The now famous Mossel Bay Classic took place for the 24th time from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 July 2015 with the main sponsor again being Personal Trust.
Nine matches of 15 ends are played over three days and from the second match on, it is competed on a strength against strength basis. Play takes place at the Mossel Bay Bowling Club and starts at 09:00 each day. Visitors are always very welcome to come and watch excellent bowls and also to enjoy the Club’s hospitality.
This annual tournament has been hosted at the Mossel Bay Bowling Club since 1991 and this year it was once again a huge success. Entries are limited to 24 teams, the club’s maximum capacity, so there is always fierce competition to get a slot with teams from as far afield as Pretoria taking part. Many teams contain players who have been attending since the very first tournament and when a player can’t make it due to age or ill health, there is never a shortage of volunteers to fill that position. This is an invitation-only tournament, which means that if an invited team is unable to attend, the convenor can select a replacement from the many hopefuls on the waiting list. Because of the status of this event, teams very seldom cancel and will brave illness, hardship, family calamities and even duck their own 50th wedding anniversaries, to attend.
With the current tough economic climate, the club is very fortunate to have Personal Trust on board as the main sponsors for the event. The director of Personal Trust Knysna, Johann van der Westhuizen, is himself an avid bowler and also enters a team in the classic. Various other local companies and individuals also contribute cash and goods to bolster the fantastic prizes awarded to the winners.
The three-day competition started off on an uncertain note this year, with rain clouds hanging heavy and a very gloomy weather forecast for all three days. Old Mossel Bayers however know that our weather forecasts are never more than a rough guess and as usual we experienced all the seasons over the three days with only a light sprinkling of rain which was quickly shrugged off – bowlers are tough and they will only leave the green if they have to swap their white suits for wetsuits, so play continued uninterrupted.
It is rumoured that most of our visiting bowlers actually attend because of the great weather and the fantastic food served by our catering team rather than the actual bowls games, but we must stress that it is an unconfirmed rumour and all teams have affirmed that it is the strong competition and great camaraderie which keeps them coming back every year. Though when we reminded them about the seafood dinner and the braais, it did look as if some of them might change their minds. Especially about the grilled prawns, pickled fish and snoek tartlets. Our ladies pull out all the stops when catering for the Classic and it is well-known that no other club can compete with them in the kitchen, so hats off to Joey, Juanita and their team who provide excellent meals and snacks every year.
Besides being treated to good food and high standard of play, spectators and officials saw some very unusual milestones being reached as two teams each scored a very rare “full house” of 8 points in a game and then to everyone’s delight the team from Plettenberg Bay in which our sponsor Johann van der Westhuizen was playing, walked off with the gold medals and very welcome cash prizes. There is no doubt that this year’s Classic will be fondly remembered by all.
The Mossel Bay Bowling Club wishes to thank all sponsors and club members for their generous contributions, thus ensuring that the Mossel Bay Classic is one of the highlights on the Eden District sporting calendar.
The 2015 Mossel Bay Classic Winners