The first Saturday in February was a busy day in Abaco. Besides several art functions, fund raisers and the Football Championships it was also the kickoff of the Darts Gold Cup.
The Nassau team was the overall winner of the 31st Darts Gold Cup with 195 points. The local team placed second with 178 points, followed by the Eleutherans with 82 points. The team from Grand Bahama did not perform as well as usual, perhaps because they had quite a few new members in their team. They finished with 78 points.
The official start of the Darts Gold Cup Tournament, a two day event, was heralded at approximately 7:00pm on Friday, February 6 by the President of the Bahamas Darts Federation, also Past-President of the Abaco Darts Association, Malcom Spicer. He welcomed the out of town visitors. After the blessing by Rev. Willish Johnson and the singing of the National Anthem by the assembly, Mr. Spicer declared the tournament opened.
Approximately sixty to seventy people from four islands, including Abaco, participated in the tournament which was sponsored by Sands Beer, with its representative, Mr. Jerry Summers in attendance. Each visiting captain was accompanied by nine male and five female players. Nelson Rhaming from Nassau, Ashley Poitier from Freeport, Chip Brankine from Eleuthera and locally Kevin Hicks, were the respective team captains.
The truly Bahamian event- from beer sponsorship to players – took place at D’N’R Bar on Don Mackay Boulevard; the owners of the bar, Laura Albury and Dwight Miller, had gracefully handed over part of their premises for the occasion and reorganized the front room to accommodate the darts lanes.
Besides being a competitive event, the gathering was an occasion to renew friendships and catch up with acquaintances. As stated by the new President of the Abaco Darts Association, Faith Sawyer, “You shake hands before starting and you shake hands at the end of the tournament.”
It was a congenial group who had assembled that weekend, most of them the same players who had shot darts against each other over many years.
The Team Event, the first event of the evening was won by the New Providence players with 48 points; the local team was the runner up with 46 points. According to the team captain, Mr. Hicks, darts shooting went on until nearly 2am Saturday morning. The competition was resuming that same morning at 10:00 and again went on until the wee hours of Sunday morning, a tough demand on the players who according to one of them were too tired after so many hours of shooting darts to be really accurate.
In spite of the fatigue, there were many good results. Abaconians Angela Russell and Robin Albury were declared the tournament MVPs.
Ms. Russell won the Women’s Singles and was in the Women’s Doubles with Faith Sawyer.
Robin Albury and Shane Sawyer placed second in the Men’s Doubles. Abaconian Mark Albury took the second place in the Men’s Singles, behind Christian Knowles of Nassau.
Rashad Lewis and Trudy Johnson were the MVPs for New Providence.
The next darts event, the Masters Tournament, will be held in Freeport during the weekend of April 10-11. The best players will be chosen to be part of the National Team which is to travel to Turkey in October for the Darts World Cup.
However with Turkey being so close to the ISIS terrorist threat, it is expected that the venue will be changed.