Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 5. 1965.
By The Avon
By The Avon
3.00am: Somewhere, somewhere, a bell was ringing ... time to get up and go to tournament. An administrative blunder meant we were all going to have to report at the air centre at 4.20. Cursing the name of Hassed, we set off down Norway Street.
4.40am: Came off the bus at the airport just as a porter pushed a wheelchair across the lounge. The way our NZUSA delegates looked, four were going to be needed.
5.02am: We boarded our nice chartered Viscount.
5 .09am: We disembarked from our Viscount while the groundcrew replaced a burnt-out warning light.
8.25am: Arrived at Canterbury University. The place seemed crammed with familiar faces framed by green and gold scarves. How would this intrepid bunch of sportsmen (and women) fare? Time alone would tell—just as well time is a notorious loudmouth.
10.00am: We wandered around the University looking for the NZ USU meeting. Once we found it, we had a peaceful time whilst all delegates discussed eligibilities and other interesting matters.
9.13pm: We left NZUSU, a wee bit tired of sports wrangles after six hours relieved only by half an hour's tea-break. We visited the Studass coffee bar, which had an atmosphere so thick and smoky that it appeared to absorb sound—or maybe it was the jazz band playing the traditional modern jazz, that made it impossible to hear or be heard.
1.05am: Scrounged a ride home with a guy and his girlfriend. They weren't quite sure where our street was, but we arrived eventually. One of the nice things about tournaments is meeting friendly characters like these two.
6.30am: Hi-yo Silver and away. As we left to go out to Corsair Bay for the rowing, we actually managed to have a few words with our billet.
Not a greatly distinguished performance by the Victoria rowers. In each event VUW were never far behind, but never in a place. The Eights was a good race between CU and AU, only half a length separating them as CU crossed the line first. The order was reversed in the novice fours, where AU cleared away for a three-length win.
The Single Sculls were won by OU from CU, the only entrants. The Lady's Fours, an invitation event, was a walkaway for CU The VUW ladies rowed valiantly, but their three weeks' practice compared to CU's three years of rowing together was painfully obvious. CU edged awav from OU in the Double Sculls, and three CU crews took the places in the College Fours.
In the final race, an NZU Eight squeaked home against the Canterbury Provincial Eight. VUW was represented by John Gibbons, and their cox. This completed the Tournament rowing—it seems a bit daft that with transport costs for rowing shells being what they are, a fuller programme cannot be organised.
11.53am. Arrived at the Hagley Park basketball courts just in time see the VUW team beat CU 32-30. This was quite a shock—everybody had expected VUW to be run off their feet, but instead some very nice basketball was played A little while later, playing the fearsome OU side, VUW traded goal for goal for half the match until the superiority of the physed specialists began to show. Jan Wright and Lyn Almond were the mainstay, sidestay and all the standing rigging of the VUW team.
5.21pm. We went into the tournament Headquarters and managed to extract some results. The cricket team left their declaration a bit late against AU on Tuesday and the game was a draw. The main feature of VUW's innings was a splendiferous 105 not out by P. J. Webb. CU drew with MUM and OU had a first innings win against CAC.
Unfortunately, VUW collapsed against CAC on Thursday and suffered a first innings lass. OU had another first innings win, against MUM this time, and looked fairly unbeatable. CU drew with AU.
A further disappointment came when we had a look at the yachting results. VUW sailed very consistently to come last in the two races held. OU and AU had a first and a second each, CU two thirds.
6.32pm. We saw one of the VUW shooters, Chris Robertson, with a great smirk on his face. It turned out that VUW had not only finished second in the .303 rifle event, but had given the winners and defending champions, CU, the fright of their lives. This was the first time in four years VUW collected any Tournament points for shooting. Roger Girdlestone shot consistently well to be top on overall aggregate points, and Ken Tustin was first equal on the application aggregate. The influx of new shooters referred to in Salient's Tournament preview, Girdlestone, Graham Wakefield and R. Wilde, would be the reason for this unexpected success. It looks like VUW shooters are going to be a force to be reckoned with at future tournaments.
6.47pm. At last the athletic results had come through. VUW were trailing with 24 points compared to CU's 33 and OU's 29, but were ahead of AU, 17. Gillian Davies had won the women's shot put and high jump, and VUW won the men's 4 x 110 yards relay by five yards from CU. Second-place getters were Barry Meyers in the 3000 metres steeplechase, Penny Haworth in the 100 yards and the 80 metres hurdles, and B. Collins in the long jump. Alan Osborne and A. Robinson qualified for both the 100 and 220 yards, B. Matthews and G. Hall-Watson for the 440, Bill Wilson and Brian Milne for the 880, and Murray Boldt for the 220 yards hurdles.
7.23pm. Arrived at the swimming just in time to see Brian Crowder of VUW win the 440 freestyle. After a little contretemps with the records officials we found that Sue Murphy, Liz Stanford, Prue Brock, Sue George, K. Thornton and John Palmer had all qualified for finals, and that Wayne Mullins had dived well for second place.
We then watched Palmer hose away from the rest of the field in the 110 freestyle, and Thornton take a good second in the 110 backstroke. At this stage it appeared the swimming was wide open with no particular team amassing a lead.
