Anyone involved in producing a paddle tournament knows how much effort goes into the event and how much hope goes into the weather forecast as that is the one item that we can’t control. This year’s Wilton Connecticut YMCA Open and B Tournament hit on all cylinders including the weather.
The crazy crew that puts this tourney together every year really goes all out in providing a great experience around our favorite sport. This year was the 29th year that the tourney was held and had a full 32 team draw for the open and a full 32 team draw for the B level.
The tourney was centered on the Wilton Y’s five courts with assist from seven surrounding clubs. The Wilton Y paddle mascot (a Kraken of all things) was featured floating in the pond and a newly commissioned Kraken tentacle sculpture was erected on the paddle hut. A phenomenal barbeque was provided from noon until later into the evening, many beverages were consumed and a calypso beat was in the air as the crowd was entertained by the Wilton Steel Drum Band.
The open was highlighted by some great matches throughout with the championship captured by Juan Arraya and Boie Bogardus. Giving them a run for it in the finals was Anton Mavrin and Terry Doran. In the B finals the local Milbrook Club team of Rich Greene and Lawrence Garinger held on in a third set tie-breaker against Kevin Dillon and Marq Mellor to win it.
Over 150 enthusiasts were on hand to watch the semifinals and finals and were rewarded with some great play. The favors were a big hit as just about every player immediately put on the Kraken logo adorned jacket/shirt. The tourney provided plenty of value to players and was well worth the price of admission. Even so, tourney organizers worked hard to be in a position to donate a significant portion of the proceeds to the Wilton YMCA non-profit.
Tournament organizers were elated to be sold out on the draw four weeks ahead of schedule with over 10 teams ready as backup in each draw on the waiting list. Next year the Wilton Y Tournament will be held on March 13, 2013 so if you want to make sure that you get into the draw mark your calendars to sign up early. Rumor has it that next year will also be expanded with an open women’s draw.