Still afloat and firing broadsides
1997 champ Tim Evinger points out
a better target to 2009 champ Matt Bacho and Jon Izer.
2007 champ Matt Evinger with his cheerleader
fends off two-time champ Gordon Rodgers.
Chris LeFevre and Chaka Benson contemplate
Pat Mirk, Rob Kilroy, Doug Landon
and Tim Miller compare fleets.
There were a few less ships in the water ... a trend I hope
we can change with word of mouth, social media discussion, and
some out and out begging and pleading. Of the eight players that
qualified for the Final, two choose not to continue - doubtlessly
already well on their way home. EIS's Sunday finale has always
made it somewhat of a local extravagance. As it was, we were
the last event firing and turned out the lights on 2014. Among
the finalists, only Joe Burch laureled last year, having qualified
again in his first heat. In fact, five of the six finalists qualified
in their first heat played. Only Rob Kilroy needed a second attempt,
after finishing fourth in his first try. And as seems to happen
regularly, numerous previous champions (sadly including myself)
didn't survive the preliminaries.
The first round of the Final distributed points fairly evenly.
Only Rob & Mike took prizes. With additional end of round
points Mike enjoyed a point lead over Joe. William had 24, closely
followed by "Neal" at 23 from two successful Run Agrounds.
Rounding out the field were Rob with 18, Steve with 15 and Bill
with 11 after having his Santissima Trinidada first rate
ship strike. So, there was only a 29-point spread, easily within
reach of everyone.
In the second hand, the action grew heavier with a couple
strong, but unsuccessful attempts to reach 100 and end the game
in just two hands. Rob, Bill and Mike all brought prizes back
to port. Steve began falling behind, but had another successful
Run Aground. William scored 43 points this round, but his comined
total of 67 left him behind Rob whose 63-point hand with the
prize gave him a total of 81 and Mike's 51 bringing him to 91.
Close, but not enough to win.
Bill and Joe remained in the hunt with 39 and 8 more points
bringing them to 50 and 47 respectively. Steve brought up the
rear at15 and may have been wishing for the mercy rule of prior
years that eliminated the trailing player after each hand.
So we went to a third hand and it did not disappoint as the
action got even wilder. After some initial damage had been spread
around, Steve attempted to board Mike and continued his lousy
luck, failing despite a +3 grape shot advantage. This left Bill
with a chance to board Mike's ship, again with a +3 grape shot
advantage, and AGAIN they repelled boarders. That left the morsel
to Joe, who finally over powered Mike's valiant crew. On the
very next round Bill again tried to board a Mike ship with a
+3 grape shot advantage and was again repelled. Joe followed
suit, but also failed. William joined the repulsed boarders in
his turn, leaving it for Bill to finally take the spoils. After
several more rounds of carnage, Bill boarded the last ship in
Rob's line, but Rob was saved from the 15-point penalty for loss
of his entire fleet by a Refuse Battle allowing him to bring
a ship from port. Steve's bad luck continued with him scoring
only 11 more, finishing sixth. Joe could only garner 14 additional
points for 61 and fifth place. William scored 33 points to reach
100 but had to settle for fourth. Mike lost his lead and with
only 10 more points finished with 101 and in third. Bill made
a strong run with a 60-point hand for a total of 110, but that
only made him the runner-up. Rob's 45 ,on the other hand, gave
him a total of 126 and the win.
Mike Dwyer trades broadsides with
2006 champ Evan Hitchings and 1994 champ Larry York, back from
California after a five-year absence.