Saturday, April 18, 2009

Air Maggie!

This month's Clean Run (magazine devoted to agility) had an article about "bar suck." This is a theoretical phenomenon usually associated with border collies. The theory is that BCs shape their bodies much like an airplane wing when they jump, creating a vacuum under their body which will actually lift the jump and displace it, without touching it. Sounds incredible, but careful testing has shown that they do indeed produce enough of a vacuum to do this, and the article went on to suggest that handlers can put hair gel on the dog's underside to break up the air flow and disrupt the lift. I've never actually seen Maggie "suck" a bar, perhaps because she jumps WAY higher than is necessary. [note to my family engineers, what do you think? possible? or something for Mythbusters?]
I thought I would take a close look at a recent run to see if I could recognize any of the things the article talked about (I didn't). But I did notice something else... that Maggie takes off the ground an incredible distance from the jump. In fact, I reviewed the course map (which has a measurement grid) and estimate that it was about 16 to 18 feet from takeoff to landing on the jump after the 2nd tunnel. No wonder is seems like she's flying... she is!
But before you watch, one disclaimer... this is not a run to brag about. My bad cues just before the 2nd tunnel could easily have cost us a qualification, and certainly cost us at least a couple seconds. But, a Q is a Q, and even with the lost seconds, we still took 1st place!

1 comment:

  1. Awesome - we are so proud to be related to you, Maggie!