Club Doubles Finals @ 5pm -Thursday 28th March

A reminder that on Thursday 28th at 5pm,  the Club Doubles Final is being contested.  Hilton Booth and Graeme Bradfield are up against Pete Boyles and Al Ramsay.

All four players have won this event before and all were part of the victorious Percy Finch Team which recently enjoyed a stunning victory against the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club.
It would be great to see as many Members here to watch and support as we had at the singles final a few weeks ago.
During the match, nibbles will be provided by the club and the Friday night ‘BBQ boys’ will be enticing you with BBQ aromas as the match progresses.
So, from 5pm come and watch, support, mingle, learn, get inspired, drink, eat and get your Easter off to a great kick-start.

Percy Finch & Australian Amateur Doubles Scores Update

PercyFinch TrophySome amazing tennis has been played so far in these two tournaments.
Here is how it stands….

Percy Finch A

J.Gould vs G.Blundstone HOBART 6/0 4/6 5/6

G.Bradfield vs W.Cockram HOBART 6/3 6/2

M.Williams vs A.Ramsay HOBART 3/6 4/6

M.Happell/B.Richardson vs K.Booth/H.Booth MELBOURNE 6/3 6/2

Percy Finch B

G.Lee vs P.Bradfield HOBART 0/6 0/6

P.Williams vs J.Legg HOBART 4/6 2/6

W.Cockram/ P.Stanley vs G.Kerin/M.Hayward HOBART 3/6 6/5 2/6

G.Lee/ P. Williams vs R.Booth/A.Colbert HOBART 0/6 0/6

P.Williams vs G.Flower HOBART 3/6 2/6

Australian Amateur Doubles A

J.Gould/B.Boddington vs A.Ramsay/P.Boyles  5/6 6/4 2/6 1/6

Australian Amateur Doubles B

G.Kerin/J.Rackham vs J.Legg/ R.booth 6/0 6/2

W.Cockram/J.Hamer vs P.Williams/ G.Lee 6/0 6/0

J.Drewit/P.Bradfield vs G.Holloway/M.Hayward 0/6 1/6

Commonwealth Challenge Winners

The Commonwealth Challenge winners were:

Open ‘A’ Singles

Winner           Graeme Bradfield                  Runner-up                   Greg Kerin

Open ‘B’ Singles 

Winner          Sav Cremona                  Runner-up                   Graham Flower

Open ‘C’ Singles

Winner         Rod Tabor                           Runner-up                  John Davis

Handicap Singles

Winner           David Askey-Doran                  Runner-up                   Eryl Raymond


Winner          John Davis/Tim Manby-Brown                 Runner-up                   Rod Tabor/Nick Manby-Brown

And a big THANK YOU to Sue Davis, Eryl Raymond and Christine Stirling for the wonderful end of tournament dinner they provided!

John Davies & Tim Manby-Brown

John Davies & Tim Manby-Brown

Graeme Bradfield

Graeme Bradfield

Eryl Raymond

Eryl Raymond

Sav Cremona

Sav Cremona

Clothier Cup 2011 Report.

The Clothier Cup is a biennial match between junior teams from Australia and the USA.  The junior teams are composed of Under 26 players from both nations with teams usually comprising of 4 members. Historically the HRTC has contributed an abundance of junior players to the Clothier with the majority of the current crop of A-graders having been a member of a tour or two in the past. The Australians team is currently the holders of the trophy after a 5-3 win on American soil 2 years ago but the Americans claimed victory last time they came down under in convincing fashion 7-1. Continue reading

Ladies World Tennis Championship & Carnival Melbourne

The Ladies World Championship will be held in Melbourne from Sunday 8 to Saturday 14 May 2011.

RMTC & ARTA have advised that while the World Championship itself is designed for the best players, events have been included during that week  to suit all standards of women players, with B and C Grade Singles & Doubles, a Handicap singles, a Mixed Doubles and a Ladies Masters for those aged over 45.

