After some long days play on challenging lawns during the Doubles event over the 2 previous days the first order of business before start of play on the first day was an alteration to the block format from best of 3's to best of 2's.
Two long and challenging days of block play at Surbiton, with the same lightning fast lawns with tight firm hoops that we had experienced for the previous 2 days during the doubles event supported this decision when there were multiple play-offs required to determine who would qualify from the block stages for the knock-outs. Surbiton put on a lovely BBQ for all the players and guests on Friday evening whilst the remaining block games provided the evening entertainment.
We trialled the Modified Grade Based Seeding methodology agreed after the event last year, and this seemed to work well for producing a fairer draw this year. All the players have been asked for their feedback on this to see if this should be used again for 2018.
The temperature picked up for the knock-out rounds, with a large number of players choosing to find a spot in the shade to watch the latter rounds of the knock-out in preference to playing! There were a lot of close matches in the final stages of the knock-out and the challenging conditions made for a great week of croquet.
Will Gee joined us on the Saturday and started croquet scores commentaries on the quarter finals and beyond. After a successful livestreaming at Ramsgate the previous weekend, Tobi Savage also brought his set-up along to live stream the final between JP Moberly and Reg Bamford (see https://youtu.be/EOobaD8GZ-E), in what I hope will be the start of live streaming for more of our major events. It was an excellent match to watch, with Reg winning the final game 7-5 to get his name back on the trophy.
Elsewhere, battling it out in the heat, Lionel Tibble won the Shield, and Martin French won the Plate.
Thanks to Stephen for managing, and the whole team at Surbiton for creating such a fantastic venue.