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

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Ladysmith gas prices spike over night to 151.9 per litre

A provincial inquiry found B.C. drivers pay a 13 percent premimum compared to other provinces

Woman charged with numerous drug offenses

Police make arrest on an outstanding warrant dating back to earlier raid on Chemainus property

Saltair Marine’s ‘Silver Bullet’ found by RCMP months after reported theft

The $20,000 vessel was stolen from the Ladysmith Marina back in July

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read