One Possible Good Reason To Not Necessarily Make The Trip Down To The Australia Day Beach Ultimate Championships Next Year (A Cautionary Tale Of Romance And Secretion)

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QUDA Australia Day Beach Ultimate Championships; Coolangatta Beach; 25/1/2014

“…you felt both confused and passively bullied and completely impatient about learning the first thing about what Ultimate Disc was all about for the time being, enough so that you decided to get the hell out of there…”

Report by Nicholas Turner

Let’s suppose that you arrived at the official-sounding Australia Day Beach Ultimate Championships at the beginning of the afternoon, hoping in the spirit of journalistic rigour to get a general feel for the whole event before the finals, having braved an hour or so on the rainy highway and trundled over the dunes and onto the ghostly quiet and overcast and rain-threatened Coolangatta beach, and, having just begun to survey the two rectangular and little witches-hat demarcated fields and the first tenuous strands of the nature and potential art of the game of ‘Ultimate’ or else ‘Ultimate Disc’, discovered that a young man in a camouflaged flat-brim cap and with earphones in his ears wanted to warm-up his arm by throwing his disc over your own head from roughly one metre behind you – not to mention repeatedly, and not to mention either that the beach was big enough for fifty football fields and further not to mention (let’s just abbreviate it; NTM) was virtually unoccupied, and NTM the uncomfortable glances you constantly threw his way to suggest that no matter how well acquainted he might have been with his disc and the particular shape of its trajectory through the air, you personally had no such knowledge and felt therefore and NTM quite reasonably nervous at the way it arced over your own head, narrowly missing you, and NTM the fact that you exaggeratedly dipped your knees and covered your head to demonstrate this ignorance to the disc’s arc and the quite reasonable nervousness it inoculated in you (and NTM further and finally the not inconsiderable speed of the disc) – in such a way that you felt both confused and passively bullied and completely impatient about learning the first thing about what Ultimate Disc was all about for the time being, enough so that you decided to get the hell out of there and come back solely for the final after all, and when you did finally return with time to spare it turned out that the final had already long-ago started, meaning that they were either playing on across-the-border time or the quote official unquote schedule had been defenestrated, as they say, and so by the time you’d got a good enough grasp of the game to register some thoughts on how it was being contested – indeed, it’s played on a rectangular field with in-goal areas like rugby or NFL, wherein scoring takes place, and; like netball, you catch the disc and may pivot on one foot while in possession of it and are restrained by time and can throw both backwards and forwards, and; uniquely the defending team is not obligated to catch or control the disc in the case of an intercept attempt because simply by interfering with the completion of a pass the defending team earns possession, and; the disc is a Frisbee – it was well into the second half, and you only had enough time to notice the blisteringly obvious, such as the fact that the ‘Dance Disco Robots’ team were dressed without much in the way of coordination and were also comparatively chilled and smiley and generally understated as competitors, especially since they’d been good enough to have made the final and NTM were now taking their opponents to town, big time, led by a long-limbed girl in all grey who you’d tentatively labelled ‘the ghost’ because she turned up at all parts of the field as if out of thin air and NTM had the apparent inability to drop the disc no matter how quickly or awkwardly it was thrown at her, and yet despite all that your interest remained pretty exclusively with their opponents, for mostly anthropological if not cultural reasons, a team of loud and largely hairless and ripple-fronted and good-looking American and/or Canadian lads plus a few very fit and good-looking and a-little-less loud Australian girls, all wearing red boardshorts or red one-piece bathers and nothing else, calling themselves ‘Babewatch’ (which turns out to be the name of a pornographic film from 1994; like the Ultimate team, a parody of the custard-soft-porn TV show) who with their on-or-near-to bare minimum of legally-dressed-for-public uniforms and natural physico-aesthetic gifts and out-of-place intensity and general smugness and then increasingly ugly implosion in the face of defeat, seemed like the collected atomisation of Val Kilmer’s character from Top Gun, and your pleasure in their receiving of a comprehensive ass whooping at the hands of the likeable Dance Disco Robots seemed unjournalistic but you didn’t much care about it, and to add something odd to the whole thing you noticed a guy in very un-beach all-black jeans and shirt and boots who’d emerged on the dune and taken an interest in the frolicking bodies and the collective ass-patting and American-accented inter-camp criticism from across the proverbial bow of Babewatch’s ever sinking ship, and who, between his aviators and dyed-black greased hair and for-five-minutes-now unlit roll-your-own cigarette and the jiggling of his key or whatever it was that he was playing with in his tight pocket, made you feel somehow vindicated in your mounting feeling about the state of things out there on the sand and also kind of icky, and whose ominous presence became your general fixation until the game was all of a sudden over, and the guy on the dune went on his way, and in the time it took you to get up and wipe the sand off your hind you’d managed to witness the awarding of both the ‘player of the match’ and the championship, the latter a bag of oranges and the reminder of some ‘dancing and drinking’ that were the post-tournament festivities, and the former a ritual in which the girl you’d earlier named ‘the ghost’ was encircled and cheered and near-forced to give mouth-to-mouth to one or two guys that nominated themselves for the role of washed-up bather, well, you may too have had the passing thought that if there were such a thing as a scale that ranked contests in order of the fineness of the veil by which they affected to being other than rituals of courtship and/or mating, that particular Ultimate Disc competition belonged at the end where beer-pong is, and you might well have felt like a long, afternoon swim with the dolphins of Coolangatta to think it all over and NTM kind of wash yourself of it.

Match Day Burger Score: N/A

MDB Service Atmosphere: N/A

MDB Price: N/A

Result: Dance Disco Robots 8, def Babewatch 2

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