This year (2023) the Nordic Agility Championship was held in Vantaa, Finland. Agility is recognised as a sport in Finland, and is is a popular sport with many venues, clubs and training facilities in Finland. Where the championship was held (Ojanko Areena) had 12 outdoor training fields, in addition to the ones indoors. I therefore had high expectations that this would be a well organised championship with Finland as the organiser.
Travelling to Finland
Me and Zen drove together with Esther and Dixie via Sweden, where we took the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. On the ferry we stayed in a cabin, where the dogs was also allowed, and it was great taking the afternoon departure eating a good dinner and a good night sleep, before waking up when we arrvied in Helsinki.
After travelling several times with Zen, I know he can handle any stress and comotion well. On the ferry it was quite crowded when leaving the car deck going to the cabins, and sadly most people do not really see where they step. That is why I often use the “walk behind” command for Zen, so I can be in front and make sure he is not stepped on.
The “toilet spot” for the dogs on the boat was a bit disgusting. It was a box with gravel and a pole in the middle. Zen quickly did his business and got out of there, but most of the female dogs did not even want to get in the box and just peed on the deck instead.
When we arrived in Vantaa, we stayed at an AirBnB with Trine, Tonje and Monica, just a short drive from the arena, and with a beautiful park nearby. We arrived in good time, so both the dogs and humans could get some rest before everything began. We also did a normal competition held at the same venue as the championship the day before to get a feel of the surface and atmosphere.
No results and a detour on our way home
The championship gave no results for me and Zen. We had some great moments together, but no finals or results for us this time. I will be honest and say I was disappointed in my preformance, but that is also a confirmation that I care, and how ready I am to do better at the world championship in october.
Even though we got no results, it is a special feeling to run these championships and at these types of venues. Seeing your other teammates do some incredible runs and winning is pure magic! I am so incredibly proud of the Norwegian National team who kicked some serious butt with both 1. and 2. place in small with Kjersti & Agi and Elin & Clay, and also Esther and Dixie who started last in the finals as the leader!
I would have prefered to not had the “little” detour we had on the way home when my car broke down, and we had to spend an extra night in Finland. But luckily the car was fixed the next day, and we made it home in the end.
Now I am excited to continue working towards the world championship, and get ready for our next adventure together!