Results and Photos from 2019 Barbados Darts Festival

The 17th Harrows Barbados Darts Festival took place in the first two weeks of November offering participants, their friends and family a unique Caribbean cocktail of social and tournament darts and the chance to meet a host of new friends from different darting cultures as well as enjoying all those experiences that make Barbados one of the most sought after holiday destinations on the planet!

The Mixed Nations Pairs events at The Harrows Barbados Darts Festival make this darts event unique.  Held each year on the second day of tournament play at Solidarity House, no other festival of its kind creates a tournament in which players from different countries enter a blind draw to play with each other in Pairs competitions.  It makes for great camaraderie between players of different darting cultures, a mutual sharing of darting knowledge and techniques - and some cracking matches with the form book no safe guide to the outcome!  

In The Appleton Rum Mixed Nations Men’s Pairs the shocks came early.  The blind draw had paired Alan Collins from Britain with James Walklin from Trinidad - both of whom had won events at previous Festivals and Collins was fresh from victory the previous evening in the Appleton Rum Mens Pairs.  But the Bajan/American duo of Kelly Phillips and Mark Veatch had other ideas and dispatched the favourites by a score line of 3-0.

Wayne Gleed from the U.K., another title winner the previous evening, and his partner from Barbados, Colin Price, also fell at the first hurdle to the Bajan/Trinidadian pairing of Loan Boyce and Adam Da Costa.  Former Singles finalist Dennis Latimer from Canada openly conceded that he owed it to his Bajan partner Stephen Skinner to get them to the semi-finals of the event.  However here they met the in-form Bajan/Brit duo of Winston Cadogan and Neil Birkin who, in. tight contest, eventually took the match 3-1.

The other semi-final saw Hank Eubanks of the Cayman Islands and Jim Edwards of Canada defeat a similar Cayman/Canadian pairing of Kruse Smith and Jason Schenck.

In the first game of the best of seven final Cadogan expertly hit an 84 check out to take the lead and then repeated the feat in the second with a 21 check out. His partner from Britain, Neil Birkin, was also playing his part by scoring heavily on his visits to the oche.

Edwards and Ebanks reduced the deficit by taking the third game courtesy of a fine finish by Edwards but, although they had chances in both of the next two games, the consistent heavy scoring from both Cadogan and Birkin took its toll and Cadogan wrapped up the fifth game with a 60 check out to take the title.

In the Campari Ladies Mixed Nations Pairs Bajan ladies featured in three of the four teams in the semi-finals.  In the first of these the Bajan/Brit team of Felicia Walrond and Tracey Newman defeated the Bajan/Canadian duo of Kisanka Watts and Kathy Pasjack by three games to one.

In the second semi-final the Trini/Brit pairing of Petty Massiah and Wendy Collins were too strong for the Bajan/Brit team of Elouise Martin and Sue Pretty, as they were in the final against Walrond & Newman.

In the Fritolay Ladies Pairs the favourites were Donna Gleed and Wendy Collins. Testimony to their form on the oche was the fact that throughout the entire tournament they did not concede a single game to their opponents.  In the final, against fellow Essex County members, Jan Pearce and Ann Farmer, they were deadly.  As well as Pearce and Farmer played, they could not wrest the initiative from their opponents.  Collins scored heavily and Gleed’s ability to check out no matter what the score was outstanding.

The Canadian pairing of Kathy Pasjack and Lisa Schenk reached the semi-final as did the Trini team of Pam Massiah and Petty Massiah but the night belonged to Essex.

It was much the same story in the Appleton Rum Men’s Pairs as Wayne Gleed and Alan Collins emulated the success of their wives!  However, their route to the title was far from easy.

In the semi-final, against the Bajan pairing of Clyde Murrell and Polius Alleyne, they faced stern opposition as the Bajans played some outstanding darts.  In one game the Bajans were down to a finish after 12 darts but their opponents checked out in 12 darts to deprive them of another visit to the oche and book their place in the final.

In the other semi-final the Bajan/Cayman pairing of Winston Cadogan and Hank Eubanks continued to play well but, not well enough, to defeat the in form team of Neil Birkin and Don Vickers.

The best of seven final produced high quality darts with three figure scores a regular feature of a contest in which no team was more than one game ahead and where any minor mistake was punished severely and it was Birkin & Vickers who blinked first in the deciding game.

The final day of tournament play concluded on Sunday with convincing victories for Nottinghamshire’s Neil Birkin and Donnna Gleed who retained the title she won at last year’s event.  Neil Birkin had already displayed his darting pedigree by winning the Appleton Rum Mixed Nations Pairs with Bajan partner Winston Cadogan and by reaching the final of the Men’s Pairs with Don Vickers on Friday evening.  On Sunday he was peerless. Furthermore his route to the final was far from easy as he had to overcome previous winners such as James Walklin from Trinidad, Dennis Latimer from Canada who won the event in 2017 and the recent British Masters qualifier, Jim Edwards, from Canada. His opponent in the final was Alan Collins who had already claimed the Men’s Pairs title on Friday night.  However, Collins was never allowed to gain a foothold in this match as Birkin reeled of three figure totals on visits to the oche to deservedly take the title.

In the Harrows Ladies Singles Final, Donna Gleed from Essex retained her title by defeating her fellow county player Tracey Newman by 3 legs to 1.  Newman had defeated Canadian Kathy Pasjack in the quarters and Trinidadian Petty Massiah in the semis whilst Gleed had to really battle hard to overcome Bajan Elouise Martin in the quarters and Wendy Collins in the semis - with both matches going to a fifth game decider.

But The Harrows Barbados Darts Festival is not just about darts.  Although the tournaments at Solidarity House are most efficiently run by the internationally experienced team of Dawn Speed and Liz Allen, the Festival also provides participants with the opportunity to re-new old friendships and make new ones, to enjoy a relaxing day out on a catamaran and swim in warm, azure blue seas with turtles and rays and over ship wrecks populated by thousands of brilliantly multi coloured fish.  It is an opportunity to explore the history and breathtaking scenic views of the wild east coast of the island and to enjoy its versatile culinary offerings with something new to meet all tastes and budgets.  Canadian Jim Edwards is now an authority on the subject of Bajan fish cakes!

“A good number of players from all parts of Canada have already signed up again for next year’s Festival with some planning to bring friends and family who will be there to support their dart-playing friends and to share in the delights of a vacation in Barbados in November”, says Michael Heal, The Festival Director. 

“The Festival accommodates players of all standards and their friends and family.  All the items on the itinerary are optional.  You can enjoy 10 nights in Barbados without spending a fortune.  Return air fares from Toronto or Miami are affordable and the flight time from Toronto is 4hrs 35 minutes. We can also offer a rate of $71 US per night for a hotel room ( sleeps two ) at one of our HQ hotels”, adds Michael.

“This could not be achieved without the support of the tourism agencies such as the BTMI and the Tourism Development Corporation and commercial sponsors such as Harrows, Appleton Rum and The Armstrong Group.”, concludes Heal.

The 18th Harrows Barbados Darts Festival will take place from 1 – 10 November 2020.  

Those wishing to participate should contact the Festival Director, Michael Heal.  E: 

Participants book their own air travel but must book their hotel accommodation from the list of HQ hotels via the Festival Director. You can arrive earlier and leave later if you so wish.



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