Column #CM11 PDC World Championship 2017 – Report #2
Saturday, December 24, 2016
Aeronautics and Darts
For all who think those topics are not related in any way – you should perhaps read from time to time the Uniboffin blogs on the Unicorn site. Air drag, trajectory and the improvement of flight characteristics are important when producing darts as well. And aeronautics are marginally connected to Alexandra Palace as well – as a pioneer of British aeronautics, Francis Alexander Barton, built an airship which flew in 1905 from Alexandra Palace to Romford (a dart connection in itself, as Wayne Mardle lives in Romford).
Barton was born in Dover, educated in Harrow, and studied in Cambridge. He was an excellent oarsman and early on became interested in mechanics. By 1899, he already had 15 years of experience with navigable balloons and was asked by the government to develop an airship. It took much longer than expected and the government cut his financial support. Barton soon was bankrupt and he had not been abele to solve his biggest problem – how to control his airships. So he moved to South France and passed his time with music, free masonry, and the production of alcohol-free wines – and inventing. The British government hadn’t forgotten him and he was re-engaged shortly before World War I. He built the Britannia airship, which in the end no one wanted, and worked as doctor during the war. He never returned to aeronautics after that and stayed into medicine until his death in 1939.
The second day of the World Championship started with the first Preliminary Round match between experienced and reserved (by comparison) Warren Parry from New Zealand and the seemingly high spirited Dutchman Jerry Hendriks. At the start of the match Parry looked like he would win without problem but Hendriks scored stronger. Both averages improved during the match and settled at around 86. Hendriks won the first set but Parry didn’t give in and secured himself the first two legs of the second set. Hendriks recovered and was back hitting high scores. In the end, he won 2-0 against a disappointed Parry and will be able as a reward to dance for a second time to the stage before the last match of the evening.
Although the second match was a First Round match the Welsh duel between Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton started slower than the Preliminary Round match – after the first two sets the averages were only just below and just above 80. Price won the first set with some luck as Clayton had problems hitting his doubles. Both players improved by the end their averages were very similar to the Preliminary Round match averages. Clayton found his doubles and settled more and more, winning 3-1.
The next match brought another impeccable appearance by Steve Beaton and he defeated Devon Petersen 3-1. Beaton was not particularly happy with his performance.
The best match of the tournament to this point closed out the night. Even the walk-ons were entertaining – first, again, Jerry Hendriks danced to the stage, then Peter Wright! Wright dominated from the start and won the first set. Hendriks had chances to win the second set but didn’t manage to take advantage, although had he done so this might have changed the match. Wright won the second set and the third set for a 3-0 win. It was a deserved win, the first over 100 average of the tournament – a good percentage on the doubles distinguished Wright’s excellent performance. Jerry Hendriks looked like he enjoyed it as much as the crowd and after the match Wright and Hendriks danced together on stage .
A really entertaining evening!
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