Record number of Collaroy members hit Ulladulla tourney

Collaroy TennisEvents

In what has now become an annual pilgrimage, an ever-growing band of bandits from Collaroy Tennis Club ventured south last weekend (16-18 Feb.) to again plunder the prizemoney on offer at the Milton-Ulladulla Summer Games Seniors Tournament.

This year we hit a new landmark with no less than 20 members venturing south, many playing their first ever ‘Tour Tournament’… and if not for Kenny and Glenn missing out with injury and travel plans respectively, the representation would have been even higher.

The Collaroy contingent consisted of Lynne and Clarrie, Ros (with partner Les), Fiona and husband Tony, Eri, Dave, Lee, Warren, Garry and Julie, along with tournament debutantes Felicia (with husband and soon-to-be CTC member Dan), Wil, Anna and Gareth, Kim G. and husband Steve, Damian, Geoff and new member Kim D.

Note: Please see Photo Gallery at the bottom for all the fun and action snaps.

A dip in the rock pool at Kiama is the perfect way to break up the drive to Ulladulla

It’s an easy drive down, some members breaking up the trip with a swim at Kiama or a bite to eat in Berry. The bravest among us played Singles on Friday as well as the Doubles events on Saturday and Sunday. (As a result, poor Geoff ended up with a blackened and bleeding big toe… thankfully, amputation was not required. Note: Photo available but considered too gruesome to publish.)

Partners in Crime, Damian and Geoff

Injury also hit Fiona in one of her matches with Eri. Though cramping in both legs, she refused to surrender and the pair went on to win that match and finish Runners Up overall.

As results poured into Tournament H.Q. over the weekend, it was obvious Collaroy was again going to top the ‘medal tally’, fighting off strong challenges from Pennant Hills and Manly Lawn T.C. This year threw up some new champions from our wonderful Club. The list of prizemoney winners included:

  • Our latest rep. Kim D., who won her Singles event on Friday and was also Runner Up in the Doubles on Saturday with partner and fellow debutante, Felicia.
  • Eri and Damian – winning their Combined Age Mixed event, Damo taking out the top prize in his tournament debut!
  • Lee and Warren – special congratulations to Lee on her first ever tournament win! Great effort by both Lee and Mr Booker.
  • Geoff – a winner in the Combined Age Men’s Doubles with scratch partner, Mark Jones from Marrickville, AND Runner Up in his singles event – a great result in his first Seniors Tourney (despite that nasty toe injury).
  • Julie, who won her Age Group Ladies Doubles event with friend Becky
  • Dave with his regular partner from Allambie, Denise, finishing equal first on ‘games won’ in their Combined Age Mixed event, but relegated to Runners Up on a countback behind former touring Pro., Robyn Rickard and her partner Craig Hunt.
  • Felicia and husband Dan, Runners Up in their Mixed event to go with Felicia’s second place in the Ladies Doubles with Kim D.
  • Wil, playing with his mate Espie (a regular at our AO Pride events) – Runners Up in both their Men’s Doubles events
  • Eri & Fiona – Runners Up in the Ladies Doubles Age Category

Tournament newcomers Anna G. and Kim G., Gareth and Steve deserve special mention. While wins proved hard to come by for the boys, Gareth and Steve were in almost every match, consistently reaching deuce in the majority of games, but just failing to win the all-important deciding points. Tournament experience will no doubt remedy that in the future.

Tournament Debutantes Gareth, Anna, Kim and Steve

Meanwhile Anna and Kim improved every time they took to the court, overcoming first day nerves to finish strongly on Sunday. Case in point… beaten 7-1 by an opposing pair on Saturday, they played the same two girls next day and beat them 6-2 – an amazing turnaround in just 24 hours! All in all, an excellent first up tournament ladies, with future success assured.

Members of the Collaroy Crew (plus Denise from Allambie)

With such a large contingent, members stayed in several forms of accommodation in smaller groups. Geoff and wife Tanya holed up in what Geoff described as ‘Bates Motel’ in Ulladulla (a tongue in cheek reference to Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’… something about the shower curtain?). Lynne, Clarrie, Ros and Les stayed in their usual caravan park cabins, the Bevans in a motel on Mollymook Beach, Anna, Gareth, Kim and Steve in a secret hideaway, and Eri, Dave, Damo, Lee, Warren and Denise in an Airbnb, also in Mollymook.

Eri cooked a superb Japanese curry on Friday night, which was followed by an enthusiastically played game of Absolute Balderdash, won by Eri and her partner Denise. (Warren is still stuck in the starting blocks, the form guide reading ‘In need of the run. Surely must improve at next outing’.)

This six bedroom house came complete with a beautiful Stiga table tennis table and a Foosball table too. On the final night down south, the ‘Mollymook Invitational Table Tennis Tournament’ was held. Highlights included Garry’s rocket serve, Warren’s typical jack-in-the-box style and Eri’s use of the traditional Asian penhold grip… but it was Dave who took home the chocolates (shared later, over a nice bottle of Shiraz).

Narrawallee Beach

The weather was perfect all weekend, until a storm swept through late on Sunday, just after the last matches were completed. Away from the tennis, those not scheduled for morning matches managed to fit in the most refreshing swims, with Damo, Dave and Warren having a dip at beautiful Narrawallee Beach on Saturday and at Mollymook on Sunday. Julie lucked into a beach visit that featured a spectacular squadron of 12 pelicans flying in formation overhead, while a pod of dolphins frolicked just beyond the break. The South Coast is truly one of the world’s most beautiful locations.

These ‘Seniors’ Tournaments (for any player over 30!) are well organised, friendly and lots of fun. Unlike other tournaments, you know exactly when you’ll be playing (whether morning or afternoon) and can therefore plan other activities around your tennis. The social aspect is great, with the occasional drink or two involved and the chance to try some wonderful local restaurants.

This year in Ulladulla was another great weekend away for Collaroy members and hopefully even more will come along to future tournaments… perhaps to the Central Coast in March, Gloucester in April, Forster or Batemans Bay in August or Nelson Bay in late November. Check out the full calendar here.