Samir Patel won the Florida 'English Week' Tournament
Samir Patel won the A-Class singles at the National Croquet Centre, West Palm Beach with 11/14 wins. This event was played as an 'Eight' (twice all-play-all), as in the Presidents Cup, over four days. Game times were set at 2.5 hours, but only 5 of the 98 games went to time. Although he had to fend off the two American players, Stewart Jackson and Mike Jenner (10-wins each), Samir managed 6 triples over 14 games. The only other person to complete a triple in this event, despite the easy playing conditions, was Louis Nel from Canada.
As co-manager with Ian Plummer, Samir was interviewed by the Palm Beach Daily News and was "quoted" as saying:
Word has gotten around about the fabulous clubhouse and 12-lawn spread you have here," he said. "We have two large layouts in England, at Hurlingham and Cheltenham, but none that compares to this one.
Sounds just like him! The same accurate article also stated "Most of the visitors are from the London area. They include John Hobbs of Kent, Brian Smith of Devon, Jeanne Ackerman of Nottingham, and ..." Never trust news reports - even this one.
Jim Potter won the B-Class which was played as a block of nine, followed by a knock-out for the top four players. Peter Quinn of Hurlingham was the runner up. As with the A and C-Class these games had 2.5 hour time limits to accommodate the short daylight hours. The players were very co-operative in being required to be at the National Croquet Center for 8:30 in the morning - and this was supposed to be a holiday!
The major surprise of the tournament was a triple being achieved in the C-Class. Ken Shipley (Canada) achieved his first tournament triple against Tony Backhouse in their block game. Ken went on to defeat Jonathan Toye in the final of the knockout. Jonathan had been given this trip to Florida as a birthday present for a 'significant birthday'.
Mary Smith defeated Trevor Longman in the final of the D-Class. Players were given more civilised 3.5 hour time limits and played a block of six with a play-off for the final. What was very brave and commendable were that three players had chosen the Florida "English Week" tournament to be the FIRST tournament that they had entered! Trevor and Alma Longman, and Rosemary Bradshaw probably did not know what they were letting themselves in for. Rosemary's enthusiasm for croquet could not be sated - she played as many games as she could and practised in any odd moments.
Trevor credited himself with runner-up positions in the doubles (reported previously) and the D-class, but Alma also took home the magnificent Wexford Club Trophy. This was an elegant silver drinks mixer/shaker in the shape of a rooster presented by Harvey Geiger on behalf of the Wexford Croquet Club in South Carolina. The conditions for winning? "for the player who has purchased the fewest rounds of drinks - during the event". This highly desirable object was keenly contested for and it was only decided on a who-lost-to-whom basis in the final reckoning. Our thanks to Wexford for starting such an excellent tradition. You lose all your games, get bought drinks AND win a trophy!
1. Samir Patel
2. Stewart Jackson
1. Jim Potter
2. Peter Quinn
1. Ken Shipley
2. Jonathan Toye
1. Mary Smith
2. Trevor Longman
1. Mike Jenner
2. Stewart Jackson
1. Samir Patel & Gisa Wagner
2. Trevor Longman & Tina Therkauf