So, this weekend shuffleboard got serious. On Saturday, forty contenders convened around four of our finest 22-foot Grand Champion SHUFL tables at BrewDog, Tower Hill, London to battle it out in the sixth European Shuffleboard Championships.
After a day of hard-fought matches, 38 contenders from Norway, Sweden, the UK, Denmark and Australia were whittled down to just two for the FINAL showdown. Huge congratulations go to the awesome Yvla Thorsrud, 35 from Oslo, Norway, the defending 2018 champion, who once again demonstrated nerves of steel and outplayed her fellow competitors to lift the trophy, banking a cool £2,500 in the process.
Said Yvla, who started playing shuffleboard back in 2011 with a group of friends: “I’m a bit shocked but mainly overwhelmed with joy and thankfulness for all the great support from friends. Winning back-to-back titles means a lot after trying for so many years.”
SHUFL marketing manager and Championship organiser Samantha Catford added: “It was an incredible London Championship with a great sense of sporting camaraderie among the competitors. Seeing two of our home-grown British players mixing it up with the experienced Norwegian contenders in the quarters and semi-finals shows how our UK players have embraced the game. The stage is now set for continued player recruitment growth in the UK.”
We caught up with Yvla to find out what makes her a champion shuffleboard player and get some top tips:
How regularly do you play shuffleboard?
We are a group of eight to ten friends who play anything from between one to six times per month. We practice a lot just before annual team and individual competitions, twice a year.
Have you won any other tournaments?
I’ve won three single event titles (NM 2016, EM 2018 and EM 2019) as well as Team EM Gothenburg back in 2015with Endre Eikeseth.
What is your top tip for anyone wanting to get better at shuffleboard and improve their skills?
Ask someone you know who can play to teach you the basics or even ask someone you don’t know but who you know is good, or watch videos online. My friends and I learned by ourselves and it took many years of failing before we understood just the basics. I will teach anyone who shows an interest and wants to learn. What took us many years to learn, I can now explain in ten minutes. The learning curve is very quick when you know your ABC and you can very quickly go from being a total beginner to being very good.
What does it take to be a shuffleboard champion?
To win a championship, my formula is dedication, lots of practice and gaining experience over time. For the first five years, I lost everything I participated in but I never gave up playing and trying to improve. Of course, you also have to learn to control your nerves on matchday.
So what ya waiting for? Get on those SHUFL tables and get practicing for 2020!