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Lyttleton as seen from the top of the Christchurch Gondolas

On This Page:

Reports on:

  • 37th NZ Masters Tournament 2021
  • The Gorge Challenge 2019
  • The Bridge Challenge 2019
  • Tauranga Tournament 2019
  • Kiwi Tournament 2019
  • Rotorua One Day Unrated Tournament 2019
  • The Kaimai Challenge 2018
  • The Battle of the Gorge 2018
  • Tauranga Tournament 2018
  • The Bridge Challenge 2018
  • The WESPA 5th World Senior Scrabble Championsip and the Earlybird Warmup Tournament 2017
  • The Battle of the Gorge 2017
  • The end of a game at the Tauranga Tournament 2017
  • The Bridge Challenge 2017
  • The Kaimai Challenge 2017
  • The Battle of the Gorge 2016
  • The Kaimai Challenge 2016
  • Tauranga Ruby Tournament 2016
  • Tauranga Club Ruby Year Events 2016

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The 37th NZ Masters Tournament 2021

masters20210404Odorizes. The word means ‘to give an odour or scent to’ and is rarely used
in the daily vocabulary of an average Kiwi. The spelling might also be a little jarring.

But at the NZ Scrabble Masters’ Tournament in Tauranga this uncommon transitive verb was the top scoring play over Easter.

The tournament was held at the Tauranga Bridge Club at the weekend.

Blue Thorogood from Christchurch scored a massive 171 points with the impressive use of his lexicon. However, it still wasn’t enough to secure the all-time record highest game score with 721 points.

This is the 37th tournament in New Zealand and players from as far away as Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin embarked on the city to test their rack management skills against the best 24 top rated tilers in the nation over the three day weekend.

The players play a round-robin system to find a winner.

All players are rated and expectancies, the number of games each needs to win to maintain their current rating, are calculated.

Top seed, Alastair Richards from Auckland had an expectancy of 19 games to win and the lowest seed, Delcie Macbeth from Coromandel was expected to win 6.1. Alastair missed by one as did Delcie.

Just over half the players reached their expectancy with Cicely Bruce from Whangarei winning a prize for the most wins over expectancy by 3.7 games.

However, the overall winner of the tournament was the second rated player, Dylan Early from Wellington, who won 19 games with an average of 468 after 23 games.

The full results are also available on the NZ Scrabble Players Association website.

The Bridge Challenge 2019 

was held on 19th September 2019 , a team event between Tauranga and Papamoa/Mt  Maunganui players, was held at the Carmel Country Estate and was well organised by Barbara who is a resident there.  Tauranga won with 31.5 wins to Papamoa/Mt’s 17.5 wins.

The Gorge Challenge 2019

aka The Battle of the Gorge (Bog), a team event between Tauranga and Rotorua players, was held on 27th September 2019 at the Bob Owens Ryman Retirement Village. Tauranga won with 35 wins to Rotorua’s 14 wins.  Ryman provided a lovely morning tea and lunch.  And free drinks at the end of the day!  Thank you Ryman for your hospitality.


The Tauranga Tournament was held on 24 & 25 August 2019 and in which eleven of our members played.  Thanks to a large number of our members who pulled together to help make it a great tournament.  The morning and afternoon teas were to die for and the home made soup hit the right spot at lunch time.   A big thank you also to Pacey who carried out recording the results without a hitch.

Marian won the Noel Maisey cup which is competed for by those who had never played in a tournament before.

Glennis Hale’s 3000th tournament game was her 4th game of the Tauranga Tournament (which she won).


On 10th & 11th August six Tauranga players attended the Kiwi tournament in Hamilton.  It was held at the Hilda Ross Ryman retirement village which proved to be a great venue along with lunches and morning and afternoon teas provided.

Rotorua 2019 One Day Unrated Tournament

On Saturday 18 May Rotorua Club invited members from Hamilton and Tauranga to a one day non-rated tournament.  Thirty-eight players competed at the Rotorua East Bowling club.

This gave members (including those who do not regularly attend tournaments) the opportunity to get some practice at playing tournament style competition in a relaxed friendly environment and provide practice for those who intend competing at rated tournaments.

