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Co:Wat?! 2021 - Countdown in Waterford (24/07/2021)

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 6:25 pm
by L'oisleatch McGraw
TL;DR summary:
~It will probably be a socially distanced event with hand sanitiser and facemasks.
~We worked within these parameters last year, and it worked well.
~The numbers are provisionally capped at 24, but if social distancing rules are relaxed in the interim, we will review that.
~It costs €15 for those who have sorted out their own accommodation.
~It costs €50 for anyone who is availing of our campsite facilities.
~Overseas guests will be welcome to attend, subject to whatever quarantining rules are in place at that time (if any)
~The Saturday night usually consists of a pub sing-song. I hope this will be the case for 2021, but cannot guarantee it.
[Event facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/275002497528932]

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WHAT IS IT?
Based on Channel 4's flagship daytime TV quiz show, this will be a chance to partake in a real life Countdown tournament, in a rural setting. We'll have consonants, we'll have vowels, we'll have numbers. We may not have Rachel Riley to dispense them, but we'll certainly have someone equally glamorous [TBC] who will be co-hosting.

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NOVEL CORONAVIRUS.
Like with the 2020 edition, we are unsure if this event will go ahead at all this year, as we're still in the grip of a worldwide pandemic... and indeed if the COVID situation worsens, it will have to be cancelled. However, as our event is scheduled for a Summer month after an extended lockdown, and with vaccines being rolled out... it seems feasible to be cautiously optimistic. Even so, there will be certain safety measures in place at Co:Wat?! 2021. We are probably capping the number at 24. The venue could accommodate around 26 players using the correct (2m) social distancing, but we're going to go with a max of 24 people just to be extra safe, and it is a good number to work with as it gives us 3 quarter final groups. There will also be numerous readily accessible hand-washing points. (These are the same precautionary measures that worked well in 2020.)

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WHO CAN COME?
Anyone at all! Having an interest in anagramming, word games, or puzzles would certainly make it more fun for you, but that is not a requirement. The event caters for all abilities. Some players will be very skilled, but many will be beginners. There will be prizes on offer at each ability level... so whether you are expert, intermediate or novice, there is a chance of coming away with a prize.

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WHERE IS IT?
The event will be held in the Carbally Community Centre in Ballymacaw, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, Ireland. (At the heart of the sunny South East. :)) The Community Centre is located a 5 minute walk from a beach and around a 7 minute walk from the two local pubs, Dowers and Whites. The venue is very spacious, and contains kitchen facilities.

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HOW WILL IT WORK?
It kicks off at 10:30am, and will be conducted using the Bristol-style classroom format. Everyone gets to see the same sets of letters and numbers, and to play them at the same time. Each person will have a direct opponent assigned. These match-ups will be drawn at random just before the start of each game. Everyone is guaranteed 8 games during the day. The results of the early matches (five 9Rers) will determine the composition of the different quarter final groupings. After lunch we play the QFs SFs and finals for each grouping of 8 players. These matches will be 15Rers. The top 8 (sorted by number of wins, then number of points) will contest the quarter final group from which the event winner will come. The final game to determine the event winner will be the only game that won’t be done in the classroom-style setting. It will be a stand-alone match, and everyone will be welcome to stick around and spectate if they so wish.
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After dinner, we might* stroll down to Whites for a few games of pool, followed by an evening of music. Can’t bate the oul singsong! 🙂
*This depends on coronavirus best practise at the time. If the pub is not an option then we shall think of a socially distanced alternative for the afters.

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COSTS INVOLVED.
Once again the aim is to make this as cheap as possible while still covering costs. This year there are two price plans:-
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~PLAN #1 [FULL PACKAGE]:- €50 …includes the event, access to a camp site, and up to 4 meals during your stay.
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~PLAN #2 [EVENT ONLY]:- €15 …includes the event and a gourmet lunch (no... really, ask anyone who's been before, Finola has a talent when it comes to all things culinary!).
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I would expect that many of those travelling to Waterford for this would need accommodation. Most years we can provide decent dormitory accommodation very cheaply, but this year is different and our options are limited. We can only offer a camp-site. We will provide 3 large tents, each of which can accommodate 6 people, but we will only allow 4 people per tent... so that is 12 spaces. You will need to bring your own sleeping bag, air bed, pillow etc. (If you are concerned about social distancing, it is advisable to bring your own tent just to be sure. There is plenty of space in the campsite. For your €50 you are getting 2 nights access to a camp site specially kitted out for Co:Wat guests (with toilet / basic kitchen facilities), the event, breakfast, lunch and dinner on the Saturday, and also breakfast on Sunday.
€15 is the price available for Waterford natives, or anyone else who has their own accommodation sorted. The price includes the event, and lunch on Saturday.
Other items that are provided throughout, free of charge, include:- 1. Pens and paper to use; 2. Coffees, teas, and some soft drinks; 3. Snacks.
(We are hoping all of this will be doable without operating at a loss financially. If we get 20 players or more, it is possible.)

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BOOKING DETAILS.
We can only guarantee a place in our tents to the first 12 people who apply, and need a place to sleep, thereafter, you'd need to bring and pitch your own tent, or sort out your own accommodation in a local hotel or B&B.
As mentioned novel coronavirus dictates that our venue cannot cater for more than 24 players. (I will keep this page updated with what the numbers currently stand at...)
To book your place at Co:Wat?! send the payment to Eoin Jackson via paypal at the address ayum@live.ie. (please remember to select 'payment to friends & family') Alternatively make out a cheque to Eoin Jackson and send it on to 33 Shanakiel, Coxtown, Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. Or you can pay on the day. (Payments on the day cannot be done by card.)

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FLIGHTS, TRAVEL, etc.
If you are coming from overseas, the best options are to fly into Cork or Dublin. Both of these are approx a 90min drive from Waterford. Bus and train would be available to the city, and we can arrange a lift to the venue from there (for free, obviously). For anyone who would rather take the Ferry. There are regular sailings into Rosslare harbour from Pembroke and Fishguard in Wales. (Rosslare is a 60min drive from Dunmore East.)
For anyone travelling within Ireland, if you can make it to Waterford, we can provide a lift to the venue for you. If you are using Sat Nav, “Carbally Community Centre, Ballymacaw” should work fine.
[More details to go here as they come available.]

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I think that’s everything for now! If you have any queries, leave a comment on this thread, or contact me (Eoin Jackson) via a facebook private message.

So if you fancy a few games of Countdown potentially followed by a swim on the beach, come to Waterford in the sunny South East of Ireland this July! Hope to see you there. 🙂

Re: Co:Wat?! 2021 - Countdown in Waterford (24/07/2021)

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:47 pm
by Edward McCullagh
I'm in Waterford the week after :(

Re: Co:Wat?! 2021 - Countdown in Waterford (24/07/2021)

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2021 3:45 am
by L'oisleatch McGraw
Edward McCullagh wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 5:47 pm
I'm in Waterford the week after :(
Funny you mention that.
Originally it was supposed to be scheduled for that very weekend, but there are two regulars who cannot make that date, so it got pushed back.