Due to prior commitments I could not attend this event, but I managed to twice sneak away from family obligations and come to the field to witness the semi-finals and the finals of this tournament.
Six Bay Area pétanque clubs sent their champions to participate in this event. They were:
Valley of the Moon (Sonoma)
Jean-Michel Poulnot, Peter Wellington, Mike Cooper, Adair Hastings, Narin Garrett, Barbara Hall, Bernard Passmar, Holly Sammons, Frosty Sabo, Kevin Evoy, Dave Lanter, Alan Bauermeister.
La Pétanque Marinière (San Rafael)
Jean-Claude Etallaz, Colette Van Der Meulen, Sabine Mattei, Helga Facchini, Eva Lofaro, Henry Wessel, Genevieve Etallaz, Louis Toulon, Calvert Barron, Antoine Lofaro, David Riffo, Francois Moser.
Carolina Jones, Dollzee Austin, Robert Belforte, Beth Lysten, Philippe Guerit, Bill Hansen
La Boule d’Or (San Francisco)
Jean-Claude Bunand, Alain Gusella, Danielle Gusella, Luc Pouget.
Helen McGill, Marie-Anne Curley, Lisa Vaughn, Simone Furlan, Kevin McGill, John Morris.
Steven Jones, Ed Porto, Jim Johnson, Christine Jones, Nancy Jencks, Kathy Stone, Hans Kurz, Bleys Rose, Les Stone, Wolfie Kurz.
As I was told, 3 doublettes games were originally played and individual scores were kept for each player.
Then, the 3 highest scorers of each club were chosen to compete against the 3 highest scorers of the other clubs.
In the semi-finals, San Rafael (Jean-Claude Etallaz, Calvert Barron and Antoine Lofaro) faced Petaluma (Hans Kurz, Wolfie Kurz and Bleys Rose).
The coin toss to choose the playing area was won by Petaluma; they shrewdly elected to compete in the most demanding surface of the field.
It is an area where previously stood a tall tree. The tree was removed and the resulting hole was filled with a mixture of sand and gravel. A dangerous sand trap for inexperienced players. But a serious advantage for Petaluma contestants whose field is essentially covered with sand and gravel.
Usually reliable pointer Calvert Barron struggled to place winning shots and her teammates were powerless to fill the gap.
At 3:37 p.m. Petaluma was leading 9/1
At 4:00 p.m. it was over.
La Pétanque Marinière lost to Petaluma with the dismal score of 13/3.
In the finals, Petaluma faced Sonoma (Peter Wellington, Holly Sammons, Frosty Sabo).
The game was played away from the sandpit, and with well-balanced teams on each side it felt more like the finals of a tournament.
Both teams had good pointers (Holly and Hans) and good shooters (Peter and Wolfie).
During the entire game, scores went back and forth between the two teams.
At 4:40 p.m. Petaluma was leading 8/2
At 5:00 Sonoma closed the gap with Petaluma only leading 10/9
At 5:13 Sonoma took the lead 12/10
At 5:30 Petaluma scored 3 points and won the game by the skin of their teeth with a final score of 13/12.
Heartbreaking for Sonoma but well deserved victory for a resilient Petaluma team.
Petaluma we hate you! Congratulations!
Hans Kurz, Bleys Rose, Wolfie Kurz
Drinks and “amuse-gueules” were served after the tournament.
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