EQC 2013, day three

November 4, 2013 in EQC, Quizzes

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, under which we spent most of our weekend.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, a structure we spent most of the weekend underneath. Note the contrail…

Good afternoon readers. Some of you may have been waiting for my report on the third and final day of the European Quizzing Championships. “Where have you been, John?” you’re probably asking. Well, in this case I have a definitive answer. I’ve been to Cork and back.

More of that anon, let’s get back to the quizzing in Liverpool.

Sunday morning started with the last quiz in which Irish team members would be taking part, the Pairs. Eight of us entered this event, which we only ever do on this one day of the year. I teamed up with Mark Henry whilst Kevin Jones and Dan O’Malley also formed a Team Ireland pair. David Lea, Lorcan Duff, Dave McBryan and Paul Philpot also took part, albeit they did so with partners from other nations.

Whilst admitting up front that almost everyone in the room had been out late the night before, clearly it must affect some more than others! Mark and I did OK but missed a few sitters. My proudest moment was recognising this song and being able to identify it. No guess work needed, I just knew it. (How, I don’t know!)

Using that, erm, highlight, as inspiration we managed to drag ourselves up to a respectable score of 46, which was good enough for a handily symmetrical 46th place. Lorcan and David, with their partners Paul Steeples and Kathryn Johnson, both scored 10 points more, and finished tied in 20th place.

Of course, all of us in the room were trailing in the wake of the wonderteam that is Pat Gibson and Kevin Ashman. The defending champions won again with a score of 77.

Pat Gibson didn’t get to relax after this victory. He was in quizzing action right through the day as he first faced Belgium’s Nico Pattyn in the final of Masters before representing England (also against Pattyn, with his Belgian team-mates) in the Nations Cup decider.

The inaugural Masters final ended in dramatic fashion. With two questions left, host Steven de Ceuster made a small error and, thinking that Nico’s three point lead couldn’t be overturned, declared the Belgian the winner. However, he had forgotten that Gibson still had one gold wildcard remaining. After this was sorted out, Pat promptly played the gold card on the very next question, in which the players were asked to state the number of ‘immortals’ who make up the Académie française – and won! Nico incorrectly chose 12, whereas Pat knew the right answer: 40. Thus Pat received three points and the scores were tied!

With neither player scoring on the final question, the match had to go to sudden death. However, the match showed an incredible ability to stay alive and it took nine questions (and a change of questions for the host) before the players could be separated. Nico got the final point needed, by identifying the highest peak in the Black Forest.

Unfortunately, after all that excitement, the promising Nations Cup final turned out to be a relatively comfortable win for England. They defeated the Belgians by 99-69.

So that was the weekend. Nearly.

After bidding everyone farewell, my travel buddy Ger and I headed to the airport. As we waited at the gate for our little turboprop to be ready we were joined by the entire Irish Rugby League team. Looking at them, we decided not to bring up their 42-0 defeat the other day.

Looking at them too were the ground staff who came on the microphone to announce that the plane was over-booked and they now needed some volunteers to switch flights. Unsurprisingly, no-one put their hand up and, whaddya know, myself and Ger were informed that we were two of the three people who’d been chosen as we were among the last to check in.

If it's tomorrow in Paris, what time is it in Cork?

If it’s tomorrow in Paris, what time is it at home?

We would now be flying to Cork, with transport to Shannon then being provied by Aer Lingus. This sounded ok. However, when we did arrive, there was no sign of our taxi. Also, the Servisair desk, which we’d been told to go to, had apparently been closed several hours earlier! To her credit, the lady behind the Information desk in Cork airport did her best to find our missing taxi and get us on the road home.

The taxi eventually turned up, explaining his absence being down to the fact that he’d been parked at the door of the Departures area. Fast becoming tired and emotional (and not in the euphmistic sense, alas), it took a lot of effort to keep my opinions to myself at this stage. This challenge became even tougher when, upon finally sitting into his vehicle, it turned out his choice of in-car entertainment was a live, phone-in séance on a local radio station. I kid you not! 🙁

Thankfully, this segment of the show ended after (a very slow) 20 minutes and classic hits of the 1980s took its place. That I could live with.

If our schedule had worked out as planned, we’d have landed at 10pm and been home by midnight. As it turned out, we got home around 3am but, thankfully, I’d already booked a day off work for today.

EQC, always an adventure!

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