In a spirited final completed at midnight before a roaring crowd, the team of Daniel Hernandez-Julien Castano-Rici Hovaguimian defeated Robert Borgd-Mohammed Benmostafa-Philippe Stievenart, 13-12. The vast majority of the crowd sided with Borgd, the President of the major club in Marseille, La Boule Florian, who had dedicated his tournament to the memory of Pétou Caglieri. Caglieri, the owner of the Florian complex, a beloved figure and a great player, who had recently passed away. Borgd’s partners, Stievenart and Benmostafa are better known for their prowess in Jeu Provençale, both former national champions. The final, however, turned out to be old-fashioned Pétanque, 17 rounds dominated by a hard, smooth surface that gave all the power to the pointers: 2-0, 2-2, 2-6, 4-6, 5-6, 5-7, 5-8, 5-8, 6-8, 6-9, 8-9, 11-9, 11-9, 12-9, 12-9, 12-12, 13-12.
The women’s final was won, 13-6, by the women’s team from Madagascar, “Tatie” Ramananandro-Véronique Randrianarizafy-Cicine Randriambahiny. Readers might remember that, in 2006, Tatie had won the LBNY Cup in Tana, Madagascar (see the report from Madagascar, on this website). The kids’ tournament was won by a team from Toulouse, Kévin Vaz-Jérémy Sans-Thomas Luchetta, 13-5.
For the second year in a row, I lost in the 1/16 final, this time 11-13, in a marathon game that last nearly three hours. Maro Gouast, Greg Caumel, and I lost after leading 9-3 and 11-7. During the 2008 Marseillaise, Pierre Fieux, the author of several books on competitive Pétanque and a reporter for Boulistenaute (the leading on-line website for news and commentary on the Pétanque world), decided two players, Marco Foyot and me, filing interviews with each of us at the end of each day. Click here for the original Boulistenaute reports by Pierre Fieux in French. Click here for the English translations (like all translations, some of it sounds weird).
On Monday, in the 5th game, Foyot, teamed with Eric Bartoli and Jean-Michel Pucinelli, lost 13-8 to a Corsica team, after leading 8-0! The defending champions, Gayraud-Adam-Robineau lost that same morning, in the fourth game. The family Molinas, last year’s finalists, were eliminated the next day, in the 1/32 final. For the 1/16 final, there were nine non-French players still in the tournament, a record. Although there was speculation that foreigners would invade the Old Port on Thursday, we all lost: the team from Spain team (including two players from the delegation to the 2007 world championship team), Madagascar (all having played on the national team in the worlds), and two Belgians from the 2000 World Championship team, and me.
Click here for Martha’s favorite pics from the 2008 Marseillaise.
Click here for Martha’s photos of our games.
Click here for pics from Thursday’s games on the Old Port.