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The 2010 Gisborne First Light Bob Clark Memorial | Gisborne, New Zealand Aug 7,8 2010
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The 2010 Gisborne First Light Bob Clark Memorial | Alfred Cox Park, Gisborne, New Zealand | Aug 7,8 2010

Located at the northern end of Poverty Bay, Gisborne is yet another of New Zealand's gem locations - for living, visiting and of course for disc golf!

This fact was proven with a great First Light tournament in August of 2010. Or intrepid reporter Bob G headed down early to provide some support to the locals in growing the sport there, to play the tournament, take some pics and to write this story...

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The late Bob Clark was the driving force of Disc Golf in Gisborne. We had talked numerous times since the course went into Alfred Cox Park right on his door step but didn’t meet until he came across to the Taupo Classic in 2009. What a great guy, and according to him was in heaven; living with the lady of his dreams (who was also an avid knee boarder), right beside one of the best surf breaks in the world and on top of that a permanent fully basketed 18 hole Disc Golf course just over the fence. Bob had played Disc Golf back in San Diego in California and didn’t realise the sport was establishing itself here in Gods own. He was so keen to see it happen he even paid for 9 of the baskets himself and did all the instillation and maintenance when the council, Sport Gisborne and Tourism Eastland had used up their available budget. He set up a local club, the ‘Gisborne Gold’s’ and encouraged locals to make use of this great amenity that was free to play.

Bob was keen for the NZDG Tour to come to his neighbourhood and had committed to TD a tour event but sadly found out he was very sick towards the end of 2009 and tragically passed away on new years day 2010. So I had no hesitation in taking over the running of the inaugural ‘Gisborne First Light Disc Golf Tournament’ and adding ‘Bob Clark memorial’ to the name. We will not forget this passionate man.

At the players meeting on the Saturday morning I was chuffed to see 18 competitors at this inaugural event, including Bob’s Gisborne playing buddy Rangi Harrison and his 9 year old son Taran. We had tour players from Auckland, Tauranga, Tokoroa, Taumarunui and a rent a crowd from Levin and were joined by the late Bob’s wife Suz for some quiet time to remember our mate before heading to our tees.

The format for the weekend was 4 rounds, 2 rounds each day with the morning rounds off the standard Tee’s and the afternoon rounds off the longer championship Tee’s installed on 4 holes.

The course feedback from players was all good, short but technical, accuracy was imperative especially the holes beside the river, there were a few who needed to come back at low tide to retrieve the odd disc.

Saturday evening saw Dean Marshall heading back to the motel with a 4 shot buffer on the pack and keen to set new course records after a good nights sleep .. but .. it didn’t go to plan. Sunday morning saw him shoot his worst round for the weekend and Auckland’s Damian Peters shoot his best, he bettered his first round short course record by 1 coming in with a 44 and taking the lead by 3. The battle was on for the final 18 Sunday afternoon. While all eyes were on Damian and Dean, ‘Mr. Consistent’ Blair Joines from the LTD in Taumarunui quietly whittle, whittle, whittled away at his playing partners and snuck home to take the inaugural Gisborne First Light Bob Clark Memorial by a solitary shot. Nice work Mr Joines, and the lesson to remember .. always keep your eye on the quiet ones.

In closing I would just like to add what a joy it is organising and running an event in a town where everyone is so supportive of our sport. The Gisborne City Council who came to the fore by mowing and line-trimming the course the day before the event, rescued from the river, fixed and replaced basket #9 and tee #10 and even came to see me in the park on the Thursday before the event to ask if there was anything else they could do for us. I asked if they could possibly put a plank over one wet slot in the park and the next day there was a bridge there. Brilliant! East Coast Tourism is a big supporter of the course and were always very positive about having it installed. They wanted the event to be a success so much they brought a radio campaign for the week leading up to the tournament and organised media interviews and photo shoots. They also have discs available to anyone who wants to have a round or two from their i-site which is right beside Tee One. Thanks heaps! Also we wouldn’t have a course there if it wasn’t for the crew at Sport Gisborne, especially now ex Sport Gisborne member Fiona Duncan who has remained super active with Disc Golf in Gisborne. I'd also like to thank Leanne and the crew at the Lone Star restaurant and bar for looking after us with drinks vouchers and vouchers for dinners at their excellent establishment.

We’ll be back, see you all again when we come to town for the 2011 Gisborne First Light Bob Clark Memorial, if not before.

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The 18 Disc Golfers who made up the field for the Inaugural Gisborne First Light Bob Clark Memorial in front of the Alfred Cox Park Course sign.

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The Original Grand Master - Maybe our sport has been around longer than we think! Auckland tour player Damo checks out what is considered by many to be the very disc Young Nick threw ashore from the crows-nest to tie this country to the British Empire. Now held proudly by his captain.

