North America's largest Irish Festival added crokinole to its 2 week long calendar for the 2017 edition. Paddyfest is celebrating its 40th anniversary and is highlighted by the Irish and Country Concerts on the 17th and 18th of March. But playing part in the opening weekend of Paddyfest was a crokinole tournament in Listowel's Kin Station.
The doubles tournament, sponsored by CrokinoleDepot, featured almost a 50/50 split of the local crowd and crokinole veterans from around Ontario, pulling in 18 teams.
The tournament certainly had its own unique flavour, with music playing in the background throughout the day, a slightly uneven floor providing an extra challenge, and a nearby bar area that allowed players to stay "hydrated" throughout the gruelling rounds of crokinole.
Even with the relaxed atmosphere, the tournament still came down to a very exciting finish. With the Elmira team of Roy (aka "The Hurricane") and Jeremy, facing Andrew and Jon in the final match of the round robin. While Roy and Jeremy had won the first meeting of the day 8-0, Andrew and Jon returned the favour against their St. Jacobs/Waterloo counterparts by winning the second meeting 7-1. That was enough for Andrew and Jon to eclipse their 2 point deficit and come away with the top finish, leaving Roy and Jeremy in second, and Varna's Ab and Rex in third.
The event was certainly a fun time, which could be attested by the numerous boisterous celebrations following successful 20 attempts. Note that the celebrations became more frequent as the day went on - a clear indication of some quick learners. The quote of the day belonged to one crokinole newbie who exclaimed, "Who knew you could have so much fun playing crokinole?"