Coonawarra petanque tournament a success

THE Coonawarra Park was the venue for the 18th Annual "Coonawarra Vignerons Classic Clash" Petanque Tournament on February 8-9. 

The event was hailed a huge success by all who attended. 

The tournament provided some fierce interstate rivalry between SA, Victorian and New South Wales teams over the two days of competition. 

Run by the Coonawarra Petanque Club, it is becoming recognised as one of the biggest and best tournaments in Australia. 

With the help of the Coonawarra Vignerons Association and other local sponsors, teams vied for over $6000 in cash and prizes and championship honours. 

The weekend had nearly 200 players entered, creating 60 teams travelling from Melbourne, Adelaide, regional Victoria and Newcastle along with a good turnout of local teams.

Saturday was an extremely hot day, with the organisers calling a halt to play early in the afternoon for a couple of hours until the cool change came through. 

This caused the cancellation of one round of games, but the local team of Andrew Jackman, Jean-Paul Bouyer and Louis Oltarczy seemed to handle the heat well and finished in first after the five qualifying rounds.

Local teams of Grant Hetherington, Brian Wagner, Simon Fennell and Guy Detot, Guy Bahler and Jean-Luc Domergue finished ninth and 11th respectively in the top 16 teams.

On Sunday, in ideal conditions, the final rounds of the tournament were dominated by the Adelaide clubs.

A spectacular grand final was played between two teams from Eastern Suburbs Petanque Club, seeing Sukrit Vaswani, Ken Maski and David Lefer take out the championship 13-6, giving them a clean sweep for the weekend by not losing a game.

"I really enjoy coming to the Coonawarra tournament, it has a great atmosphere and the standard of the competitors is excellent," said Sukrit Vaswani - a regular visitor to the event and captain of the winning team. "The number of people attending is a testament to the quality of this event."

The high standard of play by the local teams was seen through Grant Hetherington, Brian Wagner, Simon Fennell, finishing in seventh place overall and Coonawarra Petanque Club president Guy Detot and his two friends from Melbourne who won the Consulation.

"The whole weekend has been enjoyed by all who came along," Mr Detot said. 

"The influx of people for the weekend has been tremendous for the region, and we expect to see even more people coming along in the future."

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