Sonoma Wine Country Classic

Yesterday, the Valley of the Moon Pétanque Club hosted its annual Wine Country Classic tournament. An event also dedicated to the memory of beloved Tino (Nunziato) Lofaro who passed away almost 2 years ago.
As expected, it drew a big crowd. Thirty eight (38) doublettes or 76 contestants to be precise.
The weather was good (not too hot) but in the afternoon the wind picked up significantly and blew clouds of dust all over the field.
The event was ably run and supervised by my good buddy, unflappable Patrick Vaslet.

The format of the tournament was “Select Doubles” and people teamed up with what I assume was (and I could be wrong) their BFF (Best Friend Forever). All the people were too numerous to mention, but  among the players I know I noticed the two Jean-Claude (Jean-Claude Bunand and Jean-Claude Etallaz) and the two Peters (Peter Mathis and Peter Wellington).
I also spotted Carolina Jones and Carlos Couto, Alain Gusella and Jean-Michel Poulnot, Steve Jones and Christine Jones and Antoine Lofaro and Luc Pouget.

Among the players, two lone all-female entries:
Erin Mc Taggart & Barbara Hall, and Antonia Paulsen & Colette Van Der Meulen.

As usual, 3 eleven points game were played in the morning to separate the Big Boys (and Big Girls) from the fray, and thirteen points elimination games were played in the afternoon.

Personally, I teamed up with a little known player named Tamara Semionovna and she did extremely well. We won our first two games (11/7 and 11/6) and for our 3rd game of the morning, we faced John and Cody Morris, a delightful team of father and son.
They beat us 11/9 but it was a real pleasure playing with such gentlemen.

16 teams ended in the Concours, 14 teams in the Consolante A, and 8 teams in Consolante B.

In the afternoon, in the first game of the Concours we faced Mickey and Nicole Coughlin. Shall I say more? They threw us out of the tournament with a resounding kick in the fanny. The almost unmentionable score: 13/0.

The final results communicated to me by Patrick Vaslet are:

Erin McTaggart

1st: Barbara Hall and Erin McTaggart
2nd: Yor Lee and Paul Maua
3rd: Mickey Coughlin and Nicole Coughlin
4th: Mone Lee and Pao Ly

Consolante A
1st: Peter Mathis and Peter Wellington
2nd: Antoine Lofaro and Luc Pouget
3rd: Steve Paulsen and Bill Miller
4th: Nan Walter and Etienne Rijkheer

Consolante B
1st: Thomas Moua and By Vang
2nd: Steve Jones and Christine Jones
3rd: Brendan Cohen and Marco Ilaria.

I find it exhilarating to find an all-female team at the top of the heap.
Congratulations to Barbara Hall and Erin McTaggart for besting the best male players of the tournament.


PS: I forgot to mention the 3rd all-female team in my report and I apologize for this.
The missing team was Shannon Bowman and Holly Sammons.




Lamorinda, August 19, 2012

Yesterday I was at Lamorinda to compete in the first Annual Lamorinda Cup Tournament.
The format was Select Mixed Doubles and I had invited chicken farmer Sabine Mattei to be my wingchick.
This tournament attracted some heavyweights (Peter Mathis, Mickey Coughlin, Gilles Karpowicz, Alain Gusella, PJ Mallette, Dan Feaster, etc.) and the event promised to be lively.
Coffee and croissants were served before the tournament. Coffee was particularly welcome since it proved to be rather chilly in the morning. It became hot in the afternoon (hot enough to wear my shorts), and cool again after 5:00 p.m.

Etienne Rijkheer (who elected not to play) and “Carreau-Lina” Jones were the circus masters.
Since I was playing, it proved a little difficult to collect all the facts and tidbits, but here is what I remember.

Thirty three (33) select mixed doublettes enrolled to play. Three eleven points untimed games were to be played before lunch, and 13 points eliminatory games for the Concours and Consolante A and B in the afternoon.

After a rather inauspicious beginning (we almost lost our first game), Sabine and I won our first 3 games in the morning and were marshaled into the Concours.

After lunch, in our first game of the Concours, we faced le Facteur (Jean-Michel Poulnot) and la Factrice (Tamara Efron). It does my heart good to report that we brought them down to their knees. I might finally be able to sleep at night after defeating my longtime nemesis. It feels gooood to say so.

On our second game, we faced Trish and John Harris. Never heard of them, but we were told that they were good players. They were indeed.
After an auspicious start, we finally lost (10/13) to them after an epic struggle. The game hung in the balance until the last minute and we were defeated I am sorry to say, due to two capital errors of judgment of my part.
We lost and I am the only person to blame for it, but I don’t feel too bad barely losing to a team that made it to the finals.
Sabine did an excellent pointing job and should be recognized for doing so. Here is to you wingchick!

I would like to add that the Lamorinda field is very challenging (especially for those who are not used to it), and that’s where you separate the men from the boys. Winning in Lamorinda is indeed an honor.

Apéritifs and munchies were served after the tournament.

Final results (compliments of Etienne Rijkheer):

CONCOURS  (16 Teams)
1st place: Peter Mathis and Holly Sammons, VOMPC
2nd place: John Harris and Trish Harris, Oakhurst Pétanque Club
3rd place: Mickey Coughlin and Nicole Coughlin, Redwood Empire Boules Club
4th place: Carl and Linda Mottscheidler, Fresno Pétanque Club

1st place: Alain Gusella and Phim Nielsen, La Boule d’Or
2nd place: Beth Lysten and Daniel Genini, Lamorinda Pétanque Club
3rd place: Peter Wellington and Teri Sirico, VOMPC and Petaluma Valley Pétanque Club

1st place: By Vang and May Lee, Fresno Pétanque Club
2nd place: Carlos Couto and Carolina Jones, Lamorinda Pétanque Club

Thank you Lamorinda for a fun day and a job well done!