CGC Member represents the UK at Flyball World Cup

© Hana Leisser Photography

All of the CGC team are dog lovers and most have at least one pet dog. Our Bioinformatician, Ellen, is slightly different though as she has multiple dogs and competes in the sport of flyball outside of work. Ellen has recently competed at the Flyball Open World Cup in Germany where her team came 4th in the world!

Flyball is a dog sport in which two teams of dogs race against each other over four jumps, to a box that has a trigger loaded pedal that the dog hits to release a tennis ball, which they bring back over the four jumps before the next dog goes. The total length of the course is 51 foot, which each dog traverses twice (there and back). The current world record for four dogs is a crazy 14.07s; an average of around 3.5s per dog for that full distance. These dogs are FAST!

Ellen, along with her dog Kylo, as part of their team Cambridgeshire Flyball, were selected to represent Team GB last November. Since then, they have been working and training hard as Kylo has a very important role in the team as he is what is called the height dog, setting the jump height for the rest of the dogs.

There were 75 teams from 10 different countries around the world competing at the World Cup, all battling it out in a round-robin group stage on day 1 to win the chance to enter the Championship division on day 2. Cambridgeshire Canines won their group on Saturday with a fastest time of 14.92, seeding them 5th, out of 12, in the top division for Sunday. Day 2 is a gruelling double elimination format which saw the team win their first two races before meeting current world record holders, and defending world champions, Road Runners Beep Beep, in their third race. The team raced hard, winning one heat, but ultimately lost the last heat by just 0,01s… 14.66 vs 14.67, placing them into the losers bracket. Interestingly, Cambridgeshire were the only team in the whole event that took a leg off the amazing Road Runners team. Unfortunately they then lost their next race, and were knocked out of the event, but finishing an absolutely amazing 4TH IN THE WORLD!

We are super proud of Ellen for all her successes outside of the workplace and wish her all the best as her team looks towards the British and European Championships in the coming months.