Calgarian Rob McLeod won the Self Caught Flight World Championship during the recent US Open Overall Flying Disc Championships in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
The US Open Overall Flying Disc Championships take place every two years and is comprised of seven events (just like a Heptathlon in track and field). Competitors are awarded points based on how they finish with medals being awarded for each event along with the overall champion for the competitor who has the highest points total at the completion of the championships.
The seven events are: Double Disc Court (DDC), Distance, Disc Golf, Self Caught Flight (SCF), Discathon, Freestyle and Accuracy.
Self-Caught Flight (SCF) includes two events with the intention of throwing the disc in a high boomerang flight allowing the thrower to then catch it — with one hand. In Maximum Time Aloft (MTA), a player aims to accumulate a maximum number of seconds between the throw and catch; in Throw, Run and Catch (TRC), the object is to accumulate a maximum number of meters between the throw and catch. To get good results, players must be adept at gauging the wind, “reading” the flight of a disc and employing good catching techniques. The SCF score is the combination of MTA * 5.5 + TRC.
McLeod won the SCF event with an MTA score of 12.15 seconds and a TRC score of 74 metres for a total SCF score of 140.825.
Rob dominated the Self Caught Flight event all week and after the prelims, he was ranked first by more than 70 metres – the largest margin ever. “I’ve been practicing SCF a lot and it’s easily my favourite event” said McLeod. “In the other events, I just missed making finals so to do well in SCF is validation and a sense of pride for myself and for my country.”
Rob was the only Canadian competing at the US Open and the World Overall last summer. Winning the World Championship in SCF last summer was such an achievement that Macleans Magazine decided to include him as one of the “18 Reasons It’s Great to be a Canadian” during their annual Canada Day Issue: http://www.macleans.ca/news/canada/were-no-1-18-reasons-why-its-great-to-be-canadian.
“I was able to find the wind direction during my practice throws which helped set me up to have a good throw during the qualifying rounds,” said Rob. “Since you only get 5 throws at a time, it’s important to not adjust too much and use those 5 throws to try and get the biggest time or the longest distance you can. While it’s important to get a catch, it’s also important to get a good time or distance too.”
Rob just missed making the Accuracy and Distance finals, finishing 1 throw off in Accuracy and 3 metres off in Distance. Based on his results in all 7 events, Rob finished 5th overall, only 31 points behind the winner, Chris Horn, from California.
It’s all about consistency, not just being good in a few events. Chris (the Overall winner) didn’t win any single event but he made the finals in 2 events and finished in the top 10 in the other 5 events.