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The annual High Bisque tournament was run by the Croquet Academy at Southwick on 14/15 August. There was an exceptionally good entry of 30 players with handicaps ranging from 14-26. The weather was typical hot sunshine one minute, torrential rain the next! The players coped well with all the seasons in one day and just got on with playing!
The main event, the High Bisque Salver was closely contested. Block A was won by Robin Wootton from Sussex CC, and Block B by Charles Ostler from Hunstanton. Both men won all their block games. The final took place at the end of a very tiring day and both players were tense-Robin triumphing in the end! So our chairman Jonathan Isaacs was delighted to present him with the High Bisque Salver he also had a handicap reduction from 14 to 12. The standard of play was higher than last year in the main event with many games being pegged out. My thanks to Pat Jackson for refereeing the final.
We ran 2 supervised blocks this year due to the varying nature of handicaps. The main supervised event was monitored by Jonathan Isaacs and the final resulted in a close contest. David Westall from Chelmsford narrowly beating Janet Hoptroff from Sussex CC. David pegged out in the final and had his handicap reduced from 20 to 18. The other supervised group for very high bisquers and beginners was managed by Katharine Minchin who nursed the players through their games and explained the 4 ball break thoroughly. As ever, some players did not have the shots to cope with the demands of playing a game so that is something for them to work on!
We saw some very interesting and good play and it was pleasing to see many try to use their bisques affectively and set up and maintain the 4 ball break. We were delighted to welcome players from Compton for the 1st time, and parties from Hurlingham and Rottingdean.
The event would not be possible without the support of our loyal coaches and I thank wholeheartedly Jack Davies, Richard Jackson, Steve Lewendon, Alan Theobald, Clive Hayton, Katharine Minchen, Pat Jackson and Jonathan Isaacs for their help and encouragement. I spent most of my time refereeing and I now know that we need a reminder of the laws for everyone in the main event before we start next year! I must also thank Janet Hoptroff, the Academy Secretary, for her patience and efficient administration, and help over the 2 days. Thanks also to Robin Wootton for his hoop setting and the division of lawn 10 into 2 short courts.
We were well served as ever on the catering front by Sharon Theobald, and we remain grateful to all the volunteers who make the tournament possible.
We always take on board suggestions to improve the event, so watch this space for the High Bisque event next year!