A hot tournament – an insight into the Tilbury House Summer Open

Datum: Jul 12th, 2010
Category: Turniere

32 teams found themselves in tropical heat – far above 32 Celsius – when they gathered in Cologne, Germany for the Tilbury House Summer Open on the first weekend in July. Tilbury House, the organizers, had forecast that weather and thankfully supplied the thirsty debaters with ample cool Kölsch (the local type of beer), of which there was no shortage even during the debates. Teams hailing from nine different countries fought in five preliminary rounds, a semifinal and a final over topics such as the legalization of drugs, the right to strike and – in the final – the European Monetary Union.

The blistering heat didn’t blister the debates, thanks in part to the excellent organization of Tilbury House under the leadership of Bianca Sterly and to the many highly experienced speakers and adjudicators who visited the tournament. The Tilbury House Summer Open proved to be an outstanding training opportunity to train for the European Universities Debating Championships (EUDC) in Amsterdam that started directly after the Cologne tournament. Many distinguished teams took that opportunity, especially because Cologne is well-connected to Amsterdam by train.

Correspondingly, the final rounds showed a very high quality. The only non-English-speaking teams to break to semis were Berlin and St. Gallen, the final was stocked entirely with native English speakers with teams from Oxford, Cambridge, Nottingham and Galway. The public final in Cologne University took place on Saturday afternoon. Debating the motion “This house regrets the Euro” as opening Government, Oxford A (Vignesh Ashok, Emily Pearce) impressed with their sharp analysis of the difference between monetary and fiscal European union and won the final and with it, the tournament. Vignesh Ashok also stood at the top of the tab and was able to take that title home (or rather, to Amsterdam) as well.

Tilbury House then succeeded to get everyone to a pub before the highly anticipated Football World Cup third place game between Germany and Uruguay started. With good food and drink (more Kölsch, of course) provided, the participants enjoyed the evening together.

Tilbury House and the Chief Adjudicators Will Jones, Isabelle Loewe and Derek Lande have organized a flawless, relaxed and sociable tournament with exciting and very international participants and debates.

Text: Till Kroeger, Debating Club Heidelberg / glx / fnp

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