This year’s INF-EuNat 32nd Petanque Tournament was held on the site of CHM Montalivet in France, with the committee as well as members of the Association NACA and the Association of Naturist Friends of Montalivet working together to ensure a wonderful weekend of sport.
Competitors and supporters where spread around this large site, with part of the first day being locate your teams! Once the welcome drink on the Friday evening had taken place everyone soon quickly located friends old and new for this popular competition. We had 8 different countries knowing each other very well because they are waiting impatiently every year for this event to happen. Then the flags from United Kingdom, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Germany Switzerland and Luxembourg appeared. So, a total of 251 players and visitors. Some people decorated their tents and caravans with flags and bunting, helping us all to identify were we all where.
The games were declared open by the representative of EuNat Jim Russell Sports Officer and a welcome speech by Peter Brandner and the umpire. Then with a blow of the whistle the tournament was on. AS the morning play was going so well, no-one could have foretold the dread rainfall which happened in the afternoon, when play was not possible due to the heavy downfall. Following a meeting of the responsible coaches it was agreed to postpone play for the rest of the day and begin again early the next day. On waking what a delight to find some warm sun appearing from the clouded skies, once again play was on with an agreed 1 hour for lunch we quickly made up on lost time.
As the sun shone, it was pleasing to hear laughter, deep discussions and friendly banter around the playing areas. The final round was between France and the Netherlands, the home team was defeated by a young Netherlands team in a game that had competitors, supporters and onlookers holding their breath as some challenging shots were played on both sides. A match that will be remembered for a long time for its thrilling conclusion. So in 1ST place was Johan & Djamiila Vink (NFN) in 2nd Claude & Gislaine Pinaud (FFN) with the 3rd place taken by Gerard Ducoin & Viviane Roque (FFN). Within the consolation tournament 33rd place was Kurt & Kathe Dambacher (DFK) in 34th Silvio Reinhardt & Svenja Feddern (DFK); in 35thJan Paashuis & Ali Wijnstekers (NFN) and holding us all up was in 64thFrancesco Ferrant & Luisa Mussa FENAIT. This year’s results marks it as 4 years consecutively a team from the Netherlands have won the EuNat / INF-FNI Petanque Tournament. I think it must be the flat ground so often used to play in the Netherlands!
Last but not least, the management of the CHM offered a free one week holiday for 4 persons to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of the main tournament and to the 1st and the 2nd of the consolation tournament.
During the closing of this tournament all the trophies were handled to the winners, with all the players receiving two bottles of wine one red and one rose. This was quickly followed by the multiple of gifts being handed over to the organizer and site by the federations Sport Responsible and Presidents of the different countries that had taken part in the games.
Concerning the restaurants the food for the weekend was of a high standard with the Saturday Gala Dinner proving to be a great hit.
As the evening carried on we were entertained by a regional musical performance by the 21ST Century Funk; a group of 11 musicians who kept most of us dancing to the midnight hour.
I wish to pass on my thanks to everyone concerned in the organisation of this event. Another year of success, were we meet together played our games, remained overall in good spirit and experienced the delights of the Montalivet site.
At the time of writing this report we do have a Federation that has submitted a request to organize this event in 2014. When we have a date it will be sent out to the federations. I look forward with delight for the coming year’s event.
Jim Russell EuNat/ INF-FNI responsible of sports and leisure for Europe