely and Maggie helped with ball shagging, with Keely being very good about bringing the balls down to the box after the races. We really appreciate your help!
Sophie: First Points
Henna: FD, FDX
Pictures of the tournament can be seen here.
Thawin' Paws 2014
Weston Whirwinds Lightning placed 4th in Regular 1 and
the Hurricanes placed 4th in Multi 1 at the 2014 Thawin' Paws
tournament, March 29-30 at
Boom Towne Canine Campus in Farmington, NY.
The paws may have been thawin' but the weather was not as the teams dealt with rain, sleet, and 5 inches of snow to compete in the first Region 13 Flyball tournament of the 2014 calendar year. It's been a long winter and it was nice to get out in the lanes and stretch a little.
We really like this venue, and the on-site food vendor was an extra special touch - nothing like a bowl of hot soup on a snowy day, especially when you don't have to go out in the snow to get it!
As is often the case we needed lots of help. We owe huge thanks to Kevin from Buffalo Wings for running Mattingly and to Joel, also from Buffalo Wings, for stepping in and box loading for one race when we mixed up our assignments. Also many thanks to everyone who helped us with pass calling and ball shagging - we really appreciate it!
Congratulations to Junior Handlers Sebastian (running Finn), Kylie (running Zak), and Piper from Buffalo Wings (running Torre). We saw some awfully good passes in there - keep up the good work!
And finally, a big congratulations to Bella who earned her Onyx this weekend, and to Henna who made her debut in the lanes (although for warmups, only). Henna also did Single Dog Racing on Friday night and ran a 4.9. We look forward to (more) big things from both of you in the future.
Pictures of the event can be seen here.
A video of the event can be seen here.
Santa Paws 2013
Weston Whirlwinds Lightning placed 1st in Regular 2 and
the Hurricanes placed 3rd in Multi 1 at the 2013
Santa Paws Tournament, December 7-8 at
Boom Towne Canine Campus in Farmington, NY. The
Hurricanes (Eika, Addie, Torre, and Remi) ran an almost
flawless tournament, scoring 25 points in all but one of
their heats. The Hurricanes (Gunnar, Mattingly, Bella, and
Zak) started out the tournament in fairly ragged fashion by
losing their first race, but then pulled it together to take
the rest of their races in commanding fashion.
Congratulations to Remi for earning his MBMX (Multibreed Master Excellent) title, and for running 4.9 seconds in Single Dog Racing on Friday evening.
As usual we owe many thanks to people from other teams, including Chris and Alyssa from Buffalo Wings who ran Mattingly and Zak, Joel from Buffalo Wings who boxloaded for the Hurricanes, and Piper, junior handler extraordinaire from Buffalo Wings, who ran Torre on Sunday. Thanks also to Keri from Buffalo Wings and Dave Walt from Rocket Relay for calling passes, and to Celeste (a.k.a Stacey's mom) for ball shagging. We couldn't have done it without you!
Pictures from the tournament can be seen here.
A video can be seen here.
2013 Flyball MAINEia
Weston Whirlwinds Lightning placed 3rd in Regular 1 at the
2013 Flyball MAINEia tournament, November 2-3 at the
Boothbay YMCA in Boothbay Harbor, ME. Even though the club
was only running one team, things were "not boring at all"
for the small contingent of Whirlwinds as team members were
kept busy helping other clubs who were in turn helping us -
mostly Canine Mutiny but also Ruff Enuff and we even got
some help from our friends on Prepare for Takeoff (Eika had
a total of 4 different handlers for the weekend, which may
be some sort of club record). Many thanks to all of you for
On the touristy side, some of the team stayed at a new (to us) hotel, the Tugboat Inn, which they highly recommend both for the rooms and for the spectacular views of the harbor.
2013 CanAm Classic
What a weekend! The Weston Whirlwinds traveled to the 2013
CanAm Classic tournament, October 18-20 at the Indianapolis
State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis, IN. This year the club
had three teams running, the most ever for us, and it was
great to have a big group there - some of us for the first
time - to enjoy the festivities.
First some THANKS:
- NAFA - thank you for putting on such an amazing
event. We can't believe how smoothly 7 rings ran. All 3
days ended much earlier than we anticipated. We loved
all the welcome gifts and awards. We are always amazed
at how the head table run by Sam, Dale and Karen runs so
smoothly and they keep up with the schedule and
paperwork for 7 rings. All of the board members worked
so hard to make this event such a success and we can't
thank them enough!
- Judges - All the judges did an amazing job of
keeping the racing moving and representing the sport in
such a positive and professional manner. NAFA does have
the best judges and we were honored to have 2 of them
representing Region 13, including our very own Cindy
Henderson. Congrats to Toby Emo and to Cindy for such
an amazing job judging and racing all weekend.
- Friends - we could not have raced without the
help of many friends. Buffalo Wings, Fast n Furious, and
Canine Mutiny in particular were a tremendous help to us
running dogs, boxloading, pass calling, and ball
shagging and just being there to cheer us on. We really
couldn't have done it without your help. It is this
aspect of Flyball that we love the most - the
sportsmanship and the friendship amongst all the teams that
are always willing to help each other out. THANK YOU
just isn't enough! We also had the pleasure of making
new friends during our basket exchange with the All
Rev'd Up team from Florida; you all outdid yourselves
with the amazing basket of custom made items - we loved
- Racing Teams - thank you to all the teams we raced
with this weekend in Regular, Multi and Open. We had such
a great time racing with all of you. The racing was so
close it was truly exciting and you helped push our dogs
to new levels - thank you all!
- 65,388 steps walked by Cindy judging and racing from Friday to Sunday - that's almost 30 miles!
- 5706 cumulative miles driven by our team from Massachusetts to Indiana.
- 1112 races completed over the course of the 3 days (and in record time).
- 17.238 - New Club Best time! The team consisted of Gunnar (Giant Schnauzer handled by Stacey Manley), Mattingly (Border Collie handled by Kevin Lucin), Finn (Boston Terrier handled by Angelica Parker), and Krave (Border Collie handled by Kerry Lallier) over 8 inches. 16 seconds isn't that far away!
- 12 Weston Whirlwinds dogs participating in this event (the most ever for our club!)
- 7 rings racing at one time (WOW - it was pretty amazing).
- 3 second place finishes by our teams (Saturday our Regular and Multi teams both took 2nd place in their divisions and on Sunday our Open team took 2nd place in their division).
- 2 first place finishes by our teams (Friday our Regular team took 1st place in their division and on Saturday our Open team took 1st place in their division).
- 2 titles earned by dogs on our team (Zak earned his FMX (10,000 points) and Torre earned her Flyball Dog Grand Champion 30,000 title).
CanAm 2013 by the Numbers
Pictures of the tournament can be seen here.
A video of the tournament can be seen here.