Thursday, August 26, 2010

FPUSA National Triples Champions!

(Lto R 2nd place winners, Philippe and Piere Agnesse and Joe Cortright, and 1st place champions Tim Channel, Mike Stasack, and Ryan Baker)
With perfect weather in the 70's and 80's on the home courts of the Portland Petanque Club, 13 triples teams started their series of games on Saturday, August 21, games that would ultimately lead to four winners in the concours and two in the consolante by late afternoon on the next day.

The evening before an "apero" followed by a potluck featuring Wisconsin style brats grilled by club president Tim Larson had welcomed the players for the draw and casual play and a chance to learn the courts.

By about 4pm on Saturday we had all our games in and the results were used to seed the pools for the concours and the consolante the next day. Eight teams were placed in two 4 team pools, and the other 5 teams formed the round robin consolante.

Sunday morning, while enjoying a really tasty continental breakfast of complimentary mini-pastries from La Petite Provence, announcements and welcome remarks were dispensed with and play began.

Teams in pools began their quest to win two games in row and assure their progression out of the pools and into the Semi's and Finals. But, as we know in this zero sum game, a winner also means a loser, so those teams who lost their first game struggled to win one more so they could also advance. But, teams losing twice were then spectators for the afternoon. Being a spectator was a pleasant enough way to spend the afternoon watching the continuing games with such good teams competing.

In the Semi-Finals for the concours then, we had the local team of Pierre and Philippe Agnesse and Joe Cortright matched up with the New York Petanque Club team of Jean-Pierre Subrenat, Xavier Thibaud (both on the FPUSA team going to Turkey for the "worlds" in a couple of months, and Thierry Juillard.

The New York team uses the plombée very impressively to great effect and their flat shooting style yielded more than a few carreaux. However, the Portland Petanque club's team came out ahead 13-8, also very impressive.

In the other semi-final, it was the Seattle Petanque Club team of Greg Conyers, Lee Harris, and John Hunt, against a team comprised of Eugene club players Mike Stasack (EPIC president) and Ryan Baker, and Tim Channell, founder of the Fresno Petanque club. They eased to a 13-2 victory over the Seattle boys.

The Final for 3rd and 4th place was therefore between the the New York players and the Seattle team. It was a close game but the New York players pulled off a 13-11 win to take 3rd place and win medals and prize money.

So our final for 1st and 2nd Place was between the Portland club and the Eugene/Fresno players. In a long game with many great plays, and to the surprise of many spectators, the Eugene/Fresno team emerged the victors (13-11) and National Triples champions for 2010!

The consolante meanwhile had been continuing on. The top two teams in this tournament and who finished "in the money" were, in First Place, our own Tim Larson, Wally Peppel, and Shaughn McClurg (Congratulations!!) and taking second a Seattle/Lamorinda team of Jimmy Flour, John Chanthavisay, and Jean-Marie Letellier. Also, congratulations!

By now, delicious aromas from the buffet catered by La Provence were wafting over the courts and a couple of dozen players and guests queued up for for the chicken, and salmon entreés, accompanying salads, specially selected wines, and wonderful mini-pastries. Such fun!

Awards and photos followed and while most player were ready to return home or to their motel rooms to "vege out", a dedicated group were out on the courts again while there was still light enough to see the cochonnet and play another game or two.

The combination of camaraderie and good food and drink is what draws us to the sport and keeps us coming back. Most of us would agree petanque is a wonderful addition to life.

(L to R, Joe Martin, Tournament Director, and 3rd place winners, Thierry Julliard, Xavier Thibaud, and Jean-Pierre Subrenat)

The full on buffet!