Card sharps in town for title clash
When you’ve got some of New Zealand’s best card players vying to take out the South Island Euchre championship, every second counts.
So card-enthusiast David Rashleigh from Blenheim is thrilled to be the ‘‘chief bell ringer’’ in charge of timing at the tournament held at the Clubs of Marlborough on Saturday and Sunday.
First-time timekeeper Rashleigh said his job was an important one as 160 people from around the South Island travelled to Blenheim to compete for the title.
‘‘I’m going to be the big chief bell ringer ... I’ve got to look after the time so that’s quite important,’’ he said.
Card lovers from as far south as Oamaru and across the top of the South Island including Blenheim, Renwick, Nelson, Motueka and Richmond were coming together to take part in the annual tournament in a bid to steal the Steinlager Cup from Timaru, who won it in 2017.
Rashleigh said it would be a chance to meet new people, which was huge draw card for him, especially because his favourite game was Crib, not Euchre.
And his bellringing job was ideal because he ‘‘[didn’t] like that game [Euchre] for too long’’.
Twenty clubs from around the South Island have entered, and the teams of eight would be split into pairs for the tournament.
Saturday would give players the chance to play a friendly game and socialise with each other. The afternoon would run from 2pm5pm at the Clubs of Marlborough.
The main tournament would get under way on Sunday and would run from 8am till late.
Organiser Peter Hand said the last time Blenheim hosted the event was five or six years ago.
He expected it to be a great weekend and said with lots of people travelling to Blenheim it would be a ‘‘big boost’’ for the town, with accommodation around town full of visiting players.
The winners of the tournament would be announced on Sunday evening, Hand said.
‘‘The team with the most points for the day wins a cup and the pair with the biggest number of points, they take home the Steinlager Cup.’’
Peter Hand will be hoping for a good hand at the South Island Euchre championship in Blenheim.