13:08 2 February 2014 by GS Jade Barrett CsbNews correspondent
«I’ve been a very lucky guy. I played on championship teams. I played for Canada. I’ve won some awards and I’m very proud of those accomplishments. But I don’t think there’s anything greater than to come home and to be recognized at home. This is the pinnacle» – Bobby Orr
Over the many years of the Bermuda Regional we have seen the many amazing accomplishments of bridge athletes from all ages, skill and experience levels. Sudden success from the very new (about ten years or so ago Meckwell was taken down by a team with a combined 364 Masterpoints in a head-up match), the surprise upset (powerhouse George Rosenkranz team of Mike Passell, Eddie Wold, Mark Molson, Bob Morris by Anne Hoffman, Chris Wiegand, Ethel Birnbaum and your author about fifteen years ago) and many other thrills have been witnessed at this stunning venue, but few compare to the circumstances of the past week.
In the second tier of the Championship Knockout, the team of Kerry Hicks, Brian Meyer, Tiger Li Li Williams and Patricia Riding claimed the top spot, earning their place on the prize giving stage.
It has been a journey of over thirty years of competition for the senior member of the victors, who had never climbed these stairs before. There had been a few near strikes in the past – matches lost on the last deal, miraculous finishes by another pair to snatch the victory at the last possible moment. A resident of Bermuda, Riding has had her share of titles before, but never one in her home nation’s tournament. And with her advancing years, it appeared that this success would forever elude her.
The event is grueling enough with six players, and playing only four handed made the task all the more arduous. Yet, Pat Riding maintained her tenacious competitive nature, making the occasional error, but performing as well as she might; persevering against the obstacles of both Father Time and fierce opponents to acquire the prize missing from her career for all these decades.
At the age of 88 years young.