Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Clearwater man wins shuffleboard competition

In the tournament, Geoffery Bell of Clearwater competed with 80 players from nine countries. 

Courtesy of the Bell Family

In the tournament, Geoffery Bell of Clearwater competed with 80 players from nine countries. 

Geoffery Bell of Clearwater recently won the title of singles gold medal champion at the 30th world singles shuffleboard championship in Dieppe, New Brunswick, Canada, competing against 80 players from nine countries.

In the final match, he bested 16-year-old top-ranked Torben Hussman of Germany to take the title.

It was Bell's first time competing at the international level. He applied to play for the Canadian team and was accepted.

Of the tournament, the 69-year old said, "It was quite an intense four days. These guys are so good, if you make one mistake, they'll make you pay the price. You have to be sharp and on your toes. Being focused is the key to winning."

Bell and his wife, Sylvia, began spending winters in Florida 15 years ago after his retirement. They summer in Shediac, New Brunswick, which is about 20 miles from Dieppe, where the championship was held.

Bell has always been a sports enthusiast, participating in hockey, football, baseball and a lot of racket sports.

"I ate, slept and drank sports in school," he said. "It really helps a person learn how to win and lose."

He also had an affinity for curling, and he noted that its strategy is similar to shuffleboard's.

He played his first shuffleboard game shortly after arriving in Florida — against a 90-year-old woman who lived in his mobile home park.

"She beat me like 100 to 5," he admitted. "I told my wife, 'I'm either going to get better at this or give it up!' "

Bell served as president of the Clearwater Shuffleboard Club for five years and has been the West Coast District Masters champion a number of times.

When he isn't on the court, the retired school principal helps his son operate an international coin auction company called Geoffrey Bell Auctions.

"Winning this championship was a big thrill for me, but unexpected," said Bell, who hopes to defend his title in 2013 at the 31st world singles championships scheduled to take place in St. Petersburg.

Clearwater man wins shuffleboard competition 01/17/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 17, 2012 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle near USF Tampa campus


    A pedestrian was killed near the University of South Florida Tampa campus on Friday after he was struck by a car on Fletcher Avenue, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

  2. St. Petersburg police investigating why civilian employees accidentally fired AR-15 semiautomatic rife inside HQ


    ST. PETERSBURG — An internal police investigation is looking into two civilian employees who accidentally fired a round from an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle inside St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters.

    The St. Petersburg Police Department is investigating an incident in which two civilian employees accidentally fired an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle they brought inside police headquarters. Department rules prohibit civilian employees from bringing weapons into police facilities.
  3. A 12-foot pilot whale washes ashore on Siesta Key


    A 12-foot-long beached pilot whale appeared on the shore of Point of Rocks Beach in Siesta Key early Friday morning, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.

    The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office responded to a 12-foot whale washing ashore early Friday morning. (Sarasota Sheriff's Office)
  4. Trump signs 'VA accountability' bill, as Gus Bilirakis watches


    WASHINGTON - Rep. Gus Bilirakis was among a group of lawmakers on hand to see President Trump sign a "VA accountability bill that will make it easier to dismiss problem employees.

  5. In this June 18, 2012, file photo President Barack Obama and Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, go to shake hands during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico. [AP photo]