Trans Tasman
Melbourne 2012

News of the 2012 Trans Tasman Challenge ~ November 16/17/18

This keenly contested event was first held in 1996 at the MacQuarie Boutique Hotel in Sydney, and was played as a full round-robin of 23 games. For later tournaments a team format was adopted, with everyone playing the entire opposing team twice, making in all 24 games played over three consecutive days. It is held biennially, with the event alternately hosted by New Zealand and Australia.

Click on a year and it will take you to the full results as archived by WESPA.
YearVenue Winning Team Individual Winner
1996 Sydney Australia Bob Jackman
1998 Auckland NZ Peter Sinton
2000 Melbourne NZ Kendall Boyd
2002 Wellington Australia Howard Warner
2004 Brisbane Australia Chris May
2006 Auckland Australia Andrew Fisher
2008 Sydney Australia Rod Talbot
2010 Christchurch NZ Joanne Craig

This year it is Melbourne's turn to act as hosts, and the venue chosen is the Skyline Function Room at the Doncaster Shoppingtown Hotel on Williamson's Road, Doncaster. We hope to bring you regular updates on this site, some items of interest, and some annotated games via Crosstables.

Before the start

All quiet as Round One begins
Well, the games are underway after a welcome from Carol Johnsen, with no hiccups.............so far...........all players arrived on time, and it should be an interesting three days!

Sorry about the delay, I'm having some problems. As of 11.30 Australia has won 16 games, and New Zealand are on 6 wins.

We now have the games results loading, with much help from Edward Okulicz - thanks, Edward! Currently the standings are Australia 21 to New Zealand 15.

Sorry, everyone, the results showing for the third round are incorrect! Will try to fix soon.

Thanks to Edward I think we're now on the right track.........

Richard Jeremy, Edward Okulicz and Michael McKenna, hard at work

Howard Warner, Andrew Fisher and John Foster study the standings
All is quiet as Game 6 is in progress, with speedy Alastair Richards the only one finished. Thanks also to Michael McKenna for his assistance with our software problems - the skills of Edward, Michael and Barry Harridge always amaze me!

The New Zealand Team - Back Row: Rogelio Talosig, Val Mills, Nick Cavenagh, Joanne Craig,
John Foster, Patrick Carter. Front: Glennis Hale, Liz Fagerlund, Lynne Butler, Marianne Bentley,
Lawson Sue, Howard Warner.

The Australians, L to R: Esther Perrins, Peter Kougi, Richard Jeremy, Naween Fernando, Alastair
Richards, Anand Bharadwaj, Bob Jackman, Andrew Fisher, Anne Drew, Michael McKenna,
Edward Okulicz, Russell Honeybun, Karen Richards (standby player)
After a good lunch, either in the hotel bistro or at various eateries in the local shopping complex, not much of the afternoon tea was consumed.
Play has now resumed in Round 7 with the Australians currently leading 48:24.

At the end of play for the day the score is Australia 58, with New Zealand on 38.


Bob Jackman versus Nick Cavenagh, with Cheryle Jerram and Norma
Fisher annotating

Alastair Richards and Esther Perrins side by side, with annotators
Mythili Rudra and Cheryle Jerram
Day 2 is well under way, with Round 11 of 24 in progress. Leading at the moment is Alastair Richards from Andrew Fisher, both on 8 wins, followed by Peter Kougi, Russell Honeybun and Naween Fernando. The Oz Team leads the NZ Team 73:47 but the Kiwis have the High Word (DISMOUNT for 158) played by Val Mills and the High Game belongs to John Foster for a score of 597. Well done, Val and John!


Glennis Hale plays Anand Bharadwaj in Round 11.

Lynne Butler v Esther Perrins, annotators Karen Richards & Carol Johnsen.

After Round 11 it's 79 to 53 in Australia's favour, more updates will follow.

To link to some of the games at Cross-tables, click on the links below:
Russell Honeybun vs Val Mills here
Peter Kougi vs Glennis Hale here
Esther Perrins vs Patrick Carter here
Rogelio Talosig vs Bob Jackman here
Patrick Carter vs Edward Okulicz here
Esther Perrins vs Lynne Butler here

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Laughter erupted when Lawson Sue happily announced that he had just played "KIWI" - that probably deserves a prize, Lawson!


Lawson Sue, with Glennis Hale and John Foster

Relaxing at the computer desk - Karen Richards and Anand Bharadwaj


Friends from New South Wales - Esther Perrins and Joanne Craig

Patrick Carter and Michael McKenna, just after their game.

To follow some more games at Cross-tables, click on the links below:
Glennis Hale vs Russell Honeybun here
Richard Jeremy vs Liz Fagerlund here
Anand Bharadwaj vs Nick Cavenagh here
Russell Honeybun vs Joanne Craig here
Andrew Fisher vs Lawson Sue here

Good mates - Russell Honeybun and Naween Fernando,
in their team "hoodies" - nice choice, Norma Fisher!

