Weeks always aims high

November should be an exciting time
for local darts. A pair of competitions is slated to take place in the Mickey
Mouse and Vivian Rankine Memorial tournaments.

One of the faces to look for is
Cliff Weeks. A stalwart in local darts the last decade, Weeks won the 2008
Mickey Mouse event (which takes place during Pirates Week) by claiming the
single and doubles titles. He has also had some decent scores at the Vivian
Rankine tournament in the past. Weeks states he is eager to play and continue
his from a recent international tournament. “I’m looking forward to playing.
I’ve always made an impression at those tournaments. Everyone is coming back
ready from the Caribbean Championships. I feel they’re pretty wound-up. With
everyone throwing good they’re still on edge.”

Weeks was one of 18 people
representing Cayman at the 2010 Caribbean Championship of Darts in Abaco,
Bahamas last month. Five female players were on the team along with nine male
hurlers along with three coaches and a team manager.

Cayman came in fourth overall,
replicating their showing two years ago in Trinidad. In the Caribbean Cup event
Cayman tied for fourth place with Brazil and placed fifth in the Americas Cup
event. Florida and Canada were the top squads in both events respectively.
Cayman did not produce a Caribbean champion in the singles or team events.

The Cayman stand-out for the
tournament was Arek Archibold who made it to the finals for the Americas Cup
junior event. However Cayman Islands Darts Association President and national
team manager Arthur Ebanks states that Weeks also did well.

“On the whole the team lost focus
as a lot of the team members were hyped up from here,” Ebanks said. “We were
within the top three in my mind but many obstacles took a mental effect. They
wanted to win but couldn’t get it together like Tiger Woods the last couple
months playing golf.

“However our teams did excellent
during the team competitions. We gained a lot of points through that. Our best
doubles team was Cliff and Adrian Mannouch. They did quite good as they won
most of their games and did the triples event quite well with Linda (Locke).”

Weeks, who is also a motorsports
enthusiast, states he teamed up well with Mannouch in the face of tough
players.

“I did okay in the singles event
but I had a good team game. The doubles made it to the second round and the
mixed triples got past the second round. It was tough but everyone stepped up.
Everyone held their own and as a result we won a lot of games. I think everyone
on our team came prepared but every game has to have winners and losers.

“Most of the team didn’t take their
opportunities to win and the other teams took advantage of that. In spite of
the fact that they had more experience, we did really well. I’m proud of our
fourth place spot, it was well-earned.”

Interestingly both Ebanks and Weeks
feel that Cayman would have finished higher if a number of teams did not drop
out of the competition at short notice.

“Five teams dropped out in Jamaica,
Bermuda, St. Lucia, Barbados and Guyana due to economic strains,” Ebanks said.
“They couldn’t make it to the tournament and if they were there we could have
gone higher. We normally beat them and they’re teams we’re confident in
playing. We’ll see what happens around the corner at the next Caribbean
Championship in 2012 in Belize.”

Weeks added that the presence of
many professional players for squads like Florida and the Bahamas had an
impact.

“There are no soft teams but half
of the teams that dropped out we would’ve beat and gotten points,” Weeks said.
“Those that showed up were tough and it was hard to get points off of them.
Mind you their top players are professional and throwing darts for money. Ultimately
I think we would have been in the top three if everyone showed up.”

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