Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Entrants 1971: Belgium (B) • Switzerland (CH) • West Germany (D) •
France (F) • Great Britain (GB) • Italy (I) • Netherlands (NL)  

Presenters of International Heats / Commentators:
Paule Herreman (RTB - B)
Willy Delabastita, Rik de Saedeleer and Jan Theys (BRT -B)
Georges Kleinmann (SSR - CH)
Jan Hiermeyer and Dorothea Furrer (SRG - CH)
Ezio Guidi (TSI - CH)
Hartmut Brühl, Camillo Felgen and Kurt Gerhardt (ARD-WDR - D)
Simone Garnier, Pierre Louis, Guy Lux and Claude Savarit (ORTF - F)
David Vine and Eddie Waring (BBC - GB)
Giulio Marchetti and Rosanna Vaudetti (RAI - I)
Barend Barendse and Dick Passchier (NCRV - NL)

International Referees: Gennaro Olivieri, Guido Pancaldi

National Referees:
Marcel LeFavre (B)
Franco Crameri (CH)
Hans Ebersberger, Hubert Gunsin, Peter Hochrath, Helmut Konrad and Werner Treischel (D)
Philippe Meiringe and Bernard Stollere (F)
Arthur Ellis and Paul Ridyard (GB)
Livio Orvani (I)
Ben Bril (NL)

Designer (BBC): Stuart Furber

National Producers:
Pierre Chevreuille and Diane Lange (RTB - B)
Nest Jansen, Jef Savenberg and Herman Verelst (BRT - B)
Felix Rogner (SRG-SSR-TSI - CH)
Marita Theile (ARD-WDR - D)
Guy Lux, Claude Savarit and Roger Lago (ORTF - F)
Barney Colehan and Keith Phillips (BBC - GB)
Luciano Gigante (RAI - I)
Piet Hooy and Dick Van't Sant (NCRV - NL)

National Directors:
Etienne D’Hoog (RTB - B)
Marco Blaser (SSR-SRG-TSI - CH)
Günther Hassert (ARD-WDR - D)
Jean Cohen and Bernard Deflandre (ORTF - F)
Ian Smith (BBC - GB)
Piero Turchetti (RAI - I)
Dick Van't Sant (NCRV - NL)

Produced by RTB-BRT (B), SSR-SRG-TSI (CH), ARD-WDR (D), 
ORTF (F), BBC North West (GB), RAI (I), NCRV (NL)

 

Key:
International Heats
 
l = Qualified for International Final / l = Heat Winner (Silver Trophy)
International Final
l = Gold Trophy   l = Silver Trophy   l = Bronze Trophy

DST = Daylight Saving Time
(ONLY Great Britain and Italy observed DST)

I

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 1

Event Staged: Wednesday 9th June 1971
Venue: Piazzale Roma Spiaggia (Rome Square Beach),
Lungomare Repubblica (Republic Waterfront), Riccione, Italy

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 9th June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 9th June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 9th June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 9th June 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 9th June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 9th June 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
RAI Due (I):
Thursday 24th June 1971
ORTF 1 (F):
Wednesday 30th June 1971
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 30th July 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Very Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Giulio Marchetti

Theme: The Cube

Teams: Ougrée (B) v. Courrendlin (CH) v. Idar-Oberstein (D) v.
Alès (F) v. Colwyn Bay (GB) v. Riccione (I) v. Linne (NL)

Team Members included:
Idar-Oberstein (D) -
Bernd Cullmann (Team Trainer), Issolde Franks, Brunhilde Germar, Manuela Müller, Gaby Schiffer, Jurgen Walsch, Friedrich Wiederkopf, Joachim Woszinski;
Colwyn Bay (GB) -
Leslie Shepherd (Team Manager), Fred ‘Tiger’ Wilson (Team Coach) G Alsop, Jackie Anderson, Barbara Barker, A Davies, C Davies, G Dyson, Howard Ellis, Catherine Evans, K Evans, Jack Fuller, David Gathern, Dennis Griffiths, E Griffiths, Bill Gulston, Don Hanson, John Hewitt, G Hodgeson, Eric Howells, Beverley Jackson, G Jones, Janet Kersey-Brown, Ted Kersey-Brown, Tony Locket, David Mitchell, Stuart Owen, K Rice, A Roberts, J Roberts, Richard Roberts, Dai Rowlands, Pat Rushton, Vanessa Saunders, Susan Webb, J Whitehouse;
Riccione (I) - Eugenio Pagnini (Team Captain), Antonietta Bologna, Patrizia Bombardieri, Leopoldi Carlini, Davide Casadei, Clara degli Espositi, Paolo Fabbri, Margherita Dasparini, Franco Geminiani, Giorgio Gentile, Minea Giavolucci, Maria Mancinelli, Olinto di Mario, Graziella Minuzzoli, Gabriella Moretto, Tiziano Mulazzoni, Gianluigi Sciboni, Maurizio Sorci, Santo Rossi, Lidia Tonti.

Games: The Weighted Cube, The Paved Walkway, Balance and Speed, Take a Chance, Cubes in the Air, The Carousel Chain, Through the Cube and The Cube Race;
Fil Rouge: The Pogo Stick;
Jokers: Cubes on Poles.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B --- 2 1 2 6 3 3 2 2

CH

5 1 2 4 --- 5 8 3 3

D

6 --- 5 5 4 4 6 7 5
F 4 3 --- 8 1 1 1 1 1

GB

1 4 4 1 1 --- 2 6 12
I 2 5 6 6 5 12 --- 5 7
NL 3 6 3 --- 6 4 6 4 8
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 0 2 3 5 11 14 17 19 21

CH

5 6 8 12 12 17 25 28 31

D

6 6 11 16 20 24 30 37 42
F 4 7 7 15 16 17 18 19 20

GB

1 5 9 10 11 11 13 19 31
I 2 7 13 19 24 36 36 41 48
NL 3 9 12 12 18 22 28 32 40

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
4th
6th
7th

 I • Riccione l l
 D • Idar-Oberstein
 NL • Linne
 GB • Colwyn Bay
 CH • Courrendlin
 B • Ougrée
 F • Alès

48
42
40
31
31
21
20

The Host Town

Riccione, Italy

Riccione is a town and holiday resort with a permanent population of around 36,000 inhabitants. It is located 115km (71½ miles) east of Firenze, 163km (101¼ miles) south of Venezia, 234km (145½ miles) north of Roma and 319km (198¼ miles) south-east of Milano. Riccione is on the Adriatic coast in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, famous for exporting food all over the world e.g. Parmesan cheese, Parma ham and Ragu Bolognese.
 

Primarily a beach resort, the small harbour at Riccione
attracts a variety of luxurious sailing craft

 

The area around Riccione dates back to the 2nd century BC, although it was most likely that settlements had appeared earlier. At the time of the Roman Republic, it was known as Vicus Popilius and after a period of obscurity, it was acquired by the Agolanti family in 1260, which was connected to the lords of Rimini, the Malatesta. During the 17th century, watchtowers were built along the coast in order to prevent attack from pirates.

Origins of the tourist fame of Riccione date to the late 19th century, mostly spurred by the construction of residences by rich Bolognese people. In the 1930s, the resort attracted around 30,000 tourists a year and had around 80 existing hotels. It gained the status of a main destination of summer tourism on the Adriatic Riviera of Romagna. After World War II (1939-1945), tourism was further increased after it became a chosen vacation resort of numerous famous people, such as Brazilian footballer Pelè (Edson Arantes do Nascimento) and a variety of Italian celebrities including singer Mina Mazzini, film director Vittorio de Sica (1901-1974), film actor and director Ugo Tognazzi (1922-1990) and Maria Scicolone (younger sister of actress Sophia Loren).

Today, tourism in Riccione is massive and, together with Rimini, it is one of the best known and largest seaside resorts in Northern Italy. The Adriatic coast of Emilia-Romagna is called Riviera Romagnola and has plenty of night clubs and is therefore very attractive to young adults. However, Riccione is also family-friendly, thanks to its hotels that offer baby-sitting facilities all day in the hotel and on the beach and the nearby theme parks. The main streets of Riccione, Viale Dante and Viale Ceccarini, although having numerous hotels, nightclubs and bars, are also the best places for shopping and eating during the day. The seafront is a long boulevard comprised of a wide cycle lane with a pedestrian only walkway on either side and is decked out with numerous flower beds, green areas, plants and wooden benches for resting. Along parts of the promenade, there is no longer any road between the hotels and the beach and cars are subjected to going underground to car parks which are open 24 hours a day.

Along with the miles of golden sands and the nightlife, the main sights on offer include the ancient Roman Ponte di Tiberio (Tiberio Bridge) dating to AD 20 and Villa Mussolini (originally called Villa Margherita when it was constructed in 1890), the holiday home of Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) which he purchased in 1934. Used as a summer retreat by his family, the Villa Mussolini is now used by the town of Riccione for exhibitions and other events.

The Venue

Piazzale Roma Spiaggia

The games were played on the beautiful golden sands and seafront of Riccione’s Piazzala Roma beach which form part of a 66km (41 miles) long, unbroken stretch of beach running from Lido di Savio in the north to Cattolica in the south, taking in the resorts of Cesenatico, Bellaria, Rimini, Misano Adriatico and Riccione. At the height of the summer vacation season, the beaches are teeming with sunseekers and tourists. As is such, for safety and security measures, the colossal stretch of sands are split in 151 bathing-stations or sections and individually numbered with Riccione’s Roma Beach starting at 66 and running through to 85. There are a total of 41 lifeguard towers, all highly visible, with an intercom system connected to all the bathing-stations and there are special pet-friendly beaches at numbers 32, 122 and 138. The whole coastline from the waterline up to the hotels is mapped out with military precision. Closest to the water’s edge are nine rows of deck-chairs, sun-loungers and umbrellas. Moving backwards and towards the town are the chalets / lockers, relaxation areas and small children’s pools. These are followed by a row which includes lifeguard lookouts (known as casa bagninos), bicycles parking areas and public showers. After this come the beach sports areas entertaining beach volleyball and football etc. After these comes the lungomare (or promenade) and finally the hotels.
 

During the summer, the sands of Riccione’s famous Roma beach
are invaded by sun-seekers

 

Every two years, the most recent being in 2014, the town plays host to the Festival del Sole, the largest international ‘gymnastics for all’ exhibition in the Mediterranean area. For a whole week, the seafront is turned into a huge stage where more than 4,000 athletes from around the world perform at their best. Floor exercises and aerobics, acrogym and acrobatics, rhythmic and artistic gymnastic, classical and modern dance, hip-hop and funky are a few of the forms of gymnastics and dances taking place at the festival. There are no limits regarding age or ability and anyone with the desire to perform in front of a large audience in one of the four arenas on the seafront can join the festival. There are no judges or points awarded and the only winner is the pleasure of being together and practicing sport.

This same beach-side venue was used again for the Italian International heat in 1975. In addition to these two visits to Riccione, the only other on-beach locations in the programme’s history were Senigallia in 1973 (again on Italy's Adriatic coast), and Grömitz in West Germany in 1978.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Weighted Cube

The first game - ‘The Weighted Cube’ - was played individually over one minute duration by eight male competitors and an opposing female competitor from each of the other five competing teams. It featured a large pool in the middle of which was a floating 2m (6ft 6¾in) high cube anchored to its floor. Hanging 4m (13ft 1½in) directly above this and attached by wire to a pulley, was another cube being counterweighted to a measuring scale at the other end. On the whistle, the eight competitors had to dive into the pool and whilst some of them remained in the water to keep the cube balanced, the other members had to climb up to the top of the cube. They then had to organise themselves by piggy back, human pyramid etc. in order to reach the hanging cube. Once accomplished, the cube had to be pushed upwards as far as possible so that the counterweighted end dropped and the distance measured. Each team could make as many attempts within the allotted time. The opposition members attempted to hamper the participating team’s progress by throwing tennis balls at them. The team raising the cube the greatest distance would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Italy and although they were able to make two successful attempts, they could only raise the cube a total of 19cm (7½in). The second heat saw the participation of France, but whilst they were only able make one attempt within the time due to many of the team being unable to climb the cube, they accomplished a greater score than their predecessors, registering a distance of 34cm (13¼in). The third of the six teams to participate was Great Britain and although it appeared that they had lifted the cube a short distance, the scale’s pointer had not moved and the team were given a zero score and thus doomed to 0pts on the game. This was followed by the fourth heat which saw the participation of Switzerland who adopted a different style to the previous three teams and it appeared to have been successful, registering a distance of 1m 12cm (3ft 8in) whilst the fifth and penultimate team of Netherlands registered 31cm (12¼in). The sixth and final team to participate was West Germany, and it appeared that they would run out of time after struggling to climb to the top of the cube. However with just enough time to make one further attempt, the team accomplished the greatest distance with 1m 51cm (4ft 11½in) in 59 seconds!

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that West Germany were in 1st place with 6pts, Switzerland were in 2nd place with 5pts and France were in 3rd place with 4pts. Netherlands were in 4th place with 3pts, Italy were in 5th place with 2pts and Great Britain were in 6th place with 1pt. Belgium, who did not participate, were in 7th place with 0pts.


Game 2 - The Paved Walkway

The second game - ‘The Paved Walkway - was played in unison over 1 minute 30 seconds duration and featured two female competitors from each team standing behind a stack of 10 polystyrene paving stones on the water’s edge. On the whistle, one of the competitors removed one of the stones and placed it on the sand in front of the stack and then had to jump on top of the remaining stones and then jump down onto the stone on the sand. Her team-mate then passed her the second of the stones which she placed on the sand in front of the one she was standing on and then jumped onto that. The second competitor could then jump over the stack and assist her team-mate with the movement of stones. This was then repeated until all 10 stones had been laid down on the sand. Each of the competitors’ ankles were tied together to hamper their performance and each stone that was laid down had to be stepped on before returning along the course to collect the next stone. The team moving the greatest distance from the water’s edge would be declared the winners.

From the outset it appeared to be a closely run race between Italy and France but in the closing stages, the Dutch duo pushed the stones further forward with each throw and closed the gap, eventually overhauling the home team on their very last stone. Although not appearing to be in the running, the British team closed the gap in the final stages and grabbed 3rd place from the French in the final seconds of the game. The Swiss and Belgians however, had struggled to make significant progress throughout the game and finished in the bottom two places.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Netherlands (6pts awarded) were in 1st place with 9pts whilst Italy (5pts) and France (3pts) had both been promoted to 2nd place with 7pts each. Switzerland (1pt) and West Germany, who did not participate, had both been demoted to 4th place with 6pts each whilst Great Britain (4pts) had retained 6th place with 5pts and Belgium (2pts), with their first points of the competition, had retained 7th place with 2pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 1 - The Pogo Stick

The Fil Rouge - ‘The Pogo Stick’ - was played in unison over one minute duration and featured a female competitor armed with a pogo-stick from each team assisted by two male team-mates. On the whistle, the competitor had to bounce up and down on the pogo-stick moving from a starting podium onto the first of two large cubes in front of her. She then moved onto the second cube whilst her team-mates moved the first cube in front of the second. She then moved onto the moved cube whilst her team-mates moved the second cube in front of that. This continued throughout the game until time limit. If the competitor stepped off the pogo-stick, her team-mates had to wait until she remounted before continuing. The team moving the greater distance along the course would be declared the winners.

The first round featured Belgium and West Germany and it was a story of differing fortunes. Whilst the West German competitor stayed aloft throughout the game, her rival appeared to have difficulty keeping her balance and motion, continually stepping off the pogo-stick.

The results were announced and West Germany had traversed 18.6m (61ft ¼in) along the course whilst Belgium had only covered a distance of 6.1m (20ft).

Point to Note: For this year, there was a change to the format of the Fil Rouge. Until now, the Fil Rouge (originally called the Jeu Intermédiaire) had been played on separate occasions after each of the games. However, 1971 saw the majority of the Fil Rouges being played by two teams consecutively (and on occasion, together) after Games 2, 4 and 6 with the home team of each heat playing their Fil Rouge solely after Game 7 with the participation of an ‘experienced’ competitor but with a greater degree of difficulty. However, the seventh heat in Belgium would see the Fil Rouge return to its original format of being interspersed between each of the seven main games.


Game 3 - Balance and Speed

The third game - ‘Balance and Speed’ - was played individually and featured two male competitors from each team, one on roller-skates and the other barefooted. In the middle of the arena there was a large wooden circular base which had a pole at its centre which was attached to a rope stretching out across the radius. On one side of the base, halfway between the circumference and the centre, there were four large sponges, on top of which there was a tower of eight cubes of decreasing size. Before the game started, the barefooted competitor had to stand on the largest of the eight cubes and hold the remaining seven cubes in his hands. On the whistle, his team-mate had to circumnavigate the perimeter of the circle and on the approach to this team-mate, had to slow down in order for him to step over the rope. Once completed, the game was repeated and the team with the faster time for making three successful circumnavigations would be declared the winners.

The first team to participate was Italy and they completed the game without mishap in 24 seconds. The second team to participate was Great Britain and they also completed the game without mishap but in a slower time of 26 seconds. The third of the six heats saw the participation of Switzerland and, although they played at a slower pace, completed the game without mishap in 32 seconds. West Germany were the fourth team to participate and they completed the game, as had the previous three teams without mishap, in 25 seconds. The fifth and penultimate team to participate was Belgium and their competitor on roller-skates was not as adept as the previous four competitors and in addition also dropped the rope on the second circumnavigation which had to be retrieved before continuing. Although the team completed the game, their time was slower than the others at 41 seconds. The sixth and final heat saw the participation of Netherlands and their competitor, akin with the competitor in the previous round, was not so adept on roller-skates. However, they completed the game without mishap in 31 seconds.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Italy (6pts awarded) had been promoted to 1st place with 13pts whilst Netherlands (3pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 12pts. West Germany (5pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 11pts and Great Britain (4pts) had been promoted to 4th place with 9pts whilst Switzerland (2pts) had been demoted to 5th place with 8pts. France, who did not participate, had been demoted to 6th place with 7pts whilst Belgium (1pt) had retained 7th place with 3pts.


Game 4 - Take a Chance

The fourth game - ‘Take a Chance’ - was played over three heats of 1 minute 15 seconds duration and witnessed France presenting their Joker for play. It featured a female competitor from each team armed with a set of large needles, strapped face down on a large foam rubber cube which was located on a small rail bogie and set of tracks. The course comprised an incline with numbered sections and on the whistle, three male team-mates had to push the cube up the incline in order for the competitor to stick a needle in one of the six sections valued at 1pt, 2pts, 4pts, 6pts, 8pts and 10pts. The teams had to be adept at their pushing as the 8pts and 10pts sections were actually on the declining side of the course and if they pushed too hard, the bogie would descend to the end of the course and be deemed out of play. The team scoring the greater total of points would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland and West Germany and ended with Switzerland scoring 24pts and West Germany scoring 30pts. The second of the three heats featured Belgium and France and ended with Belgium scoring 22pts and France scoring 24pts. The third and final heat saw Great Britain and Italy participating and ended with Great Britain accruing the lowest score of 18pts and Italy accruing the best score with 34pts.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Italy (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 19pts. West Germany (5pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 16pts whilst France, having played their Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 3rd place with 15pts. Netherlands, who did not participate, had been demoted and had been joined by Switzerland (4pts), who had been promoted, in 4th place with 12pts each. Great Britain (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 10pts whilst Belgium (2pts) continued to linger in 7th place with just 5pts.

Point to Note: Unusually, the referees informed the teams when the game was reaching its final 15 seconds, so that the teams could push their cubes a little harder and take it over the summit of the incline for the chance of scoring 10pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 2 - The Pogo Stick

The second round of the Fil Rouge featured France and Netherlands and, as was the case in the previous round, was a story of differing fortunes. Whilst the Dutch competitor progressed up the course with a fanciful technique, the French competitor was unable to maintain her balance for more than two hops before coming off the pogo stick and impeding movement up the course.

The results were announced and Netherlands had traversed 11.6m (38ft ¾in) along the course whilst France had only covered a distance of 4.5m (14ft 9¼in).


Game 5 - Cubes in the Air

The fifth game - ‘Cubes in the Air’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and witnessed Belgium presenting their Joker for play. It featured a large cube with a hook protruding out from the top and 10 competitors (5 males and 5 females) from each team, each armed with a long wooden pole. On the whistle, the teams had to raise the cube up and then balance it on the ends of the poles whilst traversing a small course with a hurdle. At the end of the course there was some scaffolding with one pole protruding outwards. The team then had to work to direct the hook over the pole and then release it from their grasp and allow it to hang voluntarily. However, their task was made somewhat difficult by the fact that once underneath the hook, they were working ‘blindfold’, as the cube obscured their view of both ring and hook. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium, France and Italy and it was clear from the outset that the Italians were the most adept of the three, reaching the scaffolding first and finishing the game, without mishap, in 1 minute 8 seconds. Belgium were the second team to reach the end of the course but permitted the cube to become unbalanced and whilst attempting to lift it onto the pole, it dropped to the ground. However, with the French team a long way back down the course, it permitted the team to recompose itself and raise the cube for a second attempt and finish the game in 1 minute 34 seconds. Once the French team had reached the scaffolding, the clock had finally caught up with them and the team were deemed out of time. The second heat saw Great Britain, West Germany and Netherlands participating and, from the start, it was a two-horse race between the latter two teams. Although West Germany were the first to reach the scaffolding, the team suffered some difficulty hooking it over the scaffold pole and this permitted Netherlands to sneak in and finish the game in 1 minute 6 seconds. After overcoming their difficulty, West Germany completed the course in 1 minute 15 seconds. Great Britain suffered a similar fate as France had in the previous heat and failed to hook the cube onto the pole before the whistle was blown.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Italy (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 24pts. West Germany (4pts) had retained 2nd place with 20pts whilst Netherlands (6pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 18pts and France (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 16pts. Switzerland, who did not participate, had been demoted to 5th place with 12pts whilst Belgium, having played the Joker (6pts), had been promoted and joined Great Britain (1pt) in 6th place with 11pts each.


Game 6 - The Carousel Chain

The sixth game - ‘The Carousel Chain’ - utilised equipment that had previously been seen in the third game and witnessed West Germany and Italy presenting their Jokers for play. It was played individually over 1 minute 30 seconds duration and featured a large cube on wheels and five competitors (2 males and 3 females) from each team on roller-skates. Before the game started, one of the male competitors was grasping a rubber handle attached to the pole in the middle of the arena with one hand whilst holding the hand of one of the females with his other. She in turn was grasping a handle attached to the cube with her other hand. On the whistle, the two competitors had to make two circumnavigations of the pole with the cube in tow and as they began the third, a second female joined them to complete another. These were followed by a third female for the fourth lap and finally the second male joined them. Once all five competitors were in action, the team had to make two more circumnavigations to complete the game. If the chain was broken, the team were permitted to recompose itself whilst in motion and the time would be taken once all members of the team had crossed the line. The team with the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of West Germany and they suffered a mishap on the first of the final two laps when the outside two females lost their grip and the team broke in two. Whilst the three inner members continued to circumnavigate, the other two recomposed themselves and the team joined up together again to cross the line on the second lap. However, this break had significantly delayed the team on their Joker game, finishing with a time of exactly 1 minute. The second heat saw the participation of Italy and it appeared at first glance, that they had observed and learned from the error of the West German team. However, disaster was also to strike them on the first of their two final laps when, in their haste, the outside male competitor lost his grip on the cube which resulted in it spinning off the course. This error also cost the team vital seconds but it recomposed itself and crossed the line in 48 seconds. The participants of the following four heats all completed the course without mishap but with slower times than Italy. Netherlands finished the game in 52 seconds, Belgium finished in 53 seconds, Switzerland in 50 seconds and France in 1 minute 5 seconds.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Italy, having played the Joker (12pts awarded), had retained 1st place with 36pts whilst West Germany, having also played the Joker (4pts), had retained 2nd place with 24pts. Netherlands (4pts) had retained 3rd place with 22pts whilst Switzerland (5pts) had been promoted and joined France (1pt) in 4th place with 17pts each. Belgium (3pts) had retained 6th place with 14pts whilst Great Britain, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 11pts.

Point to Note: Although two members of the French team finished the game with only one roller-skate each, the referees deemed it as equipment failure and accepted their time as correct.


Fil Rouge, Round 3 - The Pogo Stick

The third and penultimate round of the Fil Rouge featured Switzerland and Great Britain and again was witness to two teams with differing fortunes. The British competitor was of slim build and was able to maintain her bounce throughout the game whilst her Swiss counterpart was much larger and heavier and did herself no favours by falling from the pogo stick to the ground after just three seconds into the game.

At the end of the game, the results were announced and Great Britain had traversed 18.1m (59ft 4½in) along the course whilst Switzerland had only covered a distance of 7.0m (22ft 11½in).


Game 7 - Through the Cube

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘Through the Cube’- was played over two heats of 2 minutes 30 seconds duration and witnessed Switzerland presenting their Joker for play. It featured two competitors (one male and one female) from each team and a giant wooden cube positioned halfway up a wall. The male competitor was positioned underneath the cube whilst his female team-mate was standing on top of it. The top and base of the cube were made of thick polystyrene whilst the cube itself was hollow and filled with small polystyrene balls. On the whistle, the male competitor had to punch his way into the base of the cube whilst the female did the same with her feet on the top. Once she had broken through, she then had to remove as much of the ‘filling’ as she could in order to assist her team-mate to break through the base. Once completed, she then had to exit the cube through the hole in the base and her team-mate had to carry her to a podium 10m (32ft 9¾in) up the course. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland, France and Netherlands and was a two-horse contest between the Swiss and the Dutch teams. However, it was Netherlands that reached the finishing line first in 34 seconds followed by Switzerland in 52 seconds. In the meantime, the French team appeared to make heavy weather of the game and despite the fact that the female was the first of the three to break through the top of her cube, her team-mate made very little progress in breaking through the base to assist her exit. With time elapsing fast, she finally made her exit and they reached the finish line in 2 minutes 9 seconds. The second heat saw the participation of Belgium, West Germany and Great Britain and it was a completely different story to that of the first. All of the teams adopted a different style to those of the first heat and instead of the females kicking the top of the cube, they jumped up in the air and crashed their way through. However with the announcement of the times, this apparently had not saved a great deal of time with West Germany finishing in 1st place in 34 seconds, Belgium in 2nd place in 1 minute 3 seconds and Great Britain in 3rd place in 1 minute 22 seconds.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that the top four teams had all retained their previous positions. Italy, who did not participate, were in 1st place with 36pts, West Germany (6pts awarded) were in 2nd place with 30pts, Netherlands (6pts) were in 3rd place with 28pts and Switzerland, having played the Joker (8pts) were in 4th place with 25pts. France (1pt) had been demoted to 5th place with 18pts whilst Belgium (3pts) had retained 6th place with 17pts and Great Britain (2pts) remained in 7th place with 13pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 4 - The Pogo Stick

The fourth and final round of the Fil Rouge featured the home team from Italy and their competitor had to accomplish her goal by bouncing within a circle marked out on the top of the cube. If she bounced outside this area, her team-mates had to stop moving the other cube until she resumed her position inside. The cubes also had to be positioned tightly against each other, as opposed to the other teams, who were permitted to leave a gap of their choice. On the whistle, the hopes of the home crowd were deflated somewhat after she made slow progress down the course. Despite her athleticism, she appeared to make smaller bounces than the other competitors.

