Falklands stage hands 1-0 lead to Peter Nicol MBE in the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge
Former World.No.1 Peter Nicol MBE got off to a flying start in the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge thanks to a 3-2 (11/9, 11/9 8/11 9/11 12/10) 65 Minutes win over travelling partner Tim Garner. Whilst the competition may have got of to a flying start the journey around seven continents had a more faltering opening with the 19 hour journey to the Falkland Islands becoming a 40 hour marathon due to a delay in the Ascension Islands. Bad weather caused the flight to be delayed by nine hours, not an ideal situation when trying to cover seven continents in seven days.
Tim, however was pleasantly surprised by the conditions en route:
“Having started off with visions of flying down to the Falklands on a Hercules waving to Peter across a space occupied by an armoured vehicle or tank, the Airbus 330 was a pleasant surprise one with the icing on the cake in the delivery of personal iPads for in-flight entertainment.”
The Falkland Islanders have embraced the Challenge with Peter and Tim invited to tea at Governors House with the Governor, Nigel Haywood a keen marathon runner himself and all-round sports enthusiast. The Governer expressed an interest in using the visit to help rejuvenate squash on the Islands.
The match, the first stage in the series of seven, played in Port Stanley at 11am (GMT-4) was a close fought affair with Nicol edging the first two sets 11/9 11/9. However the former World No.1 was unable to maintain the momentum to wrap up 3-0 and allowed Garner to level at 2-2. The fifth set couldn’t have been closer but Nicol prevailed 12-10 to take a 1-0 lead in the challenge before heading off to Santiago, Chile for stage 2.
As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Schemeand Natasha’s Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain.