On day 2 a walking tour of Auxerre had been organised but as we had already done our own self guided tour we skipped that so that we would be better prepared for the afternoon's boules competition. With so many people keen to take part, the rules became quite fluid, otherwise we would have been playing long into the night. By the end of the afternoon my partner and I had been eliminated but Kevin was into the final day and the quarterfinals.Some of the teams in the preliminary rounds A nice shady spot to wait for your turn[/caption]
Once the preliminary rounds of the boules competition were over it was time to get spiffed up for the champagne reception and dinner at the local sports club. Apparently a famous soccer player, whose name escapes me, used to train here.
The mayor of Auxerre made us very welcome and hoped that the DBA rally would happen here every second year. The canapés were amazing with edible spoons and an interesting take on a Vietnamese spring roll with it all held together by a very small peg. We then all crowded out onto the grandstand for the obligatory group photo before heading back into the dining room for an impressive dinner. During the speeches a special award was given out to the owners of the barge Viator who managed to get to the rally despite having their wheelhouse demolished by a Dutch bridge operator.[caption id="attachment_media-32" align="alignnone" width="4320"] The champagne reception[/caption][caption id="attachment_518" align="alignnone" width="4320"] Getting ready for the group photo[/caption][caption id="attachment_526" align="alignnone" width="4320"] The dessert went down a treat during the speeches[/caption]
Not too early on the morning of our final day (compensating for those who had partied late the night before) was a Man overboard talk giving valuable information to those new and not so new to boating about how to prevent an accident from happening and, if it did, how to get the person safely back on board.[caption id="attachment_527" align="alignnone" width="4320"] Man overboard information session[/caption]
Prior to lunch in the park, some people took part in a rowing race. Dinghies and boats of all shapes and sizes took part with the more professional participants being put under a time penalty.[caption id="attachment_533" align="alignnone" width="3659"] The oldest participant warming up for the rowing race[/caption][caption id="attachment_534" align="alignnone" width="4320"] And they're off and racing .....[/caption]
The afternoon brought the quarterfinals and semi finals of the boules competition. Kevin and his partner Poll were still in it and would play out the final prior to the BBQ at the marina in the evening.[caption id="attachment_535" align="alignnone" width="4320"] You know it's serious when the tape measure comes out[/caption]
While everyone was sheltering under the shade of the trees at Aquarelle marina, the final of the boules competition was being keenly contested. Kevin and Poll finally succumbed in the closing rounds of the match but it was close and enjoyed by all participants.[caption id="attachment_558" align="alignnone" width="3590"] Peter and Val were victorious this time - I wonder if there'll be a rematch sometime[/caption]
And at the end of the evening we wandered back to the boat, reflecting on what a great rally it was and the new friends we had made.[caption id="attachment_559" align="alignnone" width="4320"] Sunset in Auxerre on our final evening[/caption]