Give Real Tennis a Try! 01223 357106 or pros@curtc.net

Cambridge University Real Tennis Club – Vacancy for Third Professional

Click HERE for details

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Free Taster Sessions!

Membership of CURTC is open to all, very much town as well as gown.  We love welcoming new members of any age.  This ancient and intriguing game is fast or slow, tactical, subtle and addictive.  One of our professionals (Kees, Peter and Adam) is usually here 9am – 5pm on weekdays or 9am – 12 noon on Saturdays, they will be happy to explain and encourage.

We offer free taster lessons in small groups usually on the first and third Wednesday each month at 12:30pm and 5 or 6pm.  Just register your interest with the pros, in person, by telephone, 01223 357106 or by email curtcpros@gmail.com

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Varsity Seconds

Hannah Taylor, Lucy Caines, Phoebe Fox, Martha Rushbrooke

It was the turn of the other place to host the Seconds Varsity this year and Oxford gained the upper hand on day 1 by leading both Men and Ladies matches 2-1.

So Cambridge needed to win all 6 matches on day 2 to come away with the spoils. On paper at least (not that it means much in these contests) Cambridge had an edge in the Men’s contest but the Ladies were up against it on a very different court to ours in Cambridge…

And win every match they did!

Ben Craig

Ben & Moritz Hirschhausen

Cambridge Men and Ladies both win 4/2

To the Victors…

…Go the Spoils!

Photo Credits: Kees

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The Brooke Report on The Bristol Handicap Doubles and The CURTC 60+ Handicap

Hello again. It’s me, Brooke the dog, with a report of the Reviers trip to Bristol last weekend.
It’s a long way to go in the the boot of a Seat Ibiza but worth it if only because we did so much more than hang around the tennis club which, frankly, is just as well because they didn’t make the Sunday play-offs. The tournament was a complicated arrangement of doubled pairs, theirs was from the home club, with accumulated games seeing teams through to the Sunday’s finals. They played three one set to six matches at 1 and 5pm on the Friday and 8.30am on the Saturday. A 6/4, 3/6 and 4/6 mix had them in with a chance. With the rest of Saturday free, Mrs Revier had the two of them make the most of their journey. Two rounds of an all too muddy par 3 golf course was followed by an hour or more of them thirty feet up in the trees, Mr Revier clinging on desperately to harnesses, handholds and zip lines while questioning his life choices. Mrs Revier wasn’t listening. The evening had the three of us walk the two miles along the river back to the club and, given that Banksy is from Bristol, him expressing his disappointment at the quality of graffiti on offer. Worse, on arrival they found they’d not made the last day, their cause not being helped by a 0/6 suffered by their Bristol partners. The late on Sunday final was between the home club’s youngest pairings suggesting it’s not only Cambridge that struggles with pitching handicaps accurately for those new to the game.

The tennis was fun and the company good. It always is. I was spoiled rotten. It was, though, a long way to go for three sets but it had Mrs Revier tick off another club on her way to playing them all. She’s about two thirds of the way there.

Lunch in Bath on the way back and we were home by early evening.

That little tennis in Bristol was in stark contrast to the previous Sunday where Mr Revier won the 60 handicap as it took him fifty games over four hours of one day to do so. His cause wasn’t helped by Smuts Beyers and Chris Swales taking him to five all, forty all in the group stage. He overcame Felicity RB’s more elegant strokes in the final but was, he admitted later, conscious of the thin crowd cheering on his opponent. It was more than, he muttered, supporting the underdog. What was obvious at the day’s end, though, was how fortunate we are to have two courts and how much tennis can be crammed in over one day. Given the state of him the following morning, one day was enough.

Brooke

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Cambridge University Real Tennis Club – Real Tennis Club Profiles

Many thanks to Ben Geytenbeek for putting this together!

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40 and 50 Category Tournaments

The 40’s did battle on Sunday and certainly came up with a photo to rival TK and Felicity RB from the 60’s. Ben managed to play over 93% of the maximum possible games in winning the round robin which might explain why Leo had the edge in the Final!

from left: Lionel, Ben, Ulla, Leo, Chris

Scores below

Final Leo defeated Ben 8/4
The 50’s playing on Saturday produced a winner in Ben Craig who progressed from the round robin groups along with Miles Hember, Ruhan du Plooy and Peter Morrison
Semis: Ben def Ruhan, 8/3, Miles def Peter 8/4
Final: Ben def Miles 8/5

Photos: Kees

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Peter Luck-Hille Cup

Congratulations to the CURTC PLH squad who emerged victorious from their trip to Queens last weekend by a score of 4-2From left above, George Baumann-Downie, Riya Bharwad, William Buttrey and Leandros Georgoulis
BTW, the Peter Luck-Hille Cup is an inter club junior competition run on a handicap basis aimed predominantly at youngsters of age 12-15 and handicaps between 60-90. The tournament is organised by and sponsored by the Dedaniststs’ Foundation as part of their programme to help clubs recruit more youngsters into the game of Real Tennis.

