Hamid Khosrowkiani moved from the parking lot to a comfortable hotel room for 2014, but the result remained the same at the annual Sea to Sky Squash Tournament.
Last year saw the North Vancouver resident win the tournament despite having spent a frigid night in his van in the parking lot of the Squamish Valley Golf Course. He managed to repeat as Men’s A champion in 2014 but said he had a much more pleasant rest.
Maybe too pleasant.
“We actually had a hotel this time and I actually was a lot slower today,” he said, laughing. “Maybe next year I’ll go sleep in the van again.”
Khosrowkiani again met his friend Farzin Habibpour in the final and defeated him three games to one to repeat as champion. The duo entertained the fans with their energetic play but things got serious when Habibpour mounted a comeback and had a 5-0 lead in Game 4.
“At the beginning we were kind of having fun but the game does get a lot more serious,” he said. “When I’m down I seem to play a lot better and play a more safe game. I tend to just go up and down the wall and try to avoid risky shots. I made some big shots, got him running and came back and won the game.”
He said there’s a friendly rivalry with his friend.
“He cheats a lot,” he said with a chuckle. “All the calls were in the favour of him.”
Habibpour agreed that it was a fun time at the tournament but he vowed to eventually defeat his friend.
“It went terrible,” he said, jokingly. “I knew I was going to lose because he’s been playing a lot and I haven’t been playing the past five months because of school. Fitness-wise he’s just much better than me but give me three months and I’ll be able to beat him.”
Tournament organizer and competitor Steve Jacobs praised the play of the duo.
“You don’t see that level of squash very often,” he said. “That’s really top-notch squash and the fans were riveted. The athletic ability of those two combatants is extraordinary.”
Khosrowkiani will next compete in the Squash B.C. Championships from Feb. 19 to 23 at the Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver. The Evergreen Squash Club member is ranked 31st among male players in the province.
Whistler’s Dara Sklar won the Women’s A division, with Whistler resident Carol Eberhard finishing second. Whistler’s Ed Montanie won the Men’s B group, with Whistler’s Heather Lynsekey winning the Women’s B.
C division winners were Squamish’s Tyler Pollock and Burnaby’s Raylene Ferguson and the Women’s D winner was Squamish resident Jacqulin McNicol.
A total of 45 players participated in this year’s tournament and Jacobs said it was another good event for the club.
“I think it went really well and what makes me say that is that I see lots of smiling faces, people that were sore because they ran lots, new faces and people who made new friends,” he said.
Next up for the club is the its annual club members-only tournament starting on Feb. 28. For more information on local squash, visit www.squamishsquash.com.