Winter 1999

Marco Regional Report
The Marco Regional appeared to be a success with good attendance and a great deal of star power. Luminaries such as Billy Eisenberg, Eric Rodwell, Jeff Meckstroth, Geoff Hampson, Barnett Shenkin, Mike Cappelletti Sr. and Jr., Garey Hayden, Mark Molson, Mike Seamon, Mike Becker, Bill Passell and Bobby Levin were present. It's always a great thrill to look at an adjacent table and see a world champion.

Members of the Naples Bridge Center made a strong showing for themselves. An especially strong performance was turned in by the team of Ron and Joy Schick, Sudhakar Bhatt and Chris Shanklin. Team Schick was sharp as a razor, taking first place in the second bracket of the Primetime Knockouts to go with a fifth place finish in the top bracket of the Open Knockouts, earning 36 Gold Points for their efforts. The finish in the Open KOs is especially impressive, as the top bracket included the world champions and other experts referred to earlier.

Also performing well in the top bracket of the Open KOs was Bob Blum, whose team garnered a third place finish. To put the level of competition in the top bracket in perspective, Joseph Shay of Ponte Vedra led a team which included Hampson, Rodwell and Meckstroth. The Shay team was riding the succeess of its recent victory in the Grand National Team championships, representing Florida. This national championship team failed to place in either of the Knockout events. As Bob Blum wryly observed, "Welcome to Marco." The Blum juggernaut also did well at the end of the week, placing in Sunday's Open Swiss.

John Vega turned in a pair of strong showings in Bracket II of the two Knockout events. Playing with Joe Moriarty, his team placed second in the Primetime Knockouts. Joined by John Blashill, Guy Germer and Marty Lavine for the Open Knockouts, Team Vega earned a 3/4 finish. John picked up 20 Gold Points during the tournamanent.

Ted and Mary Darlington lead a team, along with fellow islanders Evelyn McDowell and Dotsy Bywater, to a first place finish in the fourth bracket of the Open KOs. Evelyn also made Life Master during the tournament when she and Dotsy had a nice finish in the Stratifed Pairs on Friday.

Adriel Weakley and Dorothy Pettibone had an especially strong showing in Friday's Senior Stratified Pairs. Although they qualified for inclusion in the B bracket, they took first overall in the event, besting the top A pair by over five matchpoints. Also during the week, Muriel Seegers and Leo Heifitz took first place in Tuesday's Senior Stratified Pairs and Peg DuBois placed first in the Saturday Evening side game while playing with Donna Rodwell.

New Bronze Life Master
Don Sondergeld has recently made Bronze Life Master, an impressive achievement coming on the heels of receiving his gold card last year.