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West Indies Championships Won by Tom Hughes & Lee Hanna

5-9 November 2008
Tennis Club of St. Croix, St. Croix, VI
by Les Kelly

Whose idea was it anyway? Doug Moore. It had to be Doug Moore. After the West Indies Welcoming Party and a bit too much time at Cheeseburgers in St. Croix, “Let’s go play under the lights” had to be Doug Moore. And the Commissioner, Karen Heckman and John Young fell for it. The pit stop at the Commissioner’s house to pick up more refreshments was the next questionable idea. There was no question about the next morning’s wooziness.

Welcome to St. Croix and the West Indies Croquet Championships!

Twenty one players competed in this year’s West Indies at the Tennis Club of St. Croix, down a few from the previous year as various persons begged off citing unknown effects from Hurricane Omar (even 120 mph winds can’t knock down a croquet court), retirement accounts in the toilet (if you have to work the rest of your life, you might as well play a little croquet in the Virgin Islands) and work (hmmm, work or spend a week in the VI? Just remember, no one on his deathbed ever said he wished he had spent more time at the office). Those who did play seemed to have a good time, at least when their ball was not unintentionally bouncing over an intended roquet (the Tennis Club courts are a bit of an adventure).

Speaking of Hurricane Omar, the Tennis Club was without electricity after the storm. Miracle of miracles, the Water and Power Authority finally came and hooked the Club back up during the West Indies Welcoming Party! Thanks to the Club President for the generous donations to the linesmen’s children’s scholarship funds.

This year’s tournament included a sunset sail on the catamaran Teroro as part of the festivities. Mary Robb’s lime water and the Commissioner’s rum punch kept the assembled relaxed and in fine spirits.

The next night, Mary and Bill Robb hosted all for Mary’s traditional shepherd’s pie dinner. The s.p. was delicious as usual, no one fell off the balcony and Mr. Bill and the Commissioner got to split the leftovers - all in all a success.

Speaking of success, Tom Hughes and Lee Hanna won Championship Flight with a well played final win over previously unbeaten John Young and the Commissioner. Matt Baird and Paul Voytershark third.

Ted Cooley and Dan Lawrence prevailed in First Flight with Lynn Leblanc and Joan Hughes a close second. Barbara Hagan Smith and the tag team duo of Karen Heckman and Mary Robb third.

Unfortunately for him, Rufus Bayard was the returning player who fell off the most from the previous year. Not in terms of play, in terms of partner. From Paula Mol to Bernie the Attorney. Don’t worry Rufus, the Committee will make it up to you next year.

Sunday’s Awards Brunch was held beachside at Duggan’s Reef Restaurant. The sun was shining, the lime in the coconut frozen drinks flowing and the beautiful golden wicket permanent trophy donated by Doug Moore on display for all to admire.

The off-island players now departed, St. Croix is back to normal (or what passes for normal in the islands). There is the occasional croquet game at the Tennis Club. Kenny opens up at 4:00 p.m., not 8:30 a.m. The Commissioner cuts the courts every few days, not every day (still not using the hopper). And Norma and Jennifer dispense mamawana at the Mt. Pelier Domino Club (home of the world famous beer drinking pigs).

Life is good when you play in the West Indies!

Final Order

  Championship Doubles

Tom Hughes (Delaware) & Lee Hanna (Maryland)

2nd John Young (Bermuda) & Les Kelley (St. Croix)
3rd Matt Baird (Oklahoma) & Paul Voytershark (St. Croix)
4th Rufus Bayard (Delaware) & Bernard Pattie (St. Croix)
5th Doug Moore (New York) & Art Parsells (Oklahoma)

  First Flight Doubles

Ted Cooley (North Carolina) & Dan Lawrence (St. Croix)

2nd Joan Hughes (Delaware) & Lynn LeBlanc (St. Croix)
3rd Barbara Hagan Smith (St. Croix) & Karen Heckman/Mary Robb (St. Croix)
4th Karen Cooley (North Carolina) & Norm Pike (St. Croix)
5th Mike Brown (Virginia) and Julia Wallace (New York)





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