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Hot sun, cold water, great Ultimate: OTTAWA’S 2011 STELLAR CUC BY KAREN MONAGHAN


For its 25th anniversary, the Canadian


Ultimate Championships came back to the city where it all began: Ottawa. Since 1987 when ten teams gathered for that first championship, Ultimate has grown from a small but passionate community of players into a mainstream sport, and CUC has grown up too. This year, sixty-eight Ultimate teams totaling 1525 players participated in CUC – the most players ever at CUC. From the feedback that organizers have received so far, it may also have been the best CUC ever. The CUC 2011 organizing commit-


tee set out to put on a tournament that players would feel was “one of the best - if not the best - Ultimate tournament they have attended.” Tournament di- rector Stuart Ginn says that comments heard during the tournament and of- ficial feedback received afterwards show that his team met this goal. From near perfect weather to an endless supply of cold water and ice at every field, CUC 2011 went off almost without a hitch. From August 11th to 14th the tourna- ment organizing committee oversaw 304 games. The Women’s, Open, and Mixed finals were held at Carleton Uni- versity’s Keith Harris Stadium (FIFA Stan- dard artificial turf) on Sunday while all other games took place at Ultimate Park (UPI), the world’s largest Ultimate facil- ity. UPI features 19 grass fields that were lined and in excellent condition for the tournament. Possibly the best thing about holding CUC at UPI was that all fields are within steps of each other and disc central so when teams weren’t playing, they could easily watch other games and catch up with other players and friends from across the country. For Ginn, the highlight of the tourna- ment came on the morning of Thursday, August 11. As the first games got under- way, he looked out across the fields and


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saw two years of hard work coming to- gether exactly as expected. Of course the tournament organizing committee had all the basic elements in place - fields, sched- ule, shuttles, disc central - but they had also gone above and beyond to make this the best tournament it could possibly be. Players and spectators enjoyed custom- made, weatherproof scoreboards with


With all this activity, the buzz around CUC 2011 was huge and it helped to draw in a larger than expected number of spec- tators. For the final games on Sunday, Keith Harris Stadium’s bleachers as well as a hill on the opposite side of the field were packed with approximately 3500 cheer- ing fans. Round robin games as well as the Juniors and Masters finals at UPI drew in about 1000 spectators. This is over 5 times what tournament organizers anticipated. In addition to the spectators at


the games, thousands more people watched the Women’s, Open, and Mixed finals broadcast live on Rog- ers TV and on the Internet (games are still available for viewing online at www.rogerstv.com/cuc2011). The live broadcast even meant that players on their way home could catch some finals action. Jill Kowalchuk, a player with Wild Rose (Calgary), commented, “Rogers filming the final was AWE- SOME! I had to leave during the rain for the airport and was pleasantly sur- prised to see the airport pub packed with Frisbee players huddled around the TVs watching TFP beat Odyssée in soft cap!” As at any CUC, the social aspect of CUC 2011 was almost as important as the tournament itself. The social


personalized name plates for each team; coolers of ice at every field with zip lock bags to make emergency ice packs; and a beer tent that sold more than just beer. CUC 2011 also had a strong social media


presence. Live (unofficial) score updates were tweeted from each field all through- out the tournament so that fans, family, and friends could follow along wherever they were. Official scores were updated on the tournament website several times a day and comments and updates flowed on Facebook as well. Individuals and teams were also posting their own comments on Twitter using #CUC2011


highlight of the tournament was the party on Saturday evening at the National Gal- lery of Canada. This spectacular venue is located in the heart of downtown Ottawa and boasts magnificent views of the city and the Ottawa River. The party was really two parties in one. A DJ spun tunes in the gallery’s Great Hall while local band, The Ethics, played in the water court foyer. Al- though the venue was high class, the party still had a very laid back atmosphere with people showing up in all manner of dress from casual to evening gowns. Women’s division team PPF from Kitchener-Waterloo even arrived dressed as tooth fairies with


Ultimate Canada Magazine — www.canadianultimate.com


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