At the end of the game, the result was announced and Italy had traversed 12.5m (41ft) down the course, securing 3rd place on the game.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it once again showed that the top four teams had retained their previous positions. Italy (5pts awarded) were in 1st place with 41pts, West Germany (7pts) were in 2nd place with 37pts, Netherlands (4pts) were in 3rd place with 32pts (despite the scoreboard operators deducting 6pts and displaying 22pts) and Switzerland (3pts) were in 4th place with 28pts. Belgium (2pts) and Great Britain (6pts) had both been promoted and joined France (1pt) in 5th place with 19pts each.

Points to Note: (a) The fourth round of the Fil Rouge this year would feature the home team participating in the game but with a higher degree of difficulty than the previous six teams. However, in order to compensate them for this difference, they were permitted to select a professional participant to accomplish their goal.

(b) The experienced ‘guest’ Italian competitor in the Fil Rouge was local gymnast Graziella Minuzzoli, who was regarded at the time as a good prospect for a gold medal at the XXth Olympic Games to be staged at München, West Germany, the following year.


Game 8 - The Cube Race

The eighth and final game - ‘The Cube Race’ - was played over 2 minutes 30 seconds duration and witnessed Great Britain and Netherlands presenting their Jokers for play. It featured three competitors (2 males and 1 female) from each team and a giant foam rubber cube. On the whistle, the two male competitors, each armed with a pole, had to roll the cube to the end of the course where their female team-mate was waiting. She then had to mount the cube and whilst her team-mates rolled it back to the start, she had to manoeuvre herself in order to stay on top of it. Once the cube had been transported back to the start, the female competitor had to climb a rope in order to set off a firecracker. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

Despite two teams playing their Joker, it appeared that Italy had got the better start and began the return leg ahead of the other teams. However, Netherlands began to make up ground and eventually overtook Italy at the halfway mark and it appeared that they would win their Joker game. Unfortunately, whilst climbing the rope, their competitor lost her grip and fell to the beach below and this permitted the home team to overtake and win the game. This disaster was also good news for the British and West German teams who sneaked in to finish in 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. After recomposing herself, the Dutch competitor eventually finished the game in 4th place and was followed by Switzerland and Belgium. France were deemed out of time just seconds before their competitor reached the top of the rope.

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. As was the case after the previous two games’ results had been announced, the top four teams had all retained their positions. Italy (7pts awarded) were in 1st place with 48pts, West Germany (5pts) were in 2nd place with 42pts and Netherlands, having played the Joker (8pts), were in 3rd place with 40pts - the scoreboard operators having corrected their error after the previous game. Great Britain, having also played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted and joined Switzerland (3pts) in 4th place with 31pts each. Belgium (2pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 21pts and France, with their fifth consecutive last placing (1pt), had been demoted to 7th place with 20pts.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Four of the Italian team members - Gabriella Moretto, Tizino Mulazzoni, Santo Rossi and Maurizio Sorci - all participated again for Riccione in 1975. Franco Geminiani returned to participate for Riccione in 1975 and Rimini e Adriatico in 1988. Leopoldi Carlini returned as the team coach for the Riccione team in 1975 and also for the Rimini e Adriatico team in 1988. Davide Casadei returned as team captain for Rimini e Adriatico in 1988.

Additional Information

Fortunately for the Italian TV organisers, there is no significant tide on the Adriatic Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea) and were therefore not doomed to the same fate as the British organisers in 1966, when the first ever It’s a Knockout was held on the beach at Morecambe. On that occasion, the tide came in unexpectedly and washed away the games with commentators and cameramen up to their knees in water.

This heat saw the introduction of the now recognisable blue Jeux Sans Frontières scoreboard although in its first year it was used with a one-off experiment (see 1971 Introduction for further details).

The outfits for the two main referees, Gennaro Olivieri and Guido Pancaldi, this year were blue blazers, white shirts with floral motifs and beige trousers.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

CH

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 2

Event Staged: Wednesday 23rd June 1971
Venue: Spielfeld (Playing Field), Baselstraße (Basel Street), Solothurn, Switzerland

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 23rd June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 23rd June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 23rd June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 23rd June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 23rd June 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 23rd June 1971, 9.55-11.15pm
RAI Due (I):
Thursday 1st July 1971
ORTF 1 (F):
Wednesday 7th July 1971
BBC1 (GB exc. Wales):
Friday 6th August 1971, 9.20-10.35pm
BBC1 Wales (CYM): Sunday 8th August 1971, 2.45-4.00pm

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Jan Hiermeyer

Theme: The Legends and Attractions of Switzerland

Teams: Sint-Niklaas (B) v. Willisau (CH) v. Schwabach (D) v.
Mulhouse (F) v. Kendal (GB) v. Melfi (I) v. Drachten (NL)

Team Members included:
Schwabach (D) -
Hans Zuleeg (Team Trainer), Werner Schrödel (Team Captain), Hannelore Bindl, Heide Blank, Hermann Botz, Monika Döll, Helmut Gerhardt, Klaus Goller, Werner Großer, Hanne Hauselt, Werner Kammerloher, Hans Katheder, Ilse Katheder, Karl-Heinz Kaufmann, Rainer Leuthold, Alfons Matula, Fritz Meier, Walter Ryschka, Richard Sichert, Helmut Steinbauer, Arthur Weiß;
Mulhouse (F) -
Jacques Lakermance (Team Captain), Nicole Bringel, Daniel Bruder, Claire Centlivre, Edith Foucal, Marc Gimenez, Francine Grzelak, André Heinrich, Charles Herrmann, Daniel Himbert, Jean-Jacques Horny, Serge Kaczala, Gabrielle Klinzing, Pierre Knopf, Daniel Maeder, Roland Metzger, Régine Oser, René Schirmeyer, Mireille Tischmacher, Miles Michèle Ulrich;
Kendal (GB) - Tony Gill (Team Coach), John Bell, James Blacow, Frazer Broomby, Joan Brown, Alan Campbell, Hilary Campbell, Brian Cox, Peter Greenbank, Malcolm Hendrie, Judith Houghton, Colin Hunter, George Inchmore, Jean Malkin, Terence O'Laughlin, Sheila Proctor, George Rigg, Beryl Smith, Clive Wilson, George Wilson, Marjorie Wilkinson and Bob Bethell (Non-Travelling Reserve).

Games: The Hands of Time Wait for No Man (Well Almost!), Collecting Edelweiss, The Wood Cutter, William Tell and his Son, The Cathedral’s Bells, The Irrigation Channels, The Solothurn Buffoon, The Imprisoned Damsels;
Fil Rouge: The Snowmen’s Hats;
Jokers:
Country Coloured Joker Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 1 1 3 4 1 --- 6 2 6

CH

3 10 4 6 5 5 --- 7 4

D

6 2 --- 5 12 3 5 7 7
F 8 5 2 --- 3 5 1 5 1

GB

2 --- 12 1 3 1 2 3 4
I --- 6 1 4 10 2 6 5 1
NL 10 5 5 4 --- 6 4 2 5
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 1 2 5 9 10 10 16 18 24

CH

3 13 17 23 28 33 33 40 44

D

6 8 8 13 12 28 33 40 47
F 8 13 15 15 18 23 24 29 30

GB

2 2 14 15 18 19 21 24 28
I 0 6 7 11 21 23 29 34 35
NL 10 15 20 24 24 30 34 36 41

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th

 D • Schwabach l
 CH • Willisau
l
 NL • Drachten
 I • Melfi
 F • Mulhouse
 GB • Kendal
 B • Sint-Niklaas

47
44
41
35
30
28
24

The Host Town

Solothurn, Switzerland

Solothurn is a town in the canton of the same name and has a population of around 17,000 inhabitants. It is located on the River Aare, 30km north of the capital city of Bern, 40km south of Basel and km and 61km west of Luzern.
 

The town of Solothurn lies on the 295km long Aare,
the longest river located solely in Switzerland

 

The oldest records of Solothurn probably date from the Palaeolithic era. The remains of a Mesolithic camp were also discovered in 1986. The Roman settlement at Solothurn was probably built around AD 15-25 as a road station and bridge head with a small neighbourhood or settlement quickly developing around the land reserved for use as a military defensive position.

During the Early Middle Ages, Solothurn was part of the Kingdom of Lorraine. After the collapse of the Kingdom, it became part of the Second Kingdom of Burgundy. In 1033, the Kingdom of Burgundy became part of the Holy Roman Empire and Solothurn gained some independence. In 1038, Emperor Conrad II (AD 990-1038) held court at Solothurn and it was here that he crowned his son and future king, Henry III (1017-1056). The royal court resided in Solothurn on several occasions until 1052, however there is no evidence of a permanent royal palace.

During the 13th and 15th centuries, the citizens of the city slowly emancipated themselves from the higher nobility. In 1276 and 1280, Emperor Rudolf I (1218-1291) codified the previously poorly defined rights of the city and granted it the privilege de non Evocando or the right that their citizens were protected from trial in foreign courts. After the alliance with Bern in 1295, it became part of the Swiss Confederation and in 1382, the Habsburgs attacked the city, which involved Solothurn in the Battle of Sempach on 9th July 1386. By the treaty of two years later, the Habsburgs renounced all claims to the territory of the city and it expanded by acquisition of neighbouring lands in the 15th century, roughly up to the today's canton area. In 1481, it obtained full membership in the Swiss Confederation.

Solothurn has a special affinity for the number 11. The canton was the eleventh to become part of the Swiss Confederation. There are eleven churches and chapels, as well as eleven historical fountains and eleven towers. The Kathedrale St. Urs und Viktor (St. Ursus Cathedral) has eleven altars and eleven bells, and the stairs in front of the cathedral have levels between every eleven steps. A local brewery has named itself Öufi, which is Swiss German for eleven, and produces a beer with the same name.

The town gives its name to the Solothurn S18-1000 20 mm Anti-Tank rifle which was used during the Second World War (1939-1945). With a barrel length of 1.3m (4ft 3in), it was a variant of the earlier S-18/100 with modifications for a higher muzzle velocity, as well as a larger cartridge size. As a result of its large, powerful ammunition, the gun had tremendous recoil and its size made portability difficult. It was adopted by the Royal Italian Army in 1940, when a first batch was bought from Switzerland and was employed in North Africa. It was manufactured in the town by the Solothurn firearms company which today is owned by the German firm, Rheinmetall. It employed the Swiss company to produce the arms which were prohibited to be manufactured by any German firm under arms limitations imposed by the Versailles Treaty at the end of the First World War (1914-1918).

The Venue

Spielfeld, Baselstraße

The games were played on a small grassed playing field located just outside the entrance to Solothurn’s cathedral which is dedicated to Roman martyrs Sankt Urs and Viktor. After the Swabian War, master builder Hans Gibelin replaced the oak wood gate with the Baseltor (Basel Gate) constructed from Solothurn stone (Jura limestone) in 1504.
 

The entrance gate to Solothurn’s Cathedral (top left of picture)
is known as the Baseltors

 

Together with the cathedral’s tower, the gate forms a magnificent architectural ensemble. The teams entered the arena from inside the cathedral’s walls and through the portcullis entrance.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Hands of Time Wait for No Man (Well Almost!)

The first game - ‘The Hands of Time Wait for No Man (Well Almost!)’ - was played individually over one minute duration and witnessed France and Netherlands presenting their Jokers for play. It featured a male competitor and an opposing barefooted male competitor from each of the other five teams. Laid out on the floor of the arena was a giant pocket watch with the minute hand attached to a set of wheels and the area in the middle of the watch was heavily greased. On the whistle, the competitor, standing behind the minute hand, had to run around the watch’s numbered perimeter pushing the minute hand in front of him. As he did so, the hour hand would rotate as in the normal function of a watch. Contemporaneously, the five opposing team members standing in the greased central area, attempted to hamper his efforts by clinging on to the hand and pulling it backwards. However, with the greased floor below their feet as well as having to jump over the hour hand as they passed, their efforts were somewhat hampered also. The team moving the hands the greatest distance from the starting point of 12 o’clock would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Great Britain and although their competitor got off to a good start, he began to show signs of fatigue after just two circumnavigations of the watch face. Despite this, he went on to complete a further 1½ revolutions and ended up with the hands of the watch showing a time of 3:35. However, this score would soon prove to be weak compared to those of the latter teams. The second heat saw the participation of Netherlands and they faired somewhat better on the game, with the hands showing a time of 4:18. The third of the six teams to participate was Switzerland and, as was the case with Great Britain, their competitor got off to a fast start but also began to tire after two circumnavigations. At the end of the one minute, the hands of the watch were showing a time of 3:57. This was followed by the fourth heat which saw the participation of West Germany and their competitor appeared to have a great deal of stamina and did not show any signs of fatigue until after the third circumnavigation of the watch. However, after this he began to slow his pace and eventually finished with the hands showing a time of 4:35. The fifth and penultimate team to participate was France and their competitor also did extremely well and circumnavigated the watch four times and ended with the hands showing a time of 4:02. The sixth and final team to participate was Belgium and their competitor would prove to be the weakest of the six after the hands of the watch showed a time of just 2:56.

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that Netherlands, having played the Joker, were in 1st place with 10pts. France, having also played their Joker, were in 2nd place with 8pts and despite having won the game, West Germany were in 3rd place with 6pts. Switzerland were in 4th place with 3pts, Great Britain were in 5th place with 2pts and Belgium were in 6th place with 1pt. Italy, who did not participate, were in 7th place with 0pts.

Points to Note: (a) To ensure parity to all the competing teams, the inner part of the watch face was re-greased at the end of each of the heats.

(b) The game was delayed for several minutes between each participant as the hands of the watch had to be returned to their original starting point of 12 o’clock. This had to be done manually by stagehands in the reverse direction of the actual participant and was somewhat of a laborious affair.

(c) The touch-judges were really put through their paces on this game, running around the outside of the game with a marker which had to be stuck in the ground at the exact point where the minute hand of the clock was at the time of the whistle… Despite the fact that a number of them were not young or fit (some of them were in their late 50s), they did extremely well!

(d) Eagle-eyed viewers would notice that the marker board used to denote the distance travelled by the West German team in this game was coloured green and not in their usual colour of light blue. This was the case for many of the insignia used to denote West Germany in this heat (marker boards, Joker, areas of play etc) and also those of others later in this year’s series. The reason for which is thought to be that the darker green would be more distinct for viewers watching in monochrome (colour transmissions were still in their infancy - or not at all - in some of the competing countries). However, despite this anomaly, the team donned dossards in their normal light blue colour throughout the heat.


Game 2 - Collecting Edelweiss

The second game - ‘Collecting Edelweiss’ - was played over two heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and witnessed the home team of Switzerland presenting their Joker for play. It featured two male competitors from each team and a large flagpole on which there were 10 edelweiss flowers attached along its length. On the whistle, one of the competitors had to raise his team-mate, who was bare-footed, up the flagpole to collect the edelweiss by means of a rope attached around his waist. Only one edelweiss could be collected on each attempt and they had to be dropped to the floor for his team-mate to collect. He then had to run 25m (82ft) to a podium and deliver the flowers to a female team-mate. The competitor then ran back to the pole and repeated the game. If the ‘climbing’ competitors were unable to cling to the pole at the point where they had collected the edelweiss, they could drop to the ground. However, they would have to start a fresh climb on their team-mate’s return. The team collecting the greater number of edelweiss would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium, West Germany and France, with the latter having the better technique. In contrast, the Belgium competitor appeared to be very inept at climbing and was hindered in part by his team-mate, who was weak and had difficulty pulling the rope. At the end of the heat, France had collected 5 edelweiss, West Germany had collected 4 edelweiss and Belgium had failed to score. The second heat saw the participation of Switzerland, Italy and Netherlands and in contrast with the first heat was a very closely run contest. The Swiss and Dutch teams appeared to have the edge and were almost neck and neck on each run. However, neither of the two had bargained for the Italian duo who worked well together and, whilst both their rivals made errors on their climbs, they held their nerve and composure throughout the game. At the end of the heat, Italy had collected 6 edelweiss whilst Switzerland and Netherlands had both collected 5 edelweiss each.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Netherlands (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 15pts whilst Switzerland, having played the Joker (10pts), had been promoted and joined France (5pts) in 2nd place with 13pts each. West Germany (2pts) had been demoted to 4th place with 8pts whilst Italy, with their first set of points of the competition (6pts), had been promoted to 5th place with 6pts. Great Britain, who did not participate, had been demoted and joined Belgium (1pt) in 6th place with 2pts each.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 1 and 2 - The Snowmen's Hats

The Fil Rouge - ‘The Snowmen’s Hats’ - was played individually over 45 seconds duration and was rather a strange game as it appeared to have very little competitiveness. The game featured a male competitor on skis and a 4m (13ft 1½in) dry ski run which had a wide conveyer belt moving from bottom to top. On the whistle, the skier had to maintain his balance whilst moving from side to side of the belt and had to collect hats from plastic snowmen being loaded by two female team-mates at the bottom of the run. The hats had to be collected one-at-a-time from each side of the belt and the competitor was not permitted to move from one side to the other until he had successfully collected a hat. The team collecting the greater number of hats would be declared the winners. Before the game started the teams were shown how to play the game by the Swiss competitor who was obviously somewhat adept at skiing.

The first round featured Italy with their competitor collecting 5 hats whilst the second round featured Great Britain collecting just 3 hats.


Game 3 - The Wood Cutter

The third game - ‘The Wood Cutter’ - was a cleverly devised but simple game which required eye and hand co-ordination from the competitors and witnessed Great Britain presenting their Joker for play. The game was played individually over three runs by a male competitor armed with an axe and featured a 5m (16ft 5in) incline with an arched ring set close to its base and three 3kgs (6lbs 9¾oz) logs painted yellow at one end and white at the other. On the whistle, a female team-mate released a log from the top of the incline and as it exited the ring at the base, the competitor had to use his skill and chop it in half as close to the middle of the log as possible. The two halves were then collected by the touch-judges and placed on a set of scales at the end of the course. All pieces that were completely yellow in colour were placed on the left-hand side of the scale and those that were white or white/yellow were placed on the right-hand side. Any log that failed to break was deemed as white/yellow and placed on the right-hand side of the scale. The game required a great deal of skill and accuracy in order that each log was chopped as close to its centre as possible so that the scales remained level. After the three runs had been completed, the referees then counter-balanced the scales with additional weights and the team which had the smallest difference of weight between the two sides of the scales would be declared the winners.

The first team to participate was Netherlands and after a success on their first attempt, the second was not so good after the competitor missed the log completely, and embedded the axe blade into the actual wooden incline itself! At the end of his three runs, the Netherlands ‘difference’ was announced as 2.4kgs (5lbs 4½oz). The second team to participate was Great Britain and their competitor was extremely accurate with his chopping skills, hitting the second and third logs dead centre. The score was announced and the weight difference was 1.9kgs (4lbs 3oz). The third of the six heats saw the participation of Switzerland and after making two almost-perfect chops, their competitor failed to break the third log, finishing with a weight difference of 3.5kgs (7lbs 11½oz). Belgium were the fourth team to participate and their competitor failed to break the second log on its descent. However, with the log embedded on the blade, he slammed the log onto the descent and it broke into three pieces. The judges deemed that this breached the rules and all three pieces were placed on the right-hand side of the scale and announced that the final score for Belgium was 4.1kgs (9lbs ½oz). The fifth and penultimate heat saw the participation of Italy and they ended with the worst score of 7.3kgs (16lbs 1½oz). The sixth and final heat saw the participation of France and they faired slightly better than Belgium with a score of 6.6kgs (14lbs 8¾oz).

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Netherlands (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 20pts and Switzerland (4pts) had retained 2nd place with 17pts whilst France (2pts) had been demoted to 3rd place with 15pts. Great Britain, having played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 4th place with 14pts, West Germany, who did not participate, had been demoted to 5th place with 8pts whilst Italy (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 7pts and Belgium (3pts) had been demoted to 7th place with 5pts.


Game 4 - William Tell and his Son

The fourth game - ‘William Tell and his Son’ - was played over two heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and featured two male competitors from each team, one armed with a crossbow and a bucket of water-filled sponges and the other standing 5m (16ft 5in) in front of him. On the whistle, a team-mate had to start inflating yellow balloons manually and handing them one-at-a-time to the unarmed competitor who placed it above his head and through a podium which had a spike set at its rear. The armed competitor then had to aim the crossbow and release the wet sponges towards the balloon to push it against the spike and burst it. The team bursting the greater number of balloons within the time would be declared the winners.

A straightforward game saw the participation of West Germany, Great Britain and Netherlands in the first heat and ended with West Germany bursting 3 balloons, Netherlands bursting 2 balloons and Great Britain bursting just 1 balloon. The second heat saw the participation of Belgium, Switzerland and Italy and whilst the other two competitors were hitting their targets sporadically, the Swiss competitor was so accurate with his aim that his assisting team-mate could not keep up with the pace and continually delayed his scoring whilst he inflated balloons. The results revealed that Switzerland had burst 5 balloons whilst Belgium and Italy had burst 2 balloons each.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Netherlands (4pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 24pts. Switzerland (6pts) had retained 2nd place with 23pts whilst Great Britain (1pt) had been promoted and joined France, who did not participate, in 3rd place with 15pts each. The remaining three teams had all retained their previous positions with West Germany (5pts) in 5th place with 13pts, Italy (4pts) were in 6th place with 11pts and Belgium (4pts) were in 7th place with 9pts.

Points to Note: (a) To ensure parity to all teams, the spikes on the podia used to burst the balloons were set at different heights according to that of the team-mates standing underneath them. Before the start of each heat, they would stand erect underneath the platforms whilst a stagehand adjusted each of the heights.

(b) The points awarded by referee Guido Pancaldi were incorrect on this game. After awarding the winners of the game (Switzerland) 6pts, the second placed team (West Germany) were awarded 4pts (instead of 5pts), the three third placed teams (Belgium, Italy and Netherlands) were all awarded 3pts each (instead of 4pts) and the sixth placed team, Great Britain, were awarded 1pt. This error was corrected by the referees before the start of the fifth game, awarding Belgium, West Germany, Italy and Netherlands an extra 1pt each.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 3 and 4 - The Snowmen's Hats

The third round of the Fil Rouge featured West Germany and their competitor had to restart the game after losing one of his skis within the first four seconds of the game. However, once he had recomposed himself he made an almost faultless performance and collected a total of 8 hats which placed the team in top spot at this point. The fourth round featured France and their competitor could only equal the total of the Italian team from the first round. However, their score of 5 hats saw them holding equal 2nd place at this point.


Game 5 - The Cathedral's Bells

The fifth game - ‘The Cathedral’s Bells’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and witnessed West Germany and Italy presenting their Jokers for play. It featured a large cathedral bell and a female competitor from each team wearing roller-skates and a safety helmet. On the whistle, a male team-mate began to pull on a rope in order to set the bell in motion whilst the competitor skated down the course. The idea was for the competitor to meet the mouth of the bell as it swung towards her in order for her to get underneath and to exit the bell as the mouth was raised on its backward swing. Once she had completed this, she had to collect one of ten small cowbells from the far end of the course and complete the return journey in the same manner as the outward. The game was repeated throughout and the team collecting the greater number of cowbells would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium, Great Britain and Italy and from the outset it appeared that the Italian competitor was the more agile on roller-skates, timing her runs perfectly with the swing of the bell. Although both the Belgian and British competitors kept pace with their rival, neither was as adept nor able to match her score. The scores were announced and Italy had collected 7 cowbells, Great Britain had collected 6 cowbells and Belgium had collected 5 cowbells. The second heat saw the participation of Switzerland, West Germany and France and, as was the case in the previous heat, from the outset it was apparent as to which team would be the more successful. Whilst the Swiss and French competitors set a steady pace, the West German competitor stormed the game without any errors. The scores were announced and West Germany had collected 8 cowbells, Switzerland had collected 7 cowbells and France had collected 6 cowbells.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland (5pts awarded) had been promoted to 1st place with 28pts and West Germany, having played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 25pts. Netherlands, who did not participate, had been demoted to 3rd place with 24pts whilst Italy, having also played the Joker (10pts), had been promoted to 4th place with 21pts. France (3pts) and Great Britain (3pts) had both been demoted to 5th place with 18pts each whilst Belgium (1pt) had retained 7th place with 10pts.

Point to Note: Four seconds before the end of the second heat, the French competitor was knocked unconscious by the back lip of the bell as she made her exit and slumped to the ground. Surrounded by touch-judges, she was dragged from the course to receive medical attention. All indications showed that although she received a nasty blow to the back of her head, there were no major injuries and that she made a full recovery from the incident.


