Ladies v Gents Battle 2018 8 May 2018  
The final full Club meeting of the season was marked by the now-customary battle between the Lady members and the Gents of the Club.
The contest is intended to be fun – but inevitably brings with it some light-hearted rivalry between the two teams! Jean Ingram and Richard Atkinson acted as Captains of the respective teams.
DW otterThe rules are designed to make the Battle as inclusive as possible – whilst also encouraging the teams to think a bit, and not just choose images which have been successful in the year’s competitions. So while each team had to select 30 Projected Images as its entry, the Gents were limited to a maximum of two images per photographer; the Ladies being allowed up to four per head to allow for an imbalance in the membership this year. Each team was required to include at least 10 images that had not previously been entered in Club competitions; and whilst the team Captains were otherwise free to choose entries from  members in any competition Section of the Club, entries from the Beginners or Intermediates attracted 2 bonus marks. Selection therefore had to take care to meet the rules – and then tactical to try to maximise the points!
KF pugsThe final selection say the Ladies represented by 10 different photographers, with half of their work being previously unseen, and 11 images coming from Beginners or Intermediates. The Gents utilised images from 19 members, with 10 new images and half of the selection coming from Beginners and Intermediates.
 That therefore gave the Gents a head-start of 8 points – however, our Judges were of course not only unaware of which image was representing each team, but also of the bonus points, so were judging every image purely on merit against all of the others. The gamble from the captains therefore was whether the judges marks, when combined with the bonus points, would give them the winning selection!
As in previous years, we had two judges – one lady, one gent, this time being Sue and Richard Winkworth from Bristol, who had previously visited the Club as speakers. Richard and Sue had each scored the images independently ahead of the evening – and to add to the drama, had not conferred with one another, or revealed their scores to each other ahead of the evening. Each gave their personal thoughts about each image, and as they explained, they each tend to look at images in very different ways from one another – which was reflected in the very different marks which they each gave to some of the images. Each scored each images out of 10 – so a basic maximum of 20, with the possibility of a maximum of 22 for those eligible for bonus points
Two images gained the top score from both judges - 'Otter with Crab' by David Wilkinson left and 'The Three Pug-a Leers' by Kev Ferris right, which meant that David’s image was the top scoring one of the evening since it was also eligible for bonus points. It was very much a night for the Beginners and Intermediates; with the addition of the bonus points  a further five images scored 20 or more;-
Cold Canal Night – Craig Purvis – 21
Common Darter – Heather Collins – 21
Morning Glory – Sue Wadman – 20
Old Man of Storr at Sunrise – Sue Wadman – 20
The Old Man in Loch Fada – Steve Hardman – 20
The contest was very tight throughout and the final scoring also split the Judges, with Richard giving victory to the Ladies, and Sue to the Gents. But when the final scores were tallied, the Gents had 487 points and Ladies were just 14 points behind with a score of 473 – resulting in the first victory for the Gents for quite a few years!
Our thanks go to our Judges, Richard and Sue Winkworth, for their time, trouble and input, to the two Team Captains, Jean Ingram and Richard Atkinson, for organising the selections, but above all, to all of the Club members for supporting the event.   Frank Collins – Battle Secretary