Claudia McLean of Chemainus, a national champion, makes a play on the ball during Sunday’s mixed doubles pickleball tournament. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Claudia McLean of Chemainus, a national champion, makes a play on the ball during Sunday’s mixed doubles pickleball tournament. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Pickleball players produce lightning-fast reflexes in 90-minute tournament at Chemainus

Fuller Lake Park hosts 24 teams from around the region for mixed doubles event

You’ve heard of speed dating? How about speed pickleball?

The game is already fast, but a 90-minute tournament Sunday at the Fuller Lake Park Pickleball Courts had players pushing the accelerator in a rapid-paced event from start to finish.

It’s a new concept for the Vancouver Island Pickleball Association with mixed doubles teams more than ready to take up the challenge.

“As the name would suggest, it comprises 90 minutes of continuous action with teams moving up and down the courts depending on whether they win or lose,” noted VIPA president Ken Holman of Chemainus.

He figured it would prove popular with some of the more gung-ho players and they proved him right.

“The entry filled within a few hours of the registration opening,” Holman pointed out.

“The format is limited to 24 players. It’s 12 teams. Everyone was playing all the time.”

The date selected for the tournament worked our perfectly.

“There was a little bit of a lull in the tournament schedule for the Island and we just sort of slotted it in there,” explained Holman.

Damaris and Peter Brix of Victoria were the champions. The couple just returned from the national tournament in Kelowna where Damaris was a dual champion in both mixed doubles with husband Peter and singles so they were obviously tough for this group to beat.

Anna Edgar and Pete Korvin of Nanaimo came second while third went to the combination of Barb Lawrie from Saltair and Neil Rich of Victoria.

Chemainus’ Claudia McLean also competed in the 90-minute event after enjoying great success at the nationals with a gold medal in the women’s doubles.

Players came from as far away as Black Creek in the north to Victoria to take part.

With summer heat settling in, the 90-minute group, of course, played in ideal conditions with just enough shelter from the sun.

“That’s one of the advantages of Fuller Lake,” said Holman, McLean’s tournament playing partner. “They have some shade there.”

For the first time, the VIPA’s Island Championships won’t be held at Fuller Lake, but taking place in Lake Cowichan instead during mid-August.

Holman expects the tournament to be back at Fuller Lake next year.

 

Peter Brix of Victoria goes low to send this shot back over the net. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Peter Brix of Victoria goes low to send this shot back over the net. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Claudia McLean of Chemainus, teamed up with Ken Holman, is right on top of a shot. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Claudia McLean of Chemainus, teamed up with Ken Holman, is right on top of a shot. (Photo by Don Bodger)