Last weekend a group of us went down to Hobart to play the President’s Cup and otherwise enjoy the Hobart Real Tennis Club. We played 12 matches on the Saturday and another 5 on Sunday and I am very pleased to be able to say that the RMTC were victorious by 11 rubbers to 6. Our team consisted of Richard Simpson, Richard Travers, Jeremy and Evelyn Howard, Tim Hurburgh, Paul Wheeler, Henry Turnbull, Iain Buchanan, Anabelle Guest and me with everyone enjoying at least one win. It was very nice to be accompanied by Isabelle Hurburgh, Libby Simpson, Denise Barratt, Helen Wheeler and Caroline Travers. Everyone had a few highlights but particular mentions go to Richard Simpson for his main wall winning gallery shot, Jeremy Howard for anchoring 3 matches with his wrong hand and to Evelyn Howard who was clearly best-on-court in each match she played.

It wasn’t all hard work for the team. On Saturday night we enjoyed what was an important night for the HRTC as we honoured Andrew Kemp in what was a celebration of his becoming an Honorary Life Member of the club. During the evening the past Presidents of the two clubs were asked to tell a story of their most embarrassing moments during their term. Amusing anecdotes were heard from Paul Wheeler, George Casimaty and Warren Boyles. Henry Turnbull claimed that his term was completely without incident but it was Richard Travers who won the Champagne for asking a man, who was playing tennis with a young girl he didn’t recognise, the name of his daughter only to be told that she was his second wife!

Alistair Curley gave a wonderful speech about Andrew Kemp and then Andrew spoke to his heart’s content ignoring first his wife and then his own wise words to keep it short. At one point he said he would like to finish with his regrets of which he had NONE – he then went to sit down before bouncing back up to continue for another 5 minutes. It was all good fun.

Andrew is the patron of the HRTC and on behalf of everyone at the RMTC we’d like to thank him for everything he’s done for the club in making it the generous and hospitable club that it is that so many of us have enjoyed visiting over the years. We would also like to thank John Ramsay (HRTC President) and Barry Toates for hosting and arranging a great weekend and to anyone heading down that way I recommend Sunday lunch at the Meadowbank vineyard on the way to the airport.

Owen Guest