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East Anglia Cup & Cup+, 24/25 June 2023

East Anglia Cup

It was CURTC’s turn to host the annual team competition for our neighbouring Clubs. The Cup (h’cap 45+) and Cup+ (h’cap 60+) are round robin team competitions with two singles and one doubles per tie. Both days were hot and Sunday was hotter, the temperature and the tennis. TK was kind/brave enough to be a last minute substitute for Hatfield who lost a player on Friday afternoon so we had a full complement both days.
Saturday saw the hosts start strongly and somewhat surprisingly based on recent results, continue strongly. However the top three teams were only separated by 1 point going to last four matches. Fortunately, CURTC’s man of steel for the day, Charles Norbury (see below for his secret*) was one these matches and he duly completed his unbeaten run along with the Newmarket Doubles pair of Ian Lindsay and Phil Payne and Bruce Hogarth-Jones (Prested).

CURTC’s victorious team (in the background)

Sunday saw our nearest neighbours, Newmarket, led by the unbeaten and still youthful Richard Dunn, take the honours. Prested (led by the undefeated Jane Taylor) and Cambridge were unable to recreate last year’s almost dead heat ending 2nd and 3rd. TK was again on court, wearing his Singles hat, and provided the much appreciated solid and liquid sustenance for one and all.

TK enjoying lunch rather than providing it.

Next year, Hatfield will host and if we can get the two actual Cups from Prested we will make sure they are sent to their new homes! And finally a couple of admittedly slightly random photos from Saturday…

Jane Taylor doing a marking stint, Thanks Jane!

Last of the lunch…

*‘The summer season ticket has allowed me to play regularly without the financial restraint of court fees.  The regular time on court saw me have my best day for the club at the East Anglia Cup.’

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Champagne Leagues sponsored by Pol Roger…

…have started! DRAW

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Try Real Tennis!!

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Cambridge Doubles, 2023

Cambridge Doubles, 2023

Ten pairs across two divisions competed for the prestigious (well we think so!) bragging rites of being a Cambridge Doubles winner. Fed by a magnificent spread of Julia Child dishes as channelled by our very own Kees, marked with suitable aplomb and accuracy by Peter, Jim and the chef, the reigning champions, Bella Harvey and Alex Sam, repeated their Division 1 triumph while Division 2 went to the new pairing of Shubham Haria and Peter Cowley.
You can find the results and how much we lost the final by: HERE or you can stay here and admire the not so impressive efforts off our players to get airborne. The first attempt was frankly not up to par…

First attempt…

So next up was a prejump practice…

Admire the impressive bending of (some) knees

Before finally the majority managed some space between their feet and the ground.

Congratulations again to our worthy winners, Bella and Alex , below and Peter and Shubbham, far left above

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A Hoyport Awayday

On arrival, he was hopeful…

Hello, I’m Mrs Brooke, the rather cute, if I say so myself, German Shepherd you’ll occasionally see at the club with the Reviers. On Saturday last I joined them on one of their cute little wanderings to another club which they told me was in Barkshire so, of course, I just had to go. An hour and a half asleep in the back of the car and we were there. It really was worth the journey. It’s a beautiful club, especially in the May sunshine, built over what was a swimming pool in the grounds of who knows what.

He who feeds me…

Tom Nicoll shows how to win at Hoyport

The day started well with the younger Revier, Camice, winning a three setter amidst much laughter. Then it was his turn, the older Revier. He’s two different players. This time the loser turned up. Sometimes he just enjoys himself. I do wish he’d take it more seriously more often. The third match was our Tom Nicoll against their Ben Hobkinson. We sneaked Tom is as a bandit. That they’d done the same with Ben had the pair deliver a match way better than their mid 60s handicaps. My highlight was playing with the Hobkinson children, 10 and 8, who’d found themselves a dog to play with all day. Christie Marian had said he’d never won at Holyport and, indeed, didn’t break his duck though this time he put up a better defence.

I liked Holyport. It’s a bright, clean, welcoming club and their pro, Josh, was excellent company. If this was a tennis awayday, I might do a few more. If they’ll have me. I can just see myself lunching on the veranda at Queen’s or prowling the dedans at Hampton Court and think what fun I could have among the blazers at Lord’s.

In sport, Brooke.

As for the tennis, of course it was a draw. It’s what Cambridge do.

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2023 CURTC Ladies Championship: Ulla Petti versus Anna Chesca

Anna & Ulla

Ulla beat Anna 6/3 6/4 in an exciting contest between the University’s No 1 Real tennis Blue and the University’s No 1 Lawn tennis Blue!

Ulla was able to control the match by serving to an excellent length against the left handed Anna and then placing the ball at an awkward height on the tambour to prevent Anna from intercepting. On the occasions that Anna found her length with her railroad, she was able to dominate the rally with her impressive speed around the court and she started forcing at pace in the second set. There were many examples of long exciting restes for the crowd of new recruits and former and forthcoming Champions to enjoy.