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1st Weekend of the 2024 CURTC Category Tournaments

Our first winners are:
Carlo Barriga who defeated Jack Zandi 6/3 in the 80+ Handicap Category (apologies, no picture)

Mihir Gupta who defeated Ian Glasscock 6/4 in the 70-79.9 Category

and TK who out battled Felicity Riddall Bell 6/4 in the 60 Category

Congratulations to all the Finalists!

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The DRTA* visit…

…CURTC for the 15th battle of the North Sea** and win quite reasonably convincingly! Full results are here.
As is customary in this annual contest we had a number of 8-7 finishes (including a 40-all). But this time there were all on the same court so the schedule ended up completely shredded.
Andreas van Braam Houckgeest and Andrew Petrie started the trend but the number 1 Singles pairing of Charlie D’Oyly and Saskia Bollerman who were handily team colour coordinated ensured the schedule was pretty much doomed by playing a full quota of points and games. but it was a pity about Charlie’s shoes…
Andy Smith and Oskar Knötschke made sure there was no way back by refusing to buck the 8/7 trend. So by the time these were over the DRTA were 4-3 to the good and the Blue Court was a clear 1 and half matches ahead of the Blue Court. Some canny play by the middle order kept CURTC in touch and a tie was at least in the offing when the final match started… But it was not to be and the DRTA emerged victorious 8-6.
Then the serious business of taking the team photos could start along with lunch. Given Pinot (the dog not the wine) was involved in the former as well as the latter, this soon got complicated and of the various attempts to get everyone facing more or less in the same direction, this was one of the less successful.
but was followed by a display of appropriately themed wristbands.

Orange vs the Light Blues

*Dutch Real Tennis Association (NRTB)

**We’ve long wanted to get a trophy for this annual contest which prompted a ‘when did the first match actually take place’ discussion. It looks like the first January encounter was back in 2007 but of course those results seem to have disappeared into the ether. Some if not all results from 2008 onwards can be found here. The current tally is CURTC 4, Dutch 3, Tie 2, CURTC (possibly) 3, Unknown 3

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Xmas Tournament 2023

Full Results

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Giraffe Club Cup Gallery

Full Results

Div 1 Final: Arthur & Charlie vs Jon & Ollie

Div 2 Final: John & Phoebe vs Richard & Mihir

Andy congratulates the Div 1 winners

Jon learns how many match points they had…

John in a state of shock after he and Phoebe win

Ed ponders on what might have been with a ghostly backdrop

and last…

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The Brooke Report: CURTC visit Lords

Simon Martin & Sidney Yankson vs Colin Clifton-Brown & Andrew Petrie

Hello again, it’s me, Brooke The Dog, with a report back from your club’s visit to Lord’s on 9th December. A Kennel Club Christmas lunch had me elsewhere but I have heard back from assorted club members. As ever, nobody was surprised when the day ended in a two apiece draw. It’s what Cambridge does on the road. What was a surprise was that no match went to a third set. However, given that each match was scheduled for 75 minutes, the matches continued, often with the servers changed. It was fun, I’m told, and it worked. There were rave reviews over the welcome and hospitality and it’s always a special place to play. I always took the tennis to be a by-product of their day out anyway. The day did have its disappointment. He (Mr Revier) smarted a little when he looked into the viewing area mid-match to see she (Mrs Revier) had left and was loudly enjoying lunch. He’s blamed her for his defeat since.

The day’s highlight, she’s been all too keen to tell me several times, was the day’s last match. With the hosts’ unable to supply handicap appropriate opposition, The MCC kindly provided court time and marking for a Cambridge Exhibition match between Riya (aged 12) and Marc (15) vs Mihir (20+) and Camice (tba). This was the day’s only three set match. Indeed, it went to 5 all, forty all and was entertainingly marked by our hosts. Mrs Revier has played here before and one day, perhaps, the other three will realise how special it is.

