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Top of The South News with Jenny Pomeroy

We seem a bit too far into the year to talk about Christmas, but several good parties with great attendances were held in TOTS region not to make mention of them.  Kaikoura had almost a full house at their annual prize giving and lunch; starting off with champagne and canapés at South Bay and moving on to lunch at Donegal House.

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Canape´s and champagne on the beach at South Beach: seems rather a splendid way to celebrate
the coming of Christmas.

Nelson and Richmond made a weekend of it, with Nelson’s on 9th December and Richmond’s the following day!  They aim to stagger them next year but there was a good number attending both.

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Enjoyment for all at Nelson's Christmas Party

Golden Bay held theirs at the Pohara Boat Club (great location!), also a combined prize giving and dinner.  An extra prize / thank you was given to Ann Blackie for having a 100% retention rate from her lessons.  Well done Ann and Rhoda, Liz, Harps, CJ and Penni: there’s no going back now!

Can any other club claim 100% Retention Rate from their Beginners’ lessons? We would love to hear about it.

No break for Gary

While many of us had a break from Bridge over Christmas and New Year, Garry Brunton, (Richmond and Nelson clubs), on holiday and visiting family in Queensland played six sessions at Redcliffe Bridge Club.  From all accounts he slotted into their bidding without too much difficulty, had a win in one session (though he hasn’t divulged how the other 5 went) and was very impressed with their shared rooms and office space.

Back to tournaments

We’ve had two tournaments so far this year.  The TOTS Open Teams 10A in Marlborough the last weekend of January was won by Mindy Wu, Patrick D’Arcy, Sandra Coleman and Graeme Norman.  In 5th place were Wayne Smith (Westport), Ed Roggeveen (Marlborough) and Jude Edmondson and Suzan Van Wijngaarden (Golden Bay).  Compared to the rest of the field, Jude and Suzan haven’t been playing that long. So it was great to see them and their team mates do so well. 

Last weekend was Westport’s 8B, for which Wayne Smith has done a write up.  Thanks Wayne:

Westport 8B All Grades

“This is the first Top of the South Pairs Tournament of the year and attracted a 36 pair field which is well up from previous years, helped by the addition of three pairs from re affiliated Greymouth. Pamela Dravitski and Sheila Beggs won the big prize, but there were other notable winners from different perpectives.

The big winners for Westport were Junior player Robyn Callaghan and Jo Gear finishing fourth overall after winning their morning session and runners-up in afternoon. We also had Westport Life Member Alice Lovell (now living in Richmond) and her partner Katherine Walter finish 3rd overall after an average 50% first round, but then a scorching 67.5%. Another interesting result was Tad Krogulec (Pahiatua/Westport) playing with Myra Sandall (Marlborough on holiday in Westport) getting bottom in the morning with 35% then top in the afternoon with 55.99%. They had never played together before, so what happens next time? Must have been a good lunch. Proves those sacrifice bids can work,Tad. The tournament was directed by the cool calm Bev Gay in trying conditions (it was hot).”

 Other News

Kaikoura has enthusiastic new members from last year, the youngest of whom is 13!  Picton have moved into the Port Marlborough Pavilion which gives them a lot more space. Richmond has installed a TV, great for teaching and easy to display results (there are many occasions when I would prefer my result not to be displayed on a 50” TV – a sheet of A4 is just fine!)  

Our Regional Bridge Mate Ray Curnow has been out and about. He has many initiatives for our region, one of which is a “champions league” for Intermediate and Junior players to encourage increased tournament participation by players in those grades.  He made it home from visiting Nelson, Richmond, Motueka and Golden Bay just before Cyclone Fehi hit.

 Which brings us on to the weather…….our region has been bashed about quite a bit of late. As a precaution there were a few cancelled bridge sessions. Golden Bay were cut off for several days as a result of slips on the Takaka Hill.  The Hill is now open at 7am and 5pm so journeys have to be planned (this hasn’t deterred their keen bridge players with several set to come to Nelson for the Teams tournament on 10 March).  Riwaka, near Motueka, was however extremely badly hit. Kaikoura once again had State Highway 1 shut for a period after Cyclone Gita and Westport bore the brunt of both Fehi and Gita’s fury.  Let's hope we are in for a calmer period of weather from now on in.



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