Game 6 - The Irrigation Channels

The sixth game - ‘The Irrigation Channels’ - was played over two heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and was one which appeared in many guises over the programme’s history. It featured three female competitors each standing on a rocking semi-circular podium and a fourth standing on the ground in front of them adjacent to a large Perspex container. Each of the competitors was armed with a large plastic drainage channel which was open at one end and which had to be held above their head. On the whistle, a male team-mate standing on a high podium behind the competitors had to pump water from a container and direct it into the closest drainage channel. The competitors then had to direct the water from one channel to the other whilst maintaining their balance on their podiums. Any water that was collected in the fourth channel could be deposited into the Perspex container. The team collecting the greater amount of water would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of France, Italy and Netherlands and was a straightforward affair with Netherlands collecting 220mm (8½in) of water, France collecting 160mm (6¼in) and Italy collecting 80mm (3in). The second heat saw the participation of Switzerland, West Germany and Great Britain and once again was straightforward with Switzerland collecting 160mm of water, West Germany collecting 120mm (4¾in) and Great Britain collecting just 50mm (2in).

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Switzerland (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 33pts, Netherlands (6pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 30pts whilst West Germany (3pts) had been demoted to 3rd place with 28pts. France (5pts) had been promoted and joined Italy (2pts) in 4th place with 23pts each whilst Great Britain (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 19pts and Belgium, who did not participate, had retained 7th place with 10pts.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 5 and 6 - The Snowmen's Hats

The next round of the Fil Rouge featured the first of two countries not renowned for their skiing skills. The fifth team to participate was Netherlands and their competitor provided the crowd with some hilarious entertainment. Although finding himself off the ski run for more time than actually on it, he still managed to collect 2 hats which placed him in 5th place at this point. In the same vain, the sixth and penultimate round featured Belgium and, like his predecessor, was not too skilful at skiing and also collected 2 hats.


Game 7 - The Solothurn Buffoon

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘The Solothurn Buffoon’ - was played individually over 1 minute 30 seconds duration and witnessed Belgium presenting their Joker for play. It featured four male competitors from each team armed with a large net and a stuffed mannequin buffoon. On the whistle, the team had to work together to toss the buffoon over three high bars set at 4m (13ft 1½in), 5m (16ft 5in) and 6m (19ft 8¼in) along the course and catching it in the net on its descent. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium and they completed the game in 6 attempts, failing twice on the second bar and once on the third bar, in 28 seconds. The first heat saw the participation of France and they completed the game in 7 attempts in 52 seconds after failing once on the first bar and three times on the third bar. The third of the six teams to participate were West Germany and they completed the game without mishap in 3 attempts in 17 seconds. This was followed by the fourth heat which saw the participation of Netherlands and they completed the game in 4 attempts, failing once on the first bar, in 26 seconds. The fifth and penultimate team to participate were Great Britain and they completed the game in 6 attempts in 37 seconds after failing three times on the third bar. The sixth and final team to participate were Italy and they completed the game without mishap in 3 attempts in just 12 seconds.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Netherlands (4pts awarded) had been promoted to 1st place with 34pts whilst West Germany (5pts) had been promoted and joined Switzerland, who did not participate and had been demoted, in 2nd place with 33pts each. Italy (6pts) had retained 4th place with 29pts and France (1pt) had been demoted to 5th place with 24pts whilst Great Britain (2pts) had retained 6th place with 21pts and Belgium, despite having played the Joker (6pts) remained rooted to 7th place with 16pts.

Points to Note: (a) As well as the anomaly of having green coloured insignia throughout this heat, the West German team donned full green costumes for this game!

(b) This game was based on Der Narrenzeit (translated as ‘time of fools’) which begins at 11:11am on November 11th each year in Catholic areas of Switzerland and Germany. It is a time when carnival takes over and is witness to the local population dressing up as buffoons, mummers and peddlers and painting their faces with a multitude of iridescent colours.


Fil Rouge, Round 7 - The Snowmen's Hats

The seventh and final round featured the home team of Switzerland and, as they had somewhat of an expert skier to compete for them, the conveyer belt was speeded up. However, despite this their competitor collected a total of 8 hats to equal the score set by West Germany in the third round.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland (7pts awarded) and West Germany (7pts) had both been promoted to 1st place with 40pts each. Netherlands (2pts) had been demoted to 3rd place with 36pts whilst the other four remaining teams had all retained their previous positions. Italy (5pts) were in 4th place with 34pts, France (5pts) were in 5th place with 29pts, Great Britain (3pts) were in 6th place with 24pts whilst Belgium (2pts) lingered in 7th place with 18pts.


Game 8 - The Jousting Damsels

The eighth and final game - ‘The Jousting Damsels’ - was played over 1 minute 20 seconds duration on the walls of the cathedral and featured four competitors (3 males and 1 female) from each team. The female competitor, armed with a lance, was located high on a terrace whilst her male team-mates were on the ground standing in front of a large catapult and a pile of 12 balls. On the whistle, one of the male competitors loaded the catapult whilst the other two aimed the balls at the female. If she made contact with the ball, it was deemed as counting towards their score. The running scores were displayed on large boards behind each of the female competitors and were operated by touch-judges standing behind them. The team making contact with the greater number of balls would be declared the winners.

A straightforward game which was dominated by the skills of the West German competitors ended with West Germany achieving a score of 8 balls. Belgium finished with 4 balls, Netherlands 3 balls, Switzerland and Great Britain with 1 ball each and France and Italy failing to score.

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. West Germany (7pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 47pts, Switzerland (4pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 44pts and Netherlands (5pts) had retained 3rd place with 41pts whilst the other four remaining teams had all retained their previous positions. Italy (1pt) were in 4th place with 35pts, France (1pt) were in 5th place with 30pts, Great Britain (4pts) were in 6th place with 28pts and Belgium (6pts) were in 7th place with 24pts.

Point to note: The scoreboard operators made a complete hash of the scoreboard when the points were awarded. Belgium were awarded 6pts but instead their score was reduced by 2pts (to display 16pts), Netherlands were awarded 5pts but only 3pts were added (39pts) and Great Britain were awarded 4pts but 5pts were added to the scoreboard (29pts). After a short period of recalculating, the correct scores were displayed on the scoreboard.

The Rehearsals

The twenty-strong British team of Kendal departed for Switzerland from Manchester Airport by Swiss Air at 5.30am on Sunday 20th June 1971. Despite the early hour and the cold and wet weather conditions, the team were seen off by a small contingent of well-wishers at the airport. Their plane stopped briefly in Rotterdam and then continued on to Zurich, from where the team completed their journey by coach. A team of cheerleaders, headed by Jean O'Loughlin, organiser of the Kendal and District Keep Fit Organisation, also travelled to Solothurn.

The activities for the teams commenced on Sunday evening with a torchlit parade through the Solothurn streets. Teams sang national songs as they walked, reportedly drowning out the performance of the local bands that formed a part of the procession. The parade's destination was the town square, where a reception for the teams was staged, introductions made and gifts shared among the teams. Monday saw the teams gather for a demonstration of the games by local teams and limited practice was allowed that evening with about fifteen minutes allocated to each team.

Memories of JSF

The British team from Kendal quickly realised that their rivals were highly trained and well qualified. Team members Fraser Broomby and Jean Malkin remember: "We were all determined to do our best, which, when competing against professional sportsmen, roller skating, skiing and crossbow champions, was going to have to be extremely good. Our team also boasted champions, although somehow they were not in quite the same category as those champs of the Europeans. We had a world champ - wait for it - his prowess was concentrated in eating 1lb of cheese quicker than anyone else in the world. Unfortunately this rather unique skill was not required for the games. We had however in our ranks, three judo black belt holders, a weight lifting champ, a parachutist, two county tennis players, the Lakes ski champion, a sprinter who had run for Lancashire and many more athletes in their own right, all of which intended to do their utmost for Kendal."

Additional Information

After the competition, which saw British team Kendal placed a lowly 6th, the teams gravitated into the town for celebrations which carried on into the early hours. Despite their poor performance in competition, the Kendal team made many friends in Solothurn and were reported to have lead the dancing and singing in the town. The following day, both German and English newspapers referred to the Kendal team as "the team that won hearts instead of Glory" and "the team that won the hearts of Europe, if not the field".

Following the team’s victory in the Domestic series, some of the West German competitors from Schwabach did not participate further. In order to improve the team's chances of a second victory, the trainers wanted to bring in stronger competitors to contest the International programme and this resulted in nine of the original team members not travelling to Switzerland. Whilst on the subject of team trainers, Rainer Leuthold and Werner Schrödel decided that they wanted to be part of the action and demoted themselves to competitors for this International programme, with Schrödel assuming the role of Team Captain.

Due to the National Eisteddfod of Wales taking place in Bangor this week, BBC Wales broadcast this heat two days later than the rest of Great Britain.

The British team donned white outfits at this heat instead of the normal red. However, the T-shirts and shorts worn by the competitors had red hems on their sleeve and leg ends.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

NL

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 3

Event Staged: Wednesday 7th July 1971
Venue: Sportspaleis 'Ahoy' (Ahoy Sports Palace), Zuidwijk,
Rotterdam, Netherlands

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 7th July 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 7th July 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 7th July 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 7th July 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 7th July 1971, 9.05-10.50pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 7th July 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
RAI Due (I):
Thursday 8th July 1971
ORTF 1 (F):
Wednesday 14th July 1971
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 13th August 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Not applicable as event was staged indoors

Winners' Trophy presented by: Dick Passchier

Theme: Co-ordination / Working Together

Teams: Watermael-Boitsfort (B) v. Biasca (CH) v. Rheinbach (D) v.
Le Mans (F) v. Tewkesbury (GB) v. L’Aquila (I) v. Alphen aan den Rijn (NL)

Team Members included:
Le Mans (F) - Michelle Boulloir, Justine Gillier;
Tewkesbury (GB) - Ian Rodger;
L’Aquila (I) - Daniella Furmante.

Games: The Flying Dolphins, The Leaning Tower of Boxes, The High Seas, The Dog and the Cat, The Knight and the Damsel, Miss Jeux Sans Frontières, They’ve Got the Whole World in Their Hands, The Rocket Launch;
Fil Rouge: The Hairdresser’s Dummies;
Jokers:
Abstract Works of Art.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 6 --- 1 2 8 1 6 4 3

CH

--- 5 3 12 6 2 2 2 1

D

3 1 5 --- 1 4 6 1 7
F 4 2 4 1 --- 10 5 4 6

GB

6 3 --- 4 5 3 1 7 8
I 3 4 2 8 2 --- 4 6 6
NL 3 12 6 6 3 6 --- 6 2
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 6 6 7 9 17 18 24 28 31

CH

0 5 8 20 26 28 30 32 33

D

3 4 9 9 10 14 20 21 28
F 4 6 10 11 11 21 26 30 36

GB

6 9 9 13 18 21 22 29 37
I 3 7 9 17 19 19 23 29 35
NL 3 15 21 27 30 36 36 42 44

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th

 NL • Alphen aan den Rijn l l
 GB • Tewkesbury
 F • Le Mans
l
 I • L'Aquila
 CH • Biasca
 B • Watermael-Boitsfort
 D • Rheinbach

44
37
36
35
33
31
28

The Host Town

Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam is the second largest city in Netherlands with a population of around 630,000 inhabitants. It is located in the Zuid Holland province on the Nieuwe Maas river, 21km (13 miles) south-east of Den Haag, 57km (35½ miles) south-west of Amsterdam and 98km (61 miles) west of Arnhem.

The port is the largest cargo port in Europe and the 10th largest in the world. Its logistic success is based on its strategic location on the North Sea, directly at the mouth of the Nieuwe Maas permitting waterway access into the heart of Western Europe, including the highly industrialised Ruhr region.

The city dates from at least AD 900 with a settlement at the lower end of the fen stream Rotte (or Rotta, as it was then known, from ‘rot’ (muddy) and ‘a’ (water), thus 'muddy water'). Around 1150, large floods in the area ended development, leading to the construction of protective dikes and dams along the northern banks of the present-day Nieuwe Maas. A dam on the Rotte or 'Rotterdam' was built in the 1260s and was located at the present-day Hoogstraat (High Street). On 7th July 1340, Count Willem IV of Holland (1307-1345) granted city rights to Rotterdam, which then had approximately 2,000 inhabitants.

 

An aerial view of the bustling shipping port of Rotterdam

 

The port of Rotterdam grew slowly but steadily into a port of importance, becoming the seat of one of the six 'chambers' of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company. The greatest spurt of growth, both in port activity and population, followed the completion of the Nieuwe Waterweg in 1872. The city and harbour started to expand on the south bank of the river.

During World War I (1914-1918), the city was the world's largest spy centre because of Dutch neutrality and its location in between England, Germany and occupied Belgium. During World War II (1939-1945), the German army invaded the Netherlands on 10th May 1940. Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) had hoped to conquer the country in just one day, but his forces met unexpectedly fierce resistance. On 15th May 1940, the Dutch army was finally forced to capitulate, following Hitler's bombing of Rotterdam the previous day and his threats to bomb other Dutch cities. The heart of Rotterdam was almost completely destroyed by the Luftwaffe. Some 80,000 civilians were made homeless and 900 were killed.

Rotterdam was gradually rebuilt from the 1950s through to the 1970s. It remained quite windy and open until the city councils from the 1980s on began developing an active architectural policy. Daring and new styles of apartments, office buildings and recreation facilities resulted in a more 'liveable' city centre with a new skyline.

One of the two most popular tourist attractions of the city is the Zomercarnaval (Summer Carnival) which takes place annually in late July or early August. The first carnival was staged on 4th August 1984 and it offers residents and tourists, the opportunity to experience a taste of those celebrated in Latin America and the Cape Verde Islands albeit some what dampened down by the cooler north European climate. Although the street parade attracts the most visitors, the carnival is a multi-day event and attracts almost one million people a year to the city. On Saturday, a week prior to the parade, a new Carnival Queen is elected at the Cruise Terminal Building on the Wilhelmina Pier. The following Thursday, a Beach Party is held at the Strand aan de Maas, an large open area on the opposite side of the Nieuwe Maas river to the Cruise Terminal Building, at which several brass bands, DJ's and the newly chosen Queen attend. On Friday evening, the Battle of Drums is staged, an event in which several brass bands compete to be named the official Zomercarnaval brass band and earn a spot in the street parade, as well as being invited to take part in the famous Notting Hill Carnival in London during the August Bank Holiday weekend. The parade, which is held on the Saturday and is the culmination of the week-long celebrations, includes brass bands and thousands of dancers and two ‘live on stage’ concerts at the Coolsingel and the Churchillplein until late in the evening.

The second of the top attractions is the Diergaarde Blijdorp (Blijdorp Zoo) which was designed by architect Sybold van Revesteyn (1889-1983) following damage sustained to the old zoo building during bombing raids on 10th May 1940. Constructed slightly north of its original location, street names such as Diergaardesingel (Zoo Lane) still recall the old zoo. Despite current trends for animal rights, the zoo houses a vast variety of animals and birds from all over the globe. However, with funding from the city being reduced annually, its survival is in jeopardy.

The Venue

Sportspaleis 'Ahoy', Zuidwijk

The games were played at the Sportspaleis ‘Ahoy’ (part of the Ahoy Rotterdam complex), an indoor sporting arena standing in the Dijkzigtterrein, part of the reconstructed Rotterdam port area which had been severely damaged by bombing in the Second World War (1939-1945). The site had been home to an exhibition hall which had been built to celebrate the reconstruction work with a special 'Rotterdam Ahoy!' exhibition. Amusingly, for some years after, when the dot of the exclamation mark had dropped off the sign, the exhibition hall became known as the Ahoy-Hal and no-one seemed to mind. The hall staged many national and international events, including a notable exhibition of the work of celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). It also proved its worth as a reception centre for the victims of the North Sea flood, a major natural disaster on the night of Saturday 31st January 1953 that affected the coastlines of the Netherlands, Belgium and England, claiming over two thousand lives and displaced thousands more.
 

The main entrance to the Ahoy Rotterdam
with its iconic red main entrance logo

 

Building work on the Ahoy Rotterdam commenced in 1968 and by 1970, three exhibition halls and the Sports Palace were completed. The first event to be staged at the new facilities was the Femina family fair, held in September 1970. Three months later, on Thursday 15th January 1971, the Ahoy was officially opened by HRH Prince Claus (1926-2002). Audience capacity of the arena was set at 10,000 spectators and the complex's impressive design by architects Van der Stoep and Groosman garnered a number of international awards for the special steel structures used in the arena's construction.

Since the Ahoy's auspicious opening, it has been the venue for the 1975 European Final of the BBC / Transworld Sport programme Superstars (hosted by British Jeux Sans Frontières presenter, David Vine (1935-2009)), the 2007 Junior Eurovision Song Contest and has played host to ATP World Tennis Tour and International Dog Show events for many years. It is also popular as a concert venue and has seen the likes of Elton John, Iron Maiden, Deep Purple, Alanis Morissette, Rush, Shakira and the popular Dutch singer Lee Towers play and make live concert video programmes there. The Ahoy has been expanded on a number of occasions, including major renovation in 1998 to create today's multifunctional venue. It was renamed Ahoy Rotterdam at around this time and celebrated its 40th Anniversary in January 2011.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - The Flying Dolphins

The first game - ‘The Flying Dolphins’ - was played individually over a duration of 45 seconds and featured five competitors (3 males and 2 females) from each team standing on a dirigible on one side of a net. On the other side of the net was a line of 30 inflatable weighted dolphins and an opposing male team member from each of the other five teams. On the whistle, the opposing team members had to toss the dolphins over the net into the playing area and it was the competing team’s task to return them back over the net as quickly as possible. This continued throughout the game and any dolphins on the playing side of the net when limit time was reached would be counted against the team. The team with the lesser number of dolphins in the playing area would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Netherlands and they ended with a total of 6 dolphins on their side of the net whilst the second heat saw the participation of France who had 4 dolphins remaining when the final whistle sounded. The third of the six teams to participate was Italy and at the end of their allotted time they had 6 dolphins. This was followed by the fourth heat which saw the participation of Great Britain and they had just 3 dolphins remaining. The fifth and penultimate team to participate was West Germany and they had 6 dolphins remaining and they were followed by the sixth and final team of Belgium who removed all but 3 dolphins on their side of the net when the whistle sounded.

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that Belgium and Great Britain were in 1st place with 6pts each whilst France were in 3rd place with 4pts. West Germany, Italy and Netherlands were in 4th place with 3pts each and Switzerland, who did not participate, were in 7th place with 0pts.


Game 2 - The Leaning Tower of Boxes

The second game - ‘The Leaning Tower of Boxes’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and witnessed the home team of Netherlands presenting their Joker for play. It featured two female competitors from each team dressed in Dutch national costume and a stack of 25 upturned cucumber boxes. On the whistle, the first of the competitors had to lift the stack and carry it down a course and then hand it over to her team-mate who then completed the second half of the course in the same manner. At the end of the course there was an inclined chute with sections numbered 1-25 along its length. On reaching this, the competitor had to lean the stack forward and guide it into the chute with the help of a team-mate. Any boxes that fell to the ground could be replaced by raising the stack and inserting them. Any boxes not in the chute after limit time would incur a 5-second penalty. The team completing the game in the faster overall time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland, France and Italy with the Swiss getting off to the better start. However, by the halfway mark, the French team had gained some ground on Switzerland but it was not enough to stop the Swiss competitor from guiding her boxes into the chute first. Despite the top box coming adrift from the pile it remained in the chute and was deemed to be valid. The French team were not so lucky after the top seven boxes tumbled to the ground as their competitor leant the stack forward. Whilst the team rapidly recomposed itself and rebuilt the stack, it gave Italy the opportunity to overtake them and place their stack perfectly into the chute. The times were announced and Switzerland had finished in 48 seconds, Italy had finished in 59 seconds and France had finished the game in 1 minute 23 seconds. The second heat saw the participation of West Germany, Great Britain and Netherlands and it was a completely different story to that of the first. Whilst the Dutch got the better start, their competitor appeared to be holding her stack at a precariously forward angle. However, she miraculously held her nerve and handed the stack to her team-mate who completed the game without mishap. In the meanwhile, the West German competitor lost the balance of the stack and, whilst trying to rectify it, found herself off the course and onto the cambered cycle track of the arena. Unable to prevent a calamity, she dropped the entire stack of boxes to the ground, almost hitting the assembled spectators in the process. This delay permitted the British team to overtake and place their stack perfectly into the chute. After running back and forth to collect the dropped boxes, the West German team ran out of time with just 12 boxes in the chute. The times were announced and Netherlands had finished the game in 45 seconds, Great Britain had finished in 1 minute 10 seconds and West Germany were given a time of 3 minutes 5 seconds (2 minutes + 13 x 5 seconds penalties).

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Netherlands, having played the Joker (12pts awarded), had been promoted to 1st place with 15pts whilst Great Britain (3pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 9pts. Italy (4pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 7pts whilst France (2pts) and Belgium, who did not participate, had both been demoted to 4th place with 6pts each. Switzerland (5pts) had been promoted to 6th place with 5pts and West Germany (1pt) had been demoted to 7th place with 4pts.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 1 and 2 - The Hairdresser's Dummies

The Fil Rouge - ‘The Hairdresser’s Dummies’ - was played individually over roughly 1 minute 10 seconds duration and featured a line of 30 hairdresser’s dummy heads and a female competitor armed with a tennis racket standing behind a wooden stile. On the whistle, the competitor had a total of 25 tennis balls delivered to her from a tennis ball machine located behind the line of dummies. Each ball was delivered at intervals of 2½ seconds and she had to try and knock down as many of the dummy heads as possible. The team with the greater number of heads knocked down would be declared the winners.

The first round featured Switzerland and their competitor could only dislodge 2 of the heads. The second round featured Italy and their competitor went one better and dislodged 3 heads.


Game 3 - The High Seas

The third game - ‘The High Seas’ - was played over three heats of one minute duration and featured two male competitors from each team standing on a platform above two large metronomic swinging buckets decked out in the guise of sailing ships. On the whistle, the first competitor was handed a lifebuoy by a female team-mate and he had to swing the bucket in tempo with his team-mate in order to pass the lifebuoy to him. Once passed, the second competitor had to swing the bucket and toss the lifebuoy over a pole located a short distance away on the other side. This was repeated until time limit and the team with the greater number of lifebuoys would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium and West Germany, with the latter displaying the better technique. At the end of the one minute, West Germany had landed 8 lifebuoys whilst Belgium could only land 3 lifebuoys. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Switzerland and the home team of Netherlands. From the outset, it was apparent that Netherlands would be victorious with the second of the two Dutch competitors being somewhat of an expert at throwing. Although the game only lasted a short time, he was passed 11 lifebuoys in total, all of which he secured onto the pole. In the meantime, the Swiss team could only land 5 lifebuoys. The third and final heat saw the participation of France and Italy, with the latter getting off to the better start. However, France made a recovery in the latter stages of the game and landed a total of 6 lifebuoys whereas Italy could only land 4 lifebuoys.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Netherlands (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 21pts whilst France (4pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 10pts. Italy (2pts) had retained 3rd place and were joined by West Germany (5pts), who had been had been promoted, and Great Britain, who did not participate, with 9pts each. Switzerland (3pts) had retained 6th place with 8pts whilst Belgium (1pt) had been demoted to 7th place with 7pts.

Points to Note: (a) With the angle of the bucket reaching upwards to 90° to the ground and standing on podiums above the buckets, the competitors wore support belts which they attached to the upright pole of the podium by a hook.

(b) Each of the four metronomic buckets and sails had a code painted on them - KW23, UK44, UM56 and SCH11. However, the significance of these and their meanings are unclear.


Game 4 - The Dog and the Cat

The fourth game - ‘The Dog and the Cat’ - was played over three heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and witnessed Switzerland and Italy both presenting their Jokers for play. It featured six male competitors from each team, four dressed in a large bloodhound costume and two in a large cat costume. In the middle of the arena there were two large oversized kennels adjacent to each other with a hut assigned to the opposing team located directly in front of each. At the end of the course, hanging above the cambered track, were two large fish. On the whistle, the bloodhounds exited the kennel and then turned left or right, dependant from which kennel they had started, and then through a gate built of straw bales. They then had to race around the inner lane of the track, passing each other en route, and returning through the opposite gate to which they had exited. The team then had to enter the rear of their assigned hut in order to ‘scare’ their cat into exiting through the front of the hut. The cats then raced up the course to where the fish were located and had to climb a rope in order to grab one of them and set off a firecracker. It should be noted that the cat could not be released until the bloodhound was completely inside the hut and the door behind it had been closed. The team completing the course in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of France and Netherlands and from the outset the home team took the lead, but despite the French having a faultless run, they could not keep up with the pace of their rivals. The results revealed that Netherlands had completed the game in 50 seconds and France had finished in exactly 1 minute. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Switzerland and Great Britain and, unlike the previous heat, it was a neck and neck race until the teams re-entered the central area of the arena after which Switzerland gained a slight lead. Taking full advantage of this, the Swiss cat exited the hut first, reaching the fish and finishing the game in 50 seconds with Great Britain just behind them in 53 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Belgium and Italy and, as was expected on their Joker game, the Italians stormed the race. By the halfway mark on the track run, they were 5m (16ft 5in) ahead of their rivals. Although reaching the rope six seconds ahead of the Belgians, the Italians lost time with their inept climbing ability and permitted their rivals to make up some of the deficit. Italy completed the game in a time of 53 seconds and Belgium finished in 55 seconds.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Netherlands (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 27pts whilst Switzerland, having played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 20pts. Italy, having also played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 3rd place with 17pts whilst Great Britain (4pts) had been demoted to 4th place with 13pts and France (1pt) had been demoted to 5th place with 11pts. Belgium (2pts) had been promoted and joined West Germany, who did not participate and had been demoted, in 6th place with 9pts each.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 3 and 4 - The Hairdresser's Dummies

The third round of the Fil Rouge featured Great Britain and although their competitor was somewhat haphazard in her style, she dislodged 5 of the heads which placed the team in top spot at this point. The fourth round followed and featured West Germany and their competitor could only dislodge 1 of the heads which placed them in last position at this point.


