THE BUNBURY JOURNAL OF PETER PAYNE
Halfway Through the Championship,
Life Goes On...
Posted November 13, 1997
Life goes on, even in the midst of something as important as the World
Championship. Our journalist is one year older, having celebrated his
birthday on his scheduled day off from play in the Plate event. The
meetings he will attend are an important feature of all world championship
individual and team events, as they provide the most practical occasion for
the officers of the major organizing bodies to meet together.
Three birthdays were celebrated on Day 4 of the Bunbury Championship, and
the good ladies of the Moorabinda Croquet Club (Inc.!) kitchens very kindly
provided three birthday cakes. I must admit that, since I had the day off,
I haven't actually seen my cake yet, but it is safely(?) being looked after
for me by another birthday boy, Jacques Fournier, who celebrated his 16
years with victory over Paul Skinley of New Zealand, giving him the right to
play Richard Baker in the next round of the main event.
|Elephant Rock in the William Bay National Park
On Wednesday, 16 players had the day off, leaving the other 24 to struggle
against the strong winds, with gusts apparently reaching speeds of 80 kph,
and even a drop or two of rain. Several players took advantage of the break
to visit the surrounding region, the Margaret River area and all its wineries
leading the popularity stakes.
My carload started by visiting Cape Naturaliste (named after a French boat
that explored the region in the early eighteen hundreds, and nothing at all
to do with naturism!), where we were actually the third croquet car to visit
that morning. After lunch we continued our trip with a visit to a shearing
shed and watched several sheep being sheared, which looked like a
back-breaking exercise, if ever there was one! We learned that the sheep
stay cool in the Australian heat by standing still all day, the thick coat
of wool insulating them from the sun.
|Margaret River's wicked surf
No trip to the South West Capes region is complete without a visit to a
winery. We chose the Cape Clairault Winery, just down the road from the
Bootleg Brewery, and tasted their entire selection of whites, reds, roses
and fortified wines. We left with a crate of 12 bottles, which will no
doubt be consumed at the planned "barbie" round the motel pool some evening
before the week is out.
|One of the many renowned wines of the Southern Wonders
Little news from me about the croquet, but I'll be back down to the club for
play on day 5 [Thursday], as well as attending the meetings of the World
Croquet Federation and the European Croquet Association.
[Peter Payne is a player in the World Championship representing Switzerland.
Click here to read the last
installment of his journal.]