Well over 200 players are taking part, with the vast majority travelling over to Jersey especially for the tournament.They will be joining players from both Jersey and Guernsey in the chase for the biggest title and prize the game has to offer.
This year’s winner will receive a European holiday for their efforts as well as the L’Etacq Woodcraft’s Trophy.The defending champion is Terry Race of Brighton who defeated Jersey player Nigel Ryall of the Trinity Arms in last year’s final.Race does not have long to wait before he joins this year’s action as he has a first round match against Tony Earl of Medway at 11.25 am on Saturday.Ryall has a first round bye so will not be joining the fray until the second round gets under way on Saturday evening.With the event now in its 23rd year, a number of previous winners are sprinkled throughout the draw which this year has been kinder than in the past.There are, however, a number of fascinating clashes, none more so than the lunchtime encounter between England team captain and two times winner Kevin Tunstall of Wallingford and Brighton’s Mark James, who is no stranger to the tournament prize list.Tunstall is generally regarded as the game’s number one player, but even he will not relish the prospect of such a tricky game in the first round.For Islanders the match of the first round must be Saturday afternoon’s battle between previous champions Peter Noel of the West End and Steve Ahier of the Smugglers Inn.
Of even more ‘local’ interest is the Saturday morning clash between president Don Cadec and league webmaster Nick Barnett, who both play for the Smugglers Inn.
Saturday’s play gets under way at 11 am and the first day will allow the completion of rounds one and two as the field is reduced to 64.Also on Saturday the plate competition, for all first round losers, gets under way and will then be played in conjunction with the main tournament on both days.Sunday morning’s games begin at 10.30.By around 5 pm the field will be reduced to the last 16, each of whom will be guaranteed a prize.In fact, together with high breaks, best losers and special ladies’ awards, there will be around 40 prizes on offer, including prizes for the Junior Open which takes place on Sunday and for which entries are still being accepted.
On Sunday at 9.25 pm is the final of the plate competition followed by the championship final which is scheduled for 10.10 pm, both being played in the Burgundy Room.The tournament is jointly sponsored by Travtel Leisure Group and Channel Hotels and Leisure with support from Jersey Tourism.