“There is nothing like a dame…” I agree, but yesterday (and each time we have a mixed tournament) dames are in short supply.
On Sunday, a few forlorn gentlemen were desperately looking for female partners and some ended up not playing at all. Somebody suggested paying bail for some women prisoners across the street, but the proposition was rejected.
On a personal level, Le Facteur outbid me to secure the services of Tamara. So, I (temporarily) hung up my cleats and spent the day observing and digitally recording the happenings on the field.
The tournament, by the way, was run by Christine Cragg and Michael O’Leary. Michael was one of the players who were unable to secure a female partner and spent the day assisting Christine. Michael is a hard worker and one of the nicest guys I know; I will play with him any time he asks me.
The weather was mild and pleasant and coffee and pastries were served.
The Marin field which used to be fairly easy to play on has become, with the addition of new coats of gravel, a treacherous minefield full of sand traps. If you want to come on top, “plombés” have to be part of your game.
For their first game,Tamara and Jean-Michel encountered Damien and Maggie Lane. Tough break! They were annihilated 1 to 13.
Damien Monnet, by the way, was the revelation (to me anyway) of this tournament. He is a complete player who seems to have mastered every move in the book.
When he shoots and misses, he looks surprised. When a guy like me shoots and hits, I look surprised. That’s the difference between and a great player and a journeyman.
Their second game was against Patrick and Shannon. They managed to reach 12/12 but Jean-Michel flubbed a crucial last shot that cost them the game. They lost 12/13.
I have always said, if a woman is willing to do it, let her shoot. They will often surprise you, as Lisa Vaughn did later in this tournament.
Their 3rd game was against Toy and Cindy. They barely lost 12/13 and ended up in La Consolante.
As luck would have it, they won all their games in the afternoon and reached the Consolante finals.
They played against Donna von Edelkrantz and Mark Shirkey, two individuals who practiced a lot and improved a lot. Tamara and Jean-Michel lost 8 to 13.
Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”
The same is true in pétanque or any discipline. To be a good player you need to put in the hours. You need to practice continuously until every shot becomes natural and accurate.
Some of us though are work-shy and practice only on holidays. We always end up paying for that.
In the Concours area, Ed Porto and Monique Bricca won the semifinals 13 to 9 against Hans Kurz and Lisa Vaughn. It was not an easy match and it was full of spectacular rebounds. Lisa saved Hans’s skin a few times with amazing shots and usually unflappable Hans could not help but hug her enthusiastically.
In the Concours finals, lefty Ed Porto and Monique Bricca battled Damien Monnet and Maggie Lane. It was a great match full of spectacular shots. Both shooters and pointers outdid themselves and drew applause from the spectators. Monique and Maggie were amazingly on target… and so were Ed and Damien.
Ultimately though, Damien and Maggie won the contest 13 to 5.
1stplace: Damien Monnet and Maggie Lane
+ their names engraved on the Commemorative Cup
2ndplace: Ed Porto and Monique Bricca
3rdplace: Steve Dudgeon and Kris Edwards
1stplace: Mark Shirkey and Donna von Edelkrantz
2ndplace: Jean-Michel Poulnot and Tamara Efron
PS: Since the pictures shown today were recorded on 3 different devices, they are not displayed in a chronological order. Sorry about that.