Thursday is Preparation Day for the 64th WECU Championship and Congress, due to start tomorrow at the Royal Beacon Hotel, Exmouth.
Hotel staff have been putting out the tables and cloths all afternoon (I’m assured); John & Christine Constable, of CCF MindGames, will be arriving in town any time now, bringing all the playing equipment and bookstall. A few helpers will arive c. 6 p.m. to start setting out the sets etc. The Mayor of Exmouth, Cllr. Darryl Nicholas, has been booked to arrive in time for the Opening at 10 a.m. The weather is set to be near-perfect, so the show is almost ready to roll.
At the last count, top seeds in the Open were Jack Rudd (208); Stephen Berry (215); Rhys Cumming, a 16 yr. old pupil at Millfield with a grade of 191; former Devon Champions Dominic Mackle (191) and Alan Brusey (175) and the current Champion, Mark Abbott of the local club. Martyn Simons has expressed an intention to play, but no entry form has yet been seen. Of these, all but Stephen Berry are eligible for the Championship Cup and British Championship Qualifying Place. Berry will, of course, take, in full, any cash prize due to him. However, there may be other very late entries with an eye on the big prize. If so, they are unlikely to be denied a place, as entries are down a little this year, in common with most other local events of this nature.