WESPA Report

Scrabble New Zealand invites you to play in the upcoming 5th WESPA Senior Scrabble Championship, with Christchurch playing host in 2017.

Now in its fifth year, this event is open to players aged 55 or over as at 31 December 2017. Previous years have attracted top players from around the globe, including Tony Sim, Gerry Carter, Karen Richards and Howard Warner.

Indeed, New Zealand’s Howard Warner has won the World Seniors twice – in Colombo in 2014 and Bangkok in 2015. He says: “My obvious affinity for this tourney was partly behind bringing it to New Zealand in 2017. It’s amazing the quality of play you find around the world at senior level. But I also enjoy the opportunity to compete with my age-group peers without the worry of being shown up by all the brilliant young stars.”

Warner did not compete in 2016 - that event, held in Bangkok was won by Tony Sim, making him the reigning champion as we head to Christchurch. Loyal followers of the UK player, David Webb's Youtube channel will recall his excellent vlog on the event.

The 24-game tournament will be held in Christchurch (the Christchurch Bridge Club, 21 Nova Place) on 21–23 November.

The word source is CSW15, the rules are WESPA v3, and the entry fee is $US80. Prizes go down to tenth place, with a first prize of US$1000 plus several age-group and special prizes.

For those players keen for yet more games, there will also be a 14-game Early Bird Tournament on 18–19 November at the same venue. It is open to all-comers of any age, and costs just NZ$30 to enter. There will also be a 21-game Side Tournament, alongside the main event. It is open to non-seniors, and the entry fee is also NZ$30.

Tournament contact, Paul Lister says: "I'm getting a really good feel about our Seniors Scrabble festival -there is already jostling going on in the age group area with an 83 year old from Christchurch, an 85 year old from Malaysia and a 90 year old from Australia throwing down the gauntlet for the 80 plus division prize. There is real interest in the early bird tournament and a place for all in the concurrent tournament 21-23 Nov which is open to all ages. The entries are already rolling in for these tourneys and include the excellent and experienced Odette Carmina RIO"

Scrabble players who like to extend their travel plans when they head overseas will find much to like about heading to NZ: New Zealand is a world renowned tourist destination, and is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the world. Christchurch is gateway to the magnificent South Island, and November (late spring) is a magical time of year.

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