by Joan (Ranger Danger)
Once upon a time, not too long ago, Rangers heard myths and rumours of another South African ultimate team. A team from far far away who had amazing handlers, great spirit, a blatant disregard for peer pressure, a love for grown up drinks and a disinterest in over-competitiveness.
Rangers were intrigued and excited when an opportunity arose to join forces with these vagabonds for Mixed Nationals 2017. Could it work out? Would they understand and accept us? We had to take the chance. We had to make friends with this team, with these Salusas.
And so we found our soul mates in a bunch of bonkers Capetonians. For one magical weekend we played ultimate, we giggled, we scored, we hucked, we won, we high fived, we sweated and toiled under the bright Natal sun, we got lost in the wet Natal mist. When we did our organised cheers birds started singing, a thousand butterflies took flight and little rodents started cleaning houses. We were alive.
Then nationals ended and we went our separate ways.
But we’ll never forget you Salusa. We’ll cheer(s) with you any day xxx
All roads lead to Nationals
Rangers took advantage of the public holiday to adventure around the Berg. Some joined up with Ultitudes for a detour via Clarens on two wheels. Gauteng ultimate biker gang. Others hiked up to a cave and Bear Grylls-ed it. Sunsets and sunrises in mountains are always worth it and the central Berg has the prettiest tree lanes in SA.
Camping at Nationals
Rangers set up camp on the furthest corner of the campsite, which turned out to be in the parking lot, but that’s alright because we got all the good morning hugs. We were safely hidden from the Ultitude camp by a tiny mountain and had our a spy installed on the other side. Souties were disappointed by the boertjies not ‘trek-ing a proper laer’ but we redeemed ourselves with the best braaibroodjies ever. Soon the gazebo was set up and our most prized possession, Arno’s car freezer full of cold beers, was connected to solar panels (very fancy). We were ready for anything/everything.
Ultimate at Nationals
I’m bad at remembering game details but I do remember that: Gale Force sang us the prettiest song. Ultitude took us to universal point. Again. Witsies were courageous. Chilli wasn’t chilled. Bunnies were hardcore. Love Lions had heart. We had fun, ultimate players are cool.
Salusa-style, but the abbreviated PG version. Some sections loosely quoted from Jay’s (& Arno’s) R-rated version.
Alex: Biker gang participant. He woke up at nationals and had overnight became a handling machine. Bitten by a radioactive ‘Berg door handle? *Insert more puns here.
Arno: He is so fast that it is near impossible to throw a disc in front of him . Also, “owner of the sickest Afro and beard combination in SA Ultimate”.
Baden: Baden doesn’t run, he just flies horizontally over the field D-ing everything. If you look closely you can see him winking as he Ds you.
Bernard: “Rumour has it Bernard is actually Dom’s father but that’s not possible cos he’s way too funny.” Bernard rocked. Bernard for tournament MVP.
Brad: Brad was there, Brad was awesome. Brad.
Catherine: “Rumour has it that Cath is Baden’s better half, but she had to look after the mini Badens and could not play.”
Dom: Dom hustles hard. She has a hustler cap, a hustler attitude and she shreds the midfield like wildfire. Dom should hurry up & move to Jozi.
Jay: Jay is an instigator. Jay threw a hammer. Jay owned a Guts team. Jay relocated flags. Someone should teach Jay D&D.
Joan: I was also there. I don’t know what to write in my own bio. Isn’t this whole thing my bio?
Lisa: Lisa has high standards, she only plays ultimate at nationals and then rocks it. She has cows and fresh cow milk. Jealous yet?
Lionel: “Lionel played too many points on day one so he left early … Lionel once played two points in a row and his skin is actually so tough it cuts holes in his clothing.” Lionel is a ledgend.
Nick: He frowned at organised cheering and at his own backhand. He schooled us on metal music and cutting. Nick eats green-listed steak for dinner, no sides. Also, Hell Hammer \m/
Ross: He was a Frigate bird in a previous life. Now he prefers chasing birds to chasing discs & drinking beer. But he has the bird jokes that make up for it.
Sam: Every team needs a Sam. But only one. She is a force of nature on and off field. And apparently the oldest female player at Nats. May we all grow up to be like Sam.
Sizwe: He hid Ross’s birding binoculars. He also has the meanest, most surprising air bounces ever with hucks and swings for days. #faveWildDog
SooNay: It was her birthday weekend and she insisted on Zoerdoef for breakfast. SooNay tackled a waterfall. SooNay tackled the ground. SooNay doesn’t take shit.
Steve: Steve has been called “the Yoda of ultimate” and now we understand why. Also, landshark.
Stu: “Stu got shot in the ankle by a sniper on day two …so he worked on his heckling. Get better soon Stu.”
Taryn: Every team needs a Taryn. Maybe even two. Oh em gee. She has all the good vibes and mad disc skills. That Taryn.
*Donkeys, Lions River & Karkloof: Nationals 2017 was well organised and in a beautiful part of the country. Thank you for having us and please host more tournaments!