We enjoyed a really enjoyable atmosphere with the buzz of a ‘real tournament’.  Yummy morning and afternoon teas were provided and prizes awarded.

Report on the Kaimai Challenge 2018 – by Fay W

On Thursday 27 September, after a drive through some of the most beautiful New Zealand scenery eight of our members arrived in Hamilton.

We had been invited by Hamilton’s Kiwi Club to answer the Kaimai Challenge again. It was a beautiful day weather wise and the Hamilton members were warm and welcoming.

The challenge was held in the Beerescourt Bowling Club which was a lovely venue. It even included a small Op Shop to add interest. Our eight members were keen and all ready to play our best – and we did – especially Heather who won all six of her games!!

Unfortunately for us, Hamilton brought their highest ranking team and they basically thrashed us in the number of wins. We had a lower ranking team so could be gracious about losing!! and we all learned some new words to take home with us.

The food was lovely, the company was great and after playing six games we were happily presented with several spot prizes!! Our Team consisted of Heather L, Shirley B, Jo Ann I, Noelene B, Rosalind P, the wonderful Lois K who stepped in at the last moment, and it was so lovely to see Stan S there as well. Oh, and I was there too!

The day was well organised by Jennifer and her team and we look forward to issuing the challenge to them next year!

Report The Battle of The Gorge (aka the BOG) 2018

The BOG is a team event held annually between the Tauranga and Rotorua clubs.

Battle of the Gorge 2018
Jo An, Tauranga, handing ‘the rock’ back to Joanne, Rotorua.

This year it was held on Friday 7th September at Parksyde.   This venue is a modern well set up complex which has been built especially for the senior residents of Rotorua where they can enjoy taking part in various pursuits and interests including scrabble, table tennis, line dancing etc.  It has in-house caterers who are well patronised.

This year it was Rotorua’s turn to be the hosts.  Seven Tauranga club players, Rosalind, Heather, Jo Ann, Sandra, Dorothy, Pam, and Noelene, travelled to Rotorua where they each played seven Rotorua club members, Joanne, Lesley, Kevin, Ruth, Phil, Wendy, & Ananda.

It was a closely fought battle with Rotorua winning 25 games and Tauranga, who won the previous year, winning 24.  –  –  So, we had to hand ‘the rock’ back to be fought for again next year.

A convivial atmosphere prevailed throughout the day with playing, feasting and the good company of our hosts and fellow club members.

Report on the Tauranga Tournament 2018

The Tauranga Tournament was held on the 25th & 26th August with 7 games on Saturday and 6 on Sunday.  There were 5 grades made up of 66 players who had come from all over the country between and including Whangarei and Christchurch.

In each grade prizes were awarded for: 1st, 2nd & 3rd places, the highest individual score, the highest aggregate scores, the most bonus words, and the highest scoring bonus word.  Over all grades spot prizes were awarded for each game.

The Tauranga Club members provided lavish morning and afternoon teas.  At lunchtime Maureen’s soup hit the right spot.

Despite being as many losers as winners, the tournament atmosphere tends to be a warm and friendly gathering where people from all over the country can meet up regularly with other players who all have a common interest.  The competitive part of the game, however is always to the fore.

At this this tournament there were four sets of siblings.  Jillian & Jacqueline, Ruth & Heather, Glenda & Delcie, and Tony and Peter.  Peter was playing in his first tournament ever and was awarded the Noel Maisey Trophy. This was donated by the family of Noel Maisey.  She started up the Tauranga Club 42 years ago.  The first club in New Zealand.

Report on The Bridge Challenge – 2018  by Fay W

Every year Tauranga Scrabble Club divides into two camps as the players who live in Papamoa play a one day tournament against those players who live in Tauranga.  Always a good fun day, this years was no different. Played at Silver Sands and hosted by Papamoa, seven players from each side did their very best to win.

Papamoa romped home with 29 wins over Tauranga’s 20.  In Tauranga’s defence it must be noted that two of their best players had had to withdraw at the last moment!!  Also, Papamoa’s Tei Ngatai had a fantastic day, winning all seven of her games.  But win or lose, the day was great with every break spent outside in the sunshine and lots of yummy food for morning and afternoon teas.