Hobart women players have been invited to enter for the week’s tennis.

It’s a unique chance for them to enjoy a week dedicated to women’s tennis, and for all players to get plenty of matches.

Billets will be available and they can be certain of a warm welcome.

Interested Hobart players should contact Ros Pitt, the current convenor for Hobart Womens Tennis or Barry Toates at the Club.

Widmer/Bradfield Weekend in Ballarat – Hobart Wins

A fortnight ago the Hobart team of PETE BOYLES, HILTON BOOTH, PAT DUNNE and GRAEME BRADFIELD tarried forth to the RAT district of Ballarat for the annual match against the best of Ballarat under the team slogan (and appropriately designed t-shirts) WHACKARAT.


The Friday night commenced with two hours of scheduled team practice starting late, due to the Tassie team being mesmerised by the labrynth of freeways emanating from Tullamarine and the weight of four navigators. This was followed by carbohydrate loading with the opposing team with the ingestion of beer and pizza. The weekend beer special being a local beer named the RAT.

We were all well-billeted by the Ballarat team and the first match kicked off the next morning at 10am. We played matches in team order, with Graeme Bradfield taking on the hugely improving Michael Williams.

The first three games took over half an hour to play and both teams were dreading a five-set match at this pace. However, despite having a 5-2 lead in the first set, Graeme managed to lose it 6-5 and the next set followed with Michael hitting his targets hard and often to take it 6-3.

Graeme rallied well and took a early lead on third set and was 4-0 up in the final set but despite this managed to lose that 6-4 as well. The match took over three hours and was not an inspiring start for the team.

The next match was the Hobart enigma Patrick Dunne playing the timeless O-55 doubles champion, Wayne Spring. Pat, despite being down 2 sets to 1 and 3-0 in the 4th, managed to claw his way back to take the match 3-2, after another 3.5 hour epic. Patrick managing to finally contain his see-sawing game to overcome Wayne’s consistency.

The third match commenced with Hobart’s Hilton Booth playing another World’s over 50 player, David Parker. Hilton, from the beginning, showed his new style of relentless and consistent retrieval and tight shots to take the first set 6-0 in a long set and to streak in the second set to a 2-0 lead before our ephemeral coach, Patrick Dunne, had a few words to him, where upon he lost 2 games. He recovered well and won in straight sets but still in 2.5 hours.

This left the last game of the day with HRTC Club Champion, Pete Boyles, taking on Ballarat’s club champion, Dan Williams, commencing at 3.30pm.

The match was of a high standard, with Pete initially struggling to find form in his first truly competitive match in months. Pete, having the more experienced head, soon worked out that Dan was more at home with the pace game, which Pete has used so successfully on others. Pete then reverted to a reasonably boring slow-paced game which Dan tried to resist with continuous forcing which led to increased number of unforced errors. Pete managed to become more consistent as the match progressed with his line, length and pace which only served to make Dan’s game less and less comfortable. Pete came back from 2 sets to 1 down to eventually run out a very tired winner in five sets, finishing just before 7pm.

The team showered and then relaxed with the Ballarat team at a local restaurant and, whilst Hobart was at this stage 3 rubbers to 1 up it could have been so easily been the other way given the events of the day. Whilst most of the team started the night with high hopes of an intense party atmosphere, within a couple of hours the energy levels faded and apart from Patrick Dunne looking for a MacDonalds at 1am, the teams headed home early.

The next morning Pete and Graeme took on Dan Williams and Mark Hartnell in the first doubles and after another marathon 3.5 hour match, with Graeme finally getting his tennis act together, the Hobart team won in 5 sets.