Kees

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T&RA ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award: The Maltby Salver

Congratulations Ben. Well deserved!

ps Ben was also nominated for the new T&RA Member’s Choice award. His nomination:

“Singlehandedly (with perhaps a little help from Jacqui!), Ben has transformed the streaming of Real Tennis at not one but multiple courts across the country. ‘Ben’s Den’ is now a feature at major tournaments allowing top quality real tennis to be enjoyed on your in the comfort of own home/work place. Multiple cameras, integrated scoring, audio, amazing in game statistics all appear seamlessly on your screen.

Furthermore, Ben has generously shared his knowledge and time to assist individual Clubs and the T&RA in setting up their own systems.

Thank you Ben for all the video streaming you have done for us and the clubs! It has also improved sponsor visibility and has the potential to draw in a new audience for the game.”

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CURTC At Queen’s, Sunday, 30th April – From The Post Match Interview

When the club’s Tim Clarke (68 and falling, oic drama, St John’s College School down the road) suggests you see a particular show he’s probably right. Camice and I made a weekend of the club’s visit to Queen’s and enjoyed almost all of it. Suspiciously cheap parking near St Katherine’s Dock and a walk to The Bridge had us at the Saturday matinee of Guys and Dolls, the movie of which is exactly my age but this was so, so much livelier than me and the movie. We were ‘immersed’ as the show went on in front, behind and all around us. It was simply the best musical I’ve ever seen. The interval has cast members singing to the shuffling crowd and the finale has the ‘immersed’ dancing with the cast on stage. I found myself dancing with Nicely Nicely Johnson but he’s not phoned since. Behind and above us in the more expensive seats was the Clarke clan. He’s trade. He probably gets a discount.

Breakfast of Champions

We arrived late at our across the river from Queen’s airBnB. The welcome was a touch terse. No. Seriously. The last time I was that unwelcome at a door I was leading a drugs raid. We chose to breakfast at Queen’s and I never did see what our host looked like from the front. Sunday morning breakfast on the veranda at Queen’s. No adjectives needed. As for the day’s tennis, I can’t be bothered writing it up and have just transcribed our manager’s post match interview.

“We knew it was a difficult place to go. When Stevie Chadwick scored in the winning gallery with the game’s first move, we was hopeful of three points but we let them back into the game and at half time it was all to play for. When two of our senior players, big Dave P and TK, didn’t step up after being nobbled over lunch with white wine by their striker, Sidney Yankson, I knew we were in trouble. You’d think experienced players like them two would know better and the club will have to see what we do about it. Still, the lads dug in and I was pleased with the performance. Jin did well. Real box to box player that lad. Joey Z and young Ed put in a shift. Big Al was very, very solid in defence at the end of the day. I was pleased with the effort. I left Cam and Streetsy on the bench and they’re rooting for the first team. Which was good. I went for an early bath and was disappointed to come back to find big Dave P had signed for the opposition in the post-lunch transfer window. Still, at the end of the day, Joey Z and Big Al kept him out. I’m always pleased when Howard Angus referees. You know exactly what you’re gonna get. But all we do now is look forward to the next match. A game at a time.”

Team : Jin Seok Lee, Tony Revier, Steve Chadwick, Charles Norbury, Dave Pimblett, Joe Zygmunt. Alasdair Bovaird.

Subs : Marcus Streets, Camice Revier.

TK, CURTC

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Fiona and Nigel

Fi

Loyal members and supporters of CURTC, you are much missed

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April Fools Day – CURTC In Manchester

I was last in Manchester a decade ago and, on arrival, remembered why. Its streets still wear the debris of the night before, planning permission had to have been given in the early hours at The Hacienda Club and the pedestrian crossings would make Darwin proud. That the club car park is all four figure codes and rolling gates only unnerved me more. We entered the club through its rather battered but, doubtless, secure door, complete with camera, and I’m sure I saw Jeeves cross the hall in search of a trouser press.

MTRC

It could be the locus for half the between-the-wars murder mysteries ever written

Camice and The Colonel

Camice and The Colonel

The club is in aspic and so much more charming for it. The wooden panelled walls bear sepia-tinted sporting photos and hunting trophies in equal measure and you’d swear the lighting was gas. It’s more than just a real tennis club. If it’s a racquet sport, it’s played here, padel and pickle included while, rather disloyal I thought, Camice and Sue found the skittles alley in the middle of my match.

TK & JM

The only way I could cut Jack down to size.

JM & TK

Sadly…

As for the match ? Bailey was in the throes of losing as Camice and I arrived. Then my scheduled opponent, an older, well respected, decent chap with a bad knee was unavailable with his place being taken by Jack. No surname. Just Jack. Twice my size and half my age who, rather unsportingly I thought, went on to win 6-5 in the third. Camice and I went on to lose by the same tiny margin in the after lunch doubles while Christie never came to terms with his opponent’s serve that came across court, flew into the air and either did or did not hit the slope above Christie’s head before spinning off in all directions. The serve will have a name but I daren’t write what Christie called it. Again Cambridge travelled and proved to be entertaining, if unsuccessful opponents. We are, if nothing else, consistent. Still, we consoled ourselves over dinner in the unoriginally named Mason’s, in the one-time Freemason’s Hall in the centre of town a short walk away and by 9pm the day wasn’t the sporting disaster we’d first believed.

