Eastbourne open bowls tournament is a great day on the greens

The 91st Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament was held in weather that provided ideal bowling conditions.

Friday, 16th July 2021, 2:51 pm
The mayor delivering bowl against Vince Smith

The 91st Eastbourne Open Bowls Tournament began on Sunday, with the weather providing ideal bowling conditions.

First run in 1924 under the patronage of the Mayor of Eastbourne and Sussex County Bowls Association, the ‘mission statement’ for the event was ‘to encourage local bowlers to play competitively against visitors to the town and to create new and lasting friendships’.

The tournament happily maintains this objective, with more than 180 players attending from clubs outside of the Eastbourne area.

Colin Nutton (White Rock BC) - the defending singles champion - in first round action at Hampden Park BC

A pre-tournament match, raising funds on behalf of local charity the JPK Project, was held on Saturday at Hampden Park BC.

Sadly, the wet weather meant the bowls had to be cancelled but a quiz and raffle enjoyed by all present were held in the clubhouse, raising £200.

Tournament organiser Mike Taylor thanked the attendees and Hampden Park BC for their hospitality and generosity.

Mayor, Cllr Pat Rodehan, opened proceedings at the tournament HQ on Sunday by welcoming the players and supporters to the event and bowling the traditional first bowls in competition against tournament president Vince Smith.

On this occasion, it was the mayor who clearly emerged victorious.

Four former singles champions are participating this year – Francois Celada (Eastbourne BC), Graham Bridges (Grosvenor BC), Andrew Albon (formerly Gildredge Park BC), and 2019 singles, pairs and triples champion Colin Nutton (White Rock BC).

They have all successfully progressed to the last 32 of the competition, where 12 local players remain in contention for the title.

Well supported ‘any combination’ pairs, men’s triples and mixed triples competitions are also taking place during the week.

The tournament takes place annually on bowling greens around the town.

The finals will be held today at Eastbourne BC, with necessary social distancing precautions being applied.

Following the disappointment of having to cancel last year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic, the level of support from local clubs and visitors has proven outstanding.