The Wednesday welcome dinner was taken on the terrace of a beach residence, “La Désirade” ideally located 100m away from the residence. Very good cocktail dinner, nicely presented and served in front of the sunset glowing over the Baie d’Aigues Mortes.
The Thursday night party was a tribute to the local traditions. We all gathered at the “Manade Saint Louis”, a bull farm managed by Jean-Claude Groul, a handsome horse-rider who made an impression on the female audience. There was first (and second) the typical “ferrade” (branding of young cows), then a bit of anxiety when Philippe went in the carousel to provoke a lively cow. The ritual crew presentations took place during the dinner. The imposed theme “a famous female character”, was based on the play entitled l’Arlesienne, which is about a woman in the nearby town of Arles, a woman who is the heart of the plot but who never appears on stage. So the audience had the chance to applause quite an array of legendary women from Jeanne d’Arc (twice), to Maggy Thatcher. We had Diana Ross, Carla Bruni (and her Nicolas), Brigitte Bardot and Paris Hilton. Eventually, Jeanne d’Arc, Diana Ross and Maggy Thatcher made the podium, thank to hilarious performances from Insead (Marc, Maarten) and Kingston (Peter).
The Friday night dinner was hosted in Hotel St Louis at the heart of the ancient city of Aigues Mortes. Exquisite food (the cooks received a standing ovation), warm and relaxed ambiance for this cocktail dinner served on the secluded patio of this charming XII° century building. The 2nd onshore contest was based on a clever sailing rule simulation game (http://game.finckh.net/indexe.htm) which its authors had authorized us to use in the stand-alone version. After a fiercely fought selection process, Gilad and Marc (both Insead skippers) made it to the final, eventually won by Gilad. Some said that their being both in the finance industry probably meant that they had had some free time to practice.
The prize giving dinner, hosted at the Yacht Club de Port Camargue, was introduced by a cocktail party on a terrace overlooking the marina and the bay. As every year Mumm Cordon Rouge gave an elegant final touch to our friendly gathering. Finally, Stelton, the tableware brand, (http://www.stelton.com) brought the best of Danish style onto the prize table.