Each club had a lineup of four men’s doubles teams, with a round robin format in which each club played each other.
Two-time defending champs Essex swept Hartford 4-0 and then beat Longmeadow 3-1. Shelter Harbor split 2-2 with Longmeadow and defeated Hartford 4-0. Hartford and Longmeadow split 2-2. Going into the final round of matches, Essex was 7-1, while Shelter Harbor was 6-2. Therefore Shelter Harbor needed to win at least three of its four matches against Essex to take the Big Paddle back to the Shelter Harbor Inn (yes, there really is a giant paddle as a prize for the winning team). As it turned out, all four matches went to three sets.
In the first match out, Shelter Harbor’s #3 team of Duncan Welch / George Moore defeated the Essex #3 team of John Cunningham / Matt Holmes. At #1 doubles, Shelter Harbor’s Marc Porter / Pete Harvey beat Chris Gaudreau / Jerry Albrikes. Then Dan and Pete McCormick of Shelter Harbor won the clinching match at #2 doubles against Mike Fried / Geoff Cartier. In the last match of the day, the Essex #4 team of Carl Bergstrom / Roddy Diotelevi defeated Russ Burgess and Scott Ferguson.
In the final standings, Shelter Harbor finished 9-3, just ahead of 8-4 Essex. Naran Dhamodharan / Alex Seiler were the stars for the Longmeadow team, going 3-0 at #1 doubles. Phil Rockwell, who played in the first Big Paddle event in 1977, teamed with Ned Shanahan at #4 doubles and got Hartford its first win of the day against Longmeadow. Gil Keegan once again captained the Hartford team and was a very gracious host for the competition.