Northern Ireland Scrabble Championships - Landsdowne Hotel, Belfast

Northern Ireland Championships – Jan 2024

Northern Ireland Championship 2024 Winner’s Report – by Stewart Holden

Stewart Holden - Northern Ireland Scrabble Champion 2024Having not played a single rated game for 7 years, this is the very last thing I expected to be writing. I’ll keep it brief!

With my tournament organiser hat on first… A record attendance of 48 players turned up at our brand new venue of the Lansdowne Hotel in Belfast, where we were capably looked after all weekend. A few teething troubles around mealtimes will be resolve for future years, but overall it was a huge improvement and hopefully the new home for our flagship event.

Thanks to Jennie Frizelle’s daughter, Kate Copeland, for volunteering to do TD, something she does proficiently, meaning I was able to play for the first time since 2017.

I entered nervously and with low expectations, not knowing just how much the tiles were going to fall in my favour. Over the course of 15 games I had satisfying wins against Kevin McMahon, Lukeman Owolabi and Phil Robertshaw and three wins against Rik Kennedy… only losing r2 (Liz Jardine), r8 and r13 (Brett Smitheram)… but then crucially toppled Brett in the penultimate game before winning a tight, low-scoring decider with Rik. Having organised the tournament since 2009, I’d come close to winning a couple of times in the past but never actually achieved it. I’m astonished and delighted.

Some mildly notable words played: PECTIZE (108), APOSTATE, TRIPLOID, NONACTOR, YELDRING, PERVIATE, FLENSING. Nothing more interesting than that, I’m afraid!

Full results:

Thanks also to clubmate Celine McCart (pictured) for co-host treasury duties.

Photo Gallery – Winners

Photo Gallery – General