2024 GOLD 2024 Reports NEWS

Back to Events, FINALLY!

Fram Gommendy returns to the Tour, 10 months away!

It’s a tough time for the Old French Mother Hen… I guess my style of writing is not in fashion anymore, people want fast small reports now, little clips and a few thoughts. I still read l’Equipe newspaper, moi. I still like reading in-depth articles, but I guess I’m a bit of a dinosaur nowadays…. “Place aux Jeunes” as we say in French.

On top of it all, because of the Economic crisis that hit Egypt and the devaluation of the Egyptian Pound, no major tournaments have happened here since June 2023; hence, there has been no Fram in Cairo since then! I am 10 months away from my beloved Egypt.

You need to realise the extent of the pressure on the country when it comes to getting goods or events in foreign currencies. When we started in Gouna before the 2011 revolution, you had 10 EGP for 1 euro. After the revolution, it went to 20 EGP. Last year, it went to 30 EGP. Lately, it’s 52 EGP… and around 60 EGP for a GBP… I kid you not.

So, Fram has not been to Cairo since last June. To be honest, it feels like I miss a limb. But I have to say the return is absolutely gorgeous. I am now flat-sharing a stunning place with a French History Teacher, in Maadi Degla, street 206, perfect location. We seem to have the same sense of humour and vision of spiritual life, which makes everything easy and simple.

But after a few days of catching up with friends and work, it was time to go back to work. I was stunned to realise that for this Edition of Mountain View BlackBall Open, we shifted from our normal Westin Hotel – nothing wrong with it of course, loved it – to one of the best Palaces in Cairo, Royal Maxime Palace Kempinski in New Cairo.

The staff is as good and trained as it comes—look for the lovely “ladies in Red,” who aim to make sure you are spoiled to bits!

The comfort of the room is just incredible. Bathtub and shower, separate toilets, plenty of space to live and work, lots of plugs everywhere, and the bed… You touch it, so soft and delicate… you want to sleep forever! Even Cubs crashed, that tells you something!

The outside pool bar is very welcoming; Cubs and I had a little nibble, huge portions, I couldn’t finish, I kid you not! It’s a perfect time of the year, not too warm, perfect conditions really.

Thanks for the flowers and the sweets—they are very much appreciated, people! I’m feeling like a Queen—well, a Queen Mother more like at the moment, but a Queen nonetheless!

So, tomorrow, it’s back to the BlackBall Mill, with two events imbricated one in the other, going to be fun (qualifying for the Worlds along with the Mountain View BlackBall Open), not much time to enjoy the hotel! Still, I’ll still have the nights in that bed…

BlackBall, here we come!