The next rubber between Hilton Booth and Pat Dunne against Australia’s best (or at least longest serving doubles team) Wayne Spring and David Parker, became a testimony to young guns blasting experienced guns off the court in three sets. Whether it was the dead rubber or the accomplished, rarely viewed skills of Pat Dunne at the net, will never be known, but Hilton continued his weekend of being a model of consistency and the crowd watched in wonder as Patrick pirouetted amongst the galleries. The reality may have been that later it was found out that it was the first time that both Wayne and David’s wives had turned up at the same time to watch them. It had been a joke the night before amongst Carmel Parker and Marcia Spring that whenever one of them came to watch, their husbands would lose. Sadly, this probably means that David and Wayne will never be watched by their wives again.

So, at the end of a fantastic and long weekend of tennis, Hobart retained the Widmer/Bradfield cup 5 rubbers to 1, but if the five set matches had gone Ballarat’s way, they would have beaten us 4 rubbers to 2.

In summary, it was agreed that the Cup is a testimony to the competitiveness of the two clubs and this is to be looked forward to in years to come. Especially as the Melbourne Tennis Club is currently far and away the largest and best standard of amateur players in the world and it is difficult for either club to mount a serious competitive challenge in the near future in this format.

Written by Graeme Bradfield with assistance from Patrick Dunne

Club Memorabilia – The World Championship in Melbourne 2010

At the President’s Cup dinner on Saturday night, Alistair Curley generously donated a framed colour photograph of the world championship that was held in Melbourne in May of this year.

Taken on the Melbourne court, in the front row are the World Champion Rob Fahey and his Challenger Steve Virgona, the members of the successful RMTC organising Committee and behind them rows and rows of lucky match spectators who had witnessed some amazing tennis.

The photo will be hung in the Robert Fahey dedans.

President’s Cup Dinner 2010 – Presidential Moments

There was a “presidential suite” at the 2010 President’s Cup dinner in Hobart, with the two incumbent presidents in the company of 8 former Melbourne and Hobart Presidents.

Not wanting to waste the collective experience of the assembled Presidents, they were invited to share the worst or most embarrassing event of their Presidency.

Over the course of the evening we learnt of

• leaving visiting overseas tennis dignatories stranded in suburbia having mistaken car seat headrests for aristocratic heads
• an absolutely blank and empty head when making a speech in front of a State Governor at a major event
• awarding club life membership outside the Club rules only to be advised to that effect by the recipient a few days after the celebratory dinner
• numerous entanglements with high profile club professionals over such matters as remuneration and travel, termination of employment, the size and weight of the tennis balls to be used in a major match and unmentionables in the bathroom
• an organisational failure to provide food and glasses at a major international tournament cocktail party, with the assembled guests drinking out of trophies and vases and enjoying themselves immensely, regardless
• why the Hobart court was once painted grey and for reasons of ethnicity, why it is now painted blue, and
• a warm and friendly Club welcome to a daughter to watch “father” play, only to be informed that “daughter” was the second wife.

Andrew Kemp – Honorary Life Member – Hobart Real Tennis Club

In December last year, the Hobart members awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Club to Andrew Kemp. This event was celebrated at the President’s Cup dinner on Saturday 21 August.

Owen Guest, the President of the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club, paid tribute to Andrew Kemp’s contribution to tennis.

John Ramsay HRTC President read the citation on the certificate presented to Andrew.

It recorded the award -

For outstanding services to the Club as

Member, Committee Member, President and Patron

and for his contribution to the development of the game of real tennis in Australia, his fostering and promotion of our association with the Royal Melbourne Tennis Club, for his representation of the Hobart Club in Australia and overseas and for his dedication and generous support to the maintenance of the Club buildings and the display and recording of Club history.

Alistair Curley, former Hobart President and also an honorary life member of Hobart paid tribute to Andrew in a speech which is set below.


I am very pleased to be given this opportunity to say something about Andrew’s contribution to the Hobart Real Tennis Club. As such, tonight is a very important occasion in our club’s history.

Before I go on, Mary McArthur, a former President of the club, can’t be here tonight but she contacted me from New York today to ask me to pass on her apologies and best wishes to you. She said that you had been a great source of advice to her as President, as you were to so many Presidents, and she instructed me to say that she had always been a secret admirer!

