2009 : Dave’s Date with Destiny

We’re sitting in the Heliport station
Got a ticket for my destination ooh ooh
On a tour of Scilly sights, getting Eddie pissed each night ooh ooh
And every Mal will buy me wum and offer me one up the bum urgh! Urgh!
Old Fog bound
I wish I wasn’t
Old fog bound

A very foggy morning greeted the 34 Mals at Penzance Heliport. The baggage masters, ever vigilant, noticed that their ‘tips’ were a bit light, and 2 Mals, 1 mini-Mal and one new boy were confirmed as MBA (Missing before action!)

A state of panic ensued for at least 3 seconds before it became apparent that Jamie Pooley, David Showell, Matt Hughes and Alistair Simpson had braved the fog and boarded the ice breaker ‘Scillonian’ to make sure that the trip would start on time.

After about a 3 hour delay the remainder of the Mals landed on Scilly, and after clearing customs and the Mermaid, assembled for the re-scheduled ‘D.G. briefing’. The flag was raised and the 2009 trip was on its way. New boys and Mals were welcomed and the seeds of a winning trip were planted in everyone’s minds.

Six sports and drinking time cut to a minimum, this first afternoon could be pivotal! The beach football team gave a good account of themselves in the first half, but helicopter-lag took its toll in the second half and the Islanders won 15 – 4. Tennis up at the Garrison also produced a silver medal going down 2 – 1. Things not going to plan, the school sports is always a good opportunity to get our noses ahead after the first day.

Basketball – lost 8-30
Volleyball – lost 2-0
Table Tennis – won 4-1 (who’s getting the job back?)
Squash – lost 0-5

At dinner, Ben Jakes introduced his staff and our 2008 president Alan Guest decided to reign for as long as possible before flushing in David Martin – well he’d waited 28 years, another half an hour wouldn’t hurt!

Sponsors introduced their new boys, Nathan Summers, ‘comedy’ David Williamson and Alistair Simpson, and full ‘Malship’ was granted to Matt Hughes, Roy Dale and Graham Willington.

The president laid down the rules of engagement not only on the playing field but also at meal times. Humorous stories were to be the order of the day but not on the Garrison.

Thursday morning came round too soon, 19°C positively tropical. Down to the square and up to the golf course. Unfortunately for some Mals (and fortunately for Wardy) golf clubs had not all been delivered to the golf course. Baggage masters accepted full blame and the Perry Pot and Morgan Mug were contested for. Joss Davidge winning the Pot and Alan Guest winning the Mug.

All aboard the Surprise for a pastie at the Turks Head and a dip in the Atlantic (not the pub).

You could see that Stewart ‘Rocky’ Ward had trained in the closed season for his role as Captain of the hockey, and it paid off, with a 2 – 1 victory to the Mals. ‘Smithy’ collected the Man of the Match award, bravo!

Back to Tregarthens for beer and medals. Looking forward to our evening down the Scillonian, all team members opted for the pasta course at dinner. Buoyed by the hockey result, confidence was at an all time high!

Gordon Nabb’s darts team selection based on those who bought him a Rum and Shrub the night before was obviously flawed, with only Joss Davidge (MoM) and Alex Polhill scoring victories for the Mals. The pool team suffered a similar defeat (2 – 8) with Dave Dallaway receiving the MoM award. Captain Dave (I got the half) Windeatt was left to reflect on another year wasted! How does he get a room all to himself?

The snooker team ably led by Ray Farr defeated the Islanders 3 – 0 and the MoM awarded to our own Uncle Sausage … Time for bed.

Another bright day on Friday and it’s the greensome foursome puttsome ballsome. No excuses for missing clubs today. Steve Dann and Shaun Galloway were victorious as they were the only pair who really understood what was going on!

The golf team met on the new sun deck at the golf club, tactics discussed and confidence high. Last year was just a hiccup! Alas it wasn’t, an 8 – 1 drubbing was handed out. Our only successes, Alex Polhill and David Showell (Men of the Match).

The sailing regatta was a steady affair compared to last year with only Dave Windeatt receiving a yellow card for a less than nautical performance and Harry Marsland the MoM for staying dry.

Dinner was the usual hearty affair with Harry proposing a toast to the new boys and Nathan Summers replying on behalf of Alistair and David.

