Friday, June 09, 2006

The Lead Cup - Pool C

The rain and snow which interrupted play between the finish of Pool B and the start of Pool C had some commentators grumbling about the championship being held in a small country like New Zealand which didn’t have covered stadiums. But putting that issue aside, competition was expected to be tight and even in Pool C, and after the upsets of Pool B, the fans were prepared for anything and everything.

The opening event, the blackness test, was an indicator of things to come. In a photo finish, the judges finally declared a tie for first between Cross from the USA and Caran d’Ache from Switzerland, and another tie between Germany’s Mont Blanc and Korea’s Micro for third. But the gap between first and last was very small. The erasability test was equally even and it was not until the smear resistance test that an event was won by a clear margin, with Mont Blanc finishing well ahead of the other three.

As always the strength test was the most important event and competition was fierce. Despite a creditable performance, Micro from Korea was definitely fourth, but the other three placings were very even, with the judges narrowly awarding first place to Caran d’Ache over Cross.

The individual event placings were, from first place to fourth:
BlacknessCross & Caran d’Ache (1=), Mont Blanc & Micro (3=).
Smear ResistanceMont Blanc, Cross, Micro & Caran d’Ache (3=).
ErasabilityMont Blanc, Cross & Caran d’Ache (2=), Micro.
StrengthCaran d’Ache, Cross, Mont Blanc, Micro.

So with an overall score of 8, Caran d’Ache from Switzerland just held off the strong challenge from Cross on 9 points. Mont Blanc finished a somewhat disappointing third on 11 points, and Micro was clearly last on 18 points but they performed much better than that score would imply. Certainly they were no “easy-beat”. With only Pool D left to play, the business end of the competition is fast approaching.

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