Game 5 - The Knight and the Damsel

The fifth game - ‘The Knight and the Damsel’ - was played over three heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and witnessed Belgium presenting their Joker for play. It featured a course comprising two wooden gates, a drawbridge and a castle turret and four male competitors from each team, three dressed in a horse costume and the other as a knight. On the whistle, the knight mounted his horse and, as he exited the castle, had to grab a lance. The horse then ran down the course until it reached a wooden barrier, at which point the knight dismounted and removed the blockage. He then remounted the horse which then ran to the next barrier. The knight dismounted for a second time and again removed the barrier, but on this occasion he had to run with it up the course and utilise it to cross a small moat. Once across the moat, he released the drawbridge which permitted him to return to the horse and remount. Together they crossed the drawbridge to reach a castle turret, at the top of which was a dummy damsel. In order for him to ‘rescue’ his damsel, the knight had to use the lance and hit a target through the turret’s window, which would release and drop the damsel into his arms. Once the damsel had been ‘rescued’, he could relinquish the lance and then race back to the start via the drawbridge. On reaching the castle’s walls, the knight had to carry his damsel up a ladder and climb inside and set off a firecracker. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium and Netherlands and it was a closely run contest until the Belgian knight attempted to release his drawbridge. The base of the drawbridge appeared to be faulty after the locking catch, which was used to keep it open, failed and resulted in the drawbridge raising itself. After another try it re-occurred but on his third attempt he was finally able to keep it locked in position. In the meantime, the Netherlands team had completed the game in 1 minute 3 seconds with Belgium eventually completing the game in 1 minute 25 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Switzerland and Italy and, as was the case in the previous heat, was a closely run race. However, on this occasion, both of the drawbridges remained in position after being released. Switzerland was the first of the two to complete the game in exactly 1 minute with Italy finishing in 1 minute 7 seconds. Before the start of the next heat, referee Gennaro Olivieri announced that the Belgian team had clearly been hindered by the failure of the drawbridge and would be permitted a re-run at the end of the game. The third and final heat saw the participation of West Germany and Great Britain and was the closest run of the three heats. However, the West German team tumbled to the ground in the last 10m (32ft 9¾in) of the game and their knight ran to the castle wall on foot. In the meantime, the British team had reached the top of the ladder and finished the game in 1 minute 1 second. West Germany were given a time of 0:00 for breaching the rules and not remounting the horse to complete the game. After this, the Belgium team commenced their re-run and on this occasion completed it without any hindrance, finishing in a time of 1 minute 2 seconds.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that the top four teams had retained their previous positions. Netherlands (3pts awarded) were in 1st place with 30pts, Switzerland (6pts) were in 2nd place with 26pts, Italy (2pts) were in 3rd place with 19pts and Great Britain (5pts) were in 4th place with 18pts. Belgium, having played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 5th place with 17pts whilst France, who did not participate, had been demoted to 6th place with 11pts and West Germany (1pt) had been demoted to 7th place with 10pts.

Point to Note: Eagle-eyed viewers would have noticed that when the Belgian team had the re-run, they utilised the horse costume of the Italian team and the reason for this remains unclear.


Game 6 - Miss Jeux Sans Frontières Contest

The sixth game - ‘Miss Jeux Sans Frontières Contest’ - was played over three heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and witnessed France presenting their Joker for play. It featured a female competitor in swimwear from each team and a wooden beam spanning a large pool, on each side of which was a beauty queen’s throne. On the whistle, the competitor had to make her way across the beam to a marked area. Once she reached this point, she had to keep her balance whilst a male team-mate tossed plastic containers to her. Inside the containers were items of clothing and regalia ascribed to a beauty queen - a sash (with the word ‘Miss’ and the name of the team printed on it), a wig, a robe, an orb, a tiara and a small bouquet of flowers - all of which she had to attire herself with. Once the final item had been caught, the competitor ran back to the side of the pool and seated herself on the throne which set off a firecracker. A second competitor was on standby to restart the procedure should the first tumble into the pool. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat of this very straightforward game saw the participation of Switzerland and West Germany and was completed in under a minute with West Germany finishing in 43 seconds and Switzerland finishing in 49 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of France and Great Britain with France finishing first in 40 seconds and Great Britain finishing in 47 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Belgium and Netherlands and was won by Netherlands in 36 seconds with Belgium finishing in 52 seconds.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Netherlands (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 36pts and Switzerland (2pts) had retained 2nd place with 28pts whilst France, having played the Joker (10pts), and Great Britain (3pts) had both been promoted to 3rd place with 21pts each. Italy, who did not participate, had been demoted to 5th place with 19pts, Belgium (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 18pts whilst West Germany (4pts) had retained 7th place with 14pts.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 5 and 6 - The Hairdresser's Dummies

The fifth round of the Fil Rouge featured France and their competitor dislodged 3 of the heads which equalled the score of Belgium in the second round. The sixth and penultimate round featured Italy and their competitor went one better and dislodged 4 of the heads, placing them in 2nd position at this point.


Game 7 - They've Got the Whole World in Their Hands

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘They’ve Got the Whole World in Their Hands’ - was played in three heats of two minutes duration and witnessed West Germany presenting their Joker for play. It featured six competitors (3 males and 3 females) from each team, a very large inflated globe and a 2m (6ft 6¾in) high eggcup. On the whistle, the three male competitors had to transport the globe over a dirigible and then toss it over a net. The female competitors then had to lift the globe above their heads and, working together, simply guide it into the egg cup which was much more difficult than it sounds The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of West Germany and Great Britain and whilst the West German team successfully completed the game in 44 seconds, the British female trio struggled and failed to finish the game and were given 0:00. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Belgium and Italy and was completely different to that of the first. Both teams used better tactics, in particular the Belgium female trio who stormed the game and finished in just 23 seconds with Italy completing the game in 36 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Switzerland and France and, although they were not as sleek in their execution of the game as the Belgians had been in the previous heat, the French completed the game in 27 seconds. In the meantime, Switzerland were struggling to get the globe off the ground but eventually lifted it into the mouth of the eggcup, but had to hold their breath as it rolled around the rim three times before dropping in, after 1 minute 46 seconds.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that the top three teams had retained their previous positions. Netherlands, who did not participate, were in 1st place with 36pts, Switzerland (2pts awarded) were in 2nd place with 30pts and France (5pts) were in 3rd place with 26pts. Belgium (6pts) had been promoted to 4th place with 24pts whilst Italy (4pts) had retained 5th place with 23pts. Great Britain (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 22pts and West Germany, having played the Joker (6pts), had retained 7th place with 20pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 7 - The Hairdresser's Dummies

The seventh and final round of the Fil Rouge featured the home team of Netherlands and, with their competitor having only 24 dummy heads to aim at, was able to dislodge 4 of them with the 25 balls delivered to her.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Netherlands (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 42pts, Switzerland (2pts) had retained 2nd place with 32pts and France (4pts) had retained 3rd place with 30pts. Great Britain (7pts) and Italy (6pts) had both been promoted to 4th place with 29pts each whilst Belgium (4pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 28pts. West Germany (1pt) had retained 7th place with 21pts.

Points to Note: (a) With the result of the Fil Rouge, Netherlands had secured victory overall, no matter the outcome of the final game. Although Great Britain had yet to play their Joker, a victory for them on the final game (14pts) and a last position for Netherlands (1pt) would result in a tied contest with both teams with 43pts each. At the bottom of the scoreboard, the result of the Fil Rouge had determined that West Germany, now trailing by 7pts on their closest rival, were fated to finish the contest in 7th place overall.

(b) The experienced ‘guest’ competitor for Netherlands was tennis player Els Veentjer-Spruyt who had represented Netherlands at the Wimbledon Championships between 1965 and 1969. Born in December 1943 as Elsie Spruyt, she married Piet Venntjer in 1965, and her greatest year was in 1967 after reaching the fourth round of the tournament and found herself drawn against the top seeded player, Billie-Jean Moffitt (later to be known as Billie-Jean King). After four years in the top flight, Veentjer-Spruyt retired from competitive sport to concentrate on starting a family, giving birth to two daughters Pamela (in 1970) and Linda (1973).


Game 8 - The Rocket Launch

The eighth and final game - ‘The Rocket Launch’ - witnessed Great Britain presenting the final Joker of the contest for play. It featured five male competitors from each team and a silver polystyrene space rocket. On the whistle, the four competitors had to lift the rocket off its mountings and then line up in front of each other, raising the rocket above their heads and moving it forward whilst remaining stationary. Once the rocket had been released by the last competitor in the line, he ran forward to get in front of the first and then the third competitor, who was now the last in line, did the same and this was repeated throughout until the teams reached the halfway mark of the course. At this point the teams were permitted to carry the rocket for the remainder of the course and then had to place it, nose up, in a launch pad to set off a firecracker. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

This was a very straightforward game which was neck and neck until the halfway point after which West Germany took control and finished the game in 41 seconds followed by both Italy and France in 43 seconds and Great Britain in 44 seconds. On camera, it appeared that Netherlands had finished in 5th place in 47 seconds and Belgium in 48 seconds with Switzerland in 7th place in 49 seconds. However, when the results were announced the Netherlands and Belgium placings had been reversed.

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Netherlands (2pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 44pts whilst Great Britain, having played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 37pts. France (6pts) had retained 3rd place with 36pts and Italy (6pts) had retained 4th place with 35pts whilst Switzerland (1pt), who had held 2nd place on the scoreboard since the fourth game, had been demoted to 5th place with 33pts. Belgium (3pts) had retained 6th place with 31pts and West Germany, despite having won the game (7pts), finished in 7th place with 28pts, an occurrence that was very rare in Jeux Sans Frontières.

Points to Note: (a) Viewers watching the programme may have felt that some bias was taking place by one of the referees in this game. British referee Arthur Ellis had been assigned to watch the Netherlands team and those with an eagle-eye would see him continuously stopping them and pushing them back. Even their positional finishing order was somewhat doubtful (see above for details). If this was a case of a little assistance to help the British team tie the contest, it was all in vain as the quintet did not help their own cause by finishing in 4th place on the game!

(b) When the Silver Jeux Sans Frontières trophy was presented to the winning team of Alphen aan den Rijn, it was hidden away inside a wooden casket. It would not have been seen by the cameras but for the officials prompting the team captain to open it up. On all other occasions, the winners’ trophy had always been handed in full view of the cameras and audience and the reason for this anomaly remains unclear.

(c) This was the first occasion in 31 Jeux Sans Frontières programmes (excluding 1965 and 1966 when only two teams competed in each heat) that a West German team found itself finishing in the bottom position. Going forward, West Germany would only see two other teams in this same position - Hof in 1973 (47th programme) and Bad Sobernheim at the International Final of 1978 (92nd programme). An amazing record of finishing in bottom position on just 3 occasions in 110 programmes between 1967 and 1980!

Additional Information

This event had the distinction of being the first summer Jeux Sans Frontières competition to be held indoors, being staged at the Sportpaleis ‘Ahoy’. The venue had only been opened in 1970 - a year before Jeux Sans Frontières visited. The only other two occasions that the summer games were staged indoors were at the Eisstadion Allmend in Bern, Switzerland in 1972 and the Palazzo dello Sport in Milano, Italy in 1976. It should be noted that the first-ever event to be staged indoors was during the 1968 Interneige series when the final programme was broadcast from the Centre Sportif des Vernets (Vernets Sports Centre) in Bâtie-Acacias, Genève, Switzerland.

The Belgian team in this heat represented one of the nineteen municipalities that comprise its capital city. The city is the only territory in the country that is bi-lingual and for that reason all the municipalities are known by both the French (Walloon) and Dutch (Flemish) names. However, the scoreboard designers appeared to have got the two mixed up (or diplomatically tried to show no bias) by displaying the name as Watermaal-Boitsfort. However, in reality the French name is Watermael-Boitsfort whilst the Dutch version is Watermaal-Bosvoorde!

This International Heat in Rotterdam cost 80,000 guilders (c.£9200 at 1971 exchange rates) to stage, an increase of 5,000 guilders (c.£500) over the cost of the previous year's Dutch International Heat from Groningen.

Props and equipment for this International Heat included 50,000 litres (11,000 gallons) of water, 500 plastic dolphins, 1,000 tennis balls, 535 cucumber boxes, 12 tins of explosive confetti, 56 helmets, 54 wigs and 10 suits of armour which were made from foam rubber.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

F

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 4

Event Staged: Wednesday 21st July 1971
Venue: Lac et Quai d'Allier (Lake Allier and Quayside), Vichy, France

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 21st July 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 21st July 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 21st July 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 21st July 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 21st July 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 21st July 1971, 9.45-11.05pm

RAI Due (I): Thursday 22nd July 1971
ORTF 1 (F):
Wednesday 25th August 1971
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 27th August 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Simon Garnier

Theme: The Animated Characters of Walt Disney

Teams: Tournai (B) v. Brig (CH) v. Bockum-Hövel (D) v. Vichy (F) v.
Prestwick (GB) v. Forio d’Ischia (I) v. Zoetermeer (NL)

Team Members included:
Bockum-Hövel (D) -
Dieter Ende;
Vichy (F) -
Michel Denis, Benedine Duche, Christian de la Presse, Jean Lafevré, Jean-Michel Mourelle, Rogier Waszkier;
Prestwick (GB) -
Johnny Hubbard (Team Coach), Jim Innes (Team Manager), Hugh Alexander, Ann Beaton, Bill Collin, John Colville, Jim Doolan, Jim Ferguson, Jim Fields, Laurence 'Laurie' Hood, Linda Hubbard, Donald McKechnie, Brian Morrison, Brian Picken, Pat Slessor and Morag Thow.

Games: Baloo and Mowgli, The Six Dwarfs and the Daisies, Pluto’s Bones, Donald Duck and the Metronome, The Jousting Cats, Peter Pan, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, The Witches;
Fil Rouge: The Three Little Pigs;
Jokers: Peter Pan Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 FR
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 1 5 --- 6 5 10 3 7 4

CH

3 12 5 3 5 --- 1 2 5

D

4 4 3 2 --- 2 12 4 4
F 6 1 5 2 3 8 --- 5 1

GB

5 4 6 --- 3 6 1 3 6
I 2 --- 1 4 6 3 4 2 7
NL --- 4 2 5 3 1 12 6 1
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 1 6 6 12 17 27 30 37 41

CH

3 15 20 23 28 28 29 31 36

D

4 8 11 13 13 15 27 31 35
F 6 7 12 14 17 25 25 30 31

GB

5 9 15 15 18 24 25 28 34
I 2 2 3 7 13 16 20 22 29
NL 0 4 6 11 14 15 27 33 34

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
4th
6th
7th

 B • Tournai l
 CH • Brig
 D • Bockum-Hövel
 NL • Zoetermeer
 GB • Prestwick
 F • Vichy
 I • Forio d'Ischia

41
36
35
34
34
31
29

The Host Town

Vichy, France

Vichy is a town with a population of around 26,000 inhabitants in the Auvergne region. It is located almost in the centre of the country, 267km (166 miles) west of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, 283km (175¾ miles) north of Montpellier, 314km (195 miles) south of Paris and 353km (219¼ miles) east of La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast.

On returning from their defeat at the Battle of Gergovia (52 BC) by the Gallic legions of Vercingetorix, the Romans established a township at their crossing on the Flumen Elaver (Allier). These Roman settlers had acknowledged the therapeutic value of the springs in the area and were eager to exploit them. During the first two centuries AD, Vichy was very prosperous because of these thermal springs. At the end of the 3rd century, Emperor Diocletian (AD 245-AD 311) undertook a vast administrative reorganization and land survey.

 

The Hotel de Ville (Town Hall) is one of the top three employers
in the town with 720 employees

 

On 2nd September 1344, Jean II (1319-1364) ceded the noble fiefdom of Vichy to Duke Pierre I of Bourbon (1311-1356). On 6th December 1374, the last part of Vichy was acquired by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon (1337-1410), at which point Vichy was incorporated into the House of Bourbon. In 1527, the House of Bourbon was incorporated into the French Kingdom.

By the end of the 16th century, the mineral baths had obtained a reputation for having quasi-miraculous curing powers and attracted patients from the noble and wealthy classes. These included the Marquise de Sévigné (1626-1696) would popularize Vichy's thermal baths through the written descriptions in her letters. The Vichy waters were said to have cured the paralysis in her hands, thus enabling her to take up letter-writing. In 1761 and 1762, Princesses Adélaïde (1732-1800) and Victoire (1733-1799), the daughters of Louis XV (1710-1774), came to Vichy for the first time and returned in 1785. The bath facilities seemed extremely uncomfortable to them because of the muddy surroundings and insufficient access. When they returned to Versailles, they asked their nephew Louis XVI (1754-1793) to build roomier and more luxurious thermal baths, which were subsequently completed in 1787.

By the 19th century, Vichy was a station à la mode (fashionable resort), attended by many celebrities. But the stays of Napoleon III (1808-1873) between 1861 and 1866 were to cause the most profound transformation of the city. Dikes were built along the Allier River, 13 hectares (32 acres) of landscaped gardens replaced the old marshes, and along the newly laid out boulevards and streets, chalets and pavilions were built for the Emperor and his court. Recreational pursuits were not spared, with a large casino being built by the architect Badger in 1865. The emperor would be the catalyst of the development of a small rail station which multiplied the number of inhabitants and visitors by ten in fifty years with la vie thermale (the spa life) finding its heyday in the 1930s.

The 1950s and 1960s would become the most ostentatious period for Vichy, complete with parading personalities, visits from crowned heads (The Glaoui, Pasha of Marrakech (1879-1956) and Prince Rainier of Monaco (1923-2005)) and profits from a massive influx of North African French clients who holidayed in Vichy, spending lavishly. It was at this period that the station would take the title of Reine des villes d'eaux (Queen of the Spa Towns). From June to September, so many French-Algerian tourists were arriving that it almost seemed like there was an airlift set up between Vichy-Charmeil and the airports of Algeria.

The war in Algeria (1954-1962), which led to decolonization, marked once again a halt in the prosperity of this city, which from then on had to deal with much less favourable conditions. The need to continue to pay the debts incurred by the considerable investments that had been made in more prosperous times obligated the new mayor, Jacques Lacarin (1912-2009), the successor of Pierre Coulon, to adopt a much more careful policy of management.

Today the baths of Vichy are in little demand but still continue to be used to cure minor ailments. The town still has a few renowned names associated with it including Vichy Pastilles (octagon-shaped candies made from the soda contained in the spring waters) which are manufactured in Vichy and the laboratories of the L'Oréal company are based here. The three most important employers of the city however belong to the public sector; the hospital (with 1120 employees), the town hall (720) and the college of Presles (370).

The town's inhabitants are called Vichyssois and lend their name to a thick soup made of puréed leeks, onions, potatoes, cream, and chicken stock. However, there is some debate by culinary experts as to whether or not this was just an American invention or it stems from the town from which it takes its name.

The Venue

Lac et Quai d'Allier

The games were played on the banks of the town’s river on Lac d’Allier, an artificial lake commissioned on 10th June 1963 by the then mayor, Pierre Coulon (1913-1967). Due to the popularity of the thermal resort by clients from the North African countries, he decided to build a bridge-dam across the river to create the lake. Le Pont d’Europe (the Bridge of Europe), which regulates the flow of the river and the level of the water of the lake, was officially opened on 1st September 1963 by French politician Maurice Herzog (1919-2012) on the occasion of the European rowing championships.
 

An aerial view of Lac d’Allier, created in 1963,
with the Rotunda restaurant and the quay

 

The lake stretches for 2.5km (1½ miles) in length and has a maximum width of 170m (557ft 9ins) and is encompassed by a 6km (3¾ miles) long pathway. It is approved as an international rowing and canoeing basin and has its own artificial beach called Celestine. Along with the Omnisports Park, completed in 1968, both projects gave the town a new look, one that continues to this day.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Baloo and Mowgli

The first game - ‘Baloo and Mowgli’ - was based on the Walt Disney Productions 1967 animated version of The Jungle Book, adapted from the book penned by Indian-born English writer Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936). It was played individually over 50 seconds duration and featured two male competitors attired as Baloo the Bear and Mowgli the man-cub. It comprised six large cranes which supported podiums that were connected by a 50m (164ft) wooden slatted bridge overhanging the water’s edge. At the start of the game, the competitor representing Mowgli was standing on the quayside whilst the other, attired as Baloo, made his way to the third (middle) podium located 25m (82ft) along the bridge. On the whistle, Mowgli made his way onto the bridge whilst the cranes raised and lowered the platforms in a random manner and his task was to travel as far along his 25m stretch within 25 seconds. After this a second whistle would sound and release Baloo, who then had to repeat the process along the latter part of the bridge in the exact time frame. The measurements of distances traversed by each competitor would be taken and totalled. The team travelling the greater overall distance would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of West Germany and the first competitor failed to make it to the halfway mark before the second whistle and team-mate fared no better and ran out of time and the two distances covered were 21m (Mowgli) and 19m (Baloo) = 40m (131ft 2¼in). The second heat saw the participation of France and they completed the game in 38 seconds with the first competitor covering his half of the course in 18 seconds and tagging his team-mate, who then covered his half of the course in 20 seconds. The total distance for France was declared as 50m. The third of the six teams to participate was Switzerland and both of their competitors failed to make it across their respective halves and were deemed to have covered 19m + 12m = 31m (101ft 8½in). This was followed by the fourth heat which saw the participation of Great Britain and, although they also did not complete both halves, their competitors did cover 18.5m + 22m = 40.5m (132ft 10½in). The fifth and penultimate team to participate was Italy and with both of their competitors losing their footing on the second of their respective three sections, their total distance was declared as 15m + 13m = 28m (91ft 10¼in). The sixth and final team to participate was Belgium and they fared worst of the teams, covering 7.5m + 17.5m = 25m.

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that France were in 1st place with 6pts, Great Britain were in 2nd place with 5pts and West Germany were in 3rd place with 4pts. Switzerland were in 4th place with 3pts, Italy were in 5th place with 2pts and Belgium were in 6th place with 1pt. Netherlands, who did not participate were in 7th place with 0pts.


Game 2 - The Six Dwarfs and the Daisies

The second game - ‘The Six Dwarfs and the Daisies’ - was based on the 1937 animated version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was an adaptation of the German fairytale written by the brothers Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm Grimm (1786-1859). It was played over three heats of 1 minute 15 seconds duration and witnessed Switzerland and Great Britain presenting their Jokers for play. It featured a male competitor from each team dressed as one of the dwarfs, a 10m (32ft 9¾in) greased ramp and a vase of large marguerite daises enclosed within an area surrounded by straw bales. On the whistle, the dwarf had to pick up a tray with a glass of water on it and then slide with it down the ramp and over the straw bales at the bottom. Once completed he grabbed a daisy from the vase and ran with it back to the start. He then had to climb a ladder to the top of the ramp and place the daisy into a pot and then repeat the game. The glass could not be held in place with his other hand and it had to be standing upright on the tray as he exited the confines of the game in order for a daisy to be collected. The team collecting the greater number of daisies would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland and France and it got off to a false start when the French competitor lost his balance whilst anticipating the whistle and slid down the ramp. After recomposing himself at the top of the ramp, the whistle was sounded and it was Switzerland that got the better start with their competitor completing his descent without mishap. Although the French competitor had fallen on to his posterior on his descent, he got up and returned to the top of the ramp at the same time as his Swiss rival. The second, third and fourth descents were a repeat of the first with Switzerland being successful whilst France returned to the top of the ramp, flowerless. The result was declared as Switzerland collecting 4 daisies and France failing to score. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Belgium and West Germany and the first descent saw Belgium being successful whilst West Germany failed to arrive with the glass upright. The second and third descents proved successful for both teams and although the fourth had the same outcome, neither of the competitors was able to make it to the top of the ramp before the final whistle sounded. The result was declared as Belgium collecting 3 daises and West Germany collecting 2 daises. The third and final heat saw the participation of Great Britain and Netherlands and on the first descent whilst the latter was successful, the British competitor appeared to be too confident and slipped on the greased ramp. The second descent saw Great Britain try and flaunt the rules when their competitor handled the glass as he exited the scoring area. His misdemeanour was spotted by referee Guido Pancaldi, who waved at him and instructed him to return to the top of the ramp, flowerless. The Dutch competitor in the meantime slipped on his descent and also returned to the top of the ramp for the next descent. The British were first to depart on the fourth run and, although the glass toppled over just as he exited the playing area, he had already been disqualified for handling the glass as he started his descent and was again instructed to return to the top of the ramp. Netherlands in the meantime had been successful for a second time and returned to the top of the ramp. With the time ticking by, Great Britain made a fifth descent and on this occasion completed without mishap and raced back to the start with a daisy and began a sixth descent. But the clock had reached 1 minute 11 seconds of elapsed time at this point and before he had reached the base of the ramp, the whistle sounded. The result was declared as Great Britain collecting 1 daisy and Netherlands collecting 2 daisies.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland, having played the Joker (12pts awarded), had been promoted to 1st place with 15pts. Great Britain, having also played the Joker (4pts), had retained 2nd place with 9pts whilst West Germany (4pts) had retained 3rd place with 8pts. France (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 7pts whilst Belgium (5pts) had been promoted to 5th place with 6pts and Netherlands (4pts) had been promoted to 6th place with 4pts. Italy, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 2pts.

Point to Note: Whilst in the story and film there had been seven dwarfs, the game only utilised six of them. Before the start of the game, presenter Guy Lux explained tongue-in-cheek that Sleepy, the seventh dwarf from Italy, was actually fast asleep in bed and would not be competing. The cameras then panned to a large bed in which Sleepy was, indeed, asleep.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 1 and 2 - The Three Little Pigs

The Fil Rouge - ‘The Three Little Pigs’ - was based on the 1933 Silly Symphony animated short film of the same name, the story of which is attributed in its best-known form to Australian-born folklorist Joseph Jacobs (1854-1916). It was played individually and featured three large ringed basketball nets attached to an upright pole on the quayside and three male competitors from each team on water-skis and wearing pig masks. The nets had been set at an incline of 45° towards the oncoming skiers and each had a different value. The top net was valued at 5pts, the middle net was valued at 3pts and the bottom net was valued at 1pt. On the whistle, the speedboat pulled the skiers, each armed with a football, from the middle of the lake into the playing arena at a speed of 50kph (31mph). Each of the competitors was pulled by a rope of differing length - the first was pulled by an 18m (59ft ¾in) rope, the second by a 28m (91ft 10¼in) rope and the third by a 38m (124ft 8in) rope. A few metres before the targets, there was a ramp in the water which the competitors had to ascend and jump to give them extra height and it was at this point they had to toss the ball into one of three nets. The competitors only had one attempt at the game and the team with the greater total would be awarded the points.

