The Tourno in Mühlacker (Germany) is probably the most important Long Distance event in the European calender. It usually takes place mid-June, due to the grass cutting taking place around this time of year. This date around summer solstice allows us to throw late into the evening. A drawback of throwing LD in summer is that, often, conditions are not too good: the air seems sticky and producing less lift. Often, it is very calm and the baseline has to be moved again and again.
Nevertheless, from a social point of view, Mühlacker is always a highlight. Accommodation on the farm, a little remote, so music can be blasting for the whole night :-) We usually have a big fire and delicious stuff from the grill.
The participants are mostly LD cracks. I have the feeling that the segregation between the two communities, LD throwers and non LD throwers has become even more pronounced in the past few years.
Now let's review the tournament: the meeting point was at 09:00 at Mühlacker station, as usual, where the throwers were welcomed with bretzel and coffee. I had to remind myself not to eat too much, otherwise my throwing performance might have been affected.. The participants came from Germany, France and Switzerland. On the first day (Saturday), wind was generally low but noticable. The baseline had to be moved several times because of the shifting wind direction. There were two rounds that day with lunch in between (local meatballs und spring rolls, salad and lots of fruit). Unfortunately, there were quite a few zero scores to be deplored. The hot air in summer is not supportive of LD. There were some instances, however, with a nice breeze, and I was lucky enough to be throwing at that time. In this round, we had to throw from a slightly elevated position, and the booms partially flew over a wheat field. Also, there was a large tree nearby and, yes, we had to climb it. After the first day, Manu had something like 160 m.
The conditions were not really better on Sunday - on the contrary. Hints at wind most probably came from hot air bubbles taking off. A few times, the wind came from behind all of a sudden. After having moved the line, it had changed back.. The general wind direction was such that we had to throw in the direction where the field is smallest, "only" 170 m to the forest. This was a limitation for one person only, though, Manuel. One of his throws clearly went over the forest. The measured distance to he edge of the trees was 174 m. The distance of the boom was judged to be 6 m further, a undoubtedly conservative estimate, the final score for Manu being 180 m. A number of throws in the 120 m and 130 m range were thrown too by the other contestants. In the end, there were two new personal bests: 107 m by Hagen Knodel (Germany), 85 m by Alfred Jeger (Swiss) and 51 m by Paul Vogel (born: 1993) on his first tournament.
Again, the organizer Uwe Kitzberger did a fantastic job and looked well after his guests. We'll be back for more ! He is planning to organize a one-day tournament in October, possibly with some better conditions for LD.->Results