Given that we are beginning the run up to the grandest ISA event ever, and given that we expect to have a delegation from Russia, and given that the OLYMPICS are approaching, I thought it appropriate to look back to the great time, the ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC TIME, so many of us experienced on our Inaugural to Sochi Russia in 2011!! Think of it Ladies and Gentleman; a good many Shufflers visited Sochi, a good many Shufflers were treated Royally as we toured the sites on which the Olympics will be held!! Without exception, every participant in this Inaugural has nothing but the highest of praise for our Sochi Adventure!! Thank you so much to the Hussmanns and the Allens AND any others who worked to make this event the significant success that it was!!!! And thank you to the many Russian citizens who were always willing and able to help in any way possible!! Stan McCormack 2013 08 03.
Re top pic: That is correct Readers; it was the Ladies who earned the right to the podium! Taking 1st place was Pam Hill of Canada; taking 2nd place was Birgitt Hussmann of Germany; 3rd place Shirley Bryan of Canada, and in 4th place Germany’s Sebastian Runge. You can tell by the smiles that it was a moment of glory for all, a moment celebrated by every participant as well.
1st Place Winner Pam Hill had this to say: “For me, the first European Open Shuffleboard tournament tops the list. We all had many hard fought matches (thanks to our skilled director, Dieter), and yet, I hope no one felt they lost a game. Everyone seemed happy for the winner. Our new Russian shuffling friends participated gamely, and who could not love Boris with his precious cup?
The champion’s cup is most precious to me. I thank all those who boosted me to the pinnacle. They allowed me to bring home the trophy (in the hotel beach bag, no less!). A wonderful time was had by all!!” Pam Hill
With reference to Pam’s comment above: “and who could not love Boris with his precious cup?” Boris, above right, was an enthusiastic young Russian Shuffler who could not have been happier or prouder as he accepted his Cup at the Windup Banquet. Both Cups were donated by Planeta Sochi, our host. The Allen R Shuffleboard Co. donated cash prizes to the top winners. (click on pix to expand)
2nd Place Winner Birgitt Hussmann had this to say: “First I would like to say that I am very proud and happy about my second place in an international tournament. I did not expect making it to the best 16 during the group-phase, because I knew 3 of the Canadian Pros I was up against. Therefore it was a great surprise when I was announced group winner.
Since most of my fellow German players also made it to the best 16, I had to compete with 3 of them in the knock out rounds. After I had won these games, I had to face Pam Hill in the finals.
Unfortunately, I was not off to a great start and put myself in the kitchen. It is always tough to catch up when you’re behind, especially when you’re playing against someone like Pam in a shortened game. In the end the little lady – I truly adore her – earned her win.
The event has been an amazing experience for me, not only from a competitive point of view. I am so happy to be part of the awesome Shuffleboard family and am looking forward to meeting all of my friends in the World Singles in Dieppe, Canada.
Thank you; Birgitt Hussmann.
3rd Place Winner Shirley Bryan’s remarks have not yet arrived. When they do I will revise the article for posterity!!
4th Place Winner Sebastian Runge had this to say: “My note in advance: I am a lucky loser. I started the tournament with a defeat against Dieter Wüllner (at international tournaments I’ve always lost the first game) and made him happy so I feel happy. The next four matches of the round robin were successful (possibly caused by the miracle tea of the Russian sponsor 😉 and also the Speed Shuffleboard against Dieter Wüllner to win the group. So I reached the top 16 and had achieved my personal aim.
As my friend Erika Berg de facto beats herself and after another win against Rosemary Otmar, to my own surprise I reached the semi-finals!
There I lost the match clearly to my good friend Birgitt Hussmann who gave me no chance after two blunders in the first frames. In the match for 3rd place against Shirley Bryan I started as bad as before, fought back and had the chance to make everything clear at the very last frame, but my shot behind the block just touched the darn 😥 line. Because I was only 6 points ahead, Shirley made it with her hammer, scored an 8 and deserves to win the third place. So finally 3 women stood on the podium, a good signal to show that Shuffleboard is a family sport!
Why am I a lucky loser? At first cause I exceeded my own goals, secondly because I feel slightly proud to end this 1st European Open as the top male participant.
However, I am really happy because I’m part of this wonderful Shuffleboard family. Special thanks to our Russian hosts, Jim and Beth Allen as well as Dieter and Birgitt Hussmann! You and all the other participants made it an unforgettable journey. Sebastian Runge.
Stan McCormack. Reposted on 2013 08 03.