7.58pm. We met an Auckland vachtie who told us that the VUW boat had been becalmed in one race and sunk in the other. It figures.
8.00pm. VUW met CU in Water Polo. Previously VUW had beaten MUM 11-4 and AU 9-4, CU beaten 6-2 and MUM 17-2. Both teams had an excellent defence, but the VUW attack was very weak compared with CU and they went down 10-1.
10.00am. Went in to listen to NZUSU mouthing. In all fairness, they come a poor third to NZSPA and NZUSA, in that order.
10.25am. We left NZUSU and headed back to the CANTA room.
2.18pm. Over to watch the tennis. The men's team had beaten CAC 6 sets to none to reach the semifinals, where they had a tougher fight to beat OU 5-1. When we arrived they were playing CU in the final. John Souter won his singles, but the other CU players were a bit, too good for the VUW men. There was not enough time to play the doubles matches.
The female section of the VUW team were not quite as successful. They had a good win against CU on Saturday morning, but were beaten by OU 4-2 on the afternoon. They were to play MUM for third place, but once again there was not enough time to even play any singles, and like the men's games the match was postponed till the next morning.
6.04pm. Once again unto the Canta room.
7.15pm. The records staff saw us arrive and went to get the results handed in without a word being said.
The yachtsmen were still consistent. OU had piled up a lead with another first and another second, AU dropped off to two thirds, and CU had picked up a first and a second.
In water polo the VUW side went down narrowly to OU by 5 goals to four. Since CU won their other game this meant that VUW came third overall. Spear, Cameron, Crowder and Thornton gave VUW representation in the North Island team that lost to South Island 9-4; even so, they were picked for NZU to play Canterbury.
With the shooting, water polo and rowing finished, CU had a substantial points lead for the tournament shield. Points were: CU 24, OU 8, VUW 6, AU 4.
8.56am: The Mum girls were playing CU as we arrived at the basketball courts. There wasn't a cloud in the sky nor a breath of wind—it looked like being the finest day of a succession of fine days. Anybody who brought down warm clothing in anticipation of the often Antarctic Christchurch climate would have wasted their time and luggage space.
The Manageress and staff wish to convey thanks to all students patronising the cafeteria during Easter tournament and compliment them on their fine behaviour and co-operation at all times.
Ted Sowten (manager), Megan Jackson (manageress).
9.40am: The VUW and AU teams took to the courts and battle commenced. VUW built up an early lead to be five goals ahead at halftime. AU staged a comeback and VUW began to fall apart until captain Lyn Almond managed to get her team functioning efficiently again, and VUW eventually won 26-24. Apart from the closeness of the game, some interest was provided by the dirty indoor basketball tricks used by the VUW goal shooter and the AU goal keeper.
11.40am: VUW played their final tournament game, against MUM. VUW dropped behind on points then made a valiant effort to draw level. By this time the heat was enough to give the spectators sunburn, and the VUW team in the ridiculous regulation costume were visibly wilting. The VUW defence ran out of energy and MUM ran out the winners, 39-27. OU had beaten AU and CU both quite comfortably and were thus clear overall winners. MUM withdrew because two of their team were ineligible, so VUW wound up second in their best performance in years.
1.45pm: After a slow, crowded bus trip out we arrived at Lincoln to watch the athletics. We ran into Murray Boldt, and after we picked ourselves up he informed us in his usual inimical manner that he expected VUW to win 10 of the 20 events on the programme. If you think that last sentence was long wait for this one. Alan Osborne won the 100 yds, with A. Robinson third, Gillian Davies added to her personal points tally with a second in the long jump, Brian Milne demonstrated his tactical superiority to win a fast half-mile, Osborne won the 220yds, Chris Corry took third in the triple jump. Jane Corry did likewise in the discus. Brian Collins topped timber fast enough to win the 120yds hurdles, Brian Matthews was third in the 440yds, Murray Boldt managed a third in the 220 hurdles, and both the 4 x 110 female relay and the 4 x 440 male relay were won by VUW.
Penny Haworth in the 220yd not only won the event in a tight finish from A. Tong of AU but took 0.9sec off the NZU record; she thus deserves a special mention. Miss Haworth's anchor leg in the relay was a decisive factor in VUW's win, as was the third lap of the 4 x 440 by Osborne.
A special event, the three-legged race, caused much hilarity. Alistair Taylor and Helen Sutch of NZUSA, and Gorden Hewitt and Pat Grieg of NZUSU, were entrants, and it was felt that the winner should get the most money of the NZUSA levy. Hewitt and Grieg made a good start, but being in front went to their heads and the co-ordination went out of their feet, and over they went. The steadiness of Taylor and Sutch thus won the day, to the disappointment of the assembled NZUSU delegates.
VUW came out winners on the final points tally with a total of 80 compared to OU 67, CU 61, and AU 47. Murray Boldt won his flagons and was obviously considering his chances as a professional punter.
