Camana Bay raised Open’s status

Cayman’s standing in the squash
hierarchy has leaped another few notches after another successful staging of
the Cayman Open.

Started at the South Sound Squash
Club last week Sunday, it wrapped up on Saturday night with a mix of serious
competition and fun matches at the glass court erected in Camana Bay.

All the brainchild of tournament
director Dan Kneipp, the tournament was only in its second year but is already
well established. Cayman’s squash president Jeff Broderick has also done a lot
over the years to promote the sport.

Kneipp’s main motivation is to
boost the junior programme and he has done that admirably, receiving $18,000
worth of equipment from Dunlop and Wilson, paid for by the government. Last
year the juniors received $10,000 worth of equipment.

Premier McKeeva Bush attended two
nights at Camana Bay and he lauded the fact that there will be a permanent
glass court based on the grounds of the Ritz-Carlton after Rani Jarkas, owner
of Cedrus Investments, generously bought one for the benefit of promoting the
sport here. Jarkas is a former US No.1 player and world class competitor. The
court could cost up to US$200,000.

Malaysia’s Nicol David, the world’s
No.1 female, confirmed her status by beating the world No.2, Jenny Duncalf of
England, in three games.

In the men’s competition Trinidad
and Tobago’s Colin Ramasra beat Cayman youngster Cameron Stafford 3-1.

In the fun events, sports minister
Mark Scotland shared the honours in a knockabout match with MLA Cline Glidden
Jnr and the doubles game between Cayman pair Marlene West and Myron Blair
against Jaclyn Hawkes and Camille Serme was a warm up for the Commonwealth
Games in India in October.

Former Southern Caribbean champion Shawn
Simpson is ranked No.3 in the Caribbean. Despite a couple of wet nights, overall
it all went well.

Simpson lost in the semi-finals to
Stafford. The Barbadian said: “Compared to last year the introduction of the
glass court was a big, big improvement.

“Just having an atmosphere here at
Camana Bay made it even more interesting and more awesome.

“There was a better quality of
girls competing this year and I noticed that Cameron has improved considerably
in the last eight months.

“As long as Dan invites me, I’ll be
here every year. Anything I can do to help out with the kids I’ll do. The
initiative taken by the Cayman squash association is great.”

David said: “It was just another
fantastic atmosphere here. To have it in a glass court in Camana Bay with most
of the top 10 players, you can’t get much better than that.”

She was thankful that the owners of
the Chinese restaurant in George Town are actually Malaysian. They came to
support her and provided Malaysian food as well.

“They were so good to me last year
and this year they came to feed me and a support me again.”

Duncalf has won two of the last
four meetings with David having lost the previous 18 matches with the supreme

Does that mean that her Federer-like
reign could be over? “I just know that I always have to step up my game every
time. So every time I go on that court I have to bring my A game on.”


A glass court will soon be permanently here.
Photo: Ron Shillingford