THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Co-founder of the tournament, and the man behind the seamless arrangements, the hotel packages, the entertainment and any other aspect of the tournament which requires negotiation and business acumen. Since his retirement from banking, Miguel has also taken on the responsibility for bookings. A fiercely competitive player, he has had notable success with Carlos, with his Portuguese partner Reinaldo Timóteo and with Brazilian international Diego Brenner.
Co-founder of the tournament, the man with the plan. Carlos is by some margin Madeira’s finest player (he played in the 2005 Bermuda Bowl), and the go-to consultant on any new ideas for the tournament, as well as a serial winner of the Open Pairs and Teams. In a previous existence Carlos was a handball player of some skill.
The face of the Welcome Desk, Betty is a native of Madeira but lived in the UK for 23 years, hence her excellent English. Unflappable and efficient, she is the first person most players see when they arrive at the venue (many players will recognise her name as the person who dealt with bookings in the past).
Miguel’s daughter Carolina is an essential part of our Welcome Desk team, but is also our social media secretary, posting on Facebook and Instagram, creating artwork, and commissioning videos of excursions and social events.
Dara became part of the Welcome Desk team in 2022. Another Madeiran, she helps with bookings for the social programme and excursions, issuing badges, and the countless other tasks which are part of the Welcome Desk’s role.
JOSÉ JÚLIO CURADO
MARC van BEIJSTERVELDT
HANS van STAVEREN
In October 1996 José Júlio decided that he wanted to know the Laws of Bridge. Two years later he was invited to direct the first edition of this tournament, with Rui Marques. He liked it so much that he kept coming back, and in 2005 moved from the Portuguese mainland to Madeira. By the end of this 12-day week, you will understand why.
This will be Marc’s 8th year directing in Madeira, his favourite bridge festival. He has directed all over the world, and says that although all have their pluses and minuses, Madeira is exceptional. As well as directing in World and European championships, from 1991 to 2023 he worked at the Dutch Bridge Federation, where he organised national competitions and the Ruitenboertoernooi simultaneous (which once had more than 17,000 pairs participating). He also supports TeamNL in organising their travel, hotels etc.
Apart from being a TD, Hans does many other things in the bridge world, mainly computer and network related. He is present at all major EBL and WBF championships, and is known for the standard dealing program BigDeal and other programs for movements, seeding and the other stuff which most players never see. He has been to Madeira many times (his guess is ten times or more), and likes it very much for its great atmosphere, great weather and well-organized tournament.
Diarmuid is an Irish Tournament Director, promoted in 2022 to NBO International Director, and also directed at the Europeans in Dublin in 2012. He has represented the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland in the Camrose Home Internationals, and has been NPC to various Irish teams (his most recent being the Irish Mixed Team in Madeira in June 2022). His other interests are golf and rugby.
Sarah began her TD career in Wales, where she is a National Director and still runs many events. She joined the EBU TD panel over 20 years ago and runs all types of bridge events all over the UK, from club games to home internationals. She loves the variety, along with the chance to meet a huge range of different personalities and levels of bridge player. Sarah has two daughters: Ruth, who lives and works in Shetland; and Rachel, who teaches bridge online.
Jacob lives in Copenhagen. He became an EBL Director in 2013 and has been directing regularly at EBL Championships ever since. He is the author of the textbook A Guide to the Bridge Laws. His best results as a player are bronze in 2011 and silver in 2012 at the Danish teams championship. When not directing or writing about the bridge laws, he works full-time as a software developer in the pension industry. He has a son and twin daughters.
THE BULLETIN TEAM
An Englishman living in France and noted bon viveur, Ron has been our Bulletin Editor since 2017, when he was recommended by Mark Horton as the man for the job. Unforgettable in his large, vibrantly-coloured shirts, Ron has become a feature of the tournament and it’s impossible to imagine it without him.
Ceri was invited to join the Bulletin Team in 2019 on the recommendation of her fellow-countrywoman Laura Woodruff. She and Ron got on so well that she has come back every year since. Ceri has played international bridge for Wales both before and since having her three children, following in the footsteps of her distinguished father. Her name is pronounced Kerry, because it’s Welsh.
Mark is our resident expert: he holds daily sessions reviewing the hands for his adoring audience, and writes bulletin articles. Mark lives in England, the country he has represented many times at bridge, and in his younger days at chess. He is, however, best known as a bridge writer, having penned – among other works – The Bridge Magicians and Misplay these Hands with Me. He edits the Bulletin at many international championships.
THE BACKROOM TEAM
Eduardo is a former professional footballer and docker who took up bridge by accident. He has lived in Madeira all his life, apart from a season playing for Braga on the Portuguese mainland. A man with an astonishing talent for languages, he speaks Spanish, English, French, German and some Italian, all of which he picked up by ear while working on the Funchal docks (as well as Portuguese, of course). Eduardo is our removals man: he shifts the equipment from place to place, sets up the tables, organises the caddies, and ferries visitors about.
Pedro is another native of Madeira, who manages the IT equipment and networks at the tournament in between working full time. Successful players will know him as the man with the money: he hands out the prizes at the end of the tournament, meticulously recording the amounts and the identities of those who receive them, so that there will be no error and no cause for complaint. He also directs, and is an enthusiastic Precision player.
Born in Cardiff, Laura first came here on holiday in January 1993 – the coldest week in Madeira for 42 years – and fell in love with the island despite the snow. In 2014 she began to spend the winters here, but now lives here most of the year, returning to the UK for the summer to see her old mum. She manages the tournament website, does translations into English, and keeps an eye on the entry list for any bridge celebrities who might warrant a bulletin article.
Dâlia is our IT consultant and logistics person: she has been working with us since 2019 organising airport transfers and various other unseen tasks to keep the tournament running smoothly. In real life she works for the regional government.
Pedro, originally from the Algarve, has worked for the Portuguese Bridge Federation since 2001 providing logistics and administrative support. He travels from the mainland every year to deal nearly 6000 boards for the tournament. We try to make sure he enjoys himself in between the hard slog.