Four members of BTC were part of teams in this year’s Tournoi Trois Tripot (TTT+1) in the beautiful Basque country within South-West France. The TTT+1 nomenclature was used because this year a ‘new’ court at Biddaray was used as well as courts at Bayonne, Urrunge and La Bastide Clairence.
And what a week it was!
These courts were built in the 16th century and adapted for Trinquet (one of the many Basque ball sports) in the early 20th century. They only ‘convert’ back to “Jeu de Paume” (translating literally as ‘game of the hand’) every two years for the week-long Trois Trinquet. All courts are shorter and narrower than the usual real tennis court, and most lack a back wall penthouse, and some a service penthouse. The tambour is also located directly against the back wall, so that if the ball hits it, it goes at 90 degrees along the back wall and is usually unplayable!
BTC’s Ballarat locals Cora Trevarthen and Wayne Spring respectively played in teams from Melbourne and the “Dene Ringers” (originally from the Jesmond Dene Real Tennis Club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Also playing for Melbourne was BTC “country” member Simon Joel, while Jo See Tan joined “The Intercontinentals” following her participation in the first ever women’s Bathurst Cup event at Lords – part of its 100th celebration!
As well as great handicap doubles, the Tripot is also a wonderful social celebration that was capped off by a feast of wine and Basque produce at the incredible Le Chateau d’Arcangues located between Biarritz and Bayonne. This magnificent event was hosted by none other than Michel Arcangues, the 9th Marquis of Iranda.
For those interested in playing in 2024, feel free to discuss with Wayne or Cora. There is a YouTube video of this year’s event (search on ‘Trois Tripots 2022’) that very ably demonstrates the delights to expect. Mark your diaries now and get in plenty of handicap doubles practice!
BTC participants commend the outstanding efforts of the tournament organisers, the professionals and markers and all who made this event truly special for the 23 teams that participated.
— contributed by Cora Trevarthan and Wayne Spring.