Blackpool lies directly at the Irish Sea which is infamous for its storms. Even when might not believe it in summer when the tourists splash about in the water many ships sank here and in the sea afterwards swam anything from lace over peas and silk to palm oil, flour and lard. In case of the silk some people ended in jail because they were accused to have stolen it. There were no known accusation relating peas and flour. Often enough passengers or sailors drowned and in the end a lifeboat was bought. Once a wreck happened because the new Blackpool tower was thought to be a lighthouse. Nelsons former ship Foudroyant ended after a hurricane near the North Pier of Blackpool and was bought and salvaged by a syndicate which produced souvenirs from the wood.. The till now last wreck was in 2008 when a ferryboat from Northern Ireland stranded in Anchorsholme. It was destroyed by some later storms and hand to be salvaged then and there.
Most of the shipwrecks happen in stormy autumn or winter. But what can happen in the summer time when the sea is quite is that some dart players hopes are drowned during the World Matchplay.
On the second day of the World Matchplay it hit in the afternoon session the seeded players Stephen Bunting and Kim Huybrechts. The two matches were highly competitive and it could as well have happened that the both opponents Mensur Suljovic and Gerwyn Price would not have reached dry land. But Bunting and Huybrechts were the first to strike their colour and so were not able to use the chances in the last two legs of the matches - and they really had chances.
Terry Jenkins needed some time to turn up against Justin Pipe. But than the lead changed several times as both players had their problems hitting the doubles. But in the end Jenkins navigated more skilful or - better - Pipe missed too many doubles and landed on a sandbar while Jenkins stayed in the fairway.
In the last match of the afternoon Ian White and debutant Daryl Gurney met. It was a strange and not really good match. both players only moved at half cock and were far from clinical on the doubles. But white scored better and soon was far in the lead and the match was not thrilling at all. White improved in the second half of the match a little bit and in the end won deservedly but lacklustre while Gurney had to bury his hopes.
After a break in which many of the young "inhabitants" of the press room used the dart boards, it was time for the evening session which started with the so far biggest upset of the tournament - James Wade lost to Mervyn King. Almost Wade really would have sunk because he was rushed off his feet to begin. Might be the reason was that he missed his doubles in the first and the second leg while he should have won both which knocked him out of his stride. So King got soon a 7:2 lead and though Wade finally recovered it was too late for him to reach land and King progressed with a 10:5 win into the next round.
In the following match a resilient Mark Webster made Adrian Lewis sweat. But Lewis managed to find another gear and with a clear 10:6 win he reached round two. There he'll meet as last year Gerwyn Price. Last year Price won the match.
Gary Anderson in the next showed why he is a two times World Champion and never let strong debutant Alan Norris into the match. Anderson avoided all pitfalls easily and was rewarded with a 10:1 win. That means Anderson lost one leg while van Gerwen didn't but to be sure Norris was on the day a much better opponent then Caven. So Anderson's win to rate higher and the World Champion to be sure is a coequal favourite to win the title.
In the last match of a rather long tournament day Peter Wright and Joe Cullen walked on stage. From the beginning Wright looked more alert and more belligerent than Cullen and after Cullen had won the first leg Wright stayed in the lead throughout the match. Cullen shined with a few high finishes but that was not enough to be a danger for Wright. So it was Cullen who run aground after a four years absence from the World Matchplay while Wright sailed unchecked into the next round.
I followed Wrights example and used the nightly breeze to sail back unchecked into my Bed and Breakfast...