Florida Regionals. They're Big! They're Bursting with people! And - they're Brilliantly fun!
Last week, Sharon got to experience all the excitement and competition at the Sarasota-Mantee Regional. With almost 19,000 masterpoints earned by 2100 players and 3284 tables - folks back in District 14 can only dream of such numbers. With its dense population and popular destinations, however, Florida tournies make quite the splash.
The tournament began with the "usual" super hospitality; free coffee, OJ, apples, bagels and assorted rolls.
Then, Sharon had the opportunity to meet a variety of Floridian bridge players, administrators, and visitors from various locales.
Canadian and NABC champion Gloria Bart was on hand to teach prior to an I/N session. Russ Delaney, tournament chair and all around problem solver with super energy was on hand. The Sports Commissioner for the Convention Center and sponsor of the tournament, Joe Pickett, also posed with Sharon.
Others that Sharon had the pleasure to meet were James Hawkes from South Carolina, Sandi Murray, Assistant Tournament Chair, Shirley Seals, District 9 Representative and Carol Hamilton, President of Unit 102 and this year's tournament host.
Sharon held a listening session. Roughly a dozen people participated, including one of the newer players, Barbara English.
And, New Yorkers Lynne Tarnopol and Kent Mignocchi enjoyed some chuckles with Sharon and Shirley.
Florida does regionals right! The Sarasota-Manatee Regional proved to be the perfect ending to Sharon's excellent tour in the Sunshine State. Sharon and Roger extend "thank you's" to all who contributed to their most enjoyable travels.