The first round featured Netherlands and their competitors failed to score with any of their three balls and had a total of 0pts. The second round featured Italy and with each of their competitors hitting the targets (5pts + 5pts + 3pts) accumulated a total of 13pts.


Game 3 - Pluto's Bones

The third game - ‘Pluto’s Bones’ - was played individually over one minute duration and featured two separated parallel floating platforms in the lake and three male competitors dressed as Mickey Mouse’s dog, Pluto, on small bicycles. On the quayside, there was a kennel and on the farther of the two platforms there was a ‘washing line’. On the whistle, the first of the competitors had to exit the kennel and cycle across a broad plank of wood to reach the first platform and then across a much narrower plank to reach the second platform. Above the second plank of wood there was a line of eight bones and, as he crossed, he had to reach up and grab one and then continue to the second platform to hang it on the line. He then made his way back across to the quayside via another two planks further along the platform and back onto the quayside. Once the bone had been hung, the second competitor could begin his run and this was repeated throughout the game. If any of the competitors tumbled into the water, his run was finished and he had to swim back to the quayside whilst the next available team-mate started a new run. The team collecting the greater number of bones would be declared the winners.

The first team to participate was Netherlands and on the first run their competitor tumbled into the water and although the second competitor was not unfortunate, he was not able to grab a bone in passing. The third run proved to be more fruitful with the competitor collecting a bone and hanging it on the line. With the first competitor still in the water, the game continued with just two members of the team but neither was able to improve on the score of 1 bone. The second team to participate was France and despite completing seven crossings without mishap, only 3 bones were collected within the time permitted. The third of the six heats saw the participation of Great Britain and they made a total of six crossings but collected a total of 4 bones which would prove to be the best score attained. West Germany were the fourth team to participate and after making seven crossings without mishap, they were only able to collect 2 bones. The fifth and penultimate heat saw the participation of Switzerland and they made eight crossings within the time permitted and collected 4 bones. However, the fourth bone was hung on the line after the whistle and therefore only 3 bones were deemed valid. The sixth and final heat saw the participation of Italy and they were very inept with their cycling and balancing skills. With the first two competitors tumbling into the water and out of the game, it was left for the third competitor to continue solo for the remainder of the game. However, he did not take any chances of suffering a similar fate as his team-mates and made no real attempt to collect any bones and the team ended with a score of 0.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Switzerland (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 20pts, Great Britain (6pts) had retained 2nd place with 15pts and France (5pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 12pts. West Germany (3pts) had been demoted to 4th place with 11pts whilst Netherlands (2pts) had been promoted and joined Belgium, who did not participate, in 5th place with 6pts each. Italy (1pt) had retained 7th place with 3pts.

Point to Note: This game was originally designed to be played in three heats of two teams over two minutes duration. However, during rehearsals it was found that the closeness of the two competing teams was deemed to be somewhat of a hazard should two opposing competitors tumble into the water at the same time and the bicycles coming into contact with either. An aerial view of the game clearly showed this in its design.


Game 4 - Donald Duck and the Metronome

The fourth game - ‘Donald Duck and the Metronome’ - was played over three heats of 1min 30secs duration and featured three female competitors and a floating barrel with a 5m (16ft 5in) pole at its centre and a crow’s nest at the top. On the whistle, the three competitors swam from the quayside and whilst two of them climbed onto the top of the barrel, the third competitor, dressed as Donald Duck, climbed the pole and into the crow’s nest. The three of them then had to work together to get the metronome in motion by adjusting their positions from one side to the other. Once in motion, the metronome had to attain enough swing in order for the competitor in the crow’s nest to be low enough to touch the surface of the water. The team with the greater number of successful swings (or bêtement) into the water would be declared the winners.

The first heat of this straightforward game saw the participation of West Germany and France and ended with both teams having completed 6 swings each. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Switzerland and Netherlands with both teams applying better techniques than the previous two. The heat ended with Switzerland completing 7 swings and Netherlands completing 9 swings. The third and final heat saw the participation of Belgium and Italy with both teams appearing to be faster than the previous four. The results revealed that Belgium had completed 10 swings and Italy had completed 8 swings.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that all but one team had retained their previous positions. Switzerland (3pts awarded) were in 1st place with 23pts, Great Britain, who did not participate, were in 2nd place with 15pts, France (2pts) were in 3rd place with 14pts, West Germany (2pts) were in 4th place with 13pts and Belgium (6pts) were in 5th place with 12pts. Netherlands (5pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 11pts whilst Italy (4pts) were in 7th place with 7pts.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 3 and 4 - The Three Little Pigs

The third round of the Fil Rouge featured Belgium and although only one of their competitors was able to hit the target, it was the highest valued and they finished with a total of 5pts. The fourth round followed and it featured Great Britain and with two of their competitors hitting the top target and the third missing completely, the team accumulated a total of 10pts.


Game 5 - The Jousting Cats

The fifth game - ‘The Jousting Cats’ - was loosely based Gideon the cat, a character from Disney’s 1940 film Pinocchio, which was adapted from the story of the same name by Italian author Carlo Collodi (1826-1890). It was played over three rounds for each team and featured two male competitors armed with lances from each team sitting on small ski lift chairs and two zip wires, one measuring 60m (196ft 10¼in) and descending from the roof of the rotunda restaurant to the quayside opposite and the other measuring 50m (164ft) and descending from a high scaffold down to the base of the rotunda. On the whistle, a stagehand on the rotunda and another on the scaffold each released an opposing competitor out onto the wire. As they passed each other, they had to hit a small target located to the left of the chair which would send their opponent into the water below. There were three ways of scoring - if one of the competitors was successful and the other failed, the winner would be awarded 5pts and the loser would score 0pts; if both competitors were successful, each would be awarded 3pts and if neither competitor was successful, they would score 0pts.

The first run of the first round saw the participation of Italy from the high scaffold and Netherlands from the rotunda and on their first run they both hit their targets and both scoring 3pts each. The second run saw the participation of Belgium from the rotunda and Great Britain from the scaffold with both scoring 3pts each after hitting their targets. The third run saw the participation of Switzerland from the scaffold and France from the rotunda and as had been the case in the previous two runs, both teams were successful, scoring 3pts each. With all the teams equal with 3pts each, the game moved into the second round and saw the teams switching their starting points. Those that had started on the high scaffold on their first run switched to the rotunda roof for their second and those who had previously started from the roof of the rotunda, started from the high scaffold. The first run of the round saw the participation of Belgium and Italy and ended with both teams hitting their targets and scoring another 3pts each. The second run saw the participation of France and Great Britain with both teams again unseating their opponents. The third run saw Switzerland participating against Netherlands and although it appeared that Swiss competitor had broken the deadlock by unseating his Dutch opponent, he tumbled from his seat before reaching the safety of the quayside and was deemed as having been hit. All teams were now on 6pts each and the game entered its third and final round. The first run of the round saw Italy (rotunda) participating against France (high scaffold) and the deadlock was finally broken when the Italian competitor unseated his French rival whilst remaining intact in his seat. Italy were awarded 5pts (total 11pts) and France were awarded 0pts (6pts). The second run saw Belgium (rotunda) participating against Switzerland (high scaffold) with both teams unseating their rivals and scoring 3pts each (9pts each). The final run saw Great Britain (high scaffold) participating against Netherlands (rotunda) and with neither of them hitting their targets, they scored 0pts each (6pts each).

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 28pts and Great Britain (3pts) had retained 2nd place with 18pts. Belgium (5pts) had been promoted and joined France (3pts) in 3rd place with 17pts each whilst Netherlands (3pts) had been promoted to 5th place with 14pts. Italy (6pts) had been promoted and joined West Germany, who did not participate and had been demoted, in 6th place with 13pts each.

Point to Note: The success or failure of the teams in this game was somewhat dependant on the timing of the stagehands releasing the competitors. If they were released at exact the same moment, the competitors had the greater chance of meeting at the midway points of their descents. However, if they timed it incorrectly, the competitors would have very little or no chance of making contact. Whilst most of their releases were accurate, a slight delay by one of them on the final run of the third round clearly showed after both competitors missed their targets completely!


Game 6 - Peter Pan

The sixth game - ‘Peter Pan’ - was based on the character from the 1953 film of the same name, an animated adaptation of the classic story penned by Scottish author James Matthew (J.M.) Barrie (1860-1937). It was played individually and witnessed Belgium and France presenting their Jokers for play. It featured a male competitor from each team wearing boxing gloves and a Peter Pan costume and who was standing astride a wooden horse on a train bogey located at the top of a small inclined track. At the base of the incline, there was a course comprising 14 podiums of differing heights located on either side of the track, each with a large cube on top. On the whistle, the competitor was released and as he passed the podiums, he had to punch and displace as many of the 28 boxes as possible whilst opposition team members swung small flour bags at him. The team displacing the greater number of boxes from their podiums would be declared the winners.

The first heat of this straightforward game saw the participation of France who displaced 23 cubes, followed by Netherlands displacing 16 cubes and Italy displacing 22 cubes. The fourth heat saw the participation of Belgium who displaced 24 cubes, followed by the British competitor, who had replaced with his feathered cap and donned a Scottish tam o’shanter bonnet, displacing 25 cubes and West Germany displacing 18 cubes.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Switzerland, who did not participate, had retained 1st place with 28pts whilst Belgium, having played the Joker (10pts awarded), had been promoted to 2nd place with 27pts. France, having also played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 3rd place with 25pts whilst Great Britain, despite their victory (6pts), had been demoted to 4th place with 24pts. Italy (3pts) had been promoted to 5th place with 16pts whilst Netherlands (1pt) had been demoted and joined West Germany (2pts) in 6th place with 15pts each.

Point to Note: Despite being awarded 6pts following their victory, the scoreboard operators deducted 4pts from the British score to show 14pts. However, before the result of the fifth round of the Fil Rouge, they had realised their mistake and corrected the score to show 24pts.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 5 and 6 - The Three Little Pigs

The fifth round of the Fil Rouge featured West Germany and, as was the case with Belgium in the third round, only one of their competitors was able to hit the target, albeit the highest valued, and finished with a total of 5pts. The sixth and penultimate round featured Switzerland and with two of their competitors hitting the targets (5pts and 3pts) and the third missing completely, the team accumulated a total of 8pts.


Game 7 - Mickey and Minnie Mouse

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘Mickey and Minnie Mouse’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and witnessed West Germany and Netherlands presenting their Jokers for play. It featured two competitors (one male and one female) from each team and a course which comprised of two narrow 5m (16ft 5in) balance beams that extended out over the water’s edge on opposite sides of the quay with a gap of about 2m between each one. On the whistle, the male competitor, armed with a large marguerite daisy, edged his way along his beam whilst his female team-mate edged empty-handed along her beam. When the two competitors were face to face, they had to stretch across the gap in order for him to pass the daisy to her but, as they were unsupported at the end, the beams were very wobbly and the competitors had to keep their balance without falling into the lake. Once collected, the female competitor had to turn around and return to the quayside and place the daisy into a large pot whilst her team-mate returned empty-handed to his start point. The game was then repeated until time had elapsed. If either competitor fell into the lake whilst carrying the daisy, they had to return to their original starting points and repeat the game. The team collecting the greater number of daisies would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland, West Germany and Netherlands and it was apparent that the strongest teams were the two playing their Jokers with West Germany and Netherlands both collecting 3 daises each whilst Switzerland failed to score. The second heat saw the participation of Belgium, Great Britain and Italy and ended with Italy collecting 2 daisies and Belgium collected 1 daisy. Although Great Britain failed to score, their female competitor had been very unfortunate. Despite being handed a total of 3 daisies by her colleague, disaster befell her on two of the return journeys after she was unable to keep her balance on the wobbling beam and tumbled into the lake. On the third occasion, she simply ran out of time before she reached the safety of the quayside.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Belgium (3pts awarded) had been promoted to 1st place with 30pts whilst Switzerland (1pt) had been demoted to 2nd place with 29pts. West Germany and Netherlands, both having played the Joker (12pts each), had been promoted to 3rd place with 27pts each whilst Great Britain (1pt) and France, who did not participate, had both been demoted to 5th place with 25pts each. Italy (4pts) had been demoted to 7th place with 20pts.


Fil Rouge - The Three Little Pigs

The cameras returned to the Fil Rouge for its final round but there was some delay waiting for the speedboat and water-skiers to arrive. In the background of the screen, it could be seen that an erroneous craft was encroaching into the area where the game was being played. For obvious safety reasons and, in order not to cause an overrun for those participating countries transmitting ‘live’ broadcasts, it was decided to play the final game instead of waiting for the craft to sail away. This resulted in the Fil Rouge result being given as the last scores of the contest.


Game 8 - The Witches

The eighth and final game - ‘The Witches’ - was based around the plot of the earlier aforementioned story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs wherein the heroine is given a poisoned apple by an old crone and sent into a deep sleep. It was played in unison over two distinct rounds and witnessed Italy presenting their Joker for play. The first part of the game featured a female competitor from each team attired in a witch costume standing on the rim of a space ball (a rubber ball with a protruding rim around its circumference and imitating the planet Saturn). On the whistle, the competitors, keeping their feet tightly against the ball, had to bounce up the course to a turn round point where they had to tag a besom and then return to the start. Once the finishing order, which would have an important bearing on the second part of the game, had been announced, the competitors walked to the end of the course (the original turn around point) with the referees. The next part of the game was played individually with the competitors behind a Perspex wall pulling balloons of differing sizes above their heads and it would also feature a male archer from each of the six opposing teams. The competitor that had finished in seventh place would have a very large balloon to pull along whilst the competitor that had finished in first place would have a very small balloon. The other teams would have balloons in sizes that were in comparison to their finishing positions. On the whistle, the competitors had to run along a small obstacle course with the balloon above the wall whilst the archers aimed arrows to burst it. The team travelling the greater distance before their balloon was burst would be declared the winners.

The first part of the game was straightforward with the teams finishing in the following order - West Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Great Britain, Netherlands and Switzerland. This result meant that Switzerland would have the largest of the balloons whilst West Germany would have the smallest. However, the accuracy of the archers would not see the sizes of all the balloons affecting the result. Whilst West Germany had the smallest balloon they finished in 4th place behind Belgium (the second smallest), Netherlands (the second largest) and France (the median balloon). Italy, with the third smallest balloon, finished in 7th place behind Great Britain (the third largest) and Switzerland (the largest of the balloons). In fact the only team that finished in the position relating to the size of the balloon was Great Britain, who finished in 5th place with the fifth largest / third smallest balloon!

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Belgium (7pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 37pts whilst Netherlands (6pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 33pts. Switzerland (2pts) had been demoted and joined West Germany (4pts) in 3rd place with 31pts each whilst France (5pts) had retained 5th place with 30pts. Great Britain (3pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 28pts whilst Italy, having played the Joker (2pts), had retained 7th place with 22pts.

Point to Note: With the result of the eighth game, Belgium had secured victory overall, no matter the outcome of the Fil Rouge. Although Netherlands were trailing by only 4pts, their poor showing on the Fil Rouge deemed that they would only receive 1pt whilst Belgium currently lying in 4th place on the Fil Rouge, were guaranteed at least 3pts. Meanwhile at the bottom of the scoreboard, Italy were now 6pts adrift of their closest rival and guaranteed to finish the competition in bottom position. Despite leading on the Fil Rouge, their closest rivals on the master scoreboard, namely Great Britain, were lying just behind them in 2nd place.


Fil Rouge, Round 7 - The Three Little Pigs

The final round of the Fil Rouge featured the home team of France and as they were using professional water-skiers, the nets were set so that the rings were parallel with the water. However, the French professionals had to eat humble pie when each of their three skiers failed to score!

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Belgium (4pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 41pts whilst Switzerland (5pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 36pts and West Germany (4pts) had retained 3rd place with 35pts. Great Britain (6pts) had been promoted and joined Netherlands (1pt), who had been demoted, in 4th place with 34pts each. France (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 31pts and Italy, despite their victory (7pts), had retained 7th place with 29pts.

Point to Note: The experienced ‘guest’ competitors for France were water-skiers Michel Denis, Benedine Duche and Jean-Michel Mourelle from the Vichy water-skiing club.

Additional Information

Due to a craft erroneously encroaching into area of the River Allier where the games were being held, the final Fil Rouge was delayed and (as some of the participating countries were still transmitting ‘live’ broadcasts) it was decided to play the last game beforehand. This meant that the Fil Rouge result was given as the last scores of the contest.

This heat was televised in Great Britain two weeks after the previous heat, due to the BBC’s live coverage of the 1971 Miss United Kingdom contest being broadcast live from Blackpool on the night of Friday 20th August at 9.20 pm.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

D

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 5

Event Staged: Wednesday 4th August 1971
Venue: Sportplätze (Sport Courts), Karl-Heitz-Stadion (Karl Heitz Stadium),
Offenburg, West Germany

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 4th August 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 4th August 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 4th August 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 4th August 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 4th August 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 4th August 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
RAI Due (I):
Wednesday 4th August 1971, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)
ORTF 1 (F):
Wednesday 1st September 1971
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 3rd September 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: Camillo Felgen

Theme: Holidays in the Black Forest

Teams: Namur (B) v. Colombier (CH) v. Offenburg (D) v. Nancy (F) v.
Scunthorpe (GB) v. Jésolo (I) v. Winschoten (NL)

Team Members included:
Offenburg (D) -
Dieter Roth (Team Trainer), Hubert Beathalter, Christian Blender, Christel Käshammer, Artur Köchlin, Ellen Mundingen;
Scunthorpe (GB)
- Peter Wigley (Team Manager), Malcolm Douthwaite (Team Coach), Albert Bettison, Kenneth Booth, Richard Booth, Anne Burdett, Jeffrey Burdett, Alistair Codona, Diane Creswick, Jane Elliott, Betty Ellis, Tony Evans, David Ford, Christopher Gillott, Peter Glover, Malcolm Grace, Brian Harney, Pat Jarvis, Andrew Kress, Geoffrey Mawson, Susan Naylor, David Oldfield, Nicholas Pearson, Nigel Pearson, Leon Pedryc, David Pilmore, Zenka Pryor, Bradley Richardson, Alan Rodgers, Alan Stevenson, Peter Swift, Margaret Toyne;

Jésolo (I) - Paolo Scagnetto (Team Captain), Micaela Bariani, Ausilio Basso, Sergio Biaisin, Adriano Bigioni, Miriam Caputo, Bertillo Casagrande, Mario Coster, Giorgio Crema, Virgilio Crema, Giuseppe Cussellato. Luciana Facchin, Stefano Faggiano, Wilma Fontana, Giuseppe Giacobbo, Claudio Gianese, Maria Mazzariol, Sandra Milani, Renzo Neri, Paolo Pasqualetto, Luisa Razzetti, Giorgio Rossi, Daniela Scagnetto, Ruggero Stragliotto, Roberto Venzo, Marina Venzo.

Games: Crossing the River and Hoisting the Mainsail, Winter Bobsleigh, The Long Jump, The Sailing Boats, Abandon the Beach! Here Comes the Rain, The Rocking Horse Race, Bath Tub Quoits and The Giant Balls;
Fil Rouge: Heading Footballs;
Jokers:
Flat Wooden Puppets.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 1 5 1 --- 10 4 5 1 6

CH

1 --- 2 8 4 3 2 4 2

D

6 5 12 1 6 5 --- 7 7
F --- 3 12 3 1 1 1 6 1

GB

4 2 3 2 --- 1 12 5 3
I 5 6 --- 6 3 12 3 4 5
NL 3 1 6 5 2 --- 8 2 4
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 1 6 7 7 17 21 26 27 33

CH

1 1 3 11 15 18 20 24 26

D

6 11 23 24 30 35 35 42 49
F 0 3 15 18 19 20 21 27 28

GB

4 6 9 11 11 12 24 29 32
I 5 11 11 17 20 32 35 39 44
NL 3 4 10 15 17 17 25 27 31

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th

 D • Offenburg l l
 I • Jésolo
 B • Namur
 GB • Scunthorpe
 NL • Winschoten
 F • Nancy
 CH • Colombier

49
44
33
32
31
28
26

The Host Town

Offenburg, Baden-Württemberg

Offenburg is a town with a population of around 60,000 inhabitants in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in the state of Baden-Württemberg. It is located 38km (23½ miles) south-west of Baden-Baden, 97km (60¼ miles) west of Stuttgart, 127km (79 miles) north-west of Konstanz and just 18km (11 miles) east of the River Rhein and the French border city of Strasbourg.

 

The colourful Rathaus (Town Hall) of Offenburg
with its rotating bronze birdman statues

 

Offenburg was first mentioned in historical documents dating from 1148. By 1240, Offenburg had already been declared a Free Imperial City. In September 1689, the city, with the exception of two buildings, was totally destroyed during the Nine Years’ War (1688-1697) by French troops. Due to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire and the reorganization of the German states in 1803 by Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821), Offenburg lost its status as a Free Imperial City and fell under the rule of the Grand Duchy of Baden.

During World War I (1914-1918), Offenburg was one of the first cities to experience the effects from aerial bombardment, the operations against the Offenburg railway sidings mostly being flown by aircraft from the Independent Force (strategic bombing squad) out of Ochey aerodrome in eastern France. It is a mostly forgotten fact that in the aftermath of World War I, during the Occupation of the Ruhr (1923-1925), French troops had occupied Offenburg as it fell within the perimeter of the Kehl bridgehead. The French occupation forces entered the town in February 1923 and stayed until 1924.

Most of the buildings in the town are colourful and picturesque and the same can be said of the Baroque-style Town Hall located at the junction of Hauptstraße and Fischmarkt. Dating back to 1741, the building bears the town’s coat of arms above the front balcony and an Austrian double-headed eagle under a flat gable. In recent years, the children’s play area outside the Town Hall has become so popular, that the excessive usage of the rotating ‘birdmen’ had worn out the ball-bearings on which they sit. According to the town’s records, the statues had to be lifted by a crane to change the defective parts, at a cost of approximately 1,600 Euro (£1,200).

The name of the town literally means ‘open castle’ (from offen and burg) and this is represented on the town’s coat of arms showing open gates. The town is one of a unique few that are twinned with one of its own nation (Altenburg). It is also twinned with Borehamwood, Hertfordshire in Great Britain.

The Venue

Karl-Heitz-Stadion

The games were played at the Karl Heitz Stadium Sport Courts complex which is located on the right bank of the Kinzig river, 200m north of Lake Gifiz, a natural lake and haven for German holiday-makers and tourists alike.

The venue comprises four distinct sports courts, one of which is on red-coloured sandstone, two which are on grass and the other being the town’s main football stadium. The stadium was built in 1956 and opened in 1957 and was named after Karl Heitz (1900-1977), local politician and mayor of Offenburg between 1949 and 1975. Between the years of 1970 and 1975, Heitz was also club president of the local football team Offenburger FV 1907 that play their home games at the stadium.

 

The Karl Heitz Stadion was built in 1956 and
comprises four separate sports courts

 

In 1984, the stadium staged the final of the German Football Amateur Championship which saw the local team pitted against SC Eintracht Hamm. The Offenburg team won the game 4-1. Between 2001 and 2002, the stadium was renovated and extended.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Crossing the River and Hoisting the Mainsail

The first game - ‘Crossing the River and Hoisting the Mainsail’ - was played in unison over three minutes duration and featured two competitors (one male and one female) from each team and a large pool of water with a floating podium at its middle which was connected by 12 criss-crossing floating ‘bridges’ to the pool’s edge. On the whistle, each of the male competitors had to pick up one of 10 mast sections and cross the pool utilising his first bridge, traverse the floating podium and then cross his second bridge to reach the other side of the pool. However, he had to do this whilst avoiding his rival competitors that were also crossing their respective bridges. Once across the pool, he joined his team-mate who placed the bottom of the mast section in a hole and the top into rigging supporting a mainsail. The male competitor then had to return across the pool to collect the next section of mast and repeat the game throughout. The team raising the sail with all 10 sections of the mast in the faster time would be declared the winners.

This was a very straightforward game and saw West Germany finishing in 1 minute 58 seconds, Italy finishing in 2 minutes 5 seconds, Great Britain finishing in 2 minutes 27 seconds and Netherlands finishing in 2 minutes 54 seconds. Belgium and Switzerland had both raised the mast nine sections and were on the final runs when the whistle was sounded and, having not completed the game, were both deemed out of time and given 0:00.

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that West Germany were in 1st place with 6pts, Italy were in 2nd place with 5pts, Great Britain were in 3rd place with 4pts and Netherlands were in 4th place with 3pts. Belgium and Switzerland, who had both failed to finish the game, were in 5th place with 1pt each whilst France, who did not participate, were in 7th place with 0pts.


Game 2 - Winter Bobsleigh

The second game - ‘Winter Bobsleigh’ - was played over three heats and featured two male competitors from each team and a bobsleigh course comprising a descent, two hillocks and a final ascent with 8 large apples on it. On the whistle, one of the competitors climbed inside the bobsleigh whilst the other pushed it down the course to pick up propulsion and, at a given point, jump inside. The competitors then had to work together to get the bobsleigh over the two hillocks and when they reached the base of the incline had to use their body weight to push it as far up the incline as they were able in order to displace the large apples. Only apples that had been displaced from the incline would score. All the apples were then repositioned whilst the teams returned to the start for a second run. The team displacing the greater total of apples would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Great Britain and Italy with the latter appearing to have the better technique and speed. The first run saw Italy displacing 4 apples and Great Britain displacing 2 apples. The second of their runs saw Italy remove a further 4 apples and Great Britain equal their first score by removing a further 2 apples. The total scores were confirmed as Italy with 8 apples and Great Britain with 4 apples. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Belgium and West Germany with the first run ending with West Germany displacing 4 apples and Belgium displacing 3 apples. The second run saw the scores reversed with West Germany removing 3 apples and Belgium removing 4 apples. The total scores of both teams were confirmed as 7 apples each. The third and final heat saw the participation of France and Netherlands and proved a challenge for the Dutch team. On the first run, whilst France displaced 2 of their apples, the Netherlands duo had failed to accomplish enough speed or force to get the bobsleigh over the second of the two hillocks. The second run proved just as difficult with the team failing to conquer the second hillock for a second time whilst in the meantime, France had removed a further 4 apples. The total scores were confirmed as France with 6 apples and Netherlands failing to score.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Italy (6pts awarded) had been promoted and joined West Germany (5pts) in 1st place with 11pts each. Belgium (5pts) had been promoted and joined Great Britain (2pts) in 3rd place with 6pts each whilst Netherlands (1pt) had been demoted to 5th place with 4pts. France (3pts) had been promoted to 6th place with 3pts and Switzerland, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 1pt.

