Rain or Shine Rackets

Tennis players prep for annual Cap Classic

by Yusef Najafi
Published on September 11, 2008, 12:00am | Comments

Walker Chaffin flatly refuses to entertain the idea that it might rain during the 16th Annual Capital Classic Tournament.

''I refuse to think that there's going to be rain and that has worked for me the last two years,'' Chaffin, tournament director of the Capital Tennis Association (CTA), says wryly. ''We've had perfect weather, so I'm going to assume that we're going to have perfect weather.''

Chaffin has been telling the several people e-mailing him about the possibility of weekend showers to relax -- there is a backup plan: indoor tennis courts at Hains Point.

Assuming it's sunny, the Sept. 13-15 tournament, with nearly 200 players, is scheduled to play out at Rock Creek Park, located at the intersection of 16th and Kennedy Streets NW.

''Our tournament is for all levels,'' Chaffin says. ''There are people who barely know how to play, playing in the lowest level, and then up to the level of people who are really skilled, so it really is for everybody.''

Last year, CTA, a local not-for-profit organization that coordinates and promotes tennis in the gay community, raised $19,500 for the Washington AIDS Partnership, an organization providing funds for HIV/AIDS prevention and care services in metropolitan Washington. This year's beneficiary is that Partnership's AmeriCorps Team.

''They hire kids right out of college, and each one of them works at an HIV/AIDS organization around town,'' says Chaffin. ''They do amazing work.''

For a schedule of events and other information, visit www.capclassic.org.