Happy players in the Bistro near the Skyline Room -
Lawson Sue, Anne Drew and Nick Cavenagh

As Game 17 progresses, the last of nine for the day, Alastair Richards and Andrew Fisher are both on 13 games, with Alastair ahead by over 300 margin points. Following on with 12 wins are Peter Kougi and Naween Fernando, with Russell Honeybun on 11 wins.

There is excitement in the room as the first score over 600 is recorded by Anand Bharadwaj - 613, with a nine-timer of OUTRAGES. Well done, and not at all outrageous, Anand!

Anand Bharadwaj's High Game of 613 points.

A very sporting and gentlemanly Lawson Sue has agreed to play Edward Okulicz in the game which Edward had forfeited this morning due to his late arrival. Edward had stood in some dog doo near the bus stop and consequently missed his bus while cleaning off his shoes. The Melbourne bus service on Saturday mornings being what it is, it is not surprising that he was late. Since this tournament is predrawn and the order of play is not affected by any results it was decided to allow this game to proceed, even though the outcome could affect Lawson's standing, and of course Edward's as well.
N.B. It was later agreed that the game between Lawson Sue and Edward Okulicz was a non-tournament game.

Joanne Craig, Nick Cavenagh and Norma Fisher
at the Doncaster Shoppingtown Hotel

Lawson Sue, Liz Fagerlund and Anne Drew
enjoying the company

John Foster, Bob Jackman and Howard Warner
at dinner


Glennis Hale and Marianne Bentley, two of our
visitors from New Zealand

Carol Johnsen, Val Mills, Lynne Butler and
Patrick Carter

Day 3 starts, with Anne Drew playing Joanne
Craig, and Arjun Haria annotating

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Day 3 is underway, with all players arriving almost on time! There are seven games to play today, so it will be a shorter day to allow players to head off to the airport in good time, or relax over dinner, and perhaps their favourite tipple.
After Round 18 the Australians lead the Challenge by 138:78, with six games to go. Bob Jackman caused some confusion in Game 19 when he accidentally dumped his exchanged tiles (5) into the wrong coloured bag, mixing black tiles with white - good one, Bob. At some stage yesterday Peter Kougi did something similar, drawing tiles from the wrong bag and taking a while to notice - good one, Peter.

There is additional coverage on the Scrabble Victoria Facebook page, including a photo album which is updated daily. To see Nick Ivanovski's excellent reports click here

After Round 19 the team standings are Australia 147 to New Zealand 81, with Andrew Fisher a game clear of Alastair Richards and Peter Kougi, so it could be an interesting finish!

The previous High Game record has been overtaken, with Richard Jeremy scoring a sizzling 622 in Game 20. Nice game, Richard! I hope to get a pic of the game soon, and will post it here when available.

Richard Jeremy's High Game Board, scoring 622 - and thanks to Lawson Sue for the pic!
It is greatly appreciated as Lawson was Richard's hapless opponent............

Round 22 finishes with Andrew Fisher on 19 wins, still a game clear of Alastair Richards on 18 - however Alastair's margin is considerably better than Andrew's, definitely a great advantage.

After Round 23 both players are locked on 19 wins, with Alastair well ahead on margin, and only needing to win this last game to take out the individual title. Afternoon tea time now, and then the final game.

We continue to have internet connection problems - this has been an issue throughout, but we will bring you the final results as soon as we can.


Patrick Carter, Val Mills, Howard Warner, Bob
Jackman and Glennis Hale

Richard Jeremy, holder of the High Game Award,
with Alastair Richards and Michael McKenna

The view towards the city of Melbourne, taken
from the hotel bistro

Final team standings were Australia 190 wins to New Zealand 98, well done, Australia.

Alastair Richards has finished Game 24 with 20 wins, and has been crowned the individual Champion for the 2012 Trans Tasman Challenge. Congratulations, Alastair, well done! Second placed is Andrew Fisher also on 20 wins, third is Russell Honeybun on 19 wins, fourth placed is Peter Kougi on 18 wins, and fifth is Naween Fernando on 17 wins. The High Game trophy went to Richard Jeremy for his score of 622, and Russell Honeybun collected the High Word trophy for his word ACERBATE, worth 163 points. Well done to all!

We thank the New Zealand team for travelling across the Tasman to compete, and special thanks go to those who worked to make the event a success - Carol Johnsen, Norma Fisher, Barry Harridge, Edward Okulicz, Michael McKenna, Karen Richards, Lalitha Sundaresan (who turned her hand to everything!), annotators Cheryle Jerram and Arjun Haria, and everyone else who assisted with the running of this event, we hope that all enjoyed it!

The individual winner overall, Alastair Richards,
with the perpetual trophy

The winners - Alastair Richards, Richard Jeremy,
Joanne Craig and Russell Honeybun

Bob Jackman set up the Challenge in 1996, and
he and Patrick Carter have played in every event!


Watching the presentations at the end of the day, with Andrew Fisher in the foreground. At the table - Nick Cavenagh, Liz Fagerlund, Lynne Butler.
Back Row: Arjun Haria, Peter Kougi, Lalitha Sundaresan, Kannan Sethuraman, Anne Drew, Naween Fernando, Karen Richards, Patrick Carter,
Howard Warner, Edward Okulicz and Esther Perrins.

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