Coutances in for the long haul
PETANQUE players from Countances in Normandy made their 32nd visit to Jersey for their annual competition with Jersey Pétanque Club on Saturday. . . and although they lost the game they certainly did not go hungry.
Officially the result was a victory for Jersey, by 29 games to 19, after four rounds of doubles matches. A trio of Island pairs won all four of their games – Ken and Beryl Vibert, Ron and Rita Le Herissier and the JPC club captain Mick Rondel and his partner Pru.
However, the winners in reality were all those who took part as it was more about reaffirming friendships developed over the years –some of them having begun at the inaugural event in 1986.
‘It’s brought many happy memories, staying together over the years,’ said one of the ‘original’ players, ‘I’m just thrilled that, more than 30 years later, so many people are continuing to play.’
In the early years the games were played at venues like Elizabeth Castle and Coronation Park, with the matches in Jersey taking place in the early summer with a return visit to Coutances in the autumn. These days Jersey PC has its own clubhouse and terrains at Les Quennevais where they can entertain their French visitors.
Hospitality is a key ingredient in the success of the event. The weekend lunch was served on picnic tables laid out on one of the terrains, with all the food prepared by the JPC members. On the Saturday evening the French contingent were treated to a visit from a mobile fish and chip van and there was another lunch the following day at the St Brelade’s Bay Hotel where the presentations took place.