Petanca Competition

By Steve Scott

Photographs By Cath Baker (a selection can be found at the end of this article, you can click on each image, and it will present in a larger format)

The West Coast’s third annual petanque competition saw another hugely successful interaction between expats and the local Portuguese community.

The tournament, launched to promote and foster friendship between the foreign incomers and the Portuguese inhabitants, has become a fixture in Vale da Telha, near Aljezur.

Hosted by Amovate and the Clube do Petanque who have our Old School House as their HQ, the tournament attracted 26 teams, each consisting of a Portuguese player and an expat.

This was another fantastic afternoon and evening in the battle for our coveted cup. The weather was brilliant sunshine, with a nice breeze to keep players cool—or alternatively they chose to sip a cold beer as they played!

Competition was strong because, as usual, although these can safely be called the friendly games, everyone playing nevertheless did so with the sole intention of wanting to win.

The formula is simple—an expat is teamed up with a Portuguese local and the Portuguese players once again had the skill to knock any ball away that was thrown too close to the jack by an expat! So it is a steep learning curve!

But that didn’t stop one of the expat ladies emerging as champion in her first-ever game of petanque! Celia Lynch teamed up with a very talented Filipe Semeão to claim the winners’ trophy.

Runners-up were Brieske Van Thuyme and Artur Silva, with this year’s wooden spoon going to Victoria Morecroft and Rita Malhado.

But, as is the custom and in the interests of fair play every player won a prize, whether beer or wine.

As it is designed to be a social gathering with the two communities becoming ever more integrated a BBQ followed the final play with the Portuguese ladies of their Clube do Petanque providing all of the food preparation. Then everyone got into a party mood, with music and dancing.

The proof is in the pudding and these annual tournaments really do what they say on the tin—promote and foster a genuine friendship and respect between all the nationalities living here.

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Those of you at the event will have seen that, unfortunately, Angela Crawford, one of the lady players, unfortunately had to be taken to Lagos hospital.

This was a sad point to the proceedings—one which caused an interruption to play—when Angela tripped and fell onto the gravel.

This caused a more than nasty cut to her knee resulting in an ambulance being called for and a trip to Lagos hospital.

We are happy to say that although the cut required several stitches we saw her the following day and she was in good spirits.  

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