Wine Country 2019

A photographer strives for perfection. So, he takes shot after shot hoping that each new snapshot will be better than the previous one. Needless to say that a photographer is also an addict; he cannot stop shooting.

This long preamble is to explain why yesterday in Sonoma I took around 1000 pictures (with different cameras) that I had to process the next day. I had to make difficult choices and dispose of about 600 pictures… and that’s why I am late with my report.

You might also notice that the pictures are not in a sequential order due to the fact that they were taken with different recording devices.

This being said, Sunday’s tournament turned out to be a memorable day due first to its attendance (60 doublettes), to the caliber of the contestants and maybe also to the non-negligible purses offered to the winners. For those who were not there, the first place is the Concours netted $1600.00 for the winners.

Players came from everywhere, including Mexico (Memo Garcia and his compañeros), and the place sounded for a while like the United Nations.

The weather also cooperated. It was not too cold and not to hot, just perfect pétanque weather.

The tournament started Saturday and continued on Sunday. The Valley of the Moon by the way, did an excellent job organizing this event. Maggie Lane and her Merrymen outdid themselves. Congratulations guys for an outstanding job.

A lot of things happened that day and I won’t be able to cover everything in detail, but I was privileged to witness the Concours’ finals and it was a doozy. Pétanque at its best.

Before I go any further, a brief historical note. Since the 12th century, Montjoie Saint Denis! was the battle cry of the Kings of France.
I don’t know if you have noticed, but in our area a new battle cry has emerged. It is: Jean-Michel! From now on, before you go to battle, proudly perform your new haka: Jean-Michel!

The finalists were Damien Hureau and Eric Moutard on one side and Mark Greenberg and Bruno le Boursicaud on the other side. All champs in their own right.

It was a very tight and exciting game. There were “carreaux” galore and fantastically accurate shots. The cochonnet was shot out five times, on purpose. I will repeat myself one more time and restate that “pétanque is good for you, it keeps you humble.”

To play at this level, you have to know how to shoot, how to point and how to execute “plombés.” You also have to understand the game thoroughly and make the right decisions when it matters.

Until the end, the conclusion was in the balance. The players reached an 11/11 score and anybody could have won.

Mark Greenberg and Bruno le Boursicaud did it and concluded 13/11.

Damien Hureau, Eric Moutard, Bruno le Boursicaud, Mark Greenberg

A memorable day! Glad I could have witnessed it.


Final results per Maggie Lane (VOMPC President)

Concours A
1st Place: Mark Greenberg / Bruno le Boursicaud
2nd Place: Damian Hureau / Eric Moutard
3rd & 4th: Speter Gilles / Didier Pelerud
Jean-Pierre Subrenat / Jean-Francois Hemon
5th – 8th: Gaby Ravelojaona / Santatra Ravelojaona
Ed Porto / Rene Van Kesteren
Peter Mathis / Mickey Coughlin
Michael Kronenborg / Will Poire

Concours B
1st Place:  Wolfgang Kurz / Manu LeBihan
2nd Place: Paul Yang / Jer Thao
3rd & 4th:  By Vang / Fue Vang
Bill Miller / Delio Cuneo

Consolante A 
1st Place: PJ Mallette / Bekah Howe
2nd Place: Carlos Couto / Eric Thiebault
3rd & 4th: Memo Garcia / Guadalupe Palau
Paul Bissonnette / Michel Yang

Consolante B
1st Place: Ed Clay / Ted Ricketts
2nd Place: Erin McTaggart / Mike Menefee

As usual, feel free to download any of my pictures, but when posting any of them on social media, please include photo credit (Photos by Alain Efron). Thank you. 

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