Point to Note: On the first run by the Italian team, it appeared that they had displaced a total of 5 apples. However, the rules stated that only apples that had been displaced on the ascent would be deemed valid. The fifth apple actually rolled down and off the incline after the team had removed the bobsleigh for the second run and was therefore not counted.


Fil Rouge, Round 1 - Heading Footballs

The Fil Rouge - ‘Heading Footballs’ - was played in unison over two minutes duration and featured a male competitor from each team and a 10m (32ft 9¾in) unimpeded course. At one end of the course, there was a large basket with a number of footballs inside whilst at the other end, there were two basketball rings with a large conical net hanging from each. On the whistle, the competitors had to collect a ball from the pen and keep it aloft by using their head and moving down the course. They then had to get into the correct position in order to aim the ball into the basketball ring to score. Any balls that fell to the ground would result in the competitor returning to the start to repeat the game but, providing the ball was under the control of the competitor, an unlimited number of attempts could be executed with each ball. The team scoring the greater total of goals within the time permitted would be declared the winners.

The first round featured Switzerland and France and, with the latter having the better technique, finished with France scoring 4 goals from 7 attempts and Switzerland scoring 2 goals from 11 attempts.


Game 3 - The Long Jump

The third game - ‘The Long Jump’ - was played in unison (but one at a time) and witnessed West Germany and France presenting their Jokers for play. It was an elimination game and featured a male competitor from each team, a small trampoline and a number of very large balloons. On the whistle, the competitor took it in turn to run up a 25m (82ft) course and then jump on a small trampoline, which was set at an angle of 45°, in order to jump over two balloons which were attached to a safety mattress on the ground. If successful, each of the competitors would qualify for the second round when an additional balloon would be added to the mattress. Any competitor that burst a balloon whilst attempting to pass over it would be eliminated and take no further part in the game. However, if anyone made contact with the final balloon in the line and it failed to burst, they were deemed as having cleared it and continued through to the next round. The teams participated in the following order in each round - France, Switzerland, Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium and West Germany - and the team clearing the greater number of balloons would be declared the winners.

The first run saw France, Netherlands, Great Britain and West Germany clear both balloons whilst Switzerland made contact with the second balloon but it failed to burst. Although Belgium had not burst any of the two balloons, they were deemed to have made contact with the first balloon in addition to the second and were eliminated. The second run saw Switzerland eliminated after making a hysterical leap of faith over the balloons and landing head first into the third balloon and bursting it. With the fourth balloon in place, the third run saw Great Britain eliminated after the final balloon was burst. With just three teams remaining, the fourth run commenced and saw all the competitors fail to clear the balloons and the game was declared a three-way tie.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. West Germany, having played the Joker (12pts awarded), had retained 1st place with 23pts and France, having also played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 15pts. Italy, who did not participate, had been demoted to 3rd place with 11pts, Netherlands (6pts) had been promoted to 4th place with 10pts and Great Britain (3pts) had been demoted to 5th place with 9pts. Belgium (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 7pts and Switzerland (2pts) remained in 7th place with 3pts.


Game 4 - The Sailing Boats

The fourth game - ‘The Sailing Boats’ - was played over two heats of 2 minutes 30 seconds duration and witnessed Switzerland presenting their Joker for play. It featured six male competitors from each team armed with an oar and with flippers on their feet standing adjacent to a sailing boat and an obstacle course comprising 5 hurdles and a set of steps. On the whistle, the six competitors had to lift the boat off its mounting and place it over their heads. They then had to traverse the course by stepping over the small hurdles and going under the larger hurdles and ascending and descending the steps. At the end of the course, they had to turn around point and make a return journey in the same manner. Once back at the start, the boat had to be repositioned on its mounting and all the oars had to be inside to finish the game. If any of the competitors came out from under the boat, the team had to stop until he was back underneath before continuing and all the team had to be wearing the flippers and armed with the oar at the end of the game. The team with the faster time for completing the course would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland, Great Britain and Netherlands with all teams neck and neck at the turn around point. With both the British team becoming trapped whilst traversing the second of the five return hurdles, it permitted Switzerland and Netherlands to use this delay to their advantage and Netherlands completed the game in 1 minute 25 seconds. Switzerland finished in 2nd place in 1 minute 35 seconds whilst Great Britain had finally found their rhythm once more and finished in 1 minute 56 seconds. The second heat saw the participation of West Germany, France and Italy and it appeared that it would be a very close race with all three teams neck and neck well into the return journey. However, as the West German team ascended the steps, the camera panned onto the feet of one of the competitors and it clearly showed that he had lost one of the flippers. Nevertheless, the team continued on and finished in 2nd place behind Italy with France finishing in 3rd place. The times were announced and Italy had finished the course in 1 minute 23 seconds and France had finished in 1 minute 37 seconds. Referee Guido Pancaldi then delivered the news which the cameraman had spotted that West Germany had not completed the course within the rules. In addition to losing one of the flippers, the team had exposed their heads from underneath the boat on three occasions and had therefore been disqualified.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that the top four teams had all retained their previous positions. West Germany (1pt awarded) were in 1st place with 24pts, France (3pts) were in 2nd place with 18pts, Italy (6pts) were in 3rd place with 17pts and Netherlands (5pts) were in 4th place with 15pts. Switzerland, having played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted and joined Great Britain (2pts) in 5th place with 11pts each whilst Belgium, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 7pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 2 - Heading Footballs

The second round of the Fil Rouge featured Belgium and Italy and ended with Italy scoring 2 goals from 12 attempts and Belgium failing to score from 11 attempts.


Game 5 - Abandon the Beach! Here Comes the Rain

The fifth game - ‘Abandon the Beach! Here Comes the Rain’ - was a straightforward game played over three heats and witnessed Belgium presenting their Joker for play. It featured 11 competitors (six males and five females) from each team and 27 items comprising 4 wooden deckchairs, 4 beach balls, 4 towels, 4 blankets, 2 Lilos, 2 sports bags, 2 transistor radios, 2 parasols, 2 large apples and a large pear. Before the game started, all of the competitors were relaxing on the ‘beach’. A high-powered water jet was then switched on which sent water raining down on them. The whistle was then sounded and the teams had to grab all of the items and run with them to a small wooden beach chalet which was located underneath the water jet. Once all 11 team members and the 27 items were inside, they had to close the door behind them to register a time. The team with the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland and France and ended with Switzerland completing the game in 25 seconds and France finishing in 33 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Belgium and West Germany and was the faster and closest-run race of the three. It appeared that Belgium had the edge over the home team and that they would finish ahead of them. However, a small mishap whilst closing the door permitted West Germany to overtake and complete the game in 20 seconds with Belgium finishing in 21 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Italy and Netherlands and it was apparent from the outset that neither would emulate the times of the previous two teams. Italy completed the game in 26 seconds whilst Netherlands finished in 28 seconds.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that West Germany (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 30pts whilst Italy (3pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 20pts. France (1pt) had been demoted to 3rd place with 19pts and Belgium, having played the Joker (10pts), had been promoted and joined Netherlands (2pts) in 4th place with 17pts each. Switzerland (4pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 15pts and Great Britain, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 11pts.

Point to Note: With the doors to the chalets being located underneath the water-jet, the touch-judges had to be issued with small white umbrellas in order to protect themselves from getting soaked whilst ensuring that accurate timings could be taken at the moment of their closures.


Game 6 - The Rocking Horse Race

The sixth game - ‘The Rocking Horse Race’ - was played in unison over three minutes duration and witnessed Italy presenting their Joker for play. It featured a male competitor from each team sitting atop a rocking horse which had wheels attached to the front of its rocker bars. On the whistle, the competitors had to rock their horses back and forth and, on the forward swing, had to use their strength (and the assistance of the wheels at the front) to propel the horse forward. This had to be repeated throughout and at the end of the 50m (164ft) course there was a wooden panel which had to be knocked down by the front of the rockers to signify that the team had completed the game. The team finishing in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first 30 seconds of the game saw Belgium, Switzerland, West Germany and Italy neck and neck and witnessed the British competitor tumbling from the horse and into the path of France. By the 25m (82ft) mark, Italy had started to edge in front of West Germany and the other two teams and gradually opened up a 3-4m (9ft 10¼in-13ft 1½in) gap. The Italian competitor, although showing signs of fatigue, kept his rhythm and eventually crossed the line in 1 minute 51 seconds with West Germany finishing in 2nd place in 2 minutes 1 second. Belgium finished in 3rd place in 2 minutes 10 seconds with Switzerland closely behind in 4th place in 2 minutes 16 seconds. In the meantime, the British competitor had recomposed himself and was ahead of France. However, with the earlier delay and still with a distance of about 15m (49ft 2½in) to cover, time was elapsing fast and it was apparent that it would be difficult to cross the line in the allotted time. Both France and Great Britain failed to complete the game and were placed equal 6th.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. West Germany (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 35pts whilst Italy, who had played the Joker (12pts) had retained 2nd place with 32pts. Belgium (4pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 21pts, France (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 20pts and Switzerland (2pts) had been promoted to 5th place with 18pts. Netherlands, who did not participate, had been demoted to 6th place with 17pts and Great Britain (1pt) remained adrift in 7th place with 12pts.

Point to note: Although it was apparent that the British competitor had impeded the French team after tumbling to the ground, both teams were some distance behind the other four at the time of collision. The referees ignored a protest by the French competitor and ruled that it did not have any affect on the overall outcome of the game and permitted the result to stand.


Fil Rouge, Round 3 - Heading Footballs

The third and penultimate round of the Fil Rouge featured Great Britain and Netherlands and the British competitor was very unfortunate whereby, on three occasions, he positioned himself too close to the basketball ring for his final headers and hit the underside of the ring. The round ended with Great Britain scoring 3 goals from 8 attempts and Netherlands with just 1 goal from 10 attempts.


Game 7 - Bath Tub Quoits

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘Bath Tub Quoits’ - was played over three heats of one minute duration and witnessed Great Britain and Italy presenting their Jokers for play. It featured the large pool utilised in the first game and two competitors (one male and one female) from each team. On the whistle, the female competitor who was inside a small wooden tub had to paddle her way across to the middle of the pool. The male competitor, who was standing on the other side of the pool, was armed with 30 rubber quoits and when his team-mate was in position, he began to hurl the quoits towards her and utilising the blade end of an oar, she had to catch the quoits. The team with the greater number of quoits would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of France and Italy was a straightforward contest and ended with Italy collecting 17 quoits whilst France collected 15 quoits. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Great Britain and Netherlands and it was a very close game with some very accurate throwing and skilful catching. At the end of the allotted time Netherlands had collected 22 quoits whilst Great Britain had collected 28 quoits, just two short of a maximum score. The third and final heat saw the participation of Belgium and Switzerland and whilst the latter was not as accurate as the previous two teams and collected 16 quoits, Belgium almost came close to emulating the British total after collecting 25 quoits.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Italy (3pts) had been promoted and joined West Germany, who did not participate, in 1st place with 35pts each. Belgium (5pts) had retained 3rd place with 26pts whilst Netherlands, having played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 4th place with 25pts. Great Britain, having also played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 5th place with 24pts whilst France (1pt) had been demoted, the fourth occasion in as many games, to 6th place with 21pts and Switzerland (2pts) had been demoted to 7th place with 20pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 4 - Heading Footballs

The final round of the Fil Rouge featured the home team of West Germany and their competitor was from local amateur football team Offenburger FV which had been established in 1907. To enhance the difficulty of the game for the competitor, a three-stepped platform had been placed in the middle of the course which he had to ascend and descend whilst keeping the ball aloft. Despite this impediment, he scored 6 goals from 7 attempts although in reality he actually scored 7 out of 7. The sixth ball of the seven had actually entered the mouth of the ring became lodged on the netted edge of the ring. Despite a small protest by the West German competitor, it had no affect on the result and West Germany had won the Fil Rouge outright.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that West Germany (7pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 42pts and although they had led the contest throughout, they had not yet acquired enough points to claim victory outright. Italy (4pts) had retained 2nd place with 39pts and Great Britain (5pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 29pts. France (6pts) had been promoted whilst Belgium (1pt) had been demoted and both joined Netherlands (2pts) in 4th place with 27pts each. Switzerland (4pts) had retained 7th place with 24pts.


Game 8 - The Giant Balls

The eighth and final game - ‘The Giant Balls’ - was played over two minutes duration and featured a blindfold male competitor from each team wearing boxing gloves and a large caricatured head inside a ball-shaped cage similar to that used by a pet hamster. In the centre of the playing area was a large solid ball which had been fixed in position. On the whistle, the competitors had to roll their cages to the back perimeter of the playing area and then turn around and roll the cages to the solid ball and make contact with it. The competitors were not given any assistance and had to establish which way to roll the cage simply by judging where they were after turning around. If the competitors got it incorrect and rolled their cages to other edges of the perimeter, they would hit its raised edge and could be led into thinking that they were in fact in the middle of the course. The team hitting the ball in the faster time would be declared the winners and distances from the ball would come into play should any teams not accomplish their goal.

Although the game would be won more by chance than on skill, West Germany made contact with the ball within 40 seconds and had secured victory overall and sent the crowd wild. Whilst he remained in his position, the other six competitors rolled aimlessly around the course with many of them stopping at the perimeter’s edge believing that they were in contact with the ball. The final whistle was sounded after two minutes of play and still only one team had finished the game. The touch-judges ran in to halt any further movement by the other competitors whilst their distances from the ball were measured. Belgium were deemed to have been closest to the ball and finished in 2nd place with Italy finishing in 3rd place and Netherlands in 4th place. Great Britain finished in 5th place, Switzerland in 6th place and France finished in 7th place.

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. West Germany (7pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 49pts and Italy (5pts) had retained 2nd place with 44pts. Belgium (6pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 33pts whilst Great Britain (3pts) had been demoted to 4th place with 32pts and Netherlands (4pts) had been demoted to 5th place with 31pts. France (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 28pts whilst Switzerland (2pts) finished in 7th place with 26pts.

Memories of JSF

In 2011, the German radio station Hit Radio Ohr reunited members of the Offenburg team to celebrate the 40th anniversary of their participation in the programme.
 
 

17 of the original 22 Offenburg team members in 2011
with souvenirs from the International Heat

 

In attendance at Offenburg Rathaus (Town Hall) were 17 members of the original team of 22 with some bringing souvenirs of the event to the reunion. In the picture directly above, original team trainer Dieter Roth can be seen holding the actual Joker played on the night whilst team-mate Artur Köchlin can be seen with one of the large caricatured heads used in the final game.

Presenters, Officials and Production Team

West German presenter and commentator Frank Elstner was actually born in Linz, Austria in 1942 with the birth name Tim Maria Franz Elstner. For his first few years on television and initially on Jeux Sans Frontières, he took his first name of Tim Elstner. Since 1971, he has been better known as Frank Elstner.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Nine members of Italian team Jésolo had previously participated in Jeux Sans Frontières. Virgilio Crema, Maria Mazzariol, Daniela Scagnetto, Paolo Scagnetto and Ruggero Stragliotto had been members of both the Adria team in 1969 and the Bassano del Grappa team in 1970, whilst Micaela Bariani, Ausilio Basso, Wilma Fontana and Sandra Milani had been members of the Bassano del Grappa team in 1970. Giorgio Crema, Daniela Scagnetto and Paolo Scagnetto returned to feature as members of the Jésolo team in 1976, whilst Maria Mazzariol returned as a team member for the Marostica team in 1974 and at the age of 39 participated as a member of the Treviso team in 1990. Paolo Scagnetto again reappeared as co-team coach for Rosolina Mare in 1993 and Porte Tolle (Donzella) in 1994! Some members of the team also returned to participate in the festive It’s A Christmas Knockout contest later this year.

Additional Information

Two members of the Scunthorpe team received minor injuries when participating in this event.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

GB

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 6

Event Staged: Wednesday 18th August 1971
Venue: South Promenade Bathing Pool and Promenade, Blackpool, Great Britain

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 18th August 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 18th August 1971, 9.00-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 18th August 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 18th August 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 18th August 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RAI Due (I): Wednesday 18th August 1971, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)

NCRV (NL): Wednesday 18th August 1971, 9.50-11.10pm
ORTF 1 (F): Saturday 4th September 1971

BBC1 (GB): Friday 10th September 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Winners' Trophy presented by: David Vine

Theme: A Water Wonderland

Teams: Tielt (B) v. Ascona (CH) v. Wetter an der Ruhr (D) v. Saint-Malo (F) v.
Blackpool (GB) v. Canelli (I) v. Rolde (NL)

Team Members included:
Le Mans (F) -
Jean Olivier;
Blackpool (GB)
- Bob Battersby (Team Manager), John Collins (Team Coach), L Baldwin, M Bottomley, R Booth, R Boyce, K Buckley, A Dawson, Sylvia Dewhurst, W Earnshaw, J Garland, R Holey, R Hood, R Hyde, A Lowe, A McMann, J Merridew, A Morris, J Newman, E Randall, J Robinson, C Scott, Barry Shearman, D Shires, Anthony Smith, M Taylor, H Watson, M Yates.

Games: The Roller-Skate Target, He’s Got a Trip on his Shoulder, The Rollercoaster Ball Push, The Mattress Race, A Watery Trapeze, The Blackpool Steeplechase, Be a Pail and Pass the Water, The Viking Raiders;
Fil Rouge: The Bespoke Football XI;
Jokers: Joker Playing Cards.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 2 4 1 6 --- 2 1 2 2

CH

4 6 --- 3 6 5 10 3 1

D

--- 4 3 2 4 12 6 7 5
F 6 1 2 1 2 --- 4 1 12

GB

4 6 6 5 5 5 --- 5 14
I 6 2 5 --- 8 1 2 6 4
NL 2 --- 4 8 1 3 3 4 3
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 2 6 7 13 13 15 16 18 20

CH

4 10 10 13 19 24 34 37 38

D

0 4 7 9 13 25 31 38 43
F 6 7 9 10 12 12 16 17 29

GB

4 10 16 21 26 31 31 36 50
I 6 8 13 13 21 22 24 30 34
NL 2 2 6 14 15 18 21 25 28

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
7th

 GB • Blackpool l l
 D • Wetter an der Ruhr
 CH • Ascona
 I • Canelli
 F • Saint-Malo
 NL • Rolde
 B • Tielt

50
43
38
34
29
28
20

The Host Town

Blackpool, Lancashire

Blackpool is a Lancashire seaside town, situated on the Irish Sea. It is located 43km (27mi) north of Liverpool and 64km (40mi) north-west of Manchester, along the north-west coast between the Ribble and Wyre river estuaries. It was a coastal hamlet until the mid-18th century, when it became fashionable in England to travel to the coast during the summer to bathe in sea water to improve well-being.
 

The Blackpool Tower, opened in May 1894,
is Great Britain's most identifiable seafront construction

 

In 1781, visitors attracted to Blackpool's 11km (7mi) sandy beach were able to use a newly built private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Houghton. Blackpool rose to prominence as a major centre of tourism in England when a railway was built in the 1840s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. The railway made it much easier and cheaper for visitors to reach Blackpool, triggering an influx of settlers, such that in 1876 Blackpool was governed by its own town council and aldermen. In 1881 Blackpool was a booming resort with a population of 14,000 and a promenade complete with three piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and theatres. In addition to its sandy beaches, Blackpool's major attractions and landmarks include the Blackpool Tower, the annual Blackpool illuminations, the Pleasure Beach theme park and the UK’s only surbviving first generation tramway dating back to 1885, which stretches 18km (11mi) from the airport at Squires Gate all the way to the fishing port of Fleetwood.

The Venue

South Promenade Bathing Pool and Promenade

The games were played in two locations along Blackpool’s famous promenade opposite its famous Pleasure Beach and they were separated only by the wall of the South Promenade Bathing Pool. Six of the ten games were played on the promenade whilst the other four were held in or around the bathing pool itself. Built in 1923, the South Promenade Bathing Pool was affectionately referred to as Blackpool’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’ and was frequented by the rich and famous in its early years.
 

An aerial view of the South Promenade and former Bathing Pool

 

The cost of building the classical-style Coliseum with its Roman pillars around the pool alone was in the region of £75,000. Many stars of the cinema even took time out to bathe in its beautiful surroundings which included Sir Harry Lauder (1870-1950) in 1932 and Hollywood blonde-bombshell Jayne Mansfield (1933-1967) in 1959, and in 1934 Associated Talking Pictures used the pool for scenes in the Gracie Fields (1898-1967) musical Sing As We Go. Within a year of opening the pool had attracted over 94,000 bathers and by the end of the decade the number of visitors had totalled over nine million!

Said to have been the largest pool in the world, it was set amongst the large promenades, nestling on the edge of golden sands within the bracing air. The stadium received the world’s press, television and cinema, as a result of being the venue for the Miss Blackpool and Miss World Contests. The pool had an unusually shaped oval perimeter, the pool itself being D-shaped, and having a concaved pageant platform. There was a "cut out" for the diving boards at one end, where the depth of the water was 4.57m (15ft). The pool area was of huge scale, approximately 114.6m long x 51.8m wide (376ft x 170ft). The shape necessitated a swimming events area which was partitioned when necessary. There were of course refreshment areas and restaurants. The diving board area was the order of the day, having 2 x 3m (9ft 10¼ins) springboards, 2 x 7.5m (24ft 8ins) firm boards and a 10m (32ft 9¾ins) high-board (which on windy days was claimed to have swayed!).

Sadly the pool and its buildings no longer exist. Due to its very expensive running and maintenance costs and the trend for holidays on the continent, its viability could no longer be sustained, and was closed to the public in 1981. A new leisure complex, The Sandcastle Water Park, has occupied the site since 1986.

The Games in Detail

Important Note:

The only video recording of this broadcast known to survive is held at the Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA) in France. Unfortunately, it exists only as a heavily edited highlights programme running to just 50 minutes long. However, the results of the missing material can be ascertained from the information contained in the footage.

Game 1 - The Roller-Skate Target

The first game - ‘The Roller-Skate Target’ - was played individually and was only one of two games which was played on the promenade. It featured two female competitors from each team armed with a net and a large target board. On the whistle, two male team members on roller-skates from each of the opposing teams descended a large incline and had to throw a small football against the target. On the rebound, it was the task of the two female competitors to catch the ball in the net. A total of just 10 balls would be thrown and any ball that did not hit the target would be deemed as having been caught in the net by the competing team. The team with the greater overall total number of balls caught in the net would be declared the winners.

It is apparent that Belgium were the first team to participate as they could be seen in frame preparing to play whilst the game was being introduced. The surviving recording does not show in which order the remaining five teams participated but it does show the full performance of France who caught 7 balls. The results were announced and the scoreboard revealed the scores of the other five competing teams. Belgium and Netherlands had caught 5 balls each, Switzerland and Great Britain had caught 6 balls each and Italy had caught 7 balls.

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that France and Italy were in 1st place with 6pts each. Switzerland and Great Britain were in 3rd place with 4pts each and Belgium and Netherlands were in 5th place with 2pts each whilst West Germany, who did not participate, were in 7th place with 0pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 1 - The Bespoke Football XI

The Fil Rouge - ‘The Bespoke Football XI’ - was played individually over 1 minute 30 seconds duration within the pool complex. It featured a male competitor from each team and a football squad of eleven static wooden dummies located in front of a goal. On the whistle, a female team mate placed one of 30 balls from a large barrel onto a ‘penalty spot’ and the competitor had to aim it at the squad. Each of the wooden dummies were hinged in order for them to fall backwards if hit hard enough. and each had a name of a famous European player - including John Toshack (Wales), George Best (Northern Ireland), Gerhard Müller (West Germany) and Bobby Charlton (England) - emblazoned across their shirts. The team knocking down the greater number of dummies with the 30 balls, irrespective of time taken, would be declared the winners.

The first round featured West Germany and their competitor was adept in his shooting skills, knocking down all 11 dummies in 49 seconds. However, as time was not a factor in this game, he was declared as having scored 11.

Point to Note: (a) Before the Fil Rouge began, a short film was seen showing the artistry of football player Johnny Giles who would be participating for Great Britain in the seventh and final round.


Game 2 - He's Got a Trip on his Shoulder

The second game - ‘He’s Got a Trip on his Shoulder’ - was played over three heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration and was the first of five consecutive games to be played in the bathing pool. It featured two male competitors from each team, one of whom was sitting on the shoulders of the other and armed with a long balance pole with pins at each end. In the pool, there was a row of floating podiums, each connected to the next by a wooden beam, and above the pool, on either side of the course, there were a number of balloons hanging down from a wire. On the whistle, the team had to edge their way out along the first beam and on reaching the podium, the player with the pole had to burst the balloon on each side. They then made their way to the second podium and this was then repeated throughout the game. If the teams had the misfortune to fall into the pool, they were permitted to recompose themselves from that exact point. The team bursting the greater number of balloons would be declared the winners.

The first heat featured Belgium and France and both teams completed the game without mishap with Belgium bursting 10 balloons and France bursting 8 balloons. The remaining two heats are missing from the recording but the results on the scoreboard revealed that Switzerland and Great Britain had both burst 13 balloons each whilst West Germany had burst 10 balloons and Italy had burst 9 balloons.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland (6pts awarded) and Great Britain (6pts) had both been promoted to 1st place with 10pts each. Italy (2pts) had been demoted to 3rd place with 8pts and France (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 7pts whilst Belgium (4pts) had retained 5th place with 6pts. West Germany (4pts) had been promoted to 6th place with 4pts whilst Netherlands, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 2pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 2 - The Bespoke Football XI

The second round of the Fil Rouge featured Netherlands and although the team utilised all the available time, their competitor was only able to knock down 8 dummies.