Dr S and Bailey

The Baileys

Masons

Debrief…

Balls

The author at work

The club was beautifully old school, the tennis entertaining, the company fun. I’m still not convinced about Manchester. TK

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Inter University Cup, sponsored by the Dedanists and Pol Roger

The Annual Inter-University Real Tennis Tournament ran very smoothly this year, thanks in large part to the pros Kees Ludekens and Peter Paterson, who dedicated their weekends to marking matches and hosting 41 real tennis players from six universities across the country. Special mention must also go to Ben Geytenbeek for his tireless effort and expertise in devising the draw and adjusting timings as matches overran or got ahead of schedule.

Ben Geytenbeek

Peter Paterson

27 players across 12 teams took part in the Inter-University Cup, providing some great tennis through all the rounds, and the thunderous support from the Middlesex players in particular gave the tournament a real buzz.

Middlesex 2 (Rohit Jain, Reuben Ard) made it through to the final against Cambridge 1, their third Cambridge opposition after a dominant performance against Cambridge 5 and a close-fought 2-1 victory (8/3, 5/8, 8/3) over Cambridge 2. We unfortunately missed out on what was shaping up to be a close match-up between Middlesex 2 and the top-seeded Bristol 1 team due to a scheduling clash but nonetheless they were [putting them] in the final and raring to go with plenty of support.

Cambridge 1 (Jin Lee, Arthur Adams) beat Durham (Hugo Pennant [handicap singles winner], Hal Hornby) in their first round in a game that was much closer than the eventual scores suggest and then faced Middlesex 1 (Oliver Vidana, Faustas Vilimas) in the semi-final. Despite a brilliant performance from Oliver, however, beating Jin in the First Singles, Cambridge emerged victorious to go through to the final.

In the final Rohit put up a great fight using a combination of his skills from real tennis and from cricket to take Jin to 13 games, but ultimately Jin emerged victorious. Similarly, Reuben was feeling a little fatigued after his long day of real tennis but nevertheless took four good games from Arthur in the second singles.

Cambridge 1

Middlesex 2

Ultimately the home team used their home court advantage to win [won] the Cup, but we at CURTC are looking forward to hosting another brilliant tournament next year and hope to see O*ford and Exeter back in the fold for an even bigger draw!

Arthur Adams, CURTC

ps Many thanks to the Dedanist’s Foundation for their generous support of University Real Tennis!

pps Photo credits: Jin Lee & Jacqui Siu

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Inter University Handicap Singles

Once all the teams had battled with the snow on the drive down to Cambridge, the stage was set and it was time to battle it out on court to decide who would go home victorious.

Eight universities helped form an action packed three days of competing in both the Inter University Cup and the Handicapped Singles.

The group stages provided some thrilling games, with grills being smashed, serves being rolled and the bell in the winning gallery rung.

16 prevailed out of the group stages into the knock out stages of which five were represented by Middlesex. Another day, and another eight players prevailed into the quarter finals. Middlesex still having control of the draw with four players remaining.

2023 IUHS

However, come the final it was a shootout between Reuben Ard of Middlesex and Hugo Pennant of Durham. One set to eight to decide the champion. With the Dedans filled, mainly by the 16 person team of Middlesex, Peter called the handicap and the game begun. The score reached 5-5, before Hugo pulled away, winning 8-5.

Hugo Pennant, 2023 IUHS Winner

Reuben Ard, MURTC

Whilst what occurred on the court was a real success, as was that off the court. On the Saturday evening the CURTC hosted their annual Pol Roger sponsored drinks reception and dinner up in the viewing gallery. It provided both excellent food and drink but also a great opportunity to come together and socialise between the competing universities.

In addition, this whole tournament wouldn’t be possible without the organisational and logistical skills of the Cambridge team of professionals, who as always delivered a smooth running, competitive and memorable tournament. Finally, and perhaps most importantly it is important to thank the Dedanist’s Foundation for their continued financial support which permits all teams to not only train before the tournament but also enter the annual event. Without them the game wouldn’t be the same and hopefully the legacy can be continued, and the game of Real Tennis can be preserved or even better grow.

Cambridge 2023 over and out, see you all in 2024!

Hugo Pennant, Durham University

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Men’s Varsity

Arthur Adams, Jack Wilson-Smith, KL, Patrick Smart, Jin Seok Lee

Arthur

Jack

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Women’s Varsity Team

Ulla Petti, Anna Chesca, Ellie White, Lucy Caines

It all happens this Friday and Saturday at Lord’s… Many thanks to Pol Roger, Grays of Cambridge and the MCC.

Ulla

Ellie

Anna

Lucy

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