Euro 2008 has just kicked off, and there will be very few England football fans making there way to Switzerland and Austria, since the England Football team failed to qualify for the finals.
However there are three England teams taking part in the Bridge Europeans in Pau, the Open, Women and Seniors, and they would very much welcome some live support from a few England bridge fans.
But bridge can't have the same atmosphere as a football match, I hear you say. Well, the attendance will be lower but there is still a great atmosphere at the Championship.
If you are in Pau, you will be able to watch the action live in the Vugraph Theatre. The setup will be very much like a cinema. At the front will be three large screens, one showing the hand graphically, one showing the results from all the other tables, and one showing a closed curcuit image of the players playing.
You will be able to follow the play on the big screen, while listening to the opinions of expert commentators. The audience will consist of sitting out players, captains, coaches, bridge journalists, and, most likely, a large number of french supporters. There will be loud cheers from the partisan audience every time a french team does something good. The players will not hear the cheering, however they will sense it is happening, and that is probably worth in the order of 25 VPs to the host country.
It's great entertainment, and, if you go there to spectate, you really get the feeling that you are part of the championship.
The English teams would also appreciate some support, if the know there are some english fans in the viewgraph audience, they too will sense the cheering, and it's bound to inspire them.
So, forget boring football, and take a trip to Pau to support our teams.
You can even play if you wish, the French Bridge Federation propose to hold an open tournament Tournoi de Paires de l'euro on the middle weekend (21st/22nd June). Please check the details with the EBU nearer the date.