Raghu Iyer won the ARK
The ARK reverted to a later date - the last weekend before the club finals , and although not full the entry was back up to 24 . Paul Castell was the only negative handicap, possibly due to a clash with the Southerns.
The start was rather staggered because of local gridlock partly due to petrol queues, but everyone did turn up eventually and the last arrival had rung the club to say what was going on. Saturday started damp but the weather was sufficiently clement for meals to be taken outdoors. The courts were a good speed but few games finished quickly.
By the end of Saturday two games had produced 3/3 winners - Raghu Iyer (from Phyllis Court) and Charlie Martin - and the other two players on 2/2 (Nick Furse and Chris Barham) were pegged down with an hour still to go - a knock-on effect of the traffic delay.
It was unfortunate that last year's winner withdrew after 2 rounds because of being alerted to a family medical emergency but a reminder that things are still not quite normal.
On Sunday morning Raghu played well to beat Charlie with 5 bisques remaining in about 1 hour . So when Nick won the pegged-down game he and Raghu as the 2 unbeaten players played off immediately - Raghu won by 16 but used all his bisques this time. Another round was played after lunch but as Raghu had already beaten Guy and Charlie it was not going to affect the result. The automatic cut to 11 in Raghu's handicap was deemed sufficient.
The Surbiton catering was back to normal - thanks to the team - with hot lunches and teas being gratefully received.
One recent change is that a gadget for taking card payments is now available though we are just as happy with cash.