Doug Solloway is simply smashing alongside partner Sue Fraser in the mixed doubles competition during the Island Pickleball Championships. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Island pickleball players perfectly prepared

Top-notch action at Fuller Lake Park in singles, doubles and mixed doubles

People can’t get enough of pickleball. More evidence of that enthusiasm for the sport came during the Vancouver Island Pickleball Championships at Chemainus’ Fuller Lake Park Friday evening through Sunday afternoon.

To say the sport has caught on like wildfire once everyone stopped laughing at the name of it is an understatement.

“Pickleball’s the fastest growing sport in North America,” said Rand Granbois, tournament director for the Vancouver Island Pickleball Championships. “It’s been that way for a few years.”

People with backgrounds in other racket sports or even with no previous experience are gravitating to pickleball in overwhelming numbers.

“It’s so big now, especially down in the States,” added Granbois. “The one bad thing about it is it’s very, very addicting.”

For active younger seniors, it’s a game that keeps them young.

“It’s more of a social thing,” Granbois indicated. “It’s mostly doubles and the way you play it you’re always mixing partners.”

The best of the Island and a few players from the Lower Mainland were involved in the Island tournament. A total of 119 players took part in singles, doubles and mixed doubles. The high level of singles play was something to behold.

“We were happy, as we had lots of feedback from the players and public alike, praising what a fun and friendly tournament it was,” Granbois declared.

Top finishers in the various classes were as follows:

Women’s Singles – Gold: Damaris Brix (Victoria); Silver: Becca Stuve (Victoria); Bronze: Brenda Stewart (Nanaimo).

Men’s Singles – Gold: Peter Brix (Victoria); Silver: Matthew Hirota (Nanaimo); Bronze: Antonio Toledo (Mansons Landing, Cortes Island).

Women’s Doubles A Flight – Gold: Gwen Chew (Victoria) & Vicky Strandlund (Victoria); Silver: Colleen Crowder (Black Creek) & Lissy Rauber (Black Creek); Bronze: Becca Stuve (Victoria) & Susan Kang (Surrey).

Women’s Doubles B Flight – Gold: Susan Hawkes (Crofton) & Barb Bradford (Ladysmith); Silver: Pamela Bendall (Nanaimo) & Sandy Scott (Salt Spring Island); Bronze: Ingibjorg Makepeace (Nanaimo) & Melissa Ruel (Port Alberni).

Men’s Doubles A Flight – Gold: Joe Wong (Victoria) & Randy Oben (Victoria); Silver: Mike Bellis (Nanoose) & Peter Brix (Victoria); Bronze: Marty Stoner (Mill Bay) & Rob Turnbull (Victoria).

Men’s Doubles B Flight – Gold: Sean Kennedy (Nanaimo) & Matthew Hirota (Nanaimo); Silver: Ed Francoeur (Port Alberni) & Neil Josefson (Port Alberni); Bronze: Richard McKinley (Nanoose) & Stuart Kirk (Parksville).

Mixed Doubles A Flight – Gold: Joe Wong (Victoria) & Vicky Strandlund (Victoria); Silver: Peter Brix (Victoria) & Damaris Brix (Victoria); Bronze: Randy Oben (Victoria) & Gwen Chew (Victoria).

Mixed Doubles B Flight – Gold: Mia Tremblay (Nanaimo) & Sean Kennedy (Nanaimo); Silver: Neil Rich (Victoria) & Margaret VanVeen-Hill (Victoria); Bronze: Ron Fiddick (Sidney) & Debbie Simpson (Victoria).

Mixed Doubles C Flight – Gold: Ron Denman (Nanaimo) & Sandy Scott (Salt Spring Island); Silver: Neil Josefson (Port Alberni) & Laurie Josefson (Port Alberni); Bronze: Trevor Ruel (Port Alberni) & Melisa Ruel (Port Alberni).

 

Soft touch is displayed by Sue Fraser in the Island Pickleball Championships at Fuller Lake Park while partner Doug Solloway awaits the outcome of her play. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Mary-Jo and Peter Woolgar in action. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Damaris Brix is right on top of the ball in a mixed doubles match at the Island Pickleball Championships. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Peter Brix reaches out to make a play on the ball. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Trudy Pitcher concentrates on the ball. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Dave Sheepwash of Nanaimo is johnny-on-the-spot to make a play on the ball. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Chemainus firefighters respond to series of calls

Residents thankful for efforts on Thanksgiving weekend

Region residents have many candidates to consider Oct. 21

MacGregor, Manly seeking to regain Member of Parliament posts in their ridings

Cougars working hard to improve with each game

Senior girls volleyball team continually learning early in the season

Diewert’s state of mind always stronger in Florida

Chemainus baseball product looking to make next step to the pros from Florida Southern

85-year-old Crofton man punched in head in road rage attack

Police looking for info after 85-year-old man attacked in road rage incident on Herd Road Oct. 9

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

B.C. principal suspended for failing to help student who reported inappropriate touching

Principal didn’t remove student from the teacher’s class nor call the parents within a reasonable time

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

UBC issues statement after instructor tells students to vote for Liberal Party

University says partisan messaging was not intentional

Fatal overdoses down by 33% in B.C., but carfentanil deaths continue to spike

Carfentanil, an illicit drug more powerful than fentanyl, causing more deaths than ever

Most Read