14 November 2012

F.A.S.T. is fun!

My two Vizslas and I competed in our first F.A.S.T. class in AKC agility this past weekend.  Unfortunately, the Cdn Kennel Club doesn't offer this class.  Frankly, I had never heard of FAST until this fall.  This class was introduced by the AKC in 2007 but since I have only started competing in agility this year (2012) after a long hiatus, I am not familiar with all the changes made in recent years. After watching people compete in F.A.S.T. at Wine Circuit in Romulus, NY in September,  it looked like a lot of fun and so I entered both Miska and Diva at trials in Tempe, AZ without knowing a thing about the rules!!!  

Here's a synopsis of what FAST is all about which I gleaned off the Internet.

F.A.S.T. (fifteen and send time) is a newer addition to AKC agility.  There are 15 obstacles - hence "fifteen" in the acronym. In this class, you make up your own course. Each obstacle is assigned points, based on the approach and the amount of time it would take to complete. In every F.A.S.T. class, there is a "bonus," which is a taped off area in which you must send your dog on to the obstacles inside the tape. Depending on the level that you're competing at, the distance may range from five to twenty feet. To qualify in any level of F.A.S.T., dog and handler teams must complete the bonus. Besides the bonus, though, teams are free to make up their own course, as long as they get enough points under the course time to qualify.  There is a time limit and points are deducted for each second you're on the course after the horn blows.  The maximum number of points you can earn in a course is 80 and there are minimums depending on what level you're competing at: Novice minimum 50 pts to Q; Open minimum 55pts; Excellent minimum 60 pts. 

Here was our course.  In the send area which is the area in the top R corner of the map which is cordoned off, I had to send the dog through the tunnel and then onto the teeter without stepping over the line which you can see on the map. We needed 50 points to qualify.

Somewhat to my surprise and delight, reliable, 'old' Miska did the send perfectly!!  The map below shows the route I took with her.  She doesn't work as well at a distance so that's why I said I was surprised that she did the send successfully.  The course time was 35 seconds and the horn blew while we were still on the course so we had to run like crazy to cross the finish line.  Miska accumulated a total of 72 points (the max is 80) but lost 6 due to being overtime.  Her final points after the time deduction was 66 points and we got a Q(ualifying score).  Yippee!! This was my first FAST Q ever!

I followed the same (or similar) course with Diva.  But when we reached the send section, she took the Frame instead of the tunnel. I tried 3 times - unsuccessfully - to get her into that darn tunnel. At that point the horn blew indicating we were out of time and so she didn't qualify.  And she was the one I was certain would succeed!  Just goes to show how wrong I can be about my dogs at times!

Nevertheless, we had a lot of fun doing this class and can't wait to do it again!


  1. I wasn't familiar with this class in agility. After reading your post, it sounds very interesting & lots of fun. Glad Miska did really well & better luck with Diva next time.

  2. This class is a TON of fun!

  3. Congratulations on the F.A.S.T. Q!!! We do primarily CPE, but dabble in AKC from time to time, and we really enjoy the F.A.S.T. class compared to other "Gamblers/Jackpot" games.

    ~The SugarHighK9s