Thursday, December 4, 2014


Kerry in full flight
Well, another year has passed and we have new winners of our annual Coup D’Antibes Petanque Competition.  Early weather predictions were ominous and the day began with rain and thunderstorms nearby but this did not deter more than 30 members from turning out on what became a very pleasant day at Mandeni.

We got under way with a welcoming glass of traditional Kir Royal followed by a welcoming speech from Mme President Gai Jacobs. Kerry Hunting outlined the new format which had been changed to teams of 3 players so that all matches could be played on an equal footing on the pistes.  A time limit of 30 minutes per match was also introduced and this proved very successful in keeping the action going non-stop. 

Winners are grinners: Ray, Bill and Simon
The fun began immediately with the competition draw and very quickly there were cries of surprise when last year’s winners Neil Porter and Bruce Gaunson were again drawn together - but it was all above board!  In all 10 teams took part with the first 4 teams out of the hat playing a preliminary round to reduce numbers to an even 8 teams.  Most of the early games had close-run finishes although there was one exception - an 11-0 scoreline - but no names no pack-drill!!

Competition was fierce with no quarter given or asked and it was all accompanied by much good-natured cheering & advice from supporters.  Playing all matches on the pistes was welcomed by everyone and not only produced a much higher standard of play but eliminated the unlucky bounces which happened on the grass.

Classic follow through by Bruce Gaunson
As in previous years those waiting to play enjoyed very convivial morning teas with many cakes, biscuits and other delicacies consumed in large quantities.  Everyone tucked in with gusto and the phrase "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" (let them eat cake) widely attributed to Marie-Antoinette, came to mind!  (In fact, after lunch one player was overheard to admit to eating too much cake!).

The schedule of play went according to plan and when an early finish to the semi-finals became apparent there was widespread support for the final to be played before the feasting began.  

Runners-up Neil, Bruce and Jessica
The hard-fought final was played out between ‘Maintenant’  (Simon Arlidge, Ray Coutts-Smith and Bill Schwensen) and ‘Two Men & a Babe’ (Jessica Wyers, Bruce Gaunson and Neil Porter).  ‘Maintenant’ had a challenging route to the final as they were drawn to play in the Preliminary Round.  They won this by the skin of their teeth on the last end and in the semi-final at one stage they were 5 points behind. However, they kept their cool, rallied and again squeezed home by a single point.  ‘Two Men & a Babe’ reached the final a little more comfortably and whilst the experience gained by last year’s winners was a factor, the ‘Babe’ , Jessica Wyers, played a very significant part in all their matches with her consistently accurate pitching.  The match was a pretty close affair until in the final stages ‘Maintenant’ pulled clear to claim the Coup D’Antibes Trophy.  Many congratulations to the Winners and commiserations to the gallant but sporting losers.

Winners are grinners: Ray, Bill and Simon
Mme President Gai Jacobs presented the handsome trophy accompanied by bottles of French Wine, with the runners-up receiving boxes of chocolates.

It was then time to settle down for yet another very enjoyable social occasion accompanied by a wide variety of food and wine.  All in all another highly successful ‘Alliance Française de la Côte de Saphir' event.

In conclusion the Committee would like once again to thank Peter, Margaret & Brendan O’Brien at Mandeni Family Fun Park for providing all the facilities & for never failing to make us very welcome.  

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE !!                                                       Clive Roberts

Brigitte, Neil, Jan & Simon

Carmen, Fiona, Davina, Barry & Ray

Jessica 'Babe' Wyers in action

Everyone welcome!

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