The ascent of women

Yesterday la Pétanque Marinière (Marin County) hosted the NorCal Regional Select Doubles tournament and it turned out to be a great day for the ladies.

Tish Harris & Janice Bissonette – photo by Bleys Rose

Various clubs from all the corners of the empire sent envoys and everybody had nice words for our field’s updated look. We owe this to a few good men, particularly Mark Shirkey, Henry Wessel, Mike O’Leary, Charlie Davantes and Akira Okawa. Thank you very much gents!

The Fresno club sent a strong delegation and so did Sonoma, and Sacramento. Dave Riffo came Eugene Oregon, long lost Honor Woodard from St Augustine Florida and Mickey Coughlin from Oakhurst.

Altogether, 24 doublettes (half composed of women) elected to participate in this tournament. They were:

M. Shrikey & T. Efron                         B. Rose & S. Shirkey
P. Mathis & Manu Le Bihan              J-M. Poulnot & D. Cuneo
By Vang & Fue Vang                             C. Couto & B. Lysten
A. Efron & F. Moser                               K. Evoy & C. Sarafian
M. Dang & Phominik Lee                    P. Yang & Jer Thao
E. Porto & D. Riffo                                  D. Lanter & H. Sammons
L. Toulon & K. Lee                                  S. Bowman & P. Vaslet
T. Wetzal & M. Lane                              H. Kurz & N. Sonet
P. Kos & Mike Dyar                                C. Xiong & Xua Yang
T. Lee & Chan Xiong                              L. Moran & H. Woodard
J. Harris & M. Coughlin                        T. Harris & J. Bissonette
JC Bunand & Jacques Gautier

With Mother Nature’s seeming cooperation, the day started well. It was 72° at noon and some optimistic people started sporting shorts.

After lunch, the tournament started in earnest.  The contestants found themselves assigned to 2 categories: Concours and Consolante. For some, being in the Concours was like a death penalty and for those in the Consolante it was a relief.

After a disastrous beginning, my team was quickly eliminated and I reverted to my true calling: photography. I followed one captivating team (Liza and Honor) from the beginning until their coronation at the end of the tournament.

Half of all the contestants were women and they did very well. They snatched 1st place in the Concours and 1st and 2nd place in the Consolante.

The tournament chugged along all afternoon with some games taking an inordinate amount of time. Around 5 pm, it seems that Mother Nature lost patience with the procrastinators and started blowing a cold Northerly wind to kick them off of the field.

By 6:00 pm, half of all the spectators had disappeared. Bundled up in my second jacket, I stayed until 7:00 to watch the victory of Liza Moran and Honor Woodard over Erin McTaggart and Barbara Hall in the Consolante.

By 7:00 pm, with a freezing wind, relentlessly attacking from all sides, 90% of the people (including myself) had gone home.

Very few people (six I have been told) stayed until the end (probably around 8:00 pm) to watch Tish Harris and Janice Bissonette narrowly defeat (13/12) John Harris and Mickey Coughlin in the Concours.

Bleys Rose took the final pictures of the tournament that I incorporated in my own album.

A great day for the “weaker sex.” Congratulations ladies! Well done.

1st place: Tish Harris & Janice Bissonette ($210.00 ea)
2nd place: John Harris & Mickey Coughlin (120.00 ea)
3rd place: Peter Mathis & Manu Le Bihan (75.00 ea)
4th place: Hans Kurz & Noah Sonet (75.00 ea)

1st place: Liza Moran & Honor Woodard (72.00 ea)
2nd place: Erin McTaggart & Barbara Hall (48.00 ea)


I have an idea that the phrase ‘weaker sex’ was coined by some woman to disarm the man she was preparing to overwhelm. Ogden Nash

Pictures available

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