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Gallery: 2024 Orca Pickleball Spring Classic Tournament

The 2024 Orca Pickleball Spring Classic Tournament, jointly put on by Bellingham Pickleball Club and Whatcom Community College, drew hundreds of competitors to courts over the first weekend of June. 

In its second year, the Orca Classic served as a fundraiser for WCC’s athletics program. WCC helped host the event along with Armory Pickleball.  

The three-day event began with men’s doubles on Friday, women’s doubles on Saturday and mixed doubles on Sunday. Despite a rainy weekend, the competition drew about 380 participants — double the attendance of last year’s event — from around the region and British Columbia. Due to inclement weather, Saturday’s and Sunday’s events were split between WCC’s six courts and Armory Pickleball’s five courts. 

The event was a round-robin, where each team played a handful of matches with various teams. The teams with the best records — usually the top four — advanced to playoffs where they competed for gold, silver and bronze medals.

In addition to an entry fee, fundraising efforts included buying a T-shirt or a raffle ticket, online bidding, being a sponsor or donating to the WCC Foundation for the athletic program. Fifty percent of proceeds from the raffle went to support the family of 14-year-old Owen Morton, who died in May after a dirt bike crash at Hannegan Speedway. Morton’s mother is a faculty member at Whatcom Community College.

Bellingham Pickleball Club is a not-for-profit organization established in 2018, and dedicated to supporting and advancing the sport in and around Bellingham. 

A previous version of this story misstated the entry fee cost and donation structure. The event was a fundraiser for Whatcom Community College’s athletics program. The story also clarified who put on the tournament, and additional information was included. The story was updated to reflect these changes at 12:44 p.m. on June 3, 2024. Cascadia Daily News regrets the error.