by Brian and Joanne Matsumoto

Ballistic Racers Flyball Team had a banner weekend at Irvine this year. January 15th and 16th were much warmer than usual and turned out to be a stellar weekend for our team. We took a first place in our division with our team “Bullet Dogs” on Sunday. It was so exciting to take home first place knowing that all our hard work has been paying off. Our dogs Zippy, Molly, Blast, Cody, Meika, and Herbie had some of the best turns that our team has ever displayed. Zippy and Robin both had their best times ever at this tournament! Zippy broke into the 3’s with a 3.9 second run and Robin had a 4.7 second run on Saturday for his best time ever. Congratulations to Bullet Dogs on their First Place Win!

Even though first place is great, the most exciting racing of the day was with our team “Cyclones”. It was Domino and Slash’s first time racing. Domino’s best time of the day was a 5.3 second run and Slash also had an excellent time with a 5.6 second run. The highlight of the weekend racing was Cyclone’s win by 5 hundredths of a second. Amber and Geneva figured out that if they switched spots we could shorten the passes and win more races. Their hunch paid off  superbly, and  we tied for third place. In the tiebreaker we lost, but we know we did extremely well for having two new dogs on the team. Congratulations to Dennis, Pooky, Kirin, Slash, Indie, and Domino on their great performance.

Ever since the Winter Games we have been reminiscing about our racing that weekend. We also made a great discovery at the tournament and found a “light tree” for sale. We recently purchased a set and now have our own start lights to use at practice. As usual we had great food, great fun with our dogs, and got really tired! Now we are rested up and ready for another round of racing at Ramona in March, so we can…

GO BALLISTIC!


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by Brian and Joanne Matsumoto

Thanks to a lot of hard work, preparation, and Miyabi Japanese Steak House, the Ballistic Racers Christmas Party was once again a big success. Over thirty people attended and a Grand prize of a two night stay in Catalina was given away.

The chefs put on a great show while everyone dined on succulent steak, chicken, or seafood. We celebrated five birthdays of Alice, Phyllis, Shay, Su, and Karen. The evening slipped away as we all traded gifts, received gifts, and was topped off with a spectacular slide show from Kelly.

As we enjoyed the birthday cake we congratulated the grand prize winners, Shay and Kevin, who won the two night stay in Avalon. Since they are moving across country, have a new baby, and have not ever been to Catalina, this was the perfect gift.

It’s great to reminisce about how our team started just three years ago with five people and how it now numbers over twenty. We did not imagine that in three years we would have such a large team, so many dogs, and such a huge Christmas Dinner. Flyball is a big part of our lives, and we intend to make it as enjoyable as possible. All of our team members live for our dogs, enjoy the comradary, and try to do our best as we have fun in Flyball Racing.

Have a Merry Christmas, and a
Happy New Year,

Brian, Joanne, Minnie, Vegas, and Zippy

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Ballistic Racers recently had the pleasure of being interviewed by the Union Tribune.  A big hank you to the Union Tribune for taking the time to learn more about us, and the fantastic sport of flyball!

Read Union Tribune Article

Everyone learned something at the Saturday Seminar in October!

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Molly at the seminar.


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By Brian Matsumoto, Ballistic Racers Team Captain

Often people ask me, “What is so fun about flyball?” I give them many reasons for the enjoyment we get from flyball. When watching this game, one can’t help but notice that all the dogs are having a great time. They are not quiet, but are instead enthusiastically barking their heads off as if to say, “Look, it’s my turn!”

Flyball is definitely a sport for the dogs. Handlers are important too, but remember once you send your dog, he is running and jumping by himself on his way to catching a ball from a machine that is at least fifty-one feet away from him, and in most cases, even farther. Once your dog crosses the start line, he uses everything he has learned from practice to make the right choices as he races back to you. Your dog’s confidence will increase in many areas, not just flyball; it will transfer over to other dog sports such as agility (greater speed and drive) and to everyday life (calmer, with more self-assurance).

One of the best things about flyball is that some dogs can learn it in a matter of months. At this point, your dog is obviously still a beginner and won’t be the best dog on the team, but he will have enough skills to race at tournaments. As he competes with the team, he earns points toward his titles. Team members work together to learn and support each other, as earning points can only be done with everyone’s cooperation.

A tournament is quite an event, lasting an entire weekend. Our team member Linda calls it “flyball camping.” We do in fact, set up a camp consisting of several EZ Ups, which provide shade for our dogs. Dogs rest in crates (often with fans), and there are chairs and tables for people. Everyone brings a potluck dish to share, so we have a nice breakfast and a fantastic noontime barbecue. At the end of the day, winning teams usually receive dog toys for placing first, second or third, and points have been accrued towards that next title.

As you can see, flyball tournaments are a blast! Our dogs go home tired and relaxed after a weekend of non-stop fun. As team members, we get to eat like kings and spend time with our flyball family of friends. Whether we are teaching a new dog to jump over his first hurdle, competing in a nose to nose race, or enjoying a delicious barbecue, we are always having fun with our dogs!

Noted border collie flyball athlete Contact Point’s Rip Tide Zip (AKA “Zippy”) relaxes after exercising in the pool.

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