bit of history
is the latest in a long line of London competitions stretching back to the
mid 70's, when Piat de Beaujolais sponsored its first triples event in the
car park at the Crystal Palace athletics track, courtesy of the Sports
This was organised by the preeminent club
in those days, Norfolk Square, and entry was £5 per team, to include a 2
course lunch, bottle of Piat per team and prizes to the value of hundreds
Around 100 teams took part.
Over the years there have been many other
sponsors with the most recent being Ricard, who supported the game for 5
years, firstly in Battersea Park, with over 200 teams, and latterly in
Chelsea Physic Garden, where space limited the numbers to 70.
Sadly Ricard pulled out after the
2012 event but it was felt that something should take its place, and so
theLondonaise was born.
The first event in 2014 was held in
Barnard Park, with a prize fund of £3000 and attracted 32 teams, from
several different countries, the winners being Rivesaltes from the South
of France, beating a Swedish team in the final; two British teams reached
the semis, one of which was narrowly defeated 13-12 after a marathon
lasting more than 2 hours.
In 2015, again in Barnard Park,
there were 76 teams entered, of whom 66 turned up, and with a prize fund
of £5000, several teams from overseas played, including 4 world champions
and a Catalan team of some merit; they eventually won beating Loy Malbeck
and Silvy in the final.
There was also a team from the original
Norfolk Square club, but with a total age of more than 200 years little
chance of going far, though Weibel, Vancampenhoudt and Philippe saved
their blushes by gifting a couple of points!
And so to 2016, the same format as
2015, with the teams being reduced to Gold, Silver, Bronze and Wooden;
this allows everyone to play at their level and still have a share in the
spoils, with even the 'Wooden' victors taking home £125.
The 2016 Trophy