Just a quick report and a few photos on playing at Le DUC de Nice – ”with Philippe Suchaud”…
Welcome to the DUC
OK, there’s a little bit of ”Journalistic Licence” here – I did play at Le DUC de Nice, the home club of World Champions Philippe Suchaud, Henri Lacroix and, formerly, Philippe Quantais, who has now left Nice. I’m afraid none of them were there in person when I played but there was a large Obut poster showing the shooting action of Suchaud. I’m with Alain Montoro, who has run the club for the last ten years and has made it so successful.
It’s not the easiest place to find, tucked away behind some houses in the north of Nice. But it was well worth the visit. I was made very welcome and we played 3 games, winning 2 out of 3. Here’s a picture of the guys I played with:
I played with Julian on the right, who was a terrific shooter and Hervé who is next but one as the middle player, with yours truly pointing. It took a few throws to get a feel for the terrain, which, like most terrains in Provence, was not the easiest to play on. Here’s a picture to give you an idea:
Although there are a few smoother spots, most of the terrain is covered with small stones, plus some slight dips and slopes. Here’s a close up, to give a better picture:
If you tried to roll the boule, it would invariably get deflected and/or ‘fuse’ on a stone and pick up a lot of speed. Everybody played either a gentle lob or some played extremely high lobs but so gently that the boule seemed to hang in the air before floating down to, hopefully, stop dead. Even then, if you landed on a stone, the boule would fly off.
I’ve always had a bit of a tendency to throw the boule too hard and this really made me throw gently. Fortunately after a few throws I did manage to get the hang of it and was complimented on how well I was pointing – and we did win!
Every terrain had 2 plastic circles, one at each end, and everybody used them, mainly, I think, to save drawing circles and to avoid any confusion over where to play from.
Alain very kindly took me down into the ”storeroom” where there was a HUGE collection of trophies from over the years. Pride of place was taking by the massive ”French Cup for Clubs”.
The close-up below shows that Le DUC have won it 5 times – a very impressive record.
I would just like to say how welcome the players made me feel and it was an honour when they invited me back for the rest of the week.
All I need to do now is find a place to stay permanently!
Report by Ray Ager.