Written by Lorenz Gubler
The LD European Championships in Cologne / KÃ¶ln (Germany) took place on July 4, on the Monday after the regular European Championships, which were won by Fridolin Frost (D). As often encountered on these occasions, the LD event was regarded as something set aside and unworthy of proper recognition, contested only by a bunch of whackos. I (Lorenz) was pissed off, the event was not even mentioned on the official flyer.
I visited the field with the organizer on Sunday evening. Its size turned out to be massive and well fit for some really far throws. But then came the downer: the grass was not cut but hip high !Â Knowing that probably we would be loosing a couple of boomerangs, I was reluctant to announce these shortcomings to the LD crew. But we would have to see how things go on the day.
On Monday, as we were gathering on the field, I cringed when I saw the disappointed faces of the people. Not few announced that they were not going to use their best boomerangs today - a wise decision.
The throwers were bundled in three groups. 1 round of 6 throws was going to be contested, with 10 min warm-up for each group. I wanted the tournament to be over by 14-15 h, because there were some thunder- and hail storms announced.
Order of throwers was as random as it gets. Many of the alleged "far" throwers were in group 1. The wind was quite strong but - worst of all - very shifty and full of turbulences. The boom could easily dive or rise 10 m in a split second.
We decided to position spotters also way back of the base line, because the booms were going over 100 m back due to the strong wind. This turned out to be a good decision. All boomerangs could be found, even one of Manu's Voyagers that went into the forest (again !). The spotting discipline for crashed booms was excellent and accurate, finding booms in grass that high has to rely on the(multiple) intersection method.
Back to the tournament: Manuel was in the unusual position having to go home without a valid throw. Kari Korhonen was leading after the first group's round with 114 m. Fred Declercq (CH), an experienced regular thrower, was very receptive of advice and took the lead with 116 m. But the third group was still to throw. Since the first group contested, the wind had become a bit more friendly, i.e. lower and with less turbulence. The first thrower was Andrea Cocco, a 14 year old from Switzerland, and on his very first throw he had a majestic 123 m flight. This remained the farthest distance, so we are proud to have the youngest European Champion of all times !! Andrea also collected the Junior trophy :-)
1.Â Andrea Cocco (CH)Â Â Â 123
2.Â Fred Declercq (CH)Â Â Â 116
3.Â Kari Korhonen (SF)Â Â Â 114
4.Â Lorenz Gubler (CH)Â Â Â 104
5.Â RenÃ© Vonlanthen (CH)Â Â 100
6.Â Stanislaus Plewinski (D)98
7.Â Ruedi Salzmann (CH)Â Â Â 90
8.Â Rainer Graebenteich (D) 82
9.Â Antonio Scarpellino (I) 82
10. Renato Banalotti (I)Â Â 79
11. Georgi Dimantchev (BUL) 74
12. Joachim Beers (DK)Â Â Â 55
13. Manuel SchÃ¼tz (CH)Â Â Â Â 0
13. Giuseppe Belfi (I)Â Â Â Â 0
13. GÃ¼nter MÃ¶ller (D)Â Â Â Â 0
13. Mirko Forti (I)Â Â Â Â Â 0
13. Jacopo Belfi (I)Â Â Â Â Â 0
During the last round already, dark coulds began to gather, and 10 minutes after the last throw, the rain was coming down in torrents. A bit of luck at last !