5.52pm: After another slow bus ride through the raceday traffic, including a stop at the Carlton to let off the Drinking Horn team, we found ourselves back at the University. The Canta staff were looking pretty tired; ever since Tournament began they had been cyclostyling vast quantities of material for NZSPA, doing most of the reporting themselves, and being extremely co-operative to other student journalists.
7.12pm. Time for the records room again. A pleasant surprise was in store. The VUW cricket team had taken the advice of the Duke of Edinburgh and beaten MUM on the first innings. AU and CU had draws against CAC and OU respectively. Aggregate points were OU 20, CU 12, VUW, MUM, CAC 10, AU 7 with one more game each to be played.
8.05pm We found Malcolm Buchanan of the VUW Volleyball Club. He seemed rather pleased with himself, so we presumed that VUW had won the volleyball. Malcolm begged to differ— winning was too weak a word. He preferred the term annihilation.
We knew that VUW had had a two-point lead after the first round. We also knew that the VUW side had discovered that their book of rules was inaccurate and had had to change their style of play. That morning the team had finally sorted themselves out. They lost only one set and increased their lead to 12 points. Unfortunately, volleyball was only an introductory sport and didn't count towards the Tournament Shield, but this victory shows how strong the sport has become at VUW.
8.20. Our AU yachting friend passed by, so we chased after him for the sailing results. VUW were still consistently last. In the fifth and final race OU took their third win and the yachting championship. CU were third in this race and second overall since AU were disqualified in the third race after a protest was lodged by CU.
With a further three events decided—yachting, athletics, outdoor basketball—OU were closing in on CU for the Tournament Shield. Progress points were CU 30, OU 28, VUW 18, AU 8, MUM and CAC 0.
9.35pm: Off we go to the Tournament Ball. A comment from Ross Martin, which just about sums up this supposedly high-class formal affair; "This isn't a Ball, it's a shabby tournament hop."
2.00am: We arrived home. Just as well Tournament was ending, we'd never have stood the pace.
8.00am: Time to get up; the day of reckoning was at hand. One coherent Tournament report was required, one tournament report was what they were going to get.
9.26am. We entered the Canta room, sat down in front of a typewriter, and gazed vacantly into space. The Canta chief reporter was showing the strain a little. Someone told him to go and get drunk, to which he replied. "By what?" This went on all day, and just as well.
1.45pm. We discovered that reproduction rights for tournament photographs were one guinea each. We asked Hugh Rennie what he thought about that, and he told us. Blushing furiously, we ordered three while CANTA staff prophesied the financial collapse of Salient.
7.09pm We boarded the train for Lyttelton and set out in search of swimmers and tennis players to find out their final results. We found some swimmers, who gave us the surprising news that VUW had taken second place. OU piled up 70 points to win, compared to VUW 36 and AU 33, but OU swimmers are traditionally strong and the VUW team could well be pleased with themselves.
The best individual performance was probably that of Brian Crowder, who in the 220yds freestyle broke both the long and short course NZU records. Second place-getters were John Palmer in the 110 butterfly, and the women's medley team. Prue Brock swam third in both the 220 freestyle and 110 breast-stroke, Liz Stanford was under the record in the 110 butterfly, even though she came third, and the men's medley team were also third place-getters.
The tennis players were placed third, but were close to CU. AU won the competition mostly thanks to their strong women's team. John Souter was the only unbeaten male player over the teams matches, and won the individual title. Marilyn Kent was runner-up in the women's individual event. All members of the VUW team played consistent tennis and there were several matches that with a little more luck could have been won by VUW.
This made the Tournament total OU 36, CU 34, VUW 24, AU 18, CAC and MUM 0. The only results that we needed were the cricket scores, but we couldn't find a solitary cricketer anywhere.
7.55. We climbed up the ferry gang plank behind the manager of the drinking team, who was swaying more than the boat and producing strange clinking noises. The members of the drinking team that we had seen were strangely subdued, so we had tactfully refrained from asking them how they had got on. However, perhaps they were just recovering from their herculean effort for, yes! the drinking horn was back in the hands of it's rightful owners, i.e.. VUW. George Ellis downed the brown in haste without waste to win a Drinking Blue for VUW, and the whole team covered themselves in beer and glory.
8.34pm. Whilst wandering around waiting for the boat to go, we espied a set of cricket pads and assorted gear. Nearby was a gentleman who kindly gave us the final cricket results. OU won very comfortably overall, with CU second and MUM third. VUW and CAC tied for fourth and AU had the honour of occupying the bottom position.
Final Tournament points tally was: OU 44, first; CU 38, second; VUW 24, third; AU 18, fourth; MUM 2, firth; CAC 0, sixth.
9.35pm. A mere one and a half hours late, the Maori left the wharf and we said good-bye to Christchurch. Easter Tournament had been well run in some departments, and not run at all in others; the VUW Tournament Committee members who went down to observe probably had much food for thought; but everybody enjoyed themselves and could congratulate themselves on having participated instead of vegetating. VUW did better on the sporting side than it has for some time; but even if we hadn't notched up a single Tournament point at least they participated.
Apologies to anybody who thought they should have been mentioned, and weren't; and to anybody who was mentioned and wishes to bring a horsewhip around to the Salient room.