Yesterday my gang and I went to Sonoma to partake in the 2018 NorCal Regional Mixed Triples. My accomplices were Tamara aka (the Pétanque Queen) and Santa Claus (Noel) in civilian clothes.
We arrived around 8:00 am as instructed by the VOMPC pamphlet and found very few people on the field. Little by little the participants trickled in and around 8:30 most of the contestants were present. The number was rather small (12 triplettes) but the caliber high.
- Mike Cooper/ Hans Kurz/ Lisa Vaughn
- Peter Wellington/ Teri Sirico/ Bill Miller
- Joe La Torre/ Sandra Sirkey/ Mark Shirkey
- Manu Le Bihan/ Janice Bissonnette/ By Vang
- Ed Porto/ Liza Moran/ Chan Alberto
- Peter Mathis/ Beth Lysten/ Wolfie Kurz
- Tim Wetzel/ Kris Edwards/ Rob Houghton
- Erin McTaggart/ Mike Meneffee/ Steve Dudgeon
- Alain Efron/ Tamara Efron/ Noel Marcovecchio
- Maryanne Curley/ Phominik Lee/ Poe Lee
- Kevin Evoy/ Holly Sammons/ Dave Lanter
- Carlos Couto/ Maggie Lane/ Brendan Cohen
As usual, 3 timed games were played before lunch and in the afternoon people would battle for Concours and Consolante glory.
On our 1st game of the day (against Joe La Torre) we got lucky and we won 13/6. An auspicious beginning.
Then we faced a bunch of cutthroats (the Mathis gang) who slaughtered us 13/1.
Finally (against Hans Kurz and his pack) we managed to win 13/11, and this meant only one thing. In the afternoon we would play in the Concours and tangle with the Big Guys.
In the Concours we faced Erin McTaggart and her posse and they beat us 13/5. This very team by the way made it to finals.
As I always said, pétanque keeps you humble. When you defeat another team, don’t crow too high because chances are that you will probably be whipped by another team soon after.
And in pétanque, like in any other sport, you need to have Lady Luck on your side. Without her assistance you are always walking a tight rope.
In the Concours finals, Manu le Bihan, Janice Bissonnette and By Vang faced Erin McTaggart, Mike Meneffee and Steve Dudgeon.
The match was played in the pebble-strewn area adjacent to the picnic area. This is a difficult terrain, especially for people who are not familiar with it.
In this area, it is hard to point and difficult to shoot. To point well, you need to master the art of “plombé” and to shoot efficiently you need to fire “au fer”. If you are not proficient in any of two these methods, you are in big trouble.
Le Bihan, Bissonnette and By Vang defeated McTaggart and her team by the impressive score of 13/1.
Both teams played well, but the Fresno team kept the pressure on and prevailed. As I keep repeating, “pétanque has a way to keep you humble.”
1st place: Manu Le Bihan/ Janice Bissonnette/ By Vang
2nd place: Erin McTaggart/ Mike Meneffee/ Steve Dudgeon
1st place: Maryanne Curley/ Phominik Lee/ Poe Lee
2nd place: Kevin Evoy/ Holly Sammons/ Dave Lanter
3rd place: Ed Porto/ Liza Moran/ Chan Alberto
Don’t forget to watch the pictures.