Home Favourite Waltzes Away with Title
The tournament management team reports below from the
Scottish Open - a tournament that will be remembered for its
dance sessions - not only for those on court or the waltzing away
with the title - but for a traditional Scottish Celidh on
There are moments when you realise that Racketlon is not all
about the sport. Amongst all the effort, sweat, controversy and
determination displayed on the courts, it is easy to forget that
a big part of our sport is the forging of new friendships and
swapping of cultures.
Saturday evening in Edinburgh saw the players of the Scottish Open Racketlon Championships being introduced to the unique party experience that is a traditional Scottish Ceilidh. Watching all the different nationalities getting up on the floor and giving the dancing a try was brilliant to watch, and many of the images will remain with this writer for a long time. A brilliant evening was had by all, and helped this fifth Scottish Open go with a swing.
So what about the action on the courts? Well, once the dust had settled, we had a first Scottish winner, a revenge victory, a couple of top seeds justifying their positions, and some strong showings from racketlon newcomers.
It was Calum Reid who provided the home nation with its first native winner in the mens open competition. A confident showing in the final against FIR President Marcel Weigl gave Calum the title with a +16 margin that was never really in doubt after he took the squash with a hard fought 21-7 victory. John ODonnell showed good form all weekend to take third place with a similar +16 win over Michi Dickert.
The group stages went as expected with the top four seeds all qualifying from their respective sections, although Peter Duyck pushed both Calum and Marcel all the way, both times only losing out by +6. The seeded players looked relieved to have scraped past the impressive Belgian. Group 2 saw a similarly close match between John and Henrik Hakansson, the Englishman scraping home +4.
So the semi finals saw Calum and Michi squaring up once more, but after a tight Table Tennis set (21-19 to Michi), Calum eased his way in front and headed to the final. But it was the other match that saw the gummiarm drama. Heading into the tennis, Marcel saw himself 13 points adrift, and when John worked his way to 8 points, Marcel was staring the wrong way at 4 match points. But he kept his nerve, forcing a 21-8 result and the one point decider. Marcel won the spin and elected to serve, and hit an excellent deep shot to start the point. Some careful probing eventually forcing the backhand error from John, and it was the Austrian who headed to the final, where he was to be disappointed by the home favourite.
Susanna Lautala-Naykki gained revenge over Katy Buchanan in the ladies event, reversing the result from the German Open and preventing the home nation grabbing both major titles. By taking the Table Tennis victory, Susanna had Katy under pressure from the start, eventually triumphing with a fine +10 victory. Natalie Lawrence overcame the challenge of Pernille Thomson for third place with a smooth +23 victory.
The top three seeds all prevailed from their respective sections, but newcomer Jenna Cockburn upset 6th seed Frania Gillen-Buchert, whilst Rachel Hood sneaked past Sue Woods +1 to take their places in the quarter finals. But the seeds prevailed once more in the semi finals with Katy taking out Pernille +26 and Susanna edging past Natalie in a closely fought +5 victory.
The mens Class B competition saw Irishman Chris Caves show wonderful form (and a lot of nerve) throughout to take the title. A very tight group decider against top seed Ray Jordan saw Chris sneak past +4, following up with a +1 win over Michael Martin in the semi final. Andrew Hogg won the battle of the brothers in the other semi, his +8 victory over Alastair giving him the chance to play for the title. But it was Chris that came through in the end, his +26 win giving Ireland the title but seeing as he lives in Edinburgh, the home nation are making him an honorary Scot! Alastair Hogg recovered the best to take third place with a +17 win over Michael.
The veterans category saw David Greatorex justify his top seeding by winning a keenly fought final against racketlon newcomer Ray Simpson, winning +6. There were some very close matches all the way through the group stages, with a special mention going to Ken Maxwell who pulled off two gummiarm victories to reach the semi finals, the squash specialist only just losing out to the eventual winner. Claes Hellgren took third place with a walkover in the playoff.
Class C also saw the top seed prevail, with Alex Klatt claiming victory for Germany with a +11 win over Rich Clark. Neil Russell took third place, sneaking past Ray Woods +11. And the ladies B was claimed by Sue Woods, gaining some consolation for her narrow loss in the group stages, with a +22 win over Ailsa Stott in the final, with Sarah Appleton finishing in third place.
So with the prizes all handed out, the tournament came to a close. The organisers would very much like to thank all the competitors who played, with an extra thank you to all the international players who made the journey to Scotland. We hope everyone enjoyed the weekend, and we would love to see you all back again next year. In the meantime, the tour moves on to Birmingham for the English Open.
All the results can be found via the tournament homepage. Pictures here.
Neil, Katy, Sarah and P