Diamond Sands is an ideal venue for these small gatherings, providing card tables and chairs and a fully equipped kitchen. A charge of three dollars per contender provided a donation that Diamond Sands was happy with.

Presentation of the trophy to Papamoa was held on the following Tuesday during our regular meeting.

An International Festival of Scrabble in Christchurch NZ

The WESPA 5th World Senior Scrabble Championship

The WESPA 5th World Senior Scrabble Championship was held in Christchurch NZ on the 21st, 22nd and 23rd November 2017.  The only qualification required for entry was to be 55 or over.  There were prizes for the first ten placings.  The prize for the top player being $1,000.   There was also a prize for the top player in each age group.  Present were 86 players from Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, Philippines, South Africa, Sweden, Wales, and USA,

Before play on Tuesday, the first day of the tournament, the overseas players were given a Maori welcome (a powhiri) commencing with a call to the guests (manuhiri).  The ceremony was concluded by the hongi and shaking of hands by the welcoming party and guests.

The format was a swiss draw where, for the first game, the higher ranked players are drawn to play with the higher ranked players in the lower half of the field.  And so on down to the lower ranked players in the top half playing the lower ranked players in the lower half.  In subsequent games players are drawn to play with those who are close to them in game wins.  This, as opposed to what happens in a graded round robin, means that players may be put with opponents from a great range of rankings.

Twenty-four games were played in all.  Nine games were played on each of the first two days and six games on day three.

The tournament was won by Joanne Craig, Australia & NZ, with 19 wins and a spread of 1790.  Second was Howard Warner, NZ, with 19 wins and a spread of 1475.

TV3 were present on the first day of play and TV1 on the third and last day of play.  The Christchurch Press and the N Z Herald were also present.

The WESPA Early Bird Warmup Tournament

On 18th and 19th November, just before the main event, the WESPA Early Bird Warmup Tournament was held.  This was open to players of any age.  The format for this tournament was also a swiss draw with a field of 66 players.  Fourteen games were played in all.  Seven played each day.

This tournament was won by Howard Warner with 12 wins and a spread on 1511.  Second was Patrick Carter with 11.5 wins and a spread of 668.


Report on The Battle of the Gorge September 2017

Rotorua and Tauranga have battled again at the Gorge Challenge. Held at Diamond Sands, Papamoa on 29/09/2017, the two teams of seven players each had a fun, friendly time playing in earnest to win this challenge.

The day ended with an original and stirring poem written and read by Rotorua’s President, Joanne, in which she likened her teammates to medieval warriors.

Battle of the Gorge Poem

Tauranga Scrabble Club, as hosts, provided big and varied morning and afternoon teas, although Heather forgot to bring the crackers to go with the yummy cheeses!

The Rock being presented to Fay, the Tauranga President, by Joanne, The Rotorua President.

A number of players from each team enjoyed their first experience of playing scrabble outside of their own clubs and the margin was close. Tauranga managed to take the trophy with 27 wins against Rotorua’s 22 wins.

Rotorua, as last years winners, presented the trophy (The Rock) with all due pomp and ceremony to Tauranga Club and we all look forward to next years challenge which will be hosted by Rotorua.

The Tauranga Scrabble Cub held its annual tournament on 26th & 27th August 2017.

72 players attended including those who had come from as far away as Christchurch and Whangarei.

A Memorable Game at the 2017 Tauranga TournamentHe & Me -enh
260 Was her score.
Using an F on the board, he put down his second bonus word of the game, INFLATES and scored 62 points.
390 was now his score. He is now ahead by 130 points.
As she was starting to place tiles on the board he gleefully told her that here were now no tiles left in the bag.
Using a D on the board, she put down her second bonus word of the game, WHISTLED and scored 95 points.
355 was now her score. 35 less than his and the game is now over.
Too little too late she thinks. But no!
He turns his rack around to show the tiles he has been left with: Q H P I S O O. Double the value of these tiles, 42, was added to her score.
397 is now her score. A win to her with a spread of 7.
There may be a moral to this story!

Report on The Bridge Challenge 2017  by Margaret B

The annual ‘Bridge Challenge’ between Tauranga and Papamoa/Mt Maunganui scrabblers was held on Thursday 18 May 2017, with 14 players participating.

