Big guns set sights on South Pacific glory
The 58th annual South Pacific Carnival is bulging with over 800 entries as the region’s best players take on national stars in 10 days of high class bowls.
One of the biggest events in the southern hemisphere begins with 80 teams and 20 sections of fours on Tuesday.
Fairy Meadow are headquarters for the second time in four years and will host all post sectional play including the three finals. The carnival has a rest day on New Year’s Day, with many players trying to create history and win all three disciplines of singles, fours and pairs.
Shane Garvey, who has won nine South Pacific crowns is not playing this year but is the only bowler to make all three finals.
Garvey played on all nine days of the 2013 carnival and won the Pairs with Wiseman Park clubmate Robin Smith.
This year all defending champions have nominated, with rising Cabramatta star Corey Wedlock back to try and make it back-to-back singles titles following an epic 31-30 win over Warilla’s Jesse Noronha in the final 12 months ago.
Steve and Ben Glasson are the only father and son combination to win the Pairs in almost 60 years of the carnival and will again travel down from Sydney to play. The Glassons also won the pairs in 2009, while both have claimed the singles crown, with Steve the champion in 2009 and Ben as a 19-year-old in 2015.
Meanwhile, Illawarra based Taren Point star John Green became the most successful player in South Pacific history by winning his 10th crown in taking out the fours 12 months ago.
Zel Diamant is not playing in Green’s team this year with John Hills joining the rink, along with Barry Martin and Wes Falconer, who is the defending South Pacific Player of the Carnival.
The South Pacific had its heyday in the 1980s but remains strong and this year has many entries from South Coast and Sydney, plus some interstate players spending the New Year in the region.
The carnival begins with three sectional rounds of Fours on Tuesday, followed by close to 200 players and 48 sectional rounds of Singles on Wednesday and 46 sections of Pairs on Thursday.
■ At 15 bowling clubs including Fairy Meadow, the carnival headquarters.
■ Fours Sectional: Tues Dec 27, 20 sections.
■ Singles Sectional: Wed Dec 28, 48 sections
■ Pairs Sectional: Thurs Dec 29, 46 sections
■ Post Sectional Play: Dec 30 (Fours); Dec 31 (Singles), Jan 2 (Pairs)
■ Singles Q/Fs, and semis, plus Fours semis Jan 3
■ Pairs Q/Fs, semis Jan 4
■ Finals Day Jan 5: Singles, Pairs and Fours