Haylock is right on target

August 12, 2008

By Matthew Yates, matthew@cfp.ky

Monday 11th August, 2008   Posted: 12:13 CIT   (17:13 GMT)

Cayman has made leaps and bounds in the world of darts recently and much of that success is owed to Edsell Haylock.

Haylock was part of the national dart team that travelled to Trinidad to compete in the Caribbean Championships.

There Cayman earned its best results in history. Cayman walked away with four awards, a fourth place overall finish and the Caribbean champion for the next two years in Haylock.

The 31 year–old has been playing darts for some 14 years now. He first got into the sport at 17. While he was temporarily in the States he learned the ins and outs of the game from his father.

From there the born–and–breed West Bayer got into darts locally. He got into the local darts league and has been a steady fixture since.

In fact he was recently part of the undefeated Triple Crown team that won the league back in March.

For Haylock being the new champion will allow him to represent Cayman more in the future.

“It was my first time going to the event and I thought it was a great experience. For the next two years I can say I’m the best in the Caribbean. I’m looking forward to defending the title in 2010 and bringing it back to Cayman.”

Haylock says the competition he faced was tough and he had to push himself to the extreme.

“It was very hard because I haven’t played that calibre of darts before. Trust me it wasn’t an easy hill to climb.”

Haylock says his strategy in the tournament was to make the big shots and take things from there.

“When I hit the doubles I was on a high. That eliminated a lot of pressure for me. I was shooting well and I stepped up to the plate against some very good players.”

In all Haylock had to beat six players from across the region to be crowned champion. The players were from Trinidad, Brazil, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Guyana and Barbados.

Haylock says one of his toughest competitors was Andy Muir of Guyana.

“The toughest game was in the semis against Muir. I had too much confidence. I thought because he was a rookie that he was no good.

“I won the first game and he won the second game. That brought a lot of pressure on me. I got really nervous in the third game thinking I might lose.”

Muir, a rookie based out of Florida, made it to the semi–finals after beating Cayman’s Earl Smith.

From there Haylock would end up facing Barbadian legend Anthony Forde in the finals.

Forde is best known for pushing English darts legend Raymond Van Barneveld to the limits at the Pro Darts Corporation Championships in England last December.

Haylock says in spite of Forde’s history and the match’s hyped atmosphere he was not flustered.

“I wasn’t nervous in the finals. It didn’t matter to me that there were 500 people watching, that I was competing on a stage or that there were TV cameras and an announcer.

“I was pumped up, armed with a strategy and ready to roll.”

Haylock went on to explain that for him darts is a game of nerves.

“The key to the game is pressure. If you can control your nerves then you can go far. It’s very hard to do but it separates the pros from the amateurs.”

As the Caribbean’s top player for the next two years Haylock will undoubtedly be the target of many people. But the long–time veteran has one message: bring it on.

“I have the title for two years. I’m the best in the Caribbean. Whoever wants it is going to have to come good to beat me.”

~ Original article as appeared in the Caymanian Compass Newspaper – Ed.

Cayman 4th in Caribbean Cup

August 4, 2008

The 17th Caribbean Darts Championship has come to a close, and the Cayman Islands National Team took 4th place overall. Our gracious hosts Trinidad & Tobago amassed a whopping 141 points to secure first place, Florida came second with 138 points, the Bahamas followed for third with 132 points, and Cayman tallied out 118 points to secure their position in fourth place.

The teams are shown above receiving their awards and recognition on stage at the closing ceremony.

The entire Cayman team put in consistently aggressive play throughout competition, upsetting some strong teams like Guyana, and tying with several others. Although we were bested by some of the strongest countries, almost every leg of every game went down to the proverbial wire. Most of the games were so hard-fought, that until the last dart fell, it would have been impossible to predict the outcome. The team managed to amass enough points to keep them in the running during the team competition and then the big hitters stepped up.

Leading the way to Cayman’s impressive final result, was Edsel Haylock who powered through the Men’s Singles competition, taking out some of the strongest players in the Caribbean to secure his spot on stage for the final, where he faced the formidable Anthony Forde [who nearly upset Raymond Van Barneveld at the 2007 World Darts Championship] of Barbados, and defeated him to claim the coveted Men’s Singles Champion Trophy.

Edsel celebrates after defeating Barbados’ MVP A. Forde in the Men’s Singles.

Also adding many points to Cayman’s campaign, were the Men’s Doubles team of Rodan Asuncion & Cliff Weeks, who surprised many excellent players on their way to take their place on stage for the final against the powerful Florida team of Cebrynski/Beard. Rodan and Cliff put up an impressive fight before settling for second place overall.

Finally, our veteran Earl Smith took the Men’s Division for the most 180’s scored in the tournament.

Flickr site up

July 28, 2008

Please note the Flickr link in the sidebar, assorted photos of the 4th Americas Cup and 17th Caribbean Cup Darts tournaments will be posted there for viewing and download.

Americas Cup today

July 25, 2008

Bright and early today, the team assembled in the lobby to discuss our strategy for the Americas Cup which will take place over the next three days.

Many of the teams from the other participating countries are staying in the Cascadia Hotel also, so we were able to spend several hours catching-up with old friends, every one was very happy to see us… Well, almost everyone…


Heading to Trinidad

July 24, 2008

Today the Cayman Islands National Darts team began their journey to Trinidad & Tobago to take part in the Caribbean and Americas Cup tournaments. Cayman Airways ferried us to Miami with their usual aplomb, and the only small hiccup came when American Airlines was a little late coming to pick us up for our jaunt down to port of Spain. We had a few extra hours to kill, so the team improvised ways to pass the time…

It was late in the evening when we finally arrived in Trinidad, and many of our crew were tired and dehydrated from the long hours of travelling. The staff of the Cascadia Hotel, where the tournaments are hosted, must have anticipated our dilema, so they sent a driver ahead with a warm welcome and a car load of ice cold refreshments courtesy of the main sponsor Heineken…