All Hail Hamada and Niederhauser!

A big crowd of 32 bowlers turned out on Saturday May 4 for the 2019 Opening Day Tournament. Postponed from the week before owing to a sustained period of Scottish weather, the tournament started under light clouds and occasional sunshine with the Green in remarkably good nick.


George Ishiguro won the inaugural Spider with some help from a late arriving wood from his wife, Yoko, who finished second. Somewhat eerily the centrally placed wood of the late Don Helm, after whom the Opening Day Tournament is named, received not so much as a nick in the woody deluge. George’s winning bowl is the minty green wood entering stage left in the video below. (Watch on youtube for a sharper picture.)


The tournament proper began on time but the schedule for the 16 pairs soon fell out of whack, with some pairs bowling quickly and others taking their time.

Yoko Ishiguro and Kaz Umeda


Ippei Iwasaki (red shirt), Mike Bielous and Seishi Yoda

We adjourned for lunch early and regrouped.


The afternoon games were played with a little more haste as the sound of thunder in the distance grew steadily louder. The first sprinkle of rain arrived at around 3:00 pm, by which time the captain was already consulting his committee.

Lawn bowls debutant Simon Denyer


Saori Hamada (left) and Hiroko Kojima


As luck would have it, the heavy stuff held off until the last game was finished. We cleared the green just in time.

The prizes were awarded in front of the Sports Bar.

To George, for the Spider.

To Junko Kurisaka and Satish Tandon for third place.


To Jun Adachi and Hirofumi Nakajima for second place.

And to Tomohiro Hamada and Marcel Niederhauser for first place.


As the players supped wine from the Don Helm trophy and the festivities began, from out of nowhere came hail.

Groundsman Eric scampers from the green as the hail comes down

One way or another, it was quite an Opening!

The full results for the sake of posterity are posted below. Click to enlarge.

Text by : Photos by Tamara 


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