UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

Stahl was Bourne for it at Surrey Open

Surrey Open at The Bourne Club, Sunday 15th June

The UK Tour touched down at a brand new Racketlon venue this week, the Bourne Club in Farnham, where the 4th Surrey Open was played. There were full draws of 8 players across all Men’s categories A-C as well as the over 45s with the Ladies competing in two round-robin groups. Some gnarled, experienced faces of English Racketlon were in attendance: Norton, Griffiths (x3), Middleton and Stahl (to name a few) alongside a host of fresh faces from around the Surrey region.

 

 

Men’s A

First rounds saw Stahl take out Steeden including a long and at times brutal 21-19 squash set, Du Noyer had a competitive win against Leon Griffiths (who’s training hard for his attempt at the u16 title at this year’s World Champs) and there were other comfortable wins for Middleton and Harvey. The semi finals saw a long match between Middleton and Du Noyer, with Middleton just about able to hold off Du Noyer in a long final tennis set. This set up a final against Stahl who had got passed the tricky, ‘Volker Sach conquering’ Ed Harvey in the other semi. The Surrey Open final saw Middleton lose the first two sports to 13 and 11 but that’s a position he’s quite accustomed at coming back from as he has real pedigree in the final two sports. Some recent extra training has been put in by Stahl on the squash court however, which allowed him to control another very hard squash set and come out with a 21-17 victory to seal the victory.

Ladies

Jacqui Lipinski in her first ever Racketlon showed real prowess, with very strong badminton and squash and effective, points gathering Racketlon TT and tennis. Jacqui works at Surrey Sports Park – maybe the finest Racketlon venue in the world – so everything is set up for Jacqui to make real strides in the sport. And Jacqui already seems hooked so will hopefully become a regular on the UK circuit.

Men’s B

Tom Bailey cruised through to the Men’s B final where he produced an impressive +9 win over Duncan Marlow. This was Tom’s first ever Racketlon event and he has all the skills to make a real impact on the UK Tour – with Men’s A competition waiting for him...

Men’s C

Barrie Glen Keeley strolled through to the Men’s C title suggesting Men’s B, at least, should await him next time! And a huge congratulations to Luke Griffiths who at 11 years old (I think) surely becomes the youngest ever player to finish in the top 3 of a UK Men’s category?

Over 45’s

A very competitive vets category was won by Bruce Shepherd who goes from strength to strength, but a new force was discovered in Gary Hales – a fantastic squash player, who recorded a great 1 point victory over the experienced Graham Norton in round one before pushing Bruce all the way in the final.

The Bourne Club hosted a fantastic first event and huge thanks go to all the hard work that Bob and Alex have put in. Great food including a wonderful BBQ, fantastic prizes and a warm welcome, all the players were looked after perfectly...and with separate TT and badminton halls, great squash courts and plenty of outdoor tennis, the Bourne Club will hopefully become a key venue on the UK Tour.

And finally...at 12-10 down in the tennis, needing only 14 to win his 3rd/4th Men’s A play-off against his “nemesis” Ed Harvey, Du Noyer was looking good to finally improve his 0-4 record against Ed. 2 mins later at 17-10 down the significant crowd, who by now were tucking into the fantastic BBQ, could hear Du Noyer murmur to himself “please no, don’t you dare do a Lesser!”. No man can come back from the unique, Racketlon precipice that involves staring down into the dark, psychological abyss where you’re left thinking “I can’t possibly lose from here can I ?”. Hearing the tortured screams of once great men: Lesser, Mauroy and many others in his now fatally scrambled mind, Du Noyer only managed to win 1 more point, losing the tennis 21-11 and the match by 2 points.

“I want to put my head through the nearest window” Alex Du Noyer.

 

Racketlon : the cruellest sport