Game 3 - The Rollercoaster Ball Push

The third game - ‘The Rollercoaster Ball Push’ - was played in the pool over two heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration. It featured two male competitors from each team armed with a very large inflated beach ball and a course comprising a large rollercoaster track and some hurdles. On the whistle, the two competitors standing at the top of the track had to work together to transport the ball up and down over two large troughs and crests. Once completed, they dropped the ball into the pool and then had to swim with it towards the pool’s edge whilst negotiating three hurdles which required them to push the ball underneath. If the ball fell into the water during the early stage of the game, two male team-mates already in the pool could assist them to retrieve and reposition it at the point at which it had fallen. The team completing the course in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Great Britain and Italy and with neither team suffering a mishap, it was a very close run race. Great Britain finished the game in 53 seconds and Italy finished the game in 54 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Belgium and France with the former having the better start but once both teams were in the water, Belgium’s lead began to wane as France closed the gap. Despite this, Belgium held onto the lead and finished the game ahead of France. However, when the times of the teams were revealed France had miraculously finished 2 seconds ahead of Belgium with the time of France declared as 1 minute 11 seconds and Belgium as 1 minute 13 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of West Germany and Netherlands with West Germany setting off at a cracking pace but suffering a mishap after 8 seconds of elapsed time when their ball fell into the water. As their team-mates scrambled to assist them to recover the ball, the Netherlands duo could be seen taking a much slower pace and finished the game in 55 seconds. After recovering from disaster, West Germany finished the game in 1 minute 1 second.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Great Britain (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 16pts whilst Italy (5pts) had been promoted to 2nd place with 13pts and Switzerland, who did not participate, had been demoted to 3rd place with 10pts. France (2pts) had retained 4th place with 9pts whilst West Germany (3pts) had been promoted and joined Belgium (1pt) in 5th place with 7pts each. Netherlands (4pts) remained in 7th place with 6pts.

Point to Note: Although it would have made no difference to the outcome of the result, Belgium were robbed of 1pt in this game and Netherlands of a higher finishing position at the end of the programme. Clearly having finished ahead of their rivals in their heat, the times declared had demoted them to second place. Surprisingly, no protest appeared to have been lodged by the team captain.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 3 and 4 - The Bespoke Football XI

The third round of the Fil Rouge featured Switzerland and their competitor could only knock down 7 dummies. This was immediately followed by the fourth round which featured Italy and their competitor fared better than the Swiss, knocking down 10 dummies and putting the team in 2nd place at this point.


Game 4 - The Mattress Race

The fourth game - ‘The Mattress Race’ - was played in the pool and witnessed Netherlands presenting their Joker for play. However, all footage of the game is missing from the archive material but the result and points awarded could be gleaned from the scoreboard before the fifth game.

Belgium finished in 1st place, Great Britain finished in 2nd place and Netherlands finished in 3rd place. These were followed by Switzerland in 4th place, West Germany in 5th place and France in 6th place.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Great Britain (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 21pts whilst Netherlands, having played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 14pts. Switzerland (3pts) had retained 3rd place and had been joined by Belgium (6pts) who had been promoted and Italy, who did not participate and had been demoted, with 13pts each. France (1pt) had been demoted to 6th place with 10pts and West Germany (2pts) had been demoted to 7th place with 9pts.


Game 5 - A Watery Trapeze

The fifth game - ‘A Watery Trapeze’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and witnessed Italy presenting their Joker for play. It featured six male competitors from each team and a high scaffold. On the whistle, the competitors had to climb a rope ladder to reach the top of the scaffold and then, with the aid of a pulley wheel attached to zip wire, the first of them had to descend towards the pool in order to drop onto a large floating podium. He had to time it precisely when to release his grip on the wheel, taking into account his forward motion when doing so. Once this was completed, the remaining five competitors took it in turn to repeat the process. Any competitors that dropped into the water had to return to the start and repeat the game. The team securing all five competitors on the podium in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat of this straightforward game saw the participation of West Germany and France and although the latter got the better start, West Germany quickly closed the deficit and overtook them. The times were declared as West Germany finishing in 52 seconds and France finishing in 59 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Great Britain and Netherlands and appeared that it would be a much closer run race than the previous one. However, before the final Dutch run, the pulley wheel had become entangled at the top of the scaffold and prevented them making their final drop. In the meantime, Great Britain had finished the game in 47 seconds and following the delay at the top of the scaffold, Netherlands eventually finished in 1 minute 50 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Switzerland and Italy and although the latter was playing their Joker, Switzerland led from the outset and finished the game in 45 seconds with Italy finishing in 52 seconds.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Great Britain (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 26pts and Italy, having played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 21pts whilst Switzerland (6pts) had retained 3rd place with 19pts. Netherlands (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 15pts whilst West Germany (4pts) had been promoted and joined Belgium, who did not participate and had been demoted, in 5th place with 13pts each. Following four consecutive poor results, France (2pts) had been demoted to 7th place with 12pts.

Point to Note: Despite protests from the Netherlands team captain following alleged equipment failure, it was explained that the equipment was not at fault and that rules stated that the onus was on the team to ensure that they kept the wheels and ropes untangled and the result was upheld.


Game 6 - The Blackpool Steeplechase

The sixth game - ‘The Blackpool Steeplechase’ - was the second of the two games to played on the promenade and witnessed West Germany presenting their Joker for play. However, all footage of the game is missing from the archive material but the result and points awarded could be gleaned from the scoreboard before the seventh game.

West Germany finished in 1st place, Switzerland and Great Britain finished in joint 2nd place and Netherlands finished in 4th place. These were followed by Belgium in 5th place and Italy in 6th place.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Great Britain (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 31pts whilst West Germany, having played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 25pts. Switzerland (5pts) had retained 3rd place with 24pts whilst Italy (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 22pts. Netherlands (3pts) had been demoted to 5th place with 18pts and Belgium (2pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 15pts whilst France, who did not participate, had retained 7th place with 12pts.


Fil Rouge, Rounds 5 and 6 - The Bespoke Football XI

The fifth round of the Fil Rouge featured Belgium and their competitor could only muster a score of 5 dummies knocked down. The sixth round followed and it featured France and they fared even worse than the Belgians with their competitor knocking down just 4 dummies.


Game 7 - Be a Pail and Pass the Water

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘Be a Pail and Pass the Water’ - was played in the bathing pool over 1 minute 30 seconds duration and witnessed Switzerland presenting their Joker for play. It featured four competitors (two males and two females) from each team and a scaffold pole with nine rope handles overhanging the pool. On the whistle, the first male competitor lifted himself up onto the rope handles whilst a team-mate placed up to two buckets of water on his feet. He then had to make his way along the scaffold pole using the handles. Contemporaneously, the first of the two female competitors, who were located on a large podium in the pool, had to edge her way out along a wooden pole in order to meet her male team-mate and collect the buckets. Whilst the male competitor dropped into the water to return to the start, she returned back along the pole to hand the bucket to the second of the females, who in turn emptied the contents into a large barrel sitting on a set of weighing scales. The game was repeated by the second male competitor and this continued throughout the game. The team collecting the greater amount of water would be declared the winners.

The first heat of this straightforward game saw the participation of France and Netherlands and ended with France collecting the greater total of 7.25kgs (16lbs) of water whilst Netherlands had collected 6.8kgs (15lbs) of water. The second of the three heats saw the participation of West Germany and Italy and ended with West Germany collecting 13.6kgs (30lbs) of water whilst Italy collected 6.35kgs (14lbs) of water. The third and final heat saw the participation of Belgium and Switzerland and ended with Belgium collecting 5.9kgs (13lbs) of water and Switzerland collecting 12.25kgs (27lbs) of water.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Switzerland, having played the Joker (10pts awarded), had been promoted to 1st place with 34pts. Great Britain, who did not participate, had been demoted and joined West Germany (6pts) in 2nd place with 31pts each. Italy (2pts) had retained 4th place with 24pts and Netherlands (3pts) had retained 5th place with 21pts whilst France (4pts) had been promoted and joined Belgium (1pt) in 6th place with 16pts each.


Fil Rouge, Round 7 - The Bespoke Football XI

The seventh and final round of the Fil Rouge featured Great Britain and, as had been the case throughout the series, the home team had been permitted to utilise an experienced competitor in this game. However, this advantage came with a penalty in that the game would be more difficult than that for the other teams. The BBC had chosen the Leeds United and Republic of Ireland midfield player Johnny Giles to participate on their behalf and the penalty was that the time was reduced from 1 minutes 30 seconds to just 45 seconds.

Despite the handicap, Giles was able to take 27 shots within the time, knocking down 9 dummies in total on his 1st, 3rd, 10th, 11th, 13th, 14th, 16th, 23rd and 26th shots.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that West Germany (7pts awarded) had been promoted to 1st place with 38pts. Switzerland (3pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 37pts and Great Britain had been demoted to 3rd place with 36pts. Whilst Italy (6pts) in 4th place with 30pts, Netherlands (4pts) in 5th place with 25pts and Belgium (2pts) in 6th place with 18pts had all retained their previous positions, France (1pt) had been demoted to 7th place with 17pts.


Game 8 - The Viking Raiders

The eighth and final game - ‘The Viking Raiders’ - was played in the pool over three minutes duration and witnessed Belgium, France and Great Britain presenting their Jokers for play. It featured six competitors (four males and two females) from each team and a Viking longship. At the start of the game, the three male competitors, armed with a wooden battering ram, were standing at the bottom of a ramp leading up to a ‘locked’ castle. On the whistle, they had to run up the ramp and break through the polystyrene drawbridge with the battering ram. On top of the ramparts was an opposing male team member pouring water down to hinder their passage. Once accomplished, they went into the castle to collect a longship and once all of them were aboard, they descended the ramp and into the water. They then had to paddle the length of the pool whilst picking up the two female competitors on floating podiums along the way. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

With everything at stake and playing their Jokers, it was a two-horse race between Great Britain and France, with the home team completing the game in 55 seconds. France finished in 2nd place in 1 minute 3 seconds followed by West Germany in 3rd place in 1 minute 9 seconds, Italy in 4th place in 1 minute 25 seconds and Netherlands in 5th place in 1 minute 32 seconds. Although the Belgian team were also playing their Joker, they and Switzerland were somewhat hindered by permitting copious amounts of water to enter the longships on their entries into the pool and this ultimately slowed their speed. With the British team celebrating in the background, the referees permitted the game to run its course, but both Belgium and Switzerland capsized their boats before reaching the end of the pool and were both deemed as finishing in 7th place.

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Great Britain, having played the Joker (14pts awarded), had been promoted to 1st place with 50pts whilst West Germany (5pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 43pts. Switzerland (1pt) had been demoted to 3rd place with 38pts whilst Italy (4pts) had retained 4th place with 34pts. France, having also played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 5th place with 29pts whilst Netherlands (3pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 28pts and Belgium, having also played the Joker (2pts), had been demoted to 7th place with 20pts.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives (French archive recording edited)

 

B

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

Heat 7

Event Staged: Wednesday 1st September 1971
Venue: Jachthaven Mercator (Mercator Marina), Oostende, Belgium

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 1st September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 1st September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 1st September 1971, 9.05-10.20pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 1st September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 1st September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 1st September 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
RAI Due (I): Wednesday 1st September 1971, 10.05-11.20pm (Live - DST)
ORTF 1 (F): Wednesday 8th September 1971

BBC1 (GB): Friday 17th September 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Warm, Dry and Very Windy

Winners' Trophy presented by: Willy Delabastita

Theme: All at Sea

Teams: Oostende (B) v. Einsiedeln (CH) v. Leck (D) v. Libourne (F) v.
Bournemouth (GB) v. Pesaro (I) v. Doetinchem (NL)

Team Members included:
Einsiedeln (CH) -
Josef Fuchs, Victor Lachaire, Roddy Retwodz;
Leck (D) - Paul Brodovin, Friedrich Ratze;
Libourne (F) - Daniel Ferreau, Elenia Plont, Jean Trepadieu;
Pesaro (I) - Alberto Bordolli, Oliviero Briggidi.

Games: Balls from the Bowsprit, The Morning’s Catch, The Stranded Sirens, The Rescue Party, The Gastronomes, Striking it Rich, The Plunger Balls, S.O.S.!;
Fil Rouge: La Tour d'Oostende;
Jokers:
Fishermen in Waterproofs.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 FR 8
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
B 5 5 4 6 5 4 --- 7 14

CH

6 6 5 --- 12 3 5 3 3

D

4 1 1 3 1 --- 6 5 2
F 2 --- 8 1 1 2 4 1 4

GB

--- 2 2 2 4 12 3 2 5
I 1 3 12 4 --- 6 2 4 2
NL 4 4 --- 10 3 1 1 6 6
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 5 10 14 20 25 29 29 36 50

CH

6 12 17 17 29 32 37 40 43

D

4 5 6 9 10 10 16 21 23
F 2 2 10 11 12 14 18 19 23

GB

0 2 4 6 10 22 25 27 32
I 1 4 16 20 20 26 28 32 34
NL 4 8 8 18 21 22 23 29 35

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
5th
6th
6th

 B • Oostende l l
 CH • Einsiedeln
 NL • Doetinchem
 I • Pesaro
 GB • Bournemouth
 F • Libourne
 D • Leck

50
43
35
34
32
23
23

The Host Town

Oostende, Belgium

Oostende is a city of around 72,000 inhabitants and is located on the Belgian coast of West-Vlaanderen province, 29km (18 miles) south-west of Knokke, 103km (64 miles) west of Antwerpen, 108km (67 miles) north-west of Bruxelles / Brussel and 30km (18½ miles) north-east of Adinkerke on the French border.

In earlier times, Oostende was nothing more than a small village built on the east-end or 'oost-einde' of an island called Testerep between the North Sea and a beach lake. Following a fall in sea levels, the island became connected to the Belgian coast. Although small, the village rose to town status around 1265, when the inhabitants were allowed to hold a market and to build a market hall. The North Sea coastline has always been rather unstable and in 1395, the inhabitants decided to build a new Oostende behind large dikes and further away from the always-threatening sea.

The strategic position on the North Sea coast has always had major advantages for Oostende as a harbour and to that end for many centuries, the major source of income was fishing. However, this also proved to be a source of trouble with the town frequently being invaded, ravaged, ransacked and destroyed by conquering armies. The Siege of Ostend (1601-1604) cost a combined total of more than 80,000 dead or wounded, making it the single bloodiest battle of the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648). This shocking event set in motion negotiations that led to a truce several years later. After this era, Oostende was turned into a harbour of some significance when further hostilities saw the Dutch close off the Westerschelde, the entrance to the harbour of Antwerpen, in 1722. Oostende rose in importance because the town provided an alternative exit to the sea.

On 19th September 1826, the local artillery magazine exploded and at least 20 people were killed and a further 200 injured. The affluent quarter of d'Hargras was levelled and scarcely a building in the city escaped damage. Disease followed the devastation leading to further deaths.
 

The city and port of Oostende also doubles as a
seaside resort during the summer months

 

In 1838, a railway connection with Bruxelles / Brussel was constructed and the city became a transit harbour to England in 1846 when the first ferry sailed to Dover. Very important for the image of the town was the attention it started to receive from the Belgian kings Leopold I (1790-1865) and Leopold II (1835-1909). Both enjoyed spending their holidays in Oostende and soon after, the rest of aristocratic Belgium followed and it became known as ‘The Queen of the Belgian seaside resorts’.

Oostende was occupied by German forces and used as an access point to the sea for submarines and other light naval forces for much of the duration of World War I (1914-1918). As a consequence the port was subjected to two naval assaults by the British Royal Navy. World War II (1939-1945) involved a second occupation of the town by Germany within a period of little more than twenty years. Both conflicts brought significant destruction to Oostende.

The Venue

Jachthaven Mercator

The games at this heat were played in the Mercator luxury sailing marina in Oostende. The marina is named after the Mercator, a barquentine (a sailing vessel with three or more masts) which is permanently housed there. It was designed by the Antarctic explorer Adrien de Gerlache (1866-1934) as a training ship for the Belgian merchant fleet and today is one of the city’s most famous tourist attractions. Built in Leith, Scotland, it was named after Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator (1512-1594) and was launched in 1932. Its major career started off in 1934, when it sailed from Pitcairn Island to Tahiti and Papeete and onward to the Marquis Islands and Honolulu for a Belgo-French scientific expedition. This was its seventh cruise and known to be a fairly remarkable one to those preceding World War II. It was also used, mainly before World War II, for scientific observations and as an ambassador at world fairs and sailing events.
 

The luxury Mercator sailing marina is within
walking distance of Oostende city centre

 

On 21st February 1940, the Mercator set off for its last cruise before World War II, sailing to Rio de Janeiro and afterward arriving in Boma in the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). From early 1945 to mid-1947, the ship was taken under custody of the British Admiralty as a ‘Submarine Depot Ship’. Unfortunately after 1947, the elegant ship that it once was, would not see sea again until 20th January 1951, when it returned to Belgium to have major maintenance work carried out following the poor treatment at the hands of the British.

In 1960, the vessel returned to service as a training ship and completed a further 41 voyages where it sailed almost all the major seas of the world. In 1961, she became a floating museum in Antwerpen, but since 1964, it has been permanently moored in the marina of Oostende, just in front of the city hall.

The Games in Detail

Game 1 - Balls from the Bowsprit

The first game - ‘Balls from the Bowsprit’ - was played individually over one minute duration on the deck of the Mercator and featured three competitors (one male and two females) from each team. On the whistle, the male competitor had to climb over the support railing at the bow of the deck and run up and along its bowsprit. Once he reached the end, he had to pull a net of balls up from out of the water below and then hurl them one-by-one to his team-mates standing on the bow. Any that were caught or landed on the deck would be placed in a net overhanging the side of the ship. In opposition, standing underneath the bowsprit on floating platforms, were five opposing male team members each armed with a powered water jet hose which they aimed at him to impede his efforts. Only balls that were caught or landed on the bow’s deck would be counted and the team with the greater number of balls collected would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland and they successfully collected 5 balls and were followed by Netherlands who could only collect 2 balls. The third of the six teams to participate was Italy and they were unable to collect any balls within the allotted time. The fourth heat saw the participation of Belgium collecting 4 balls whilst France, the fifth and penultimate team to participate, collected just 1 ball. The sixth and final heat saw the participation of West Germany and emulated the score of Netherlands and collected 2 balls.

The first points of the competition were awarded to the scoreboard and it showed that Switzerland were in 1st place with 6pts, Belgium were in 2nd place with 5pts whilst West Germany and Netherlands were in 3rd place with 4pts each. France were in 5th place with 2pts, Italy were in 6th place with 1pt and Great Britain, who did not participate were in 7th place with 0pts.

Points to Note: (a) The second heat of this game was subjected to somewhat of a false start when it was realised that the rope that should be attached to the net of balls had been entangled at the top by the Swiss competitor. The referees had not been aware of this and presumed that the stagehands below had attached a new net. When the Dutch competitor reached the end of the bowsprit, he held his arm aloft to indicate to the referees that their was a problem. They immediately stopped the game and as he began to return to the deck, referee Gennaro Olivieri could be seen giving him instructions to return to the end to untangle the rope and dropping it to the stagehands below. He then had to return to the start for his re-run.

(b) As was the case with West Germany in the second International Heat staged in Switzerland earlier, eagle-eyed viewers would notice that some of the waterproof outfits donned by Switzerland in this heat were coloured green as opposed to their usual colour of light orange-yellow. However, despite this anomaly, the team donned dossards in their normal colour throughout the heat.

(c) This was the first of several games that would be affected by the adverse windy conditions in the marina and as a consequence would result in some teams unable to fulfil their potential.

(d) For those unfamiliar with a ship’s rigging, a bowsprit is a spar extending forward from the vessel's bow which provides an anchor point for the forestay(s) and thus allowing the fore-mast to be stepped farther forward on the hull.


Fil Rouge, Round 1 - La Tour d'Oostende

The Fil Rouge - ‘La Tour d’Oostende’ - was the only game that would be played on ‘terra firma’ and was a simple straightforward cycling race. It featured two male competitors from each team and a course comprising ramps, podiums, steps, a seesaw and a small hurdle. On the whistle, the first of the competitors had to race along the left-hand side of the ‘L’-shaped course which directed him over three small raised podiums and then, at the top end of the course, he had to drop down onto the roadway and turn left. He then had to dismount in order to get over a small raised wooden board and then run to his team-mate to tag him. Once tagged, the second competitor cycled the course on the right-hand side and, after ‘jumping’ a small raised wooden board, had to turn right and ‘bump’ up the kerb. He then had to dismount in order to negotiate a higher podium with a set of steps at the end. Once accomplished, he then remounted the bicycle to cross a seesaw and then race to the finish line. The team completing the course in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first round featured Great Britain with the first competitor completing his run in 24.8 seconds with the second competitor completing the course in a total of 52.8 seconds which, by the end of the contest, would become the slowest ‘recorded time’ of the seven teams.

Point to Note: The times declared in the Fil Rouge were to the nearest tenth of a second and this was very rare in Jeux Sans Frontières for times to be taken to decimal point readings. In fact, this was the first occasion since the 1966 series that this had occurred and would never be timed in this manner again!


Game 2 - The Morning's Catch

The second game - ‘The Morning’s Catch’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and featured five competitors (four males and one female) from each team. At one end of the 50m (164ft) course, there was a floating podium with 12 fishing baskets, stacked in four columns of three high, whilst at the other end there a static podium on which there was a four-seater bicycle. The two podia were connected by a 110m (360ft 10¾in) circular wire running from the front of the floating podium, around the pedal hubs of the bicycles and then underneath the water and a then around a pulley wheel to the rear of the podium. In the marina there were to obstacles which had to be negotiated - one which was a low horizontal hurdle and the other a tall thin vertical hurdle. On the whistle, three of the four male competitors pedalled the bicycles in order to pull the floating podium towards them, whilst the fourth observed and gave directions e.g. stop, reverse, slow down etc. Contemporaneously, the female competitor had to rearrange the baskets so that the podium would clear the hurdles without any of them being knocked into the water. The first horizontal hurdle required her to place all of the baskets flat on the podium whilst she lay down and the second hurdle required her to make two columns of six baskets high whilst she stood in front or behind the columns. Once the podium had cleared the second of the hurdles, the fourth male competitor could join his team-mates and assist with the pedalling for the final sprint home. Once the podium had reached the end of the course, the female had to move all the baskets onto the static podium to get a time. Although baskets that fell into the water could be retrieved by the female with a fishing hook, there was a 20-second penalty for any basket that was not retrieved and deemed as ‘lost’. The team completing the game in the faster overall time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium, Switzerland and Great Britain with Switzerland getting the better of the three starts. With the high winds again causing some problems for the competitors, the game did not play out as scheduled but nevertheless, all three teams finished the course within the time. Switzerland finished the game in 1 minute 7 seconds and Belgium finished in 1 minute 8 seconds whilst Great Britain, although finishing the game in 1 minute 25 seconds, were penalised after they ‘lost’ one of the baskets to the water whilst unloading them and failed to observe the error. With the penalty incurred, the time for Great Britain was declared as 1 minute 45 seconds. The second heat saw the participation of West Germany, Italy and Netherlands and it was a much slower race to that of the first. Although Netherlands had raced ahead, the team failed to retrieve a basket whilst negotiating the first hurdle. Nevertheless, the team finished the game in 1 minute 17 seconds but with a 20-second penalty incurred, it gave them an overall time of 1 minute 37 seconds. Italy finished the game in 1 minute 43 seconds whilst West Germany finished the game, just within time limit, in 1 minute 57 seconds.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland (6pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 12pts, Belgium (5pts) had retained 2nd place with 10pts and Netherlands (4pts) had retained 3rd place with 8pts. West Germany (1pt) had been demoted to 4th place with 5pts and Italy (3pts) had been promoted to 5th place with 4pts whilst Great Britain (2pts) had been promoted and joined France, who did not participate and had been demoted, in 6th place with 2pts each.


Fil Rouge, Round 2 - La Tour d'Oostende

The second round of the Fil Rouge featured France with the first competitor completing his run in 25.4 seconds. Following the handover to his team-mate, the team suffered a major setback when the chain around the pedal cog jammed, forcing the back wheel to lock up. The referees deemed that the malfunction was the fault of the competitor and that France would be declared a time of 0:00.

Point to Note: Despite the referees’ decision to place fault with the competitor, at no time was there any objection raised by the French team captain. At the time of the incident, West German touch-judge Werner Treischel could be seen standing and raising his hands in bewilderment and signifying that he did not have a clue what to do!


Game 3 - The Stranded Sirens

The third game - ‘The Stranded Sirens’ - was to start and finish onboard the Mercator and was played over three heats of two minutes duration. It witnessed France and Italy presenting their Jokers for play and featured three competitors (one male and two females) from each team. Directly in front of the ship there were two floating islands and on each of them was a stranded female competitor whilst further back along the course was a podium which had a small fibreglass rowing boat attached. Above the podium there was a large vertical net, set at angle of 10° to the perpendicular, and running through it was a zip wire which was connected to the ship at one end and the marina wall at the other. On the whistle, the male competitor descended the zip wire and when he reached the net, climbed down and into the boat. He then had to place a paddle in a rowlock located at the back of the boat and, using a fast oscillating action, manoeuvre the boat up the course. As he reached each of the islands, the female would board the boat and then he had to manoeuvre it to the side of the ship and then all three of them had to climb a large net. Once onboard deck, the male competitor had to reach up and ring a bell. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of West Germany and Belgium with the West German male competitor showing great expertise on how to manoeuvre the boat with just one paddle. Although West Germany reached the boat first, their competitor’s rowing skills were somewhat to be desired and made slow progress. In the meantime, Belgium had closed the deficit and overtook their rival halfway up the course and retained the lead throughout. The declared result showed that Belgium had completed the course in 1 minute 9 seconds whilst West Germany had failed to reach the side of the ship when the final whistle was sounded and were declared out of time (0:00). The second of the three heats saw the participation of Switzerland and France and was a close run race with Switzerland having the slight edge on their rival during the early stages of the game. Not to be outdone, France closed the deficit with both teams reaching the side of the ship at the exact same time. Both teams raced up the net but the Swiss once again had the edge on France. Switzerland completed the game in 1 minute 7 seconds with France completing the game and emulating the time of Belgium in the previous heat of 1 minute 9 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Great Britain and Italy with the latter racing ahead using a similar style to that of the Belgians in the first heat. However, the British competitor soon closed some of the deficit and was hot on the heels of Italian team. Despite his efforts, Italy had acquired enough of a lead to complete the game in 1 minute 5 seconds with Great Britain finishing in 1 minute 13 seconds.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Switzerland (5pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 17pts whilst Italy, having played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted to 2nd place with 16pts. Belgium (4pts) had been demoted to 3rd place with 14pts and France, having also played the Joker (8pts), had been promoted to 4th place with 10pts. Netherlands, who did not participate, had been demoted to 5th place with 8pts whilst West Germany (2pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 6pts and Great Britain (2pts) had been demoted to 7th place with 4pts.

