July 25, 2024
Pele Rankin

Pele Rankin

How did you get started in bridge? At what age? Who from?

My husband Paul Hooykaas was always keen to play bridge when we were in our 20s (his Dutch dad played), but I thought it was something old people did, and I wasn’t interested. At the end of 1987, we made friends with a couple who played and so I had no choice but be the 4th. Paul gave me a chapter to read from a Jeremy Flint book and from thereon, I grew to love the game.

What do (did) you do professionally?

My parents had a screen printing/sewing factory in Samoa. In 1978, they sent my sister and me off to Sydney to do 3 years of Fashion Design hoping we’d return to work for them. It wasn’t for me, so I left their business and in NZ, worked as a silver service waitress (dropped a potato in a customer’s bag and no one noticed), retail, temped (Perth), group travel consultant, and finally bookkeeping (Brisbane).

Who is your partner and for how long? Longest partnership?

I have played with a number of different people. Women partners – Rosa Lachman, Therese Tully, Eileen Li, Janeen Solomon, Greer Tucker and Paula McLeish. Mixed Partner – Stephen Fischer. Longest partnership was with Paul but some wise person advised it best not to play with someone you sleep with.

If you had a choice who would you like to play with? Australia and Internationally- living or dead?

Dead is a bit awkward. No one in particular. I respect many players but doesn’t mean I want to play with any of them.  My preference is to play with someone that I like, who enjoys reading, walking and the odd glass of wine.

In your playing career, what is the bridge success that has the most meaning for you?

Any win is terrific, but most satisfying was winning the women’s team in 2016 with Paula McLeish, Ruth Tobin and Helene Pitt – we were ecstatic to make the semi-finals. Winning was an unexpected bonus. And winning the Mixed Teams in 2020 with Stephen Fischer, Trevor and Leone Fuller.

And your worst moment in bridge?

There are too many cringe worthy moments and I’ve become proficient at forgetting them.  When I’m tired, I go walkabout and bad things happen that usually cost at least 13 imps. The worst thing about these errors is that they never require any brilliancies, just focus.

What do you do you do between sessions to put you in the best frame of mind for the following session?

I like to kibitz a match of good players, go for a walk or read a book – depending on how long the break is. Captains don’t usually like you kibitzing.

Do you have a favourite and least favourite convention?

I like to play 2 over 1. As I get older, I find that simple is better. Conventions don’t matter as long as you have agreements and know your system.

Would you prefer to have more system or less?

Less system, fewer chances for disastrous forgets.

What do you do to improve your game?

Practise on BBO with partner and often just play BBO generated hands on my own.

Favourite bridge book?

I don’t actually read bridge books, just excerpts (they make me sleepy). I try to attend workshops/lessons or listen to better players when there are post-mortem discussions.

What interests or hobbies do you have besides bridge?

Reading, walking and I’m a couch potato.

What is the number one thing that bridge has done for you as a person and for your life?

I’ll never be bored, and I’ve met all types of people from all walks of life.

Bridge Results and Awards

National Titles

Interstate Women’s Teams 2005, 2009, 2010, 2016, 2021.
Australian Women’s Butler 2012.
SNOT Women’s Team 2009, 2016

State Representation

Qld Women’s Team – 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2021
Qld Open Team – 2011, 2015, 2017

International Representation

Asia Cup Women’s Team: 2010, 2014
Asia Pacific Women’s Team: 2010, 2011
Asia Pacific Mixed Team: 2019
Commonwealth Nations Women’s Team: 2010
Venice Cup: 2011
Wuhan Cup: 2019
World Bridge Games Women’s Team: 2016