The challenge is hosted alternately, and this year it was Tauranga’s turn.  We were fortunate to have the use of Heather’s home, with its magnificent view across the harbour to our iconic Mauao.

Realising we weren’t there to sit and gaze at the landscape, we started the first of our seven games at 9am.  Of course, we stopped for teas and lunch, with plentiful and delicious morning and afternoon tea supplied by Tauranga.  We hardly needed to take our own lunch!

The result – of the 49 games played, 24 were won by Papamoa/Mt Maunganui and 25 by Tauranga. We couldn’t have had a closer contest, but congratulations must go to Tauranga whose name will be engraved on the trophy.

Report on The Kaimai Challenge 2017 by Shirley M

The Kaimai Challenge was held in sunny Tauranga on 8th April with a lovely view of the harbour on one side and what once was a bowling green on the other.  Thanks to the Vintage Car Club for the use of their club rooms.

This Scrabble tournament is  held yearly, between Kiwi (Hamilton) and Tauranga Scrabble Club, hence called the Kaimai Challenge.  Hosted by us, Tauranga, this year, we won quite handsomely by 63 games to 35.  There were fourteen members in each team, in two sections.

A scrumptious morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea was enjoyed by all.  We look forward to the challenge again next year on Kiwi’s territory!

Report on The Battle of the Gorge 2016

The annual Battle of the Gorge between Tauranga and Rotorua was held this year on Friday the 16th September at the home of Tim and Janny in Rotorua as it was Rotorua’s turn to host the event.A total of 14 players took part with 7 representing each club.

The day dawned wet and gloomy – perfectly suited for a day of indoor activities.  The gloom was restricted to outdoors though, as the day was spent enjoying the Scrabble competition and socialising with club members from both sides of the Gorge.

Tauranga brought a strong team to the clash and hoped to take the trophy back with them, having won it on their home turf last year.  Rotorua was up to the challenge though, leading 16-12 at the lunch break after four rounds and progressed through the following three rounds to take out the clash by 29-20.  Kevin, of Rotorua, won all seven of his games, with Stan being the only Tauranga player to contain Kevin to a score of less than 400 for his game.

Top player on the day was Rotorua’s Kevin, winning seven games from seven, followed by Joanne with six wins. Top player for the Tauranga team was Elaine with five wins.  All games were played in a great spirit and Merilyn presented the trophy, to Rotorua President Tim, and thanked the hosts for such an enjoyable day.

Much appreciation must go to Ruth for her organisation both before and during the event including input of results between games.  Also to Tim and Janny for providing their home for a pleasant playing environment.  Tim also manned the coffee machine (making his famous delicious coffees) and organised the morning and afternoon teas.

Report on Ruby Year events 2016   by Shirley M. (edited)

Roses are RED, so too was the Ruby Anniversary Tournament held in Tauranga, the weekend of Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th August at the Tauranga Bridge Club.  April heralded the Committee to brainstorm ideas for the upcoming celebration.  On 31st May, a ‘Ruby’ morning tea was held for previous and present club members. Lovely to see the likes of Maurine S, who was an A grade member way back last century,  who introduced Shirley B and  myself to our first tournament in Hamilton! Prior to the event we gained much publicity from our local newspapers headed ‘Heady World of Competitive Scrabble’, quoting Barack Obama, Mel Gibson AND mentioning that even the Queen dabbles.  An entry of 74 players, familiar and new faces alike joined in the Ruby tournament.  Upon entry to the Bridge Club building which was decorated, red balloons and streamers, entrants also turned up wearing red.  After Barbara welcomed everyone, there was the ‘Ruby Year Tauranga Scrabble Club Song’ presented by Heather, sister Ruth and Chris, Jo Ann’s husband, with their ukuleles, accompanied by the two ‘Shirleys’, to the tune “Ruby, don’t take your love to town”.   Ruby Year Anniversary Song    Morning and afternoon tea, you guessed it, red based food!   Barbara our President is to be congratulated for her wonderful organisational skills.  Photo boards, memorabilia going back 40 years, with input from Jeff G, John F, the making of the anniversary cake, hosting a billet, not to mention the rest of the Committee doing a wonderful job as well.  Well done team!

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