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Bowling Along 1 - The Preamble

Australia is a perennial mid-fielder at world championships. If we play our best we qualify for the KOs; if we don't we don't. Although historically we've qualified well under half the time, the controversies of the last few years tell uswe're a little better than the bald stats imply.

We have a large federation (over 35,000 players) and a vibrant national scene with a good supply of good players, but long travel times mean our top players don't get the constant exposure to top level bridge available elsewhere and that matters. The tradeoffs we make for sun, surf, and the good life :)

This year our team is a mixture of youth and experience.

  • Justin Mill (formerly Howard) & Pete Hollands have been out of youth bridge for a few years, and are now tearing it up at home in open nationals
  • Peter Gill - Andrew Peakeand Matthew Thomson - David Beauchamp have all played successfully for Australia many times before

Pete & Juzzdid a monthly video on their preparation over the last 6 months, and it's an interesting insight into their dedication to being in the best shape they can be for this event.

The Australian Bridge Federation is also stepping up. Long travel times mean serious jetlag, which can mean serious underperformance early in bridge events. While some of the European players have come in to Lyon the night before play, we have to arrive at least 4 days early to get "in" the time zone. With advice from an Olympic shooter, the ABF has increased support in several tangible and intangible ways for our international teams - including getting us to the site a little earlier than we had been used to.

And as NPC, how have I been helping the team in the preamble? At dinner on Friday night, the guys told me exactly what motivation they needed. If we win the Bermuda Bowl, they want me to get a tattoo. I detest tattoos, but if that's what it takes for Australia to win its first bridge world championship, I'm on board. We spent the next 20 minutes enthusiastically debating the exact form, colour and location of my tattoo-to-be. I'm not nervous yet.

I'll be keeping you up to date with the progress of my team (and my tattoo) throughout the Bowl.

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