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Henry Heaves -A player to watch very closely in the not to distant future; young Tauranga Golfer Henry Conway was relishing a course that suited his game.

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A 'Vest'ed Interest - The style of a champion! BOP’s Fiona ‘Ming’ Menzies shows the style that saw her win a world ranking of #2 back in 2008. She hasn’t lost it!

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Par Ha Ha - Local Junior Taran Harrison (9) who plays regularly with his Dad was promised a buck for every par he made. It could have been a costly mistake as his game improved massively over the first round and by the end of day one was already up $6.

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Peters Putts - The ‘energiser bunny’ of NZ Disc Golf Damian Peters flew down from Auckland for the weekend and managed to nab a fist full of tour-points. Here he shows the form that had him leading the comp for a while. .

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Another buck for the cause - eventual winner Blair Joines and GM Jenny Joynt muse at the fact that since Dad offered $1 per par young Taran Harrison slotted them from everywhere.

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Levin's Lawton - Levin’s Lawton Williams was rewarded with four consistent rounds to give him 6th place over-all and 2nd in the Open Competition. Not to mention taking out the Team Levin title.

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Take Five - Tokoroa tour player Jenny Joynt slams her put into the chains on hole 5, to the enjoyment of playing partner Blair Joines.

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Doctor Proctor - Auckland Disc Golfer Michael Proctor drives the 92 metre Alfred Cox Park hole 13 as Tauranga’s Henry Conway looks on.

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Marko Proctor - Auckland golfer Michael Proctor is lovin’ his new Marko, it picked him up over $250 for the only ACE over the weekend when he hyzered it into the chains on the short & sweet hole 11.

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Well done Gissie! - The course is well laid out with most holes shooting away from the water and boundaries. Here local Taran Harrison sends one down #3 watched by Dad Rangi and playing partner Jackson Sullivan from Levin.

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Jackson Five - The Disc Golfin art work that is Jackson Sullivan from Levin takes time out from green to tee to get down the groups scores.

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Levin Lineup -Team Disc Golf Levin; Paula Wilson, Riki Elston, Lawton Williams, Jackson Sullivan, Gemma Sullivan and Shane Sullivan all did the road trip across the country to spend the weekend playing 18 baskets in Gizzy. Brilliant!

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Crouch, Hold, Engage - It’s all about how you hold your tongue. Tauranga Disc Golfer Henry Conway is looking more and more like a contender for the poster boy of our sport. Can he sing and dance? I’m sure Damo could teach him a move or two.

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Joines the Club - The Lost Tribe’s Blair Joines who snuck in when no one was watching to take the inaugural Gisborne Title by just 1 shot. This could very well have been the shot as well.

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The Riki Release - Another contender for an NZDG centrefold spread is Levin golfer Riki Elston who had his own personal photographer along for the weekend. Seems it’s all in the tongue!

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Tee Party - Three of the 5 ladies competing over the weekend. Paula Wilson, Robyn Joynt and Mum Jenny waiting to Tee on hole 4. The Tee markers are excellent!

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Water Hazard - What Gisborne is famous for, along with a beautiful 18 basket Disc Golf Course right in the heart of town, so don’t just take your board to Gizzy anymore, make sure you pack your discs as well.

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Date 07.08.2010
Location Gisborne
Name First Light
Venue Alfred Cox Park
TD Bob Gentil

1 Blair Joines M 46 49 49 45 189 50.00
2 Damian Peters O 45 50 44 51 190 47.12
3 Dean Marshall M 46 45 51 49 191 44.24
4 Bob Gentil GM 47 48 50 49 194 41.35
5 Henry Conway J 52 50 50 50 202 38.47
6 Lawton Williams O 54 52 50 53 209 35.59
7 Michael Proctor GM 53 52 50 55 210 32.71
8 Jackson Sullivan O 48 57 53 53 211 29.82
9 Keith Woody Inwood M 58 53 52 51 214 25.50
9 Shane Sullivan M 56 56 50 52 214 25.50
11 Riki Elston O 56 55 55 52 218 21.18
12 Rangi Harrison O 60 54 59 57 230 18.29
13 Fiona Ming Menzies WGM 54 61 56 61 232 15.41
14 Jenny Joynt WGM 61 62 65 62 250 12.53
15 Gemma Sullivan W 64 66 64 63 257 9.65
16 Taran Harrison J 79 76 70 78 303 6.76
17 Robyn Joynt W 61 70 131 3.88
18 Paula Wilson W 85 90 175 1.00

* DNF: the player did not complete this round. Par +4 has been added to every uncompleted hole.


Click here for the 2010 New Zealand Tour Points Table

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