The D.G. reported on the highlights of the AGM and the first pair departed for the badminton. A deserved 2 – 1 victory lifted the Mals with Stewart Ward collecting the MoM award.

The rifle shooting team were again victorious (608 – 591) with ‘the Jackal’ Phil Jones as MoM. But the points accrued here were not enough to prevent the Mals slipping into silver position once the archery – scores were added (163 – 181).

Back to Tregarthens and a game of ‘crisp jenga’ with young Pooley!

It can’t be Saturday already! It’s the big two today the Nosworthy Noggin and the Bishops Beaker ably won by Peter Nelstrop and Eddie Gladden respectively.

On returning to Tregarthens for a quick lunch before cricket we all hear about Alex’s tragic loss. Geoff and Alex return to the mainland immediately and all our thoughts and prayers go with them. (Thanks also to John Morley and all his team for getting Alex and Geoff off the island with as little fuss as possible).

The cricket team looked good on paper but not so good on the square. St. Marys always play a good game. Maybe our minds were elsewhere…

A minute’s silence preceded the football match and in a two legged affair we left ourselves a mountain to climb in the second leg, going down 7 – 1. Man of the Match was awarded to Jamie Pooley.

The president said a few words at dinner and we all reflected on the day.

Another Sunday and another lottery result! No not the usual, we’ve won! It may be only £10 but who cares. Uncle Sausage checks at the newsagents and apparently no Islanders won so it’s a victory for the Mals (desperation setting in!).

The shooters depart to the heliport and the cricketers depart to Tresco. The extra lie-in should pep the troops up! The clay shooters return with a victory and ‘Junior Jackal’ Dave Epton is MoM.

Meanwhile back at ‘Treasure Island’ our lottery Captain is seen having a crab sandwich at the Island Hotel! It must have been more than £10!

A very competitive game with some very good performances ends in a narrow defeat with David Nottingham getting the MoM award.

It’s back to St. Marys and the second leg of the football. Plenty of spirit, guts and determination are shown but the climb is too tough and the Mals lose 3 – 0. Unlucky Mals, well played Steve Dann (MoM).

Guest night dinner, we really are on the homeward leg!

As usual the Tregarthen team excels themselves and the food and service is out of this world. It is a great opportunity to talk to our island friends and catch up on island news. A most enjoyable evening was had by all and the new headmaster Bryce Wilby proposed Tina Duxbury as the ‘Mal de Mer Merit Trophy’ winner. Tina who leaves this year is being immediately re-hired as a music teacher by the school. Well done Tina Duxbury. The president proposed a toast to the Islanders and Martyn Songhurst replied.

Guest night would not be complete without a performance by the Thespians, this year’s production was ‘loosely’ based on Harry Potter, and Smithy’s performance was loosely based on ad-libbing. After four curtain calls we all dispersed to the bar and wondered where we had seen that before.

Not long to go now. It’s the Texas Shambles this morning and what a shambles it turned out to be, with one Mal playing off a 36 H’Cap! I know there have been legitimate calls for dope tests in the past, but sex tests! Well anyway, Stewart will be sharing with Smithy next year – he’ll find out!

Clubs stowed and fingers crossed it’s down for our final boat trip to St. Martins. The squad have promised much, can they deliver? Alas no. Played 3 lost 3 – questions must be asked.

The boat trip back from St. Martins was as calm as a mill pond and our extra passenger, Andrew George M.P. thought the Hierarchy’s expense claims were well within the rules and donated £10 to the pot for good measure.

A whole flotilla of gigs took to the water at 18.00 hours. Island gigs, Mals’ gigs and hybrid versions. A bit of a dodgy start led to the favourites ‘Old Mal of War’ being pipped at the post by the island crew, fantastic race, always a great way to end the trip.

The D.G. proposed a toast to David Martin and everyone thanked him for a good job well done.

No, it’s still not over, we just love competition. The alternative boat race, captained by that ‘old soak’ Andy Clay. He must have scared the opposition to death as there was a no-show on behalf of the Islanders. Always nice to finish on a victory.

Bills settled, bags packed, it was time to say our penultimate cheerios at the hotel, followed by one more at the heliport. It was up and away, another eventful trip nicely tucked under our belts.

Well done Mr. President and thank you Mr. Organizator.

Mal de Mer logo


Wednesday 25th September, 2024
Monday 30th September, 2024