In sport, Brooke

Before…

…and after: CURTC, 2 – 2, MCC

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LRTA British Ladies Handicap Tournament 2023*

Outside, the grey rain..  Luckily, the inside of Prested Real Tennis Club is not glumly decorous like most RT Clubs, but glories in a vibrant clash of colours: pink floors, green and blue stripes, yellow lines – some find this a cue to go and lie down on the welcoming leather sofas, but in the weather conditions of the LRTA Ladies Handicap weekend, the bold décor was just the thing to get our blood racing.

There were twenty four players– with an age range from 12 year old Lexi to a select group whose age data is carefully locked behind an inscrutable password (we hope).

This year the tournament saw an exceptional French turnout of seven, all thanks to Bernie Bidouze’s tour operator talents. Among them, Amy Wintersteen, an American interloper currently living in Bordeaux, to make the tournament a truly global event. Huzzah!

Arriving en masse in a large van, the Bordelaises proceeded to first take over the club with French chatter, and then the tournament, with feisty, competitive tennis.  They also were extremely voluble supporters of their team, cheering not only the success of their own, but also every stumble or fault by the opposition – this cunning plan was very effective…

Bernie provided the gaiety on court – her long shorts billowing round her sturdy calves; hands waving at the penthouse to invite the ball into the right spot; a firm volley at the net into a far corner – and of course, the frequent ‘merde!’ coming – possibly – from her direction.

The French contingent played above their pay grade with Bernie (and Kate Evers) winning the Division 1 Final, Typhanie and Cécile also reaching the finals, and Amy, Jeannette, Florence and Emmanuelle all going knockout. through to the Not surprisingly, the group plans to come back next year to beat les Anglaises again.

Full results will be found on the LRTA website before too long.

Div 1 Singles Final
Sarah Sullivan had been playing excellent consistent tennis throughout, solid and safe and she continued this way in the Final, and with a hefty handicap in her favour, kept up with Ulla Petti whose athleticism had been very apparent in all her matches, But by 4/2 to Ulla, the strength and accuracy of Ulla’s shots into corners took their toll, though Sarah never stopped trying. 6/3 to Ulla.

Div 1 Doubles Final
Bernie and Kate Evers against Amy Pye and Cécile was a great prospect and so it turned out.  There were a number of great rests, with Kate and Bernie usually coming out on top.  Amy and Cécile were patchy at times, playing superbly for 2 or 3 points, and then over-casual for the next 3. No such favours from Bernie and Kate, who were solid throughout, and Bernie’s war dance told it all.  She really wanted to win, and she and Kate stayed ahead all the way, embracing French style after every difficult rest, winning 8/4.

But to finish, some particularly outstanding efforts:

Most consistent:
Sarah Sullivan, who won all her first round singles and doubles matches (plus adding more in further stages)
Best hair styling:
Saffron and Emilia, the Wellington girls, who not only played their socks off, but also had matching pony tails with an hypnotic bouncy life of their own.
Best Victory Dance: 
Bernie by a mile.
Best use of the tambour:  
Amy and Cécile in their semi-final
Most promising:     
Typhanie and Emily Wilson, who both began to play barely a year ago.
Most fearsome
A tie between Ulla and Kate who were obviously AI generated, hence able to run, reach and return any missile aimed at them.
One last thought:
Only two winning gallery shots were landed during the two and a half days….  Now why should that be?? Answers on an envelope, please.

Our thanks to the Prested Club and committee, and to the professionals, Levi and Vaughan, for their excellent marking. Also the catering staff, the kind hosts who offered beds, and all who made it such a successful tournament, especially Kate Evers, Sarah Sullivan and Candida Nicholls who did the organising, Ian for the scheduling, and all those others too many to mention.

Linda Fairbrother, LRTA & CURTC

*Many thanks to the LRTA and Linda for allowing us to post this splendid report!

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The Brooke Report – The Callender Cup At Wellington – 4th & 5th, November

The author surveying her weekend accommodation

Hello again. I told you I’d update you on the Revier’s progress in The Callender Cup. It won’t take long. With the winners of our own handicap doubles, Messrs Christie and Sharpe, unavailable that weekend, the Reviers, as losing finalists, stepped in. It should have been a two day event, the top two from four going through to the second day’s knockout. Should have been.

On the Friday we drove down, staying overnight at a Tudor pile twenty minutes from the club. The Reviers were the afternoon group on court at 12.30 on the Saturday so a late, rather good, breakfast and a cross-country walk was a great start to the bright, blue sky day. The Wellington club is in the grounds of the very private public school and the court is the other side of a manned, barriered gateway. Sadly, it was half-term so we never saw what you got for your money.

