Bristol 2018

Date: Saturday 24th February 2018.
Venue: Bristol County Sports Club, 40 Colston Street, Bristol BS1 5AE (websitelocation).
Admission: £15 (PayPal preferable, please).
Start time: 11am.
Presented by: Series 70 champion Mark Murray and Series 76 semi-finalist Jeff Clayton.
Games to be played: 7 – format subject to number of entries.
Finishes by: 6pm; dinner booking for 7pm (details below).
Wheelchair accessible?: Yes ♿️

When does it start?
Doors open at 10am for free tea & coffee, ready for an 11am start.

A buffet lunch will be provided free of charge at 12:30pm; drinks and other light refreshments will be on sale from the bar throughout the day. Please advise of dietary requirements in advance, where necessary.

How does it work?
First of all, everybody plays from start to finish — there are no knockouts!

We have a big screen for our game graphics and everyone plays to the same letters, numbers and conundrums rounds. We try to replicate the studio conditions, including giving everyone turns at picking the selections. There will be comfort breaks in between games, as well as the buffet lunch.

focal rapidness
Draws for the early matches will be made at random and, progressively, you’ll be paired against people with a similar number of wins and points — Mark and Jeff will guide you through and keep tabs on scores and positions. At the end of the day, the hosts will invite the top two players to play their final game as an exhibition showpiece that all can enjoy, and this will give us our overall champion.

Pens and paper will be supplied, but please feel free to bring your own notebooks. We will only require the scores from each game, not the full round-by-round declarations.

Different formats work better with different numbers of sign-ups, so we’ll announce the 2018 format during February in the run-up to the day.

How much does it cost?
Admission costs £15pp (including the buffet); you can secure your place with Mark now:

– By PayPal to markmurray97@hotmail.com (please ensure that you select ‘pay family/friends’, otherwise the full amount payable will not come through);
– By phone (07527 907065);
– By cheque (address available on request).

We have capacity for 40 contestants; spectators are also welcome. Please book early to avoid disappointment if we reach maximum capacity!

We will also have a raffle again this year with all proceeds going towards the cost of FOCAL’s 2018 finals. Any donations of prizes are also very welcome.

After the event:
A group table has been booked for 7pm at Za Za Bazaar, the legendary all-you-can-eat restaurant on the Harbourside, about a 10-15 minute walk from our daytime venue. This costs £17.99pp and again is being organised by Mark. Dinner at Za Za gives you starters, mains and desserts from all sorts of global cuisines (and it received a very good review from the Guardian a few years ago); drinks can be ordered on top from the bar.

To book your place, the combined price for the tournament and dinner will be £32.99. If you’re going to pay Mark through PayPal — markmurray97@hotmail.com — please ensure that you select ‘pay family/friends’, otherwise the full amount payable will not come through.

Where to stay:
The County Sports Club is in a prime city centre location:
– If you’re travelling by train, get off at Temple Meads and high frequency bus routes 8 & 9 depart from the station forecourt. These will drop you off at the Hippodrome just a short walk from the venue.
– If you’re coming by car, you can avoid the cost of city centre parking with the Park & Ride buses from A4 Bath Road, A4 Portway and Long Ashton — please check http://www.travelwest.info/parkandride for details including times of last buses back to the car park.

There is a range of chain hotels including Ibis, Mercure, Premier Inn and Travelodge, alongside a plethora of guesthouses and B&Bs around the city. Please note that parking in the city centre is limited and charges may apply. If you need to look up the distance to/from the tournament venue, the address is 40 Colston Street, BS1 5AE.

Getting to/from Bristol:
Bristol is accessible on the M4 from London, the Thames Valley and South Wales, or the M5 from Birmingham and the South West. If you don’t fancy driving, there are plenty of other options, so we’ve listed some websites for you to look up times and tickets:
– By train — National Rail, Great Western, Cross Country.
– By coach — Megabus and National Express.
– By air into Bristol Airport, then straight into the city centre on the Airport Flyer bus.

Any questions?
If you need any help with planning your journey or your stay, email focalcountdown@gmail.com!

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