Happy New Year! 2018 was a special year for all in UK Racketlon, as our end of season review and our Social Media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) 21 point highlights showed. However, as much as we loved it, 2018 has slid into the past, 2019 is the future, so let us look ahead at what we have to come.
Amazingly, our first tournament (and opening Super Series event) of the year, the East Midlands Open filled up inside 3 days, an unprecedented outcome for a UK Tour event. However, there is much more to come. Our next event will be in Oxford, with an early visit to the county in 2019, as we head to Abingdon for the Oxfordshire Open on the 23rd February. Entry will open for this event in the next few days, so keep an eye on the website for when entry opens, you will be able to enter online here. One of our growing Racketlon communities, the first of two visits to Oxford this year will certainly be a great event.
Who will carry home National Titles in April?
Into April, and we return to the Parklangley Club for our premier UK Tour event of the year, the British Championships. This is the 13th running of this event which takes place on 13th & 14th April. Can Hannah Boden make it a historic five Ladies National Titles in a row? Will Leon Griffiths make it a personal hat-trick after wins in 2017 & 2018? And who will go home with our fiercely contested junior, vets and doubles titles? With Super Series points also on offer, this will be a huge event on the tour. Entry will open for this on the 1st February and it is worth remembering that British Championships results play a big role in GB team selections (particularly for the Junior, Vets and GB 2 & 3 teams), so if you wish to be in the hunt for a GB cap, make sure you are in Parklangley that weekend! May will see the UK Tour enter the Cotswolds for the first time, with the Cotswolds Open taking place early in the month. More details on this event will be coming in the next few weeks!
June looks like being a brilliant Racketlon month. It will start with the World Doubles Championships forming part of the (in)famous King of Rackets event in Oudenaarde (30th May to 2nd June). 2 weeks later, the UK Tour returns to Newcastle for the second Northumberland Open on the 16th June. Last year this event was very popular for a debut event in a new area for the UK Tour and it will undoubtedly be bigger and better in 2019. Finally, June ends with a Festival of Racketlon in Staffordshire. A weekend event at Keele University will feature the County Championships on Saturday and the Staffordshire Open (our 3rd Super Series event of the year). More details on this event including accommodation options and entry details for the County Championships will follow early next month.
The summer will continue apace, with a brace of returns, first to York University for the North of England Open (14th July) and then to Canterbury for the Kent Open (4th August). Both venues have had some refurbishment since our last visit, so we are excited to get both these events back on the calendar.
As the Super Series ends in Manchester, who will claim each of the 5 available titles?
However, the main summer highlight (weather depending) will be two chances to play grass court tennis. Firstly, we will conclude the Super Series at the North West Open on the 28th July. Last year, Jermaine Manners claimed a first UK Tour title in seven years defeating Dan Busby on the grass at the Northern Club in Manchester, and we look forward to a return to the grass here in July. A few weeks later, we have a second bite of the grass court cherry when the World Tour returns to the UK. The London Open (16th to 18th August) is a World Tour challenger taking place at the Roehampton Club. Roehampton is famous for its status as the Wimbledon qualifying venue and those same grass courts will be unleashed on the Racketlon world this summer. This event has a capacity limit of around 80 and will be opening for entries very soon. Entry will be online here, and it will be vital to keep a good eye on our website events page, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds to make sure you get one of these places.
Finally, the autumn will see us head to Norwich (East Anglian Open - 8th September) and Letchworth (Hertfordshire Open - 20th October) before our second visits of the year to Nottingham (Robin Hood Classic – 10th November) and Oxford (Richard Lawrence Open – 30th November and 1st December). November will also be a busy month as the World Singles and World Teams will take place in Braunschweig from the 19th to 24th November.
Over the past 6 months or so, a number of UK Tour events have reached capacity very soon after entry has opened. To ensure that all members of the community have an equal chance of entering events, we will ensure that entry goes live across our platforms (website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) on the same day. Additionally, for all scheduled UK Tour events, we will open entries 2 months before entries are due to close unless previously stated. We hope to add further events to the calendar as the year goes on and will be sharing these events across these platforms before opening the events to entry.