The Edgartown Bridge Club (EBC), the Island’s newest option for duplicate bridge players, is off to a great start. The gatherings, held at the Edgartown Yacht Club on Monday afternoons, are the creation of Life Master Gail Farrish.
“It is really exciting,” Ms. Farrish told The Times. “We are seeing people come to play duplicate who have never played duplicate bridge before. We even have players who haven’t sat at a bridge table since college — and that was decades ago.”
For years, Ms. Farrish offered bridge lessons, free of charge, at the yacht club. However, she admits, she was tired of the sessions and was looking for a way to move her regular students onto a more advanced level of play.
“The Island’s two evening duplicate games seemed daunting to players with little or no experience sitting across the bridge table,” she said. “And, because the night time games often go on well past 10 in the evening, many of the older players who don’t want to be driving across Island at night, just did not go to play.”
Like the Island Bridge Club (IBC) held on Thursday evenings and the Martha’s Vineyard Bridge Club (MVBC) held on Tuesday evenings, the EBC is sanctioned by the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL).
In its four weeks of operation, the EBC has averaged five tables of players. Most recently, on December 3, Lou and Nancy Winkelman came in first (70.83 percent average game). Diana (Dinny) Dozier and partner Joan Perrine took second place (59.38 percent) , and Molly Mattoon and Judy Cronig came in third (57.82 percent).
Among the players seemingly new to duplicate bridge on the Island are Kevin Grey, Carolyn Flynn, Scottie Vail, Judy Cunniffe, Beth O’Brien, Helen Colvin, Joan Potter , Mary Sullivan, and Judy Buehler.
“The idea I had was to try to pair the new duplicate players with more experienced players,” Ms. Farrish said. “Of course most importantly we are trying to create a relaxed, friendly atmosphere that is supportive rather than intimidating.”
In other Island duplicate bridge play, the Thursday December 6 IBC game had seven tables in play. David Donald and Rich Colter took first place overall (64.29 percent average game). Also playing east-west Barbara Silk and Nancy Neil took second place and Lou Winkelman and Don Nelson took third place.
In the north/south direction, Ency and Robert Fokos took first place (62.50 percent average game), and the teams of Bea Phear/Cecily Greenaway and Gail Farrish/Patsy McCornack tied for second (55.95 percent).
At the Tuesday night, December 4 MVBC game Bea Phear and Nancy Neil took first place (68.52 percent average game). There was also a tie for second between the teams of Barbara Besse/Carol Whitmarsh and Cecily Greenaway/Bill Blakesley (with 55.56 percent).
Where and when
The MVBC game is held on Tuesday evenings at 7:30 pm at the Stone Church in Vineyard Haven. Admission is $4. Contact Sue at 508-693-9396 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in finding an available partner.
The IBC game is held Thursday evenings at 7 pm at the Up Island Council on Aging Howes House in West Tisbury. Players needing a partner are urged to contact Gerry at 508-693-2889 or email@example.com by noon on Wednesday for assistance. Play is free in December; at other times admission is $5.
The EBC meets on Monday afternoons at 12:30 pm at the Edgartown Yacht Club. For information, contact Ms. Farrish at 508-627-5476. Come with a partner. Admission is $6.