Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lake Worth- Thursday

We arrived around 4:00 PM, checked into the motel, and made the five mile drive to John Prince Park where the tournament is to be held.  Just as we were walking through the parking lot, we spotted Cynthia Stroud, a friend of ours from Maine.  She was accompanied by her two tournament teammates, Martie and Diane.  The five of us played a couple of games to get the feel of the courts and then visited for awhile.  We made plans to practice again on Friday.  Shirley will be practicing with her teammates for this weekend's tournament, Jo Ella and Pierette.

On the Road-- Again!

Arrived around 4:30 PM at the Petanque-America warehouse in Amelia Island, Florida.  Visited with Philippe for a while then moved on to downtown Fernandina for evening petanque.  Capped the evening with dinner at La Mancha, the new-this-year Spanish restaurant on Sadler Road.  Moving on this morning to Lake Worth, Florida.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lexington Barbecue Festival-- Sunday

Early times


Listen up!

Morning refreshments
Noro and Heri
Kirk making the announcements

Early play
Daniel and Stan
Awards table
Marie and Suzanne
Our Maryland visitors
Marc and Juan versus Steve and Don E.
Lori Beth Creasy

Watching the finals
No, it's still in
Consolante Runners-up:  Bob and Sue

Consolante Winners:  Gary and Larry
Concours Runners-up:  Marc and Juan
Champions!  Augustin and Khalid
Social hour
Pre-pizza advice
Sleeping beauty (and me!)
Sunday after the Barbecue Festival is normally a day to relax and recuperate from Saturday's festivities.  This year, however, we had to be up around 5:00 AM to get ready for the First Annual Official Lexington Barbecue Festival Petanque Tournament.

Knowing that Finch Park, where our tournament was to be held, did not open the gates until 8:00 AM, and that we had a lot to do between 8:00 and 9:00 when the tournament was scheduled to begin,  we wanted to make sure that we had done as much preliminary organizing as we possibly could.

Thankfully, we had house guests who helped a lot in getting the cargo trailer and the van loaded and ready to go to the park.  (Thank you, Rick&Maggie, Danny&Sue, and Bobby&Peggy!)

Once we arrived and the park and others began to arrive and pitch in, it didn't take too long before things started to take shape.  We managed to get started by around 9:20-- not too far behind our original schedule.  We decided to make the morning's three qualifying rounds timed events to make sure we didn't get further behind schedule as the day went on.  The FPUSA recommends allowing an hour plus two ends for doubles play.  To make things a little simpler, since I was trying to act as tournament director and still participate in the play, we decided to go with 70 minutes plus one end.  That made it a little easier for me to be aware of the appropriate time to halt play on each court.

As it turned out, time didn't end up being much of a factor.  Of all the morning games, only one was not played to completion at 13 points.  Even that game managed to end at 12 points, so our decision worked very well.  Seeded first after the morning's play was the team of Juan Hernandez and Marc Quilici, both of Hickory, NC.  Danny and Sue Daniels, of Crossnore, NC, comprised the only other team to be 3 and 0 after the qualifying rounds and were seeded 2nd.

We managed to get the morning games in a little after 1:00 PM, which allowed us a reasonable amount of time for lunch while still beginning the single-elimination bracket play by 2:00 PM.  Lunch was a sandwich-and-chips w/dessert affair (thanks to Shirley and others for helping bring that off nicely).

The Concours bracket began with eight teams and the Consolante bracket began with seven.  We were one team short of having the sixteen we had hoped for to begin play, but that was still a good field for our first official festival tournament.  We had players from Ohio, Maryland, Florida, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

Marc and Juan continued their good play from the morning and won their quarter-final game.  Meanwhile, Danny and Sue lost to a brother/sister team from Maryland in the quarter-finals.  Heri and Noro Ratianarivo, from Silver Springs, MD, after beating Danny and Sue then went on to play Khalid Mesbah, from Charlotte, NC, and Augustin Quilici, from Hickory, NC, in one semi-final while Shirley and I played Marc and Juan in the other.

After falling behind early, Khalid and Augustin battled back to win in their semi-final while Shirley and I were unable to mount much of a challenge to Marc and Juan before Marc knocked the jack out-of-bounds while holding two boules to our none, giving them the win at 13-6.

Therefore it was a finals between the undefeated team of Marc and Juan and one of the pre-tournament favorites of Khalid/Augustin.  In the end, Augustin/Khalid were able to hand Marc and Juan their first loss of the day.  So, the winners of the First Annual Official Lexington Barbecue Festival Petanque Tournament were Khalid Mesbah and Augustin Quilici.

A fine team from St.Augustine, Florida, managed to beat a team which had beaten them in the qualifying rounds in order to win the Consolante bracket.  Gary Weeks and Larry Creasy defeated Bob Moyer of Winston-Salem and Sue Wien of Lexington.

Thanks to everyone for pitching in to clear and load all our equipment and supplies and to rake the terrain to leave it as good as we found it.

We adjourned, along with several of our new and old friends, to our house-- only a couple of miles from the park-- for a social hour and pizza dinner.  As you can see from the last picture above, the combination of sleep deprivation, exercise, food, and drink soon proved to be a little more than my constitution was able to handle.  I just hope my snoring on the couch didn't disturb our remaining guests too much!  (By the way, Suzanne, no one mentioned it if you were also snoring, but it looks like you were at least "resting you eyes" from the photographic evidence above.)

Lexington Barbecue Festival- Saturday

Blue skies and pink pigs
8:30 AM
Mayor Clark and Executive Festival Director Stephanie Saintsing Naset
Lexington native-- Old Man (from Pawn Stars)
Lori Beth and Larry
Bobby and Peggy
Best headwear?
In the "garden"
Sand sculpture
Me and Dino
The gang at the Village Grill
Daniel Smith  at the Wiens (Best headwear entry #2)
Wiens home-- Court #2

Saturday is the BIG DAY for Lexington.  This year's crowd estimate-- 200,000 people!  In a town of 18,000.  We're always among the early birds.  Shirley just LOVES the barbecue festival.  Maybe it's just all those people to talk to?  I must admit that I like the crowds too.  And the music (six bandstands).  And the food.  And the unusual (lumberjack competitions, sand sculptures, pig races, bicycle stunt riders, car shows, beer and wine gardens, arts and crafts, street performers, costumed people, kids rides, a nighttime concert, and all that goes with it).

This year we even had petanque  after spending nearly twelve hours downtown!  (Thanks, Sue and Terry Wien for allowing us to use your courts even though, due to another commitment, you couldn't be there.)