UK Racketlon

Written by James Pope

A full & indepth report of the Hampshire Racketlon Open 

Hampshire Racketlon Open - Fleming Park Leisure Centre, Eastleigh - 9th November 2008

The Hampshire Racketlon Open, a one day singles event, attracted 39 entrants, 36 men in classes 'A', 'B', 'C' & Vets and 3 ladies. The Eastleigh venue provided 4 badminton courts, 2 table tennis tables on 2 squash courts, 2 further squash courts & 2 indoor tennis courts. The event attracted many new players and had a waiting list of 25. The leisure centre also had 4 additional outdoor tennis courts & 4 additional indoor badminton courts, so there may be scope for an additional 2009 summer tournament, with raised entry levels. The leisure centre also offered good catering & bar facilities, the latter doubling as the venue for the inaugural English Racketlon Association AGM. 

Men's class 'A' was a battle of the seasoned tour professionals, all looking to seize the Hampshire Open title. In the first round, the newest member of the men's 'A' club, Paul Mantovani (8th) lost out to Keith Lesser before the Tennis 21-5, 21-5, 22-24 (+30). Stuart Hobden narrowly ended the challenge of Ollie Close (7th) 21-8,7-21,13-21,21-7 (+5), whilst Simon Whale looked strong with 21-4,21-6,3-21,8-3 (+19) defeat of Andrew Hopwood (6th). Ray Jordan (5th), still vying for the year-end British No1 title, was defeated by Gareth Shaw 3-21,21-10,21-3,11-3 (+19).

In the semi-finals, Whale defeated Lesser (4th) 10-21,21-4,17-21,21-7 (+16) & in a closer encounter, Hobden edged Shaw (3rd) 21-0,7-21,6-21,21-7 (+6). In the final, Hobden got off to a good start in the table tennis, winning 21-6, but struggled in the badminton, losing 5-21. In the battle of squash, the weakest discipline for both players, Whale triumphed 21-9, leaving Hobden 13 points adrift going into the tennis. Whale, only needing 9 points from the tennis, achieved this at 9-13, taking the match & the 2008 Hampshire Racketlon Open title.

Men's class 'B' saw many new competitors as well as a number of tour regulars. With 12 competing, 4 seeded players were given first round bye¡¯s, leaving 4 first round 11-up matches. In the round, Richard Colman ended the challenge of Sean Hayden (12th) 6-11,11-1,8-11,11-6 (+7), whilst Nick Pearce looked strong defeating Gavin Murphy (11th) 11-3,10-12,11-3,11-6 (+19). At the same time Andy Young (10th), despite taking the first 2 legs, lost out to Russell Smart 7-11,6-11,11-1,11-9 (+3) & Ian Udal (9th) narrowly lost to Maurits Bakker 11-5,9-11,11-5,3-11 (+2)

In the quarter-finals, all of the first round winners continued to the semi-finals, 3 with victories & one by a concession. Pearce defeated Robbie Wong (8th) 21-18,3-21¡¯21-4,21-4 (+19), Bakker beat Jonathan Healey (7th) 16-21,6-21,21-5,21-10 (+7) & Colman was given the match before play by Gary Tovey (6th). In the remaining match Smart overcame the challenge of Dave Maynard (5th) 15-21,19-21,21-11,21-10 (+13).

In the semi-finals, Colman overcame Bakker (4th) 12-21,21-6,21-11,6-2 (+20) & Pearce triumphed over Smart (3rd) 21-9,19-21,21-12,10-21 (+8) to both seal their places in the final. In the final, Pearce took the table tennis 21-11 & Colman countered by taking the badminton 21-9. The squash proved to be decisive, which Colman took 21-3, meaning 2 points in the tennis would secure the title. This was achieved at 2-2 (+20), Colman taking the match & the men's 'B' title.

Men's Class 'C' was similarly structured, with 12 competitors, mainly tour new boys. The 4 seeded players were given first round bye¡¯s, leaving 4 first round 11-up matches. Alan Rand ended the challenge of James Edbrook (12th) 11-5,4-11,11-3,11-1 (+17), whilst Antonio Petronzio, by the narrowest of margins, defeated Perry Fung (11th) 4-11,11-8,11-3,8-11 (+1). At the same time Sasidharan Anandraj (10th) lost to Dave Ridout 7-11,12-10,11-3,11-3 (+14) & Phil Watson (9th) lost to James Tarrant-Fisher 0-11,11-0,11-3,11-7 (+12).

In the quarter-finals, 3 of the first round winners continued to the semi-finals. Tarrant-Fisher proved too strong for Charles Eaton (8th), winning 8-21,21-4,21-3 (+22) before the tennis. Similarly Rand defeated Nick Ryall (7th) 21-8,21-11,21-15 (+29). Petronzio (6th) lost out to Daniel Long 12-21,21-8,21-12,16-13 (+16) & Daniel Gillett (5th) was defeated by Ridout 21-11,21-7,21-9,11-6 (+41).

In the semi-finals, Long proved too strong for Tarrant-Fisher (4th), winning in 3 sets 21-19,21-9,21-9 (+26). The remaining semi-final proved to be a much tighter affair, but in the end Rand narrowly overcame Ridout (3rd) 3-21,21-12,21-13,21-18 (+2). In the final, Rand took the table tennis 21-11 & strengthened his position by taking the badminton 21-17. Long then countered with a strong squash performance, taking it 21-4 & going into the tennis +3. Rand¡¯s tennis game proved too strong for Long & he took it 21-6 & with it the match & the men's 'C' title.

The Ladies & the Veterans were round robin encounters. In the ladies, Lorna See took the title, with wins over Michelle Eaton, 21-10,21-2,21-3,21-6 (+63) & Jasmine Bann 21-12,21-3,21-2,21-10 (+57). Eaton then edged Bann for the second spot, 16-21,21-13,21-19,19-21 (+3). In the vets, with Tim Reading & Stuart Foster both defeating Richard Lawrence (3rd) & Phil Tusler (4th), the deciding match & resultant title went to Foster 21-16,11-21,21-5,21-7 (+25). Lawrence took the third spot with a 21-16,21-18,21-9,19-21 (+18) victory over Tusler.

The presentation ceremony duly arrived with all the winners receiving trophies & the runners-up receiving medals, as well as the usual goodies. The 2008 Hampshire event was fantastically organised & run by Dominique Ford, who due to injury could not compete in the competition, so a very big thanks has to go to Dom for all her hard work.

The English Racketlon Association would like to thank everyone for making it a great end to the year¡¯s British events. Look out for the 2009 Calendar of events, starting with the 2009 English Racketlon Championships at Next Generation, Romford on the 10th/11th January 2009. Full event details will be out shortly it should be big!

Finally, if you want to keep up to date with all things Racketlon, find practice partners for the winter break, ask questions, or just keep in touch with fellow competitors, please consider joining some of our social networking groups at:

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Gary Tovey

Racketlon Loafer

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Summary of Official Results

Men's Elite Class A Singles

Simon Whale
Stuart Hobden
Gareth Shaw

Men's Advanced Class B Singles

Richard Colman
Nick Pearce
Russell Smart

Men's Amateur Class C Singles

Alan Rand
Daniel Long
Dave Ridout

Ladies Singles

Lorna See
Michelle Eaton
Jasmine Bann

Men's Veterans Singles

Stuart Foster

Tim Reading
Richard Lawrence