Darts players from Hay River descended in force on Yellowknife on Sept. 21 to help send off a player to international competition with Team Canada.
The event was the inaugural Baymen’s Cup, a fun tournament to raise money for Yellowknife’s Keith Way, who will be heading to Romania this month.
Of the 30 participants, about seven came from Hay River.
“We went up to support Keith on behalf of our dart league here,” said Hay River player Gene Hepditch. “The dart league is all one big family anyway, so we support each other pretty much.”
The tournament was held under blind-draw doubles rules, meaning each of the 15 pairings was formed based on names being drawn from a hat.
Hepditch’s name was drawn to play with Way.
“I lucked out,” Hepditch said with a laugh.
Way and Hepditch ended up winning the tournament.
“It was an awesome event,” said Hepditch. “Lots of good laughs and lots of good friends.”
The tournament’s name – Baymen’s Cup – was inspired by the Newfoundland roots of many of the players.
The people of Newfoundland are divided into two broad categories. Baymen are from the bays around the coast of the island, while Townies are from the capital city of St. John’s.
Way was the recipient of approximately $3,200 after the proceeds of the tournament were added up.
The member of Team Canada said he was hoping to get between $600 and $800, and the final total blew him away.
“It was a great event and there was lots of support,” said Way. “Having the folks from Hay River come up and play was a big deal. There was a couple of emails saying that there would be a few coming for a visit, but there was more than expected.”
The proceeds consisted of entry fees, along with money raised from a silent auction.
Hepditch said it was awesome to team up with Way for the tournament.
“He’s a good darts player and a great man,” said Hepditch. “So, it’s a pretty good combination.”
Way is heading to Romania for the World Darts Federation’s World Cup.
The biennial event is being held in Cluj, Romania.
Way and the rest of Team Canada will start with singles competition on Oct. 7, followed by the doubles, where he’ll be partnered with Martin Tremblay of Quebec. That will be followed by the team competition featuring the four men in a round-robin to start.
Canada is grouped with Ireland, Iceland and Hong Kong, and if they get out of their pool, they will advance to the knockout stages.
Way’s first-round singles opponent is Dyson Parody of Gibraltar, a well-known professional player in darts circles, and Way said that should be a good test for him.
“I know he’s gonna be good,” he said. “He almost beat Michael van Gerwen (of the Netherlands) a couple years back and Michael’s the best player in the world.”
Way qualified to play at the World Cup by finishing in the top four of a qualification tournament, held during the Adult National Darts Championships in Saskatoon back in June.