Runner-Up at 2012 Winter Break Boccia Tournament

Josh Vander Vies (CAN) chats with Charles Ray (USA) between ends during their semifinal singles match. Vander Vies won a closely fought victory 6 – 2.

I capped an excellent training session in Florida this week by competing in the inaugural Winter Break Boccia Tournament, February 10th and 11th, 2012.  Held in Lake Worth, FL – just outside West Palm Beach, the event drew some of the top ranked boccia players in the world.

I finished my pool play in first position on Friday February 10th – undefeated with the following scores:

Josh Vander Vies (CAN) (BC4 World #17) vs. Dave Richer (CAN) (BC2 World #54)
WIN 6 – 0

Josh Vander Vies (CAN) (BC4 World #17) vs. Dave Harrison (USA)
WIN 13 – 1

Josh Vander Vies (CAN) (BC4 World #17) vs. Charlie Brown (USA) (BC4 World #63)
WIN 9 – 1

The following day, February 11th, I came out strong with a closely fought victory in the semifinal, eventually to succumb in the final against my Canadian national team teammate.  The final round scores were as follows:

Josh Vander Vies
(CAN) (BC4 World #17) vs. Charles Ray (USA)
WIN 6 – 2

Josh Vander Vies
(CAN) (BC4 World #17) vs. Marco Dispaltro (CAN) (BC4 World #4)
DEF 0 – 8

After a fun and exciting doubles tournament, held between singles matches, I finished a respectable 3rd with USA partner Dave Harrison.  We learned a lot about each other’s style of play and we had a great time competing.

The West Palm Beach area is blossoming into a vibrant high-performance boccia community and I can’t wait to see the great athletes it is sure to produce in the coming years.  After a day off today to recover and get some work done, I finish off my trip tomorrow with one more day of training.  Then after a very brief stop in Vancouver for UBC Law class, I fly out to London, ON for a weekend training camp with Team Ontario, as we prepare for the Canadian Boccia Championships in Surrey this March.

Paralympic selection is on the line at the Canadian Championships, and Canada’s best athletes will be vying for spots on the London 2012 team.  Stay tuned near the end of March, as Canada announces its Paralympic boccia team.

The top 3 singles players at the 2012 Winter Break Boccia Tournament:
1. Marco Dispaltro (CAN)
2. Josh Vander Vies (CAN)
3. Charlie Brown (USA)