One of the most prized competitions on the Antarctic continent and sub-continent is held each year between the Australian stations, Casey, Davis, Mawson, and Macquarie Island, the “Inter-Station Darts Tournament”.
For the uninitiated the game is called “Shanghai”. This requires players (doubles teams) to hit three of each number from 12 to 20, also doubles, triples, bullseyes, and beds (3 darts in the same number in one throw). When a scoring options has been hit 3 times it is closed, this provides a scoring opportunity on that number until the opposition closes it. If a player hits a single, double, and triple of the same number in a single throw this is known as a “Shang” and a bonus 100 points is scored on top of the darts regular value.
This is a popular pastime at the stations especially during winter when inside activity is needed as its cold and dark outside. Various competitions are held amongst the stations inhabitants through summer and winter in singles and doubles. The selection to represent the station at Davis for the inter-station tournament was a round robin format with anyone interested and with the top six having first option to make three teams and play.
The inter-station competition is made possible by webcam hook up between the competing stations by Kirk, our comms tech, and his counterparts in each of the stations. Modern technology allows us to set up multiple cameras viewing the dart board, scoreboard, player throwing and crowd-cam. A few gremlins, like the network freezing up and a badly timed forced system update but everything was OK in the end.
Friday night after work is when the competition takes place. Davis station first opponent was Mawson on 8 July with the full station coming out to provide support. Jamie and Dave played first, a see-sawing affair which saw both teams ahead at various stages of the match. Davis off to a reasonable start before a Mawson shang put them in the driver's seat. A late scoring bed for Davis provided a little breathing room to get the first win on the board. Game 1 - Mawson 296 v Davis 344. Second match saw Lee and Matt victorious, Davis got off to a good start putting some early points on the board with 20’s open. Once the teams settled the gap never really closed up securing Davis the first-round win. Game 2 - Mawson 74 v Davis 339. The last game with Mawson pride and Davis desire for a clean sweep ensured another close one with Shangs to both teams that kept the scoreboard ticking over. Davis able to hold off a late Mawson charge, saw Will and Sacha prevailing. Game 3 - Mawson 355 v Davis 454. A good contest between Mawson and Davis, played in great spirit by both stations. Davis 3-0.
The second round on the following Friday 15 July was against Macquarie Island (Macca). A slight change to the line up this week with Bob, hitting one of his patches of red hot form during the week, being brought in after Sacha graciously gave up his place. Jamie and Dave again played the first match with the lead going back and forth multiple times. It came down to Davis with a chance to win by throwing a double 20 but missing, Macca seized the moment to win the game. Game 1 – Macca 196 v Davis 162. Pressure was at an all-time high for the second match again with Lee and Matt stepping up. Another nail biter that went right down to the wire. An early lead for Macca before a Davis shang put them in front. Close all the way from there. Lots of triples and good darts by both teams meant that every dart mattered. Game 2 – Macca 292 v Davis 304.
All the pressure for the round win was now on the third pairing. New pair of Will and Bob feeling the nerves of a must win match. An early lead for Davis put them in the box seat, but triples open for Macca gave them an opening. As if one all and a close game wasn’t enough suspense, a Davis laptop automatic update ¾’s of the way through the game meant the crowd was on the edge of their seat for just a little longer. A few late scoring beds of 20’s for Davis proving the difference giving Davis the second-round win. Game 3 – Macca 289 v Davis 400. An absolutely cracking match, with all three games that all could have gone either way. Davis (2-1)
The final round on 22 July was against our nemesis Casey, who after a win the week before, were looking to make it two in a row to force a play-off for the title. Davis just needing to win the round to claim the championship. Going in with an unchanged line-up, Jamie and Dave again started. Nerves were high with another tight tussle, a Casey shang to put them ahead and in a good position, it was answered the very next throw with a Davis shang to take the momentum straight back. Davis finished strong for the victory. Game 1 - Casey 174 v Davis 260. Lee and Matt played the second round and like last week started a little slow but just got better and better against some tough competition and with Lee (Shang King) shanging and going on to a solid win. Game 2 – Casey 244 v Davis 453. This gave Davis the round win and the championship. Will and Bob looking for a clean sweep to sink the boots in, with the Davis crowd going wild, and the Casey supporters disappearing. The last game was neck and neck the whole way before a Davis bed of 20’s right at the end provided some breathing space. Was closer than the scoreboard suggests. Game 3 – Casey 295 v Davis 421. The Casey v Davis match up played in great spirits with Team Davis keeping it together for a (3-0) win, remaining undefeated and taking out the trophy for 2022. Let the celebrating commence, and we sure did.
As they say “winners are grinners” and we get to write the history, well for this year anyway.