That Terry Brown, the one with the loud Scottish voice, the Top Crok of UK Crokinole, he really knows how to run a tournament.

“You’ll never get 64 players at a competition in Britain”, I said. “That’ll make it the biggest we’ve ever known. What are you going to do with them if you do get them?”

“It’s all sorted, 16 boards, 8 groups of 8 for the round robin, followed by 32 players in a knock out. It’ll be great!” said Terry.

“But what if this….?” says I, ” What if that? “

“It’ll be great” he reassures. He was correct.

This year i was working on Hutchdaddy’s Principle No2:
“The main goal when playing crokinole is to have fun”

The Night Before

With that in mind the fun started in The Old Swan Hotel the night before the Airecon Harrogate, Crokinole Tournament.

Matt Prowse, the guy behind Howe Crokinole Boards, introduced us to his new product line up. This included a peculiar mini board aimed at getting kids into the game, a five hole for doubles fun and a traditional tournament board. No fancy veneers here, just basic materials elevated to a standard that exceeds any expectations. All priced at a level set so that no one will ever say “for that amount you might as well have bought a tracey”.

Fuzzy Vorster ( Isle of Man) and Arpad Longstad (Hungary) were pleased with the tournament board that gave them both a perfect game.

Also in attendance were the ever present crokinole teachers Helen and James Temby, Crokinole UK illuninati Ian Witt,  Ryan Anthony and Terry Brown. If I’ve left anyone out it’s because of the Staropramen. Thank god there was time for a lie in the next morning and my presence of mind in avoiding the Scotch Whisky chasers that Terry was insisting upon.

I would urge anyone who’s coming to tournaments to look us up the night before. Just avoid the Scotch.

The Tournament

The morning was set aside for casual play and introducing new players to the game. Highly successful as usual.

Terry got his 64 competitors for the tournament. A mixture of experienced and not so experienced players with one or two who had never played before. That said, even one of the inexperienced players was heard to say, “that was a Conrad, I’ve seen that on YouTube.”

For once proceedings went pretty much to schedule even without the use of a timer. The round robins went without a hitch or any surprises.

The tournament was sponsored by Meeplewood Boards. This was a new name to me. Steve Mellors (Mr Meeplewood) donated a board as a prize. This was won by Chris Griffin. Another prize board going back to Wales following in the footsteps of Joel Farley and Mark (Jack of Spades) Thurling.

The main theme of the knockout round was that Tom Curry was on form. The luck of the draw dictated the stage at which you got burned by Tom. I felt sorry for Mike Ray who managed to shoot a brilliant 91% of his open 20s in the quarterfinal as he in turn went down.

Joe Tegeltija managed 4 points in the semi final and I scraped together 6 points in the final, having won a close fought game against Chris Robinson (who played excellently all day) in my semi.

The real winners were the game in general and Terry Brown in particular who is quickly becoming Mr UK Crokinole.

Thank you all! See you next time!