2016 concluded with the traditional Year End Congresses, held in London and Blackpool - the latter hosting again after a two year break when the congress was at Dunkenhalgh.
The Stratified Swiss Pairs competition at the Blackpool Year End Congress was won by Alan Mould & John Holland (both Manchester) for the third consecutive year. They lost only in the first round, and finished on 151 VPs after ten matches. Sheila Galloway & Susan Pell (both Yorks) were second with 143 VPs and John Sansom & Richard Jephcott (both Worcs) were third with 139 VPs.
The leading 'B Stratification' pair were Kevin Higgins (Manchester) & Richard Acaster (Merseyside & Cheshire), who finished in 5th place. As they finished in the main prizes the top 'stratification prize' went to Ann Wilkins & Jeff Wilkins (both Lancs) who finished in 16th. The 'C stratification prize' went to Michael Levi & Oliver Cowan (both Yorks) who finished in 28th=.
The Stratified Swiss Teams competition was won by Hannah Cornfield, Rowena Clow (both London), Jason Hackett (Staffs & Shrops) & Richard Bowdery (Berks & Bucks) (see picture here). They won all seven matches to finish on 102 VPs. Liz Commins, David Stevenson, Paddy Murphy (all Merseyside & Cheshire) & Peter Jones (Manchester) were second with 99 VPs.
In third place were Janet Tolan, Andy Green, Michael Wymer & Stephen Ward (all Manchester) with 98 VPs. They were also the leading team eligible for both stratification prizes. The 'B' stratification prize therefore went to George Bak, Gill Copeland, Mark Armitage & Steve Blackburn (all Yorks), who finished in 8th=, and the 'C Stratification' prize to Haidee Tattersall (Manchester), Olwen Renowden, Edward Jones (both London) & John Councer (Gloucs).
The congress had begun with Mixed and Open Pairs competitions. The Open Pairs was won by Jason Hackett & Richard Bowdery (see picture here) with 61.46% - their first of two victories at the congress. Jeff Smith (Lancs) & Alan Mould were second with 59.11%. The Mixed Pairs was won by Ron Birch & Lin Birch (both Warks) (see picture here). They scored 60.49% to pip Jim Deacon & Susan Deacon (both Northants), with 60.29%, for the title.