Saturday pm Group

The court staff were very welcoming while the court itself is bright, clean and very powder blue. And then there was the tennis. She wasn’t at her best while he was at his worst. First up were early twenties Messrs Swindon and Eaton (53) from Queens whose game was a mix of every racquet sport you’d ever seen. She played her usual game while he missed with what few chances he had. 6/0 came as a surprise to nobody. The came Prested’s father and son, the Dicksons (46). He never came to terms with the son’s serve that spat of the back wall in all directions but 6/3 was tidier. Lastly, in a long-dead rubber, came the more familiar faces of Hardwick’s Candida Nicholls and Derrick Wells (56) as both sides laughed their way to another 6/3 Cambridge defeat. Politely, we stayed until the end of the day’s play then slipped away.

2023 Callender Cup Winners

We didn’t go back on the Sunday but I was well walked in the Tudor grounds so I didn’t care. I heard the tournament was won by Hampton Court’s Katy Doy and Henry Dalton (75) playing off the weekend’s highest handicap so the Reviers, playing off the weekend’s third highest, had no excuse. Still, I had a fun weekend and the Reviers took their defeat well. After all, they’re getting used to it.

In sport, Brooke

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CURTC Handicap Doubles Final

A relatively recent addition to the pantheon of CURTC championships, cups, trophies and competitions is the the CURTC Handicap Doubles. This was stimulated by the Initiation of the Callender Cup, the national championship for club handicap doubles champions/runners-up, similar to the Chetwood trophy for Singles, by the good folks at Wellington. Last year’s winners, Joe Zygmunt and John Reid were sadly unable to defend their title due to injury (but have recently been spotted back on court). The group stage results are HERE which left myself and Alan Sharpe to battle it out with Brooke and the Reviers. But first we had a masterclass in how not to take a selfie. This was (by far) the best of the various shots of the ceiling, feet and 3 (or fewer) of the 4 of us.

After a brief warm-up, we lost the spin and decided on a tactic of ‘no mistakes’ facing a considerable handicap disadvantage. Our first stroke went straight into the net (the one in the middle of the court, not one round the periphery). But oddly enough, this was the last such stroke for some time as we shot (perhaps a bit of an exaggeration due to the prevalence of replacement joints on our side of the net) into a significant lead. TK found the nick with his service mercifully elusive and Camice high bombs needed just a bit more direct sunlight to be really tricky.
Mr Mo had a last laugh (giggle?) as TK found the nick and I dispatched a couple of Camice’s high serves firmly into the net (yes the one in the middle). But in the end we won a tight contest 8-3.
Now to find a place for another Honours Board… (BTW, we are still having damp issues which is why the existing Honours Boards have not all been returned to their rightful spots)

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CURTC Ladies at Hatfield House, Sunday, 29th October

Hello again. It’s me Brooke The Dog back from another real tennis awayday. On a soggy Sunday I had the Reviers drive me to the elegant and dog-friendly Hatfield House. It’s on what was a Jacobean housing estate and, the Reviers tell me, an hour down the A1 but I just slept all the way. Always do.

Cambridge’s tennis started rather well with Anna Chesca all too easily beating Hatfield’s Sarah Sullivan whose sole game brought a sympathetic cheer from the dedans. Once Anna left the court, more ordinary service was resumed. Sonja Badenhorst beat Hatfield’s Steve Sullivan 6/3 6/3 in an entertaining game. I could then only watch as the players enjoyed a rather attractive lunch but, sadly, not only was I not invited, I wasn’t given the plates to clear. After lunch Phoebe Fox looked set for victory until Hatfield’s Ros Emrys-Roberts rallied after taking mid-match potions that were probably leftovers from an Eastern Bloc athletics tournament such was her improvement and she won over three sets. Stacey Sandigurskaia then produced some of the day’s more elegant ground strokes against Hatfield’s Martin Hornsby. Sadly, they were into her side of the net and she, too, lost over three sets. This left Camice Revier and Tim Emrys-Roberts with the decider. Camice won the lengthy first set 6/4 but went 0/4 down in the second leaving us expecting the joys of a third and Jon, Hatfield’s scoring pro, could hardly contain his disappointment at missing out on one more set as Camice fought back to win 6/5.

I rather enjoyed the day as, I think did the players.

Next week I’m taking the Reviers to Wellington for a weekend of handicap doubles tournament. I’ll let you know how they get on.

Brooke

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