California is finally getting some rain. The day started with clouds and a few brighter breaks but at about 11:30 the deluge started. Heavy rain, high winds, thunder, and lightning. The wind was so strong it made the rain sting your face.
The Open began with a triple and a blind - pick up one mark, run the blind, then pick up the other two. The first bird down is on the right thrown left to right behind a mound and onto a road or near it. The second bird down is slightly longer thrown right to left from a mound to behind the left edge of the mound. The left gunner retires and the right one stays out, plainly visible. There is only a small area behind the right hand gunner and the right edge of the mound from which the left gunner throws and retires. The flyer is off to the left thrown left to right and landing in some cover. The blind runs just behind the right hand gunner and over the right tip of the mound where the left gunner retires. It continues on across the road where the right bird lands, across a ditch, and into heavy cover. It is hard to judge the distance of the blind once the dog gets into the cover. The blind is planted by the left hand gunner so there is a blind planter's trail developing to the left side of the blind. After the first 10 dogs, the test was averaging about 7.5 minutes per dog even though most were not completing it.
Most of the dogs are picking up either the right hand or left hand mark while attempting the blind. The wind is shifting so one or the other of the marks can be winded after the dog gets deep of the road. Among the first 15 or so dogs who all ran when the conditions were favorable, there were about 4 dogs to get past the blind and one of those had to handle on the left hand mark. Some dogs got across the road and the ditch and almost to the blind, but could not be handled to it before coming back in and grabbing a mark. I left before the rain started to go see the Derby so I can only imagine what the wind and rain are doing to the test. I'll head back over there later today to see how it's going.