Europe’s best head to Spa

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IT MAY be the British Open, but next week’s big darts competition at Bridlington Spa will have an international flavour.

As well as the leading UK players from the BDO, the event has attracted a large contingent of Dutch stars and players from Cyprus, Belgium, Austria and Germany.

Leading the way is Yorkshire’s Scott Waites who is ranked BDO number one and he will be defending the title he won 12 months ago.

But he will face tough competition from former world champions Martin Adams and John Walton, plus TV favourites Tony O’Shea, Darryl Fitton and Leeds-based Martin Atkins.

Making his Bridlington debut will be Ritchie George, the 22 year-old son of darts legend Bobby George, who is now in the BDO’s top 20 ranked players and certain of a place in this year’s Winmau World Masters in Hull and the 2013 Lakeside World Professional Darts Championships.

High-flying Yorkshire county player Lorraine Farlam will be defending her women’s title against BDO number one Deta Hedman, World Masters champion Lisa Ashton and nine times world champion Trina Gulliver.

The 38th anniversary BDO British Open is staged and promoted by the British Darts Organisation and sponsored by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in association with EY Events.

Action begins next Friday with the men’s and women’s Blind Draw Pairs from 6pm.

Saturday sees more pairs matches before the singles gets underway on the Sunday.

Spectator tickets are vailable from The Spa box office on 678258 or online at www.spabridtickets.com. Admission is free on Friday and £10 for the two other days, although weekend tickets can be bought for £14.