A mixed bag: WQC 2013 and me

June 3, 2013 in Quizzes

Last Saturday saw a selection of top quizzers from Ireland, the UK and even Germany converge on the Addison Lodge, Glasnevin, for the Irish heat of the 2013 World Quizzing Championships.  For yours truly it was a day of highs and lows.

Starting with the lows, I put in a very poor performance in the day’s main event.  At half-time, I wasn’t feeling too bad.  My scores in the morning’s four categories were: 9, 21, 14 and 17.  Indeed, I was quite proud of that 21 (in History) as it’s only the second time I’ve gotten over 20 in the three years I’ve been taking part in the WQC!  The 9 was a bit of a ‘mare but we do get to discard one score at the end of the day so I was hopeful that I’d be saying “bye bye” to the Culture round.

It wasn’t to be, I’m afraid.  After lunch I scored 11, 9, 8, 11.  Yeah an 8.  In Sport/Games! Terrible, just terrible.  I dunno what happened.  It may have been something to do with the frankly massive lunch I ate but my brain just wasn’t sparking.  For example, one of the questions asked about the Jamaican sprinter who finished second in both the 100m and 200m at the 2012 Olympic Games.  I knew who that was.  I knew what he looked like.  I couldn’t produce his name.  That’s just not normal for me.

So, obviously that first round 9 did have to count – and it had another for company.  In the end, I scored 92 points, a significant drop from the 114 I got last year.

I can’t claim the quiz was that much harder either.  This time last year, I was second at the Irish heat, six points behind Lorcan Duff.  This year, Lorcan improved his score by 11 points, finishing on a fantastic 131.  This saw him finish as the highest-ranked Irish competitor and second overall.  Our winner on the day though was Mark Grant, an Australian representing Wales, who finished on a frankly astonishing 156!  Yes, he is that good!  As of this morning, that score sees Mark ranked joint-sixth in the World overall which is a terrific achievement also.

At the very top, Irishman Pat Gibson (quizzing for England) scored 172 and looks set to regain the title he last held in 2011.  Way to go Pat!

After the WQC prizes had been handed out, we moved on to a social team quiz, with myself in the quizmaster’s chair.  We fairly zipped through this, as we were expected to be out of the venue by 6pm.  I think everyone enjoyed my questions (posted below) but the thing I was most proud of was our team creation.  Basically, we seeded the teams.

We took the rankings from the WQC and then told everyone what team they would be in.  This did a few things: it spread out the best quizzers, ensured that each group had at least one Irish person (for there were a lot of Irishy questions) and, of course, allowed people to meet and mix.  I don’t know how the last point worked out but the first definitely did as, at the finish, there was only six points between first and last, with the winners scoring 83 points.  The top team were: Derek Cray, Karen Crofton, David Lea and Gary Stephens.  Well done all!

As I say, we had to leave the Addison by 6pm but that didn’t stop the event. No, we simply reconvened in the Brian Boru around the corner.  There the AGM of the Irish Quiz Organisation took place.  This was a very important meeting as it saw us ratify a constitution for the now one-year-old organisation.  It also saw my election as Chairperson, which I’m quite happy about!

The full 2013/14 committee is: Chair, John Nolan; Secretary and Vice-Chair, Derek Cray; Treasurer, John Groarke; Competitions Officer, John O’Sullivan; Development Officer and PRO, Colm O’Sullivan.  Lorcan Duff, Kevin Jones, Dan O’Malley, Gary Stephens and Stuart Redmond were elected as OCMs.  I’d like to wish the rest of the committee the very best of luck for the year ahead.

Finally, well for me anyway, as I really had to be getting home, was a light-hearted team v team quiz, written by Edinburgh-based Dubliner Dave McBryan.  Dave put us through what he had advertised as a “moderate” quiz but which we all agreed was a “really quite, quite difficult” (or less publishable words to that effect) quiz.  Still, once again the teams were evenly matched with Kevin, Gary, Dan and Derek winning by four points.  Myself and Lorcan can’t buy a team quiz win.  Gary Stephens, on the other hand, can’t seem to lose!

Well done to all for a very enjoyable day, especially the Dublin-based committee members who organised everything, Emily the invigilator and her brilliant assistant Lillian.


Have a go at my questions from the social quiz: 2013 WQC social quiz

Photos (with more to come):


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