26th September

Compiled by Julie Dufour

The 2015 ESU Treasure Hunt started in the car-park of Intermarché on the industrial estate to the north of Saumur. Eighteen members and guests made up six car loads which headed off into the unknown at 16.00hrs. The trail took the competitors to villages on either side of the Loire including Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent , Distré, Chacé, Dampierre, Villbernier, Allonnes and Brain-sur-Allonnes

The questions were once again set by Terence O’Hara. As usual they were cleverly thought out to ensure participants’ navigational and observational skills were stretched to the limit. Faced with so many different places to visit and clues to solve, there were occasions when everyone doubted their own abilities and it was very reassuring to meet up with other competitors from time to time.

Again this year the weather was kind to us and all participants arrived more or less on time at the restaurant "La Grange" in Varennes-sur-Loire for dinner, despite some being at a loss as to where they had been or where they should have been! The treasure hunters were joined by other members and guests at the restaurant, making a total of twenty-three people for dinner.

Having checked the answer sheets and deducted marks for poor spelling, bad driving and general misbehaviour, Terence declared that the winners were Julie’s team. It was truly a case of beginner’s luck, as this was the first time that Julie, Françoise and Virginie had taken part in the annual Treasure Hunt. Moreover, it was the first ESU event attended by newcomers Françoise and Virginie. The three winners were each presented with a bottle of Saumur Brut from Ackerman.

After an enjoyable and animated meal we dispersed and headed home, all looking forward to our next meeting when Aymon de Boissieu, the French candidate at this year’s IPSC in London, will share his experience of the competition at “La Gogane” restaurant in Andard on 17th October.