How has it been training over the winter, on wet? cold? sand for this one?
Northern California has given us a mix of cold and warm beach days. Definitely a fair number of overcast days, even one where it started raining on us just as we finished our workout. That being said, sometimes it is nice to have a cool day for a tough workout.
How geographically spread out is your team, and how has this affected training?
Our team is pretty spread out. We have a core group of west coasters, a core group of east coasters, and a few floaters in the middle. It generally means we are working out in smaller groups. We only got together one time as a full team (minus 1) at Lei Out. The distance has an impact on overall team reps; but it doesn’t affect individual reps. We also are fortunate enough to have players who have experience together from prior teams, which is a big chemistry boost.
Where does Beach Ultimate fit in relation to the grass based version in the US?
Beach isn’t as formalized as grass, and doesn’t get the season long attention. 2015 will mark the first time we have had a national championship beach ultimate event. What we do have are widely attended single tournaments. Lei Out, for example, had 276 teams this year. We also have Wildwood and sand blast for those from around the country.
With the introduction of the formalized beach championships, this is an exciting time for beach in the US. It is a great opportunity for USAU to develop beach into a great ultimate program, drawing from their experience in grass and internationals organizations.
Is it tough / viable / practical to recruit players from the US pro league for example, or just from top teams in general?
USAU did a great job of broadcasting the beach championship opportunities. That led to a lot of extremely qualified applicants for only a handful of spots.
You guys did well in 2011, how does that affect preparation for 2015?
We only have 3 returners from 2011, so this will be a new experience for most of the team. We were fortunate enough to do well in 2011, but none of that carries over into 2015. It gives us an idea just how competitive the field is, and the challenges ahead of us, but in the end this is a new team that will need to rise to that challenge.
What are you hoping to achieve at WCBU?
We want to represent our country well and play to the best of our ability. We hope to have a high level of spirit for every game, that both our opponents and ourselves enjoy every game we play, and that we make some new friends.
Predictions for your category?
Our prediction is that the mixed division will be the most improved division compared to 2011. We expect a high level of play throughout the week, and a lot of down to the wire finishes.