Charlestown hosted the 3rd and last round of the HICT competition at the Hunter Wetlands Centre in Shortland on Sunday 22nd.  22 teams competed with the field divided into the 3 grades.  There were 9 in A Grade, 7 in B and 6 in C.  Director Peter Peterson had the use of bridgemates, kindly lent by the Tomaree club.  While the different grades played different movements, the bridge mates certainly made the scoring much easier than in the past when scores had to be entered manually by the director.  The day ran smoothly with morning and afternoon tea provided and players asked to bring their own lunches.  We were able to provide sandwiches from the Cafe for those who came without.

Preparation of the venue began after the bridge session at Newcastle on Saturday when tables and other equipment were loaded into the Wetlands Utility.  We are very grateful to Jeff Biddlecome, President of Newcastle for allowing us to borrow the tables and arranging some strong men to help load up.  A group then headed out to Shortland to set up, including Janet Ritchie (in charge of food), Sue McConnell, Deanna Stuart and John Stuart (convenor).

Early Sunday morning there was further activity with Janet and Ronnie Antill setting up the food, with assistance from Margaret Somers and Deanna Stuart. The food for the morning and afternoon teas was provided by Janet, Janice, Cheryl, Ronnie, Sarah Dowling and Sue McConnell.  Dugald Ritchie and Jack Carson looked after parking, and Brigitta Kuegler organised money collection.  Bob McKay brought ice and some food supplies, though he and Janice were unable to play due to other commitments.  Diana Ellis and Caroline Carey gave up most of their Sunday to come in and act as reserves (not needed) and help with the food and drinks.  Their assistance was invaluable.

The weather was perfect, cool but no rain, and the Wetlands ponds were stocked with Magpie geese, a family of black swans, egrets and numerous ducks, which players could observe during the breaks.  Many of the players commented on the quality of the venue with its peaceful environment.

At the conclusion of play, there were many helpers to pack up and reload the ute.  Robert Shearer and Roger Axe generously agreed to follow the ute back to Broadmeadow and help unload.

The results are posted on the NBC website with A grade won by the Maitland Team (Moscovsky, Walker, Humphery and Chandler), with Charlestown 2nd (Littler, Hudson, Stuart and Stuart) and another Maitland Team 3rd ( Rissler, Manuel, Coyle, Van Wyck).  B Grade was won by Maitland also (Swanson, Swanson, Swanson and Roulston), with Tomaree 2nd and Tilligerie 3rd.  Charlestown came in 4th (Antill, Somers, Ritchie and Pletz). C  Grade was won by Maitland also ( Hale, Perris, Dorn and Agland), giving the Maitland club a clean sweep, well done Maitland.

Our committee has decided that we will not run the session again next year as the preparation is a lot for our small club to carry out. The committee started planning months ago and Janice McKay took on the registration management and the co-ordination  and allocation of tasks.

Caroline Carey who has been  the overall co-ordinator has also decided not to continue in this role.  Discussions are currently taking place with Jeff Biddlecome to sort out the future of the Interclub with the suggestion of a small committee being formed to oversee the competition.

Winners of the overall competition will be announced after the Director, Peter Peterson, works it all out and the presentation of shields usually takes place after the first round next year.  Peter is a great supporter of the competition and we thank him for running the day in such a professional and competent way.  Red master points are awarded with CBC paying the cost for this round.

Other costs include venue hire (plus ute hire), directors fee, food costs, dealt boards (to NBC), lunches for helpers, disposable cups, ice, and printing personal scoresheets.  Table fees were $25 per person which more than covered expenses.


John Stuart  4/11/2017



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