It’s been possible to fly to Scotland for over 60 years. So why did i find myself spending 18hrs driving to Perth and back over the weekend? It was to carry out the last request of Daniel Sockett, mark my words his days are numbered, that his beloved Rimar board be used in the Scottish Grand Prix of Crokinole.

Eager to please Terry Brown, the event organiser, and hopefully influence my place in the draw, I took the opportunity to include a Tracey or two as well. I needn’t have bothered. He remained inscrutable as he fairly seeded and drew the names for the round robins. Tracey boards are heavy, too heavy for so little return on my considerable effort in transporting them.

The Grand Prix took place in the Dewar Centre, Perth. I had no problem finding the crokinole room. I followed the shouts of “top croke” coming from up the stairs.

Imagine the broad Scottish accent and the deep booming voice of the most fervent crokinole fan I’ve had the pleasure to meet. I was disappointed that he wasn’t wearing a kilt and sporran and that he didn’t have ginger hair and a wild beard. It was in no small part down to Terry’s enthusiasm and friendliness that the room was filled with gamers playing crokinole for the first time.

I think there were very many new converts to “the greatest board game on earth” made that morning.

The actual tournament had brought in players from England, Wales, the Isle of Man and even Hungary. Add those to the local crokinistas, a friendly bunch of very good players, and you’ve got yourself a game.

We kicked off at two and the fun lasted well into the evening. How Terry manages to play and run a tournament is beyond me. But manage he did and a very successful event it was too.

Spoilt only by old fogeys like me playing so slowly that we ran over by two hours. By the time I made the final table i couldn’t see straight let alone shoot straight. Notice the subtle way I mentioned that I MADE MY FIRST FINAL. Pity I lost my nerve, all use of my flicking finger and, ultimately, the game.

The very well-deserved winner was my new friend from Hungary, Arpad Lonstak. Third place went to my fellow Crokinole Wales player, The Jack of Spades, Mark Thurling.

Thanks again Terry Brown for a great event. If next time you could move the venue to one adjacent to Edinburgh airport and do without my boards I would be incredibly grateful.

Everyone loved the Rimar Dan!

Article by: Steve Burrows