Points to Note: (a) For this game, referee Gennaro Olivieri was located on one of the static jetties in the marina with touch-judges on board deck of the Mercator relaying the finishing times to him by walkie-talkie. However, due to the high winds having a detrimental effect on the airwaves, the signal was somewhat hampered and he had a difficult time trying to hear (and understand) them clearly.

(b) Although two teams played their Jokers on this game, the presentation was not seen on-screen. Although the flashing ‘X’ on the scoreboard next to the team’s name, was obvious during the result of the first heat, it was not announced until the start of the third heat that both teams had actually presented them to referee Guido Pancaldi on terra-firma before the start of the game.


Fil Rouge, Round 3 - La Tour d'Oostende

The third round of the Fil Rouge featured Netherlands with the first competitor completing his run in 25.5 seconds with the second competitor completing the course in a total of 49.2 seconds.


Game 4 - The Rescue Party

The fourth game - ‘The Rescue Party’ - was played over two heats of two minutes duration and witnessed Netherlands presenting their Joker for play. It featured five competitors (four males and one female) from each team, an inflated rescue raft and a course comprising a floating crow’s nest and flagpole. On the whistle, the female, who was sitting in the crow’s nest, shouted instructions to her four blindfolded male team-mates in an inflatable raft, in order to guide them to her. Once they reached her, she climbed into the raft and continued issuing instructions. The team then had to pass the podium that supported the nest on the left-hand side before being guided forward to the flagpole which had to be circumnavigated. Once accomplished, the team were then guided to the finishing podium where the female had to disembark and blow a child’s toy horn. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Belgium, France and Great Britain with all three teams reaching their respective crow’s nest together. Unfortunately for Great Britain, their raft became entangled with the French during their circumnavigation of the flagpole and whilst the latter powered forward, the British team were pushed backwards. In the background it could be seen that Belgium had completed the game in 57 seconds and it appeared that France would finish in 2nd place. In the meantime, Great Britain had freed themselves from the French and had paddled back to the flagpole to complete the course. However, despite the assumption that France would finish the game in 2nd place, they appeared to be making little or no progress towards the podium. This permitted Great Britain to close the deficit and finish the game in 2nd place in 1 minute 22 seconds with France eventually completing the game in 1 minute 44 seconds. The second heat saw the participation of West Germany, Italy and Netherlands and it was a much closer run contest than the first heat. Although it appeared that Italy had the slight edge on their two rivals, an error in the closing stages of the game, when the team went slightly off-course, permitted Netherlands to overtake and complete the game in 1 minute 1 second. Italy were just one second adrift, completing the game in 1 minute 2 seconds whilst West Germany finished in 1 minute 6 seconds.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that Belgium (6pts awarded) and Italy (4pts) had both been promoted to 1st place with 20pts each. Netherlands, having played the Joker (10pts), had been promoted to 3rd place with 18pts whilst Switzerland, who did not participate, had been demoted to 4th place with 17pts. France (1pt) had been demoted to 5th place with 11pts whilst West Germany (3pts) had retained 6th place with 9pts and Great Britain (2pts) remained in 7th place with 6pts.

Point to Note: Eagle-eyed viewers would spot that the reason for the French team’s inability to move towards the podium was that they had actually become entangled with one of the support wires of the floating podiums in the water. Despite a protest from the French team, it was overruled and the result upheld.


Fil Rouge, Round 4 - La Tour d'Oostende

The fourth round of the Fil Rouge featured Switzerland with the first competitor completing his run in 25.2 seconds. After being tagged, the second competitor set off at speed but during his descent from the seesaw, the bicycle landed badly throwing him onto the cobbled pathway. Despite this, he picked himself up and ran to the finishing line with the bicycle in his hand and completed the course in a total of 51.3 seconds. Fortunately, his injuries were minor; he sustained grazing to his left arm and elbow.


Game 5 - The Gastronomes

The fifth game - ‘The Gastronomes’ - was played over three heats of two minutes duration and was severely hampered by the windy conditions. It witnessed Switzerland presenting their Joker for play and featured five competitors (four male and one female) from each team and a large floating trampoline supported at each corner by a nautibike. On the whistle, the four male competitors, who were facing backwards on their nautibikes, had to pedal in reverse to move the trampoline forward. As they moved along the short 20m (65ft 7½in) course, the female competitor on the trampoline had to jump up and grab a foam rubber seabird or shell (dependant on the side of the course the team participated) from a wire stretched across the marina. Once accomplished, the trampoline had to be moved to a second wire from which the female had to grab a seahorse or starfish (again dependant on the side of the course the team participated). Once both items had been collected, the teams returned to the start in order for the female to place them in a basket on the floating podium. The team completing the course in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Great Britain and Netherlands but was not to be the straightforward game as rehearsed. The windy conditions hindered the females from grabbing hold of the foam rubber items due to them being blown in all directions and out of their reach. Nevertheless, Great Britain collected their two items first and began the return journey but in doing so became entangled with the Dutch trampoline. After some manoeuvring back and forth, they untangled themselves and then it was a straight neck and neck race back to the start. When the result was declared, Great Britain were deemed as having finished in 1 minute 51 seconds whilst Netherlands were deemed to have finished in 1 minute 56 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of Switzerland and France and was a one-horse race with Switzerland storming the game in 54 seconds whilst the French female struggled and failed to collect any of the two items, returning empty-handed and given a time of 0:00. The third and final heat followed and saw the participation of Belgium and West Germany. Despite both teams have difficulty in collecting the items, Belgium were the first to secure their two and began to return to the start. In the meantime, West Germany still struggling to collect their first item strayed into the path of the Belgian team. The two trampolines became entangled and although the Belgian team forced their rivals back to the start, their passage to the podium was blocked by the West Germans. With a little manoeuvring, the Belgians got themselves free but with the positioning of the rival craft, they arrived at the podium at a 45° angle. In order to jump the gap between craft and podium, the female competitor had to lurch herself forward and, after a somewhat safe landing, placed the items in the basket. Before the times were declared, referee Gennaro Olivieri stated that due to the very windy conditions being experienced in the marina, he could not hold the West Germany responsible for the delay to the Belgian team. With West Germany being declared out of time and given 0:00, Belgium were deemed as finishing in 1 minute 47 seconds.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that Switzerland, having played the Joker (12pts awarded), had been promoted to 1st place with 29pts whilst Belgium (5pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 25pts. Netherlands (3pts) had retained 3rd place with 21pts whilst Italy, who did not participate, had been demoted to 4th place with 20pts. France (1pt) had retained 5th place with 12pts whilst Great Britain (4pts) had been promoted and joined West Germany (1pt) in 6th place with 10pts each.

Points to Note: (a) Although it would have made no difference to the overall result and finishing positions, the touch-judges timing this game appeared to have had faulty stopwatches. As the first heat of the three reached its climax, the teams were so close in finishing the game, would have it appeared that both teams would be declared as having an equal time. However, when the ‘official’ times were announced there was a miraculous five second difference in the times!

(b) The third heat of this game would prove to be the most controversial of the three to avid viewers. During the game, it could be seen that West Germany had stopped play, after failing to collect an item from the first wire, and deliberately strayed into the path of the Belgian team to hinder their return journey. However, before the times of the heat were declared, referee Gennaro Olivieri palmed this off and stated that due to the very windy conditions being experienced in the marina, he could not hold the West Germany responsible for the delay to the Belgian team. Somewhat of a tactical announcement as it could clearly be seen that this was not the case!


Fil Rouge, Round 5 - La Tour d'Oostende

The fifth round of the Fil Rouge featured Italy with the first competitor completing his run in 25.1 seconds and with the second competitor completing his run in the exact same time, it gave the team an overall total of 50.2 seconds.


Game 6 - Striking It Rich

The sixth game - ‘Striking It Rich’ - was played over three heats of one minute duration and witnessed Great Britain presenting their Joker for play. It was very straightforward and featured a male competitor from each team and three floating oil drums in a small 10m (32ft 9¾in) wide enclosed section of the marina. On the whistle, a male team-mate had to get into the water whilst the competitor placed a wooden board across to the first of the barrels. He then had to run across the board and balance himself on the barrel with his feet astride the board. Once accomplished, he then had to pull the board through his legs so that it balanced between the first and second barrel and then run across to the second barrel. This procedure was repeated between the second and third barrels and again between the third barrel and the other side of the playing area. The final task was for him to climb a small scaffold, at the top of which was a power hose, and to release a valve to make the ‘oil’ gush forth. Although the team-mate in the water was not permitted to hold the board whilst his team-mate crossed, he was permitted to assist him to hold the barrels stationary or to recover the board should he fall into the water. The team releasing the ‘oil’ in the faster time would be declared the winners.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland and Italy was played without mishap with Italy completing the game in 25 seconds and Switzerland finishing in 28 seconds. The second of the three heats saw the participation of France and Great Britain and at first glance it appeared that the British may have made an error of judgement with their Joker decision. Their competitor crawled across the boards instead of running which slowed his pace somewhat. However, once he had crossed to the other side, the speed at which he climbed the scaffold was akin to ‘a rat up a drainpipe’. In the meantime, the French competitor found himself in deep water after tumbling into the marina between the third barrel and other side of the playing area. Despite his costume being soaked, he recomposed himself completed the crossing and climbed the scaffold and turned the valve. The decision by Great Britain was vindicated after the times revealed that they had completed the game in 25 seconds and France had finished in 53 seconds. The third and final heat saw the participation of Belgium and Netherlands with the home team finishing the game without mishap in 26 seconds. However, the Dutch were not so fortunate and tumbled into the water whilst crossing between the second and third barrels. Although the competitor recomposed himself, he did so from the incorrect barrel (the third instead of the second) and continued on and began to climb the scaffold. However, referee Gennaro Olivieri informed him that he must return and restart from the second barrel. With the competitor unable to recompose himself fully, he tumbled in the water once more and this second error resulted in the team running out of time and given a score of 0:00.

The points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Switzerland (3pts awarded) had retained 1st place with 32pts and Belgium (4pts) had retained 2nd place with 29pts whilst Italy (6pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 26pts. Great Britain, having played the Joker (12pts), had been promoted and joined Netherlands (1pt), who had been demoted, in 4th place with 22pts each. France (2pts) had been demoted to 6th place with 14pts and West Germany, who did not participate, had been demoted to 7th place with 10pts.

Point to Note: A hilarious moment occurred at the end of the second heat when the French competitor climbed the scaffold to turn the valve. As he attempted to climb through the top railing of the scaffold and reach out to the valve, he misjudged it badly and fell face down onto the platform board of the scaffold and the incident was met with some hilarity from French commentators, Guy Lux and Simone Garnier.


Fil Rouge, Round 6 - La Tour d'Oostende

The sixth and penultimate round of the Fil Rouge featured West Germany with the first competitor completing his run in 24.3 seconds with the second competitor completing the course in a total of 49.3 seconds, just one-tenth of a second behind the time accomplished by Netherlands in the third round.


Game 7 - The Plunger Bells

The seventh and penultimate game - ‘The Plunger Balls’ - was played over two heats of 1 minute 30 seconds duration in the same small section of the marina as the previous game and featured two female competitors from each team armed with two sink plungers. In contrast to its previous use, the playing area was spanned from one side to the other by a bridge comprising wooden boards with the three barrels acting as support pylons. On the whistle, the first of the competitors had to push the plungers onto balls and then upturn the plungers so that the balls were sitting in the bowl of the plunger. Once accomplished, she had to cross the bridge to the other side and simply place the balls into a holding cage and run back in order for the second competitor to repeat the procedure.

The first heat saw the participation of Switzerland, France and Italy and was the higher-scoring of the two with Switzerland collecting 18 balls, France collecting 16 balls and Italy collecting just 6 balls. The second heat saw the participation of West Germany, Great Britain and Netherlands and ended with West Germany collecting 21 balls, Great Britain collecting 8 balls and Netherlands collecting just 5 balls.

The points awarded were added to the master scoreboard and it showed that all teams, with the exception of Netherlands, had retained their previous positions. Switzerland (5pts awarded) were in 1st place with 37pts, Belgium, who did not participate, were in 2nd place with 29pts, Italy (2pts) were in 3rd place with 28pts and Great Britain (3pts) were in 4th place with 25pts. Netherlands (1pt) had been demoted to 5th place with 23pts whilst France (4pts) were in 6th place with 18pts and West Germany (6pts) were in 7th place with 16pts.


Fil Rouge, Round 7 - La Tour d'Oostende

The seventh and final round of the Fil Rouge featured the home team of Belgium and the cycling De Vlaeminck brothers Erik (a seven time world cyclo-cross champion in 1966 and annually between 1968 and 1973, and four time Belgian champion - 1967, 1969, 1971 and 1972) and Roger (an amateur and professional cycling champion). To increase the difficulty factor, the final obstacle on the first run had been raised to a greater height (but not so much) and the second competitor had to complete his run without dismounting his bicycle. The first of the competitors Roger completed his run in 23.4 seconds with the second competitor, brother Erik, completing the course in exactly 46 seconds.

The points were awarded and the scoreboard was updated and it showed that the top three teams had all retained their previous positions. Switzerland (3pts awarded) were in 1st place with 40pts, Belgium (7pts) were in 2nd place with 36pts and Italy (4pts) were in 3rd place with 32pts. Netherlands (6pts) had been promoted to 4th place with 29pts whilst Great Britain (2pts) had been demoted to 5th place with 27pts and West Germany (5pts) had been promoted to 6th place with 21pts whilst France (1pt) had been demoted to 7th place with 19pts.


Game 8 - S.O.S.!

The eighth and final game - ‘S.O.S.!’ - had its starting point on the deck of the Mercator and witnessed Belgium and West Germany presenting their Jokers for play. It featured seven large colour-coded boards located in the marina 50m (164ft) from the vessel and a male competitor from each team armed with a half-inflated rescue raft. On the whistle, the competitors dived into the marina and it was then a straight race to the end of the course and for the competitor to untie a rope to reveal the ident of his country. The team completing the game in the faster time would be declared the winners.

At first it appeared that this was a one-horse race with the Belgian competitor reaching the end of the course well ahead of his rivals. However, for some unknown reason he had difficulty in untying the rope and there was a delay of almost 11 seconds between the time he reached the end of the course and the colour board falling. This delay almost prevented the team from winning the game as the second team had, by this time, closed the deficit. The result was announced and Belgium had finished in 46 seconds followed by Netherlands (47 seconds), Great Britain (50 seconds), France (1 minute 4 seconds), Switzerland (1 minute 6 seconds) and Italy (1 minute 12 seconds) with West Germany failing to finish.

The final set of points were awarded and added to the master scoreboard and updated. Belgium, having played the Joker (14pts awarded), had been promoted to 1st place with 50pts whilst Switzerland (3pts) had been demoted to 2nd place with 43pts. Netherlands (6pts) had been promoted to 3rd place with 35pts whilst Italy (2pts) had been demoted to 4th place with 34pts. Great Britain (5pts) had retained 5th place with 32pts whilst West Germany, having also played the Joker (2pts), had been joined by France (4pts), who had been promoted, in 6th place with 23pts each.

Point to Note: For the first-time in Jeux Sans Frontières, a split screen was provided at the bottom of picture to show the competitors in action (top three-quarters) and a clear unobscured view of the colour-coded boards falling and displaying the idents (bottom quarter).

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
Exists in European archives

 

Teams Qualifying for International Final

Country

 Team Qualifying Heat Position Points
B  Oostende 7 B 1 50

CH

 Willisau

2 CH 2 44

D

 Offenburg

5 D 1 49
F  Le Mans 3 NL 3 36

GB

 Blackpool

6 GB 1 50
I  Riccione 1 I 1 48
NL  Alphen aan den Rijn 3 NL 1 44
 

D

Jeux Sans Frontières 1971

International Final

Event Staged: Wednesday 15th September 1971
Venue: Grugastadion (Gruga Stadium), Rüttenscheid,
Essen, West Germany

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BRT (B):
Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RTB (B): Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SSR (CH-French):
Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
SRG (CH-German):
Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.25pm (Live)
ARD-WDR (D):
Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
ORTF 1 (F): Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
NCRV (NL): Wednesday 15th September 1971, 9.05-10.30pm (Live)
RAI Due (I): Wednesday 15th September 1971, 10.05-11.30pm (Live - DST)
BBC1 (GB): Friday 24th September 1971, 9.20-10.35pm

Weather Conditions: Warm and Dry

Theme: A Final Festival

Teams: Oostende (B) v. Willisau (CH) v. Offenburg (D) v. Le Mans (F) v.
Blackpool (GB) v. Riccione (I) v. Alphen aan den Rijn (NL)

Team Members included:
Offenburg (D) - Dieter Roth (Team Trainer), Hubert Beathalter, Christian Blender, Christel Käshammer, Artur Köchlin, Ellen Mundingen;

Le Mans (F) - Michelle Boulloir, Justine Gillier;

Blackpool (GB) - Bob Battersby (Team Manager), John Collins (Team Coach), L Baldwin, M Bottomley, R Booth, R Boyce, K Buckley, A Dawson, Sylvia Dewhurst, W Earnshaw, J Garland, R Holey, R Hood, R Hyde, A Lowe, A McMann, J Merridew, A Morris, J Newman, E Randall, J Robinson, C Scott, Barry Shearman, D Shires, Anthony Smith, M Taylor, H Watson, M Yates;

Riccione (I) - Eugenio Pagnini (Team Captain), Antonietta Bologna, Patrizia Bombardieri, Leopoldi Carlini, Davide Casadei, Clara degli Espositi, Paolo Fabbri, Margherita Dasparini, Franco Geminiani, Giorgio Gentile, Minea Giavolucci, Maria Mancinelli, Olinto di Mario, Graziella Minuzzoli, Gabriella Moretto, Tiziano Mulazzoni, Gianluigi Sciboni, Maurizio Sorci, Santo Rossi, Lidia Tonti.

Games: The Mini-Cars, The Limbo Dancers, The Bears and the Grapes, The Regatta, Adam and Eve, The Knife and the Ox, Collecting Stamps and The Cage of Balloons;
Fil Rouge: Jeux Sans Frontières.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd
3rd
4th
4th
6th
7th

 GB • Blackpool l
 NL • Alphen aan den Rijn
l
 CH • Willisau
l
 I • Riccione
 D • Offenburg
 B • Oostende
 F • Le Mans

45
38
36
35
35
28
27

The Host Town

Essen, West Germany

Essen is the ninth-largest city in Germany with a population of around 570,000 inhabitants in the densely populated (11 million inhabitants or just under one-seventh of the country’s total population) and industrialised Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area. It is located in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen, 58km (36 miles) north of Köln, 308km (191¼ miles) south-west of Hamburg, 454km (282 miles) west of Berlin and 494km (307 miles) north-east of München.
 

A sculpture of miners at work commemorates
the history of Essen’s coal mining past

 

Although thought to have been founded around AD 845, when Saint Altfrid (AD 800-874) founded an abbey for women (coenobium Astnide) in the centre of present-day Essen, the first documented mention of Essen only dates back to AD 898, when Zwentibold (AD 870-900), King of Lotharingia, willed territory on the western bank of the River Rhine to the abbey. In AD 971, Mathilde II (AD 949-1011), granddaughter of Emperor Otto I (AD 912-973), took charge of the abbey. She was to become the most important of all abbesses in the history of Essen. In 1244, Essen received its city charter and seal when Konrad von Hochstaden (1198-1261), the Archbishop of Koln, marched into the city and, together with the population, erected a city wall. The title free imperial city was finally granted by Emperor Charles IV (1316-1378) in 1377. However in 1372, Charles had paradoxically endorsed the decision of King Rudolf I (1218-1291) to restore the abbesses to full sovereignty over the city, much to the dismay of the population, and left both the abbey and the city in imperial favour. Disputes between the city and the abbey about supremacy over the region remained common until the abbey's dissolution in 1803.

At the end of the 16th century, many coal mines had opened in Essen, and the city earned a name as a centre of the weapons industry. In 1811, Friedrich Krupp (1787-1826) founded Germany's first cast-steel factory in Essen and laid the cornerstone for what was to be the largest enterprise in Europe for a couple of decades.

As a major industrial centre, Essen was a target for allied bombing during World War II (1939-1945) with the Royal Air Force dropping a total of 36,429 imperial tons of bombs on the city. Over 270 air raids were launched against the city, destroying 90% of the centre and 60% of the suburbs. On 5th March 1943, Essen was subjected to one of the heaviest air-raids of the war in which 461 people were killed, 1,593 injured and a further 50,000 residents of Essen were made homeless.

Following the war, Essen attracted workers from all over the country and as such became the 5th largest city in West Germany in 1962, when the population peaked at over 730,000 inhabitants. Following the region-wide decline of heavy industries in the last decades of the 20th century, the city has seen the development of a strong tertiary sector of the economy. Essen today is seat to 13 of the 100 largest German corporations, including two DAX corporations, placing the city second only to Munich and on-par with Frankfurt am Main in number of corporate headquarters. The Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) has a studio in Essen, which is responsible for the central Ruhr area.

In German-speaking countries, the name of the city Essen often causes confusion as to its origins, because it is commonly known as the German verb for eating and the German noun for food. Although scholars still dispute the interpretation of the name, there remain a few noteworthy interpretations.

Essen was chosen to host this International Final as it was celebrating its millennium year, one thousand years after Mathilde II (AD 949-1011) took charge of the abbey on which the city was originally founded.

The Venue

Grugastadion

The games at this International Final were played at the Grugastadion in the city’s southern suburb of Rüttenscheid. The stadium was built in 1963 for the West German Gymnastics Festival with a capacity of 40,000 seats and until 2001, when it was finally demolished, was the largest sports stadium in Essen.
 

A rare aerial view of the Grugastadion taken in the 1970s

 

The name Gruga was originally an acronym of Große Rürhlandische Gartenbau Austtellung (The Grand Rühr Landscape Area Gardening Exhibition). The location of the stadium was adjacent to the area of the Grugapark, a large 25-hectare site of botanical gardens which opened in 1927. Today, as well as the gardens which now extends to 70 hectares, the whole area has been transformed into a family-friendly location offering tropical aviaries, animal parks, water gardens, music pavilions and an adventure playground. In 2005, burger giant McDonald’s constructed and built the Hundertwasser House, named after its designer Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser who died in 2000, and was to become another of the chain’s Ronald McDonald Houses.
 

View taken from the A52 autobahn end of the stadium looking northwards

 

The stadium’s construction was to be part of Montagsloch, an ambitious building project during the period of National Socialism in the late 1940’s. Its aim was to construct one of the largest sports stadiums in West Germany. However, although the excavation work was started, the project did not come to fruition and the area remained as an enormous open pit. This was subsequently used as a storage area by the city council for debris (rather like landfill), until 1959 when the council ceased its dumping operations, and began to rethink the plans for the area. These plans included a large grassed area for a permanent fairground, as well as plans for the construction of three football stadiums (two which would be grassed and the other which would have an ash base).

Construction work began and with the upcoming West German Gymnastics Festival in 1963, it was decided to enlarge one of the stadium’s plans and create the Grugastadion. However, as with most European countries in the 1980’s, the affluent society demanded more retail and leisure space and sadly two of the stadiums were demolished and the area asphalted, in order to provide parking facilities for residents of the newly-constructed Messe apartment complex as well as its adjoining retail park.

The name Montagsloch (Monday’s Hole) probably refers to Monday 12th March 1945, the day when 35 Russian forced labourers and others were killed by the Gestapo at this location in Essen. It was not until after the Second World War had ended, that American occupying forces discovered a bomb crater, one of many found in the city, which had filled with rainwater and was hiding the mass grave of their decaying corpses. Some of the murderers were consequently sentenced to long term prison terms by a British military court in 1948.

Memories of JSF

Another masterstroke by the Blackpool coach was later recalled by It's A Knockout producer, Barney Colehan. "Blackpool realised that one of the events needed a limbo dancer, so they phoned round all the theatrical agents and, at the last minute, located a professional limbo dancer. As the game was announced, they raised their Joker card - which would give them double points if they won - and had no trouble in winning the maximum twelve points," said Colehan when interviewed for the 1977 It's A Knockout Annual. He went on to point out that, in later years, this would not have been possible as team members would be chosen for the events by drawing lots.

Additional Information

Eight colour TV cameras were reportedly wrecked when the Essen crowd got out of control following Blackpool's win. The German team from Offenburg won by a country mile in the dress rehearsal, but this was in part due to a master stroke from the British coach. He decided that for the warm-up, he would not put team members in the events they would contest in the real event. For instance, this meant a 15 stone fireman competed in the limbo game in the dress rehearsal. This gambit gave the other teams a false picture of Blackpool's abilities.

This heat celebrated the 50th Spiel Ohne Grenzen programme (Domestic and International) staged in West Germany since 1965.

This result of this International Final is in some doubt. We at JSFnetGB have yet to be able to access information that could confirm the outcome of the competition, and the positions and points shown above are therefore provisional. There is no doubt that Blackpool were the winners, but the other positions are not certain. For instance, this website suggests that Offenburg finished 2nd rather than joint 4th. If you can help regarding this final score, please get in touch.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives
May exist in European archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites