June 2015: Fives Fever in Geneva
John Reynolds reports:
A truly international Eton fives tournament involving players from at least a dozen countries took place in Geneva at the weekend.
Six English or London-based players - Bogdan Dovgyy, Karen Hird, Alexander Kasterine, Jivan Navani, John Reynolds and Peter White - took part in the 24-strong event run by old boys of the Lyceum Alpinum Zuoz and named after its founding spirit, the late Benny Oei, one of the game's great gentlemen.
About ten pupils from the Lyceum Alpinum in Zuoz - three boys and seven girls - further emphasised the international nature of the event. There were representatives from Brazil, Bulgaria, England, Finland, Germany, Holland, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Switzerland and the US.
The Zuozers - marshalled by the indefatigable Filippo Variola - also hosted a splendid Saturday evening dinner on the banks of Lac Leman at Excevenex, where guests gorged on filets de perche, a speciality of the region, at a restaurant overlooking the lake, with the Jura mountains on one side and the Swiss Alps on the other. There were even fireworks further down the lakeside.
The competitors were joined there by OZ Arturo Hoffman, who was responsible for building the courts some 30 years ago in the grounds of a sports club now run by City Green; OZ fives stalwart Florian Favre; and president of the Geneva branch of the OZ fives club, Rudiger von Maltzarn, who presented the trophies on Sunday.
John Reynolds won the Benny Oei trophy, in partnership with OZ Jan Porr - they beat Peter White and his Swiss partner Alex de Senger in a very close final.