A bright sunny day with clear blue skies greeted the competitors as they arrive to take part in the International Boule Tournament held at the Bouledrome in the Principality of Marlpost on Saturday July 11.
Once again the Governing body of the Marlpost Boule Association (MBA) had submitted a winning bid to the International Boule Federation (IBF) to hold the 2015 being selected despite stiff overseas competition.
This year the IBF laid down even tighter rules than ever before including demanding an upgrade in the Principality’s Bouledrome facilities—these included a complete resurfacing of the arena which was accomplished by the laying of 80 tons of special boule friendly sand plus increasing the number of pitches from three to four. The last requirement was timely because the number of competitors from far flung areas such as Southwater and Shipley were greater than ever before and could not have been accommodated by just three pitches.
The Principality’s MBA was extremely concerned to learn of the measures that certain overseas Boule Federations were adopting to be selected for the 2015 tournament so they decided to hire a professional skilled in the art of bid submission.
After a rigorous interview process a certain Fred Slatter was selected who immediately recommended one of his subordinates to take control of the bid process. This gentleman resided in the West Indies and the bid process involved one of the MBA flying out bearing very large brown envelopes which had to be expressly delivered to him.
For some reason this gentleman was unable to leave his island home and come to the Principality, because as we understand it, that if he did so he would have been entertained by certain overseas nations for quite some time.
You can understand the relief felt by the MBA when the gold envelope was opened at the International Boule Congress and revealed that the principality of Marlpost had once more been selected.
Last year’s champion Judith Brown could not recapture her last years winning form and had to relinquish the crown to Peter Sheppard a young player who had only turned professional last year. At the banquet which is held at the end of the tournament as Judith Brown handed over the trophy which had graced the mantelpiece of her stately home for the last year she was heard to remark that the drawing room will never look the same without it and under her breath was heard muttering I’ll be back, I’ll be back.
Report by Richard Page. Picture contributed by Edwina Crutchley.