Andrew Kemp joined the Hobart Tennis Club in 1961 and he has been playing tennis ever since. On 18 February next year, Andrew will celebrate fifty years’ membership. He is without doubt our club’s longest member!

He has served this club with distinction as a member, tennis player, committeeman, President and now Patron. In footballing terms, he is without doubt the club’s No 1 ticket holder!

In thinking over the past few weeks about Andrew’s contribution, what struck me first were the people I could no longer ask, like Jerry Walters, Duncan McDougall and Jim Cartledge. All people whose company Andrew enjoyed in our club over so many years, not least for The Doyens’ Doubles on Wednesdays at 6pm for the best part of forty years. One of the great joys of our game is the friendships we develop and Andrew, Tony Holmes (who is also here tonight), Jim, Jerry and Duncan developed a lifelong deep friendship over those weekly games of tennis, followed by the obligatory beers every Wednesday night. And woe betide the pro who did not have the requisite number of Pale Ale long necks in the fridge to quench their post match thirst, and of course the suitable number of whisky miniatures for Tony.

But if Jim, Duncan and Jerry were still with us, they would be so pleased that Andrew is receiving this recognition tonight.

AGK is passionate about the good health of the club, and no one has done more over these fifty years to ensure the club survived and thrived.

Andrew was my first President as a new young club pro, and he summed up my duties in one carefully delivered message in the men’s change room! “Clean court, tightly sewn balls, and she’ll be right!” And that’s pretty much Andrew’s secret, keep it simple and get it done.

He led our development in 2001, as ever ensuring we kept the club safe in terms of debt, but also very much looking to the future.

Since he became our Patron, he has also become our historian, and knows more about the rich history of the club than anyone.

The Percy Finch is our most important club match. Melbourne is our most important club relationship. But for over thirty years, in the middle of the 20th century, our two clubs did not speak. The reasons are for another time, but the first Percy Finch match in 1965 was a pivotal turning point for both clubs. Andrew, along with George Limb and Richard Allen, was elemental in ending the Cold War and those Originals, those three men (and others) re-ignited what was and remains our close relationship with RMTC. It is not too much to say that they saved Australian real tennis. And I am delighted that so many former Melbourne Presidents are here tonight to share this occasion.

In 1974, when RMTC opened its new courts in Sherwood St, Andrew was a key organizer of our club’s first international tournament at the same time, and from then on, he assiduously built relations overseas, to ensure that Hobart became a firm part of the international tennis scene. He knew that we had to be part of the world scene if our club was to grow. And he was one of the first to appreciate that we also needed to be part of the world professional circuit (he remembered those years without a pro and how hard it had been to keep the cub going with no pro).

Despite all these achievements for our club, Andrew has always been a very keen player. He started playing in 1961 and became Class Two Champion in 1964, and then Class Two Doubles Champion with Tony Holmes in 1978 and 79. And in 1988 he returned to the winners’ circle again as Class Three Champion.

He was a canny player, he had clearly thought about the game and excelled in doubles, including a winning Percy Finch rubber against George Limb and Robyn Byrne in 1969. I have also learned over the years that, like so many of us, he has a deep love of the game.

A few months ago, Andrew told me of how much he had enjoyed watching the last World Championship in Melbourne, and the privilege he felt in witnessing what was probably some of Rob Fahey’s best tennis in many years.

Speaking of Rob, he sends his apologies for being unable to be here tonight but he asked me share this message.

“Andrew Kemp, without doubt, you have the greatest railroad look-alike service in the World!! As a young pro, I witnessed dozens of unsuspecting players move towards the side-wall to return your railroad, only to be legged by this cunning imposter of a serve which bounced cat-like back over their heads into the middle of the court !”

