The heat is on. By the end of play there were eight players left in the main event, and a further twenty playing off for the Plate. On the whole, the favorites have come through unscathed and the quarter-finals will all be well worth watching. The wind has died down and the flies are back in force, buzzing anyone unfortunate enough to stay still for more than a few seconds. The "Australian wave" is catching!
Scandal at Moorabinda! A pair of red jocks (underwear) were found out on the lawns after the close of play two days ago. They still haven't been claimed, and anyone who might be missing a pair should contact Lynne or Lauris. An explanation as to how they found their way onto the lawns will no doubt be expected! Any suggestions will be read with interest.
The World Croquet Federation's general meeting took place in the Bunbury City Council Chambers at 10 AM. Four Associations were unrepresented due to all their players having commitments on court. Why can't the meeting be held in the evening after play, when everyone would be available? To be perfectly honest, very little of importance was discussed. Minutes and Reports were approved, new members were welcomed (Belgium, Spain and Palestine obtaining "observer" status and Italy attaining full membership), auditors were elected, and so on and so forth. A discussion about the finances of the WCF came up with nothing new, and it was confirmed that there were presently no formal applications to hold any form of world championship in the future, although there were certain plans afoot which would be advised to members as and when they came to fruition.
A brief European Croquet Federation (FEC) meeting was also held straight after the WCF meeting in order to choose a venue for the 1998 European Championship. In light of the unfortunate withdrawal of the Spanish bid, due to "non-performance" of the local politicians, Italy (Busto Arsizio) was chosen, with Jersey being pencilled in for 1999. Many thanks to both Italy and Jersey for kindly offering their services again.
The Championship Dinner was held in the evening at the Lighthouse Inn Beach Resort in the presence of the Mayor of Bunbury, Mr. John Castrilli. and his predecessor, Dr. Ern Manea. Before Dr. Manea's authoritive and amusing speech, the City of Bunbury Tournament prizes were distributed and the local volunteers were publicly thanked for all their efforts. It has taken two and a half years to prepare for this event and everyone involved has worked extremely hard to make this week an enjoyable one for players and spectators alike.
Just three more days to go before a new World Champion is crowned. All eyes are on Bunbury!
[Peter Payne is a player in the World Championship representing Switzerland. Click here to read the last installment of his journal.]
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