Last weekend (29th & 30th April), over 25 participants gathered for the first ever International Racketlon Federation sanctioned tournament to be played in the USA. The tournament was open to all with draws for first timers, amateurs and elite players. The elite draw attracted some exceptional talent, including current world #9, Marko Välimäki as well the top two Canadian players, Patrick Laplante and Jeremy Easterbrook. The Canadians dominated, with Patrick taking the title and Jeremy the runner up spot. Top seeded Marko (credit: tournament director) put up a strong performance despite nursing an obvious injury, but the Canadians showed that they can compete with the top European talent!. All results are online on fir.tournamentsoftware.com
In the B’s the experience of Russian Sergei Seregin proved to be too much for a field comprised of mostly newcomers to the game, and he defeated American Patrick Moran in the finals. In the O-45’s we had a repeat of the November Racket Masters final in Ontario, with Marc Fortin putting up a spirited effort despite losing to tournament host, Andy Stenson. In the ladies, Katrin Maldre was too strong for Shona Kerr who was playing despite having not played any racketlon in a number of years.
A group of players enjoyed a social gathering on the Saturday evening at The Northampton Brewery. The event was a great success, raising over $600 for the Smith College Badminton team, and plans are in the works to host the event again next year!