Newport, August 22, 2005: It’s always the hottest week of the year in Newport, and always the best tournament for us mere club players. AND, needless to say, the biggest headache for the organizers and professionals.
How do you cram 31 doubles teams into one weekend of play, while guaranteeing everyone at least two matches? Well, that will be the next trivia question on this website, but Bill Burgin and pros Rich Smith and Bryn Sayers already have the answer.
On the Court
When all the preliminary rounds were played, when all the speeches were said, and all the carousing was done, the FIVE divisions were decided on Sunday, beginning with the Open division. A win over Jed Eden/Josh Bainton gave the team of Cam Riviere and Charley Packham an unbeatable 3-0 match record, and the winner’s purse. (Below, Cam and Charley flanking Pro Rich Smith)
Following that, the Philly duo of Barney Tanfield and Gabe Kinzler made short work of Chris Cline and Bradley Allen, 6/2, 6/1.
Tanfield, Kinzler, Cline, Allen (l to r).
Bradley’s older brother York Allen, a relative newcomer to court tennis, showed great stuff in teaming with Ross Cann to beat Jane Lippincott and Pat Winthrop in the B’s, 6/5, 6/3 (although Jane and Pat came back from 1/4 down, and 2/5 down to even the first set, making it exciting). Pro Rich Smith, Pat Winthrop, Jane Lippincott, Ross Cann, York Allen.
Down where mortals can breathe without oxygen tanks, Sheila Reilly and James Wermuth overcame the worst of starts, switched the serve and beat Melissa Grassi and Haven Pell, 0/6, 6/2, 6/5 in the C division.
Pro Bryn Sayers, James Wermuth, Sheila Reilly, Melissa Grassi, Haven Pell.
Finally, Newport scored another victory, when Frank Fornari and Bill Cartier beat the husband and wife team of the Clarkes, 5/6, 6/2, 6/4. Pro Rich Smith, The Clarkes, Frank Fornari, Bill Cartier.
Is there a Doctor in the House?
Newport’s own Dick, “Tall Oak,” “Bluesman” Poholek, was not seriously injured on Friday afternoon when, on match point for his opponents, Dick decided to create a diversion by cleaving his left eyebrow in half with the business end of his racquet in an attempt to prolong the match by performing a full Murphy. Unluckily for Dick, he was not wearing his standard issue welder’s goggles, and he lost the point, game, set and match and half his blood supply. Luckily for Dick, there was a doctor in the house, Frank Fornari, one of his victorious opponents. Dick and his partner, Arthur Drane, were left to debrief on their loss as he awaited treatment at the Newport Hospital emergency room, two over-50 sweaty guys wearing all whites, trying to beat the summer Friday night rush of drunks and endeavoring to explain what a court tennis racquet is.
Ever the trooper, Dick was onstage Saturday night at the Conanicut Yacht Club dinner to recount the harrowing events of his weekend, and sing a special edition of the Blues for the assembled.
Thanks to …
The National Tennis Club, the 62 (!) players who chose to participate, the professionals for staying on their feet for four and a half days, the sponsors, and last but definitely not least, the Pell Family and Clarry himself, who’s somewhere out in the ether watching us all. Everyone contributes to making this Newport’s signature event of the season!
2005 PELL CUP WINNERS
RIVIERE/PACKHAM (3-0 record)
CHISHOLM/CROSSLEY (2-1 record)
TANFIELD/KINZLER (6/1, 6/2)
CANN/ALLEN (6/5, 6/3)
REILLY/WERMUTH (0/6, 6/2, 6/5)
FORNARI/CARTIER (5/6, 6/2, 6/4)