Rob goes on. “Being the greatest in the world is something I know about, and being the greatest in the world at something is a terrific achievement, Andrew. However, I remember you most for achieving something that all men aspire to but few men achieve, being a 5 who married a 10!!

Congratulations Andrew on Honorary Life Membership of the greatest tennis club in the world” – Rob Fahey.

Now Robert brings us to ELIZABETH!

Andrew has been loyally supported by Elizabeth over the years, billeting visitors, attending and hosting functions and being a true supporter of the game and the club in her own right. And of course, over the years, all the club pros had to learn suitable reasons to explain why Andrew was still at the club, and not home for dinner, when Elizabeth rang up!

But Elizabeth, your support of Andrew and the Club over the years must be acknowledged and applauded.

The wife of our previous Patron Quentin McDougall was Enid, knows to all the Big E. And I think it’s time for a suitable name for Elizabeth as well. Definitely NOT the Big E! Something more regal perhaps… I think Queen Elizabeth the First works well.

As some of you will know, I am collaborating with Andrew and Richard Travers to write the History of the Hobart Real Tennis Club. To be simply titled Tennis in Hobart, we hope to have the book published late in 2011, and it is there that we will fully learn everything that Andrew has done for our club and for the game here in Australia.

Andrew won’t thank me for saying this, but I want to acknowledge his quiet but generous support of both the club and so many members over the years. He has done much for many over the years, never seeking any acknowledgement. His generosity of spirit is unmatched in my mind.

Andrew has been our greatest club man, a fine player and an indefatigable supporter of real tennis in Hobart and Australia.

So Andrew, I am delighted to welcome you to the Honorary Life Membership club. It is a truly deserved honour – no one has ever deserved it more – and it gives me great pleasure to propose a toast to Andrew Kemp.

2010 President’s Cup Dinner – Tasmanian Club – Saturday 21 August

The 2010 President’s Cup dinner was a memorable evening for many reasons. The company was of course outstanding with 45 Hobart members and partners joining the party of 15 from Melbourne who had travelled to Hobart for the President’s Cup weekend.

The occasion also marked the Hobart celebration of the awarding of Honorary Life Membership of the Club to Andrew Kemp, and of course that night witnessed the count in the 2010 Federal Election.

The dining was just fine. Biz and Ian Ritchard selected a great menu of – Woodbridge apple smoked Ocean Trout with beetroot jelly, crisp wafers and fresh horseradish dressing or Seared Quail Sichuan peppered and served with house plum sauce for Entree – Mains were – Midlands Lamb fillets marinated in fresh herbs, garlic and spice, flame grilled pink and served with redcurrant and cabernet sauce or Fresh local market fish, served wrapped in pancetta, oven roasted and accompanied by fried caper, tartare and lemon – followed by – Lemon and lime tart with Scorched meringue or ‘St Emilon au chocolat’ – Rich, dark chocolate sandwiched between Amaretto liqueur crust – for desert.

The wines they selected for the evening were Jansz Cuvee (Tas, Vic.), Tasmanian Club Riesling (Sorell Tas.) 2006, Josef Chromy Sauvignon Blanc (Relbia, Tas.) 2008, Meadowbank Pinot Noir (Derwent Valley, Tas.) 2005, and Holm Oak Cabernet Sauvignon (Tamar Valley, Tas.) 2007.

Those with a Federal election addiction were also catered for, with a wide screen TV available in a separate room, so that the results could be discretely monitored during the course of the evening.

But the evening was made special thanks to the numerous past Presidents in attendance . Throughout the evening they related their worst presidential moments (see separate post) and even a President elevated to Patron, Andrew Kemp, was able to relate a more than challenging moment.

The highlight of the evening was the celebration of Andrew Kemp becoming an Honorary Life member of the Hobart Club. (see separate post) A member (and still playing member) of the Club since 1961, Andrew Kemp has been an outstanding member of the Club in all capacities and he was affectionately and resoundingly applauded for his contribution to the Hobart Club and to the game of real tennis.