Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 11. 1965.
Winter Tournament: Victoria Victorious
Winter Tournament: Victoria Victorious
Victoria won Winter Tournament this year. The last time that Victoria won the shield was in 1958, so the shield has taken seven years to get back here.
It might be a good idea to have a look at it while it is here—we might not see it for another seven years or so.
Winter Tournament last year was won by Auckland (the host university), Auckland collecting nearly twice as many points as any other university.
Victoria's win continues the tradition that the host university wins the shield. The reason for this appears to be that, because they do not have to travel, home sides can field their strongest teams.
This was particularly noticeable this year in the case of men's and women's hockey, and association football. Victoria was unplaced in these sports at Auckland last year, while Auckland won all three.
This year Victoria was first in the men's hockey, second equal in the women's hockey, and first equal in association football. Auckland, but for a second equal in women's hockey, was unplaced in these events this year.
Also on Victoria's side—if anybody's—was the weather. The conditions were cold, wet and windy.
These conditions are unpleasant for everybody, but they can be endured best by competitors based on their own homes.
Many local grounds were flooded out, and others, while not flooded, could not be used because the grounds would cut up too badly if played upon.
Competitors had to listen to the radio each morning to keep posted on ground transfers. Some games were transferred out of Wellington to Johnsonville, Tawa and the Hutt Vallev, and special transport arrangements had to be made, often against time.
Out-of-town competitors were very scathing about Wellington's climate. One Canterbury student commented, on the fourth day of Tournament, that he had not seen the sun since he left the South Island five days before.
"I don't believe the sun shines up here," he said. "Or perhaps," he added, "it shines at night when it is too dark for anyone to see it."
This years victory, unlike Auckland's last year, was not a runaway one. Competition was very close between Victoria. Auckland and Otago, and at one stage it looked as if the skiing results would be the deciding factor. With skiing a stronghold of Canterbury, it looked as if Victoria was going to dip out sadly.
However, the VUW fencers put the issue beyond doubt in a fighting finish that won them the fencing title and gave Victoria an unassailable lead.
The last match of the fencing, VUW versus CU in the men's sabre, was the crucial one.
Tournament results at that point were so close that if this match had been lost, gone also would have been Victoria's chances of winning the shield.
The fencers knew this, and it was a sight worth seeing as they methodically outfought the CU fencers, who stood no show at all.
The scene was tense with Zoltan Apathi getting grimmer and grimmer as his successes mounted, Dave Hurley pacing up and down nearly biting his finger nails, and David Lind Mitchell seemingly unaffected by the tension, winning his fights from positions of near defeat.
These were the "gentlemen and scholars" who sealed the victory for Victoria.
Old sports hands at Victoria were loud in their praises of the Victoria teams. One commented that never before in his memory had so many Vic students put so much effort into Winter Tournament. Organisers as well as participants put in a tremendous amount of work this year.
Some local teams turned out as dark horses, improving greatly on their 1964 performances. Such a; team was the women's hockey team.
Last year, commenting on the team's performance. Salient had this to say: "There is nothing much one can say about the performance of the women's hockey team, except to express the wish that, if a team is sent next year, they compete as an independent side and keep the good name of Victoria untouched."
This year the team rose mightily to the occasion and come equal second with Auckland.
So that is how the tournament looked—a good all round effort and a highly successful competition, especially from the local point of view.