Benny Oei Tournament 2017
John Reynolds reports:
30/06/17: A weekend's fives, camaraderie with players from perhaps a dozen countries, supper on Lake Geneva, warm sun and stunning sunsets - what more could a fives player want?
Some 30 players took part in the Benny Oei International Tournament, staged by the Old Zuozers at the City Green sports club outside Geneva. A large contingent came from the Lyceum Alpinum in Zuoz (brought by former Kinnaird champion Matt Wiseman, who's coaching this summer at the school), and there were also several Old Zuozers and a group of six from London comprising British ladies' champion Karen Hird, Old Carthusian Ronald Pattison, Old Wykehamist Toby Savage and Old Citizen players Mark Stockton, Alex Kasterine and John Reynolds.
Once again, it was evident that the investment in fives coaching that the lyceum is paying off handsomely - the 20 or so students all showed increasing expertise around the court and also, crucially, generosity in the way they play the game.
Ronald lifted the trophy (for the second time) with his Zuozer student partner, Jack Kuo Chang (and they're shown below receiving the cup from the venerable Rüdiger von Maltzahn, president of the Geneva branch of the OZ club). They won the Sunday-afternoon final against Toby and his student partner Jann Huber.
We all enjoyed a lovely supper on Saturday evening - as the guests of our ever-generous hosts - on the banks of Lac Léman, and were treated to a feast of perches as well as a splendid sunset.
Players were joined at supper by Janine Hofmann, widow of the late Arturo Hofmann, the architect of the courts we were playing on; OZ fives stalwart Florian Favre; and Rüdiger.
Geneva itself was en fete all weekend: it was hosting a free-music festival, so as we made our way across town on the Friday and Sunday there were harpists, pianists and guitarists in the streets all around us.
As I say, what more could you want?