WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL BLOG for La Pétanque Marinière in San Rafael, California. LPM has been an active Marin pétanque club since 1972 and affiliated with the Fédération of Pétanque USA, since 1975. We welcome people of all abilities, ages and nationalities to come and enjoy pétanque with us.

The Pierre Joske Courts are located on Civic Center drive in San Rafael. (click for directions). Casual games are played every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from about 1 pm. Tournament play is usually held on the second Sunday of every month.

Please consult the links on the sidebar to the right for more information on clubs in the bay area, nationally and world wide.

If you would like to play but haven't any boules, please contact our President, Christine Cragg. They can bring some for you to use, as well as introduce you to the basic skills and techniques of pétanque. In addition, if you are looking to purchase boules but are unsure as to which size and weight are right for you, we have a range of different examples from which to choose.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Fresno Pétanque

Here is the latest newsletter from our neighbors to the not-so-far south. Click here to read it in it's entirety.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Wishes from LPM

Merry Christmas Everybody,

The Holiday Season 2009 is upon us, yet Christmas and it's traditions don't always bring visions of joy and happiness to everyone. Keep in mind that when you are looking for that perfect gift, that love is the easiest gift to give. Its simple... its elegant... and it lasts a long time. It's always brand new... and if it's returned it brings even more joy. At this time of the year, let us reach out and forget all our bitterness toward our fellow man, extend to him or her, our true hand of love and friendship... because love brings hope... and hope removes doubt...without doubt there is no uncertainty.
With that, all of us at La Pétanque Marinière would like to wish you the Merriest of Christmases and the Happiest of New Years.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Pétanque Wines at Trader Joe's

It's time to stock up on the popular wine from Michel-Schlumberger in the Dry Creek Valley as it is now available from Trader Joe's in San Rafael. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are all selling for the unheard of $4.99 per bottle.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

La Franc Pétanque Boules

Welcome to La Franc pétanque boules from Thailand!

FBT Sports is considered the Sporting Giant of Thailand because of its wide range of sports equlpment and wear manufacturing facilities, and also its dominant marketing and sales activities throughout of Thailand.

Another reason is FBT’s cars and responsibility as a Corporate Citizen committed towards the development of sports in Thailand with its philanthropic contribution as a donor or sponsor since the inception of the company in 1952.

As a manufacturer, a wholesaler and a retailer, FBT can control the quality of its products to the end customers and, at the same time, have the flexibility to suit all types of markets. This allows FBT the advantage of producing high quality products at affordable prices.

Click on video to go to the factory and watch the actual boule making process.

When at the factory click on "area 6" to begin the video.
Click on boule department to see fotos of the boule making area of the factory.

La Franc Pétanque balls are now available directly from
Pétanque America and are approved by the International Pétanque Federation for International Competitions.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pétanque Spreads in Northern Florida

Grand opening of The Bakery by Opus 39 in St Augustine, Florida

It seems that since the Pétanque America Open, the sport is catching on in the northeastern part of the state. the following article appeared today in the Historic City News out of St. Augustine, Florida

The Bakery by Opus 39 reported to Historic City News that they will be holding their grand opening next Tuesday, December 15th.

The new Bakery is located behind Opus 39 on Cordova Street.

The Bakery’s retail pastry and bread shop is open to the public for breakfast, coffee, lunch and catering. Wholesale breads, pastries, etc. are available for restaurants.

Historic City News reader and City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Kline reported that this is very exciting news. “If you have never tasted the bread at Opus, you should; it’s to die for”, Sikes-Kline said.

Fresh bread with real butter dripping down your elbow as you enjoy it — hot, fresh, right out of their ovens. All breads are made daily to satisfy.

Chef Michael says the deck is great,The Pétanque Court is ready to play and the new patio furniture and fountains are really nice.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

36 Hours in Austin, Texas

THE city’s unofficial motto, “Keep Austin Weird,” blares from bumper stickers on BMWs and jalopies alike, on T-shirts worn by joggers along Lady Bird Lake and in the windows of independently owned shops and restaurants. It’s an exhortation for a city that clings to eccentricity, even in the face of rapid development — downtown Austin, for one, is being transformed with a fleet of high-rise condos and a W Hotel, scheduled to open late next year. But this funky college town, known for its liberal leanings and rich music scene, has little to worry about — at least as long as its openhearted citizens, with their colorful bungalows and tattoos, do their part to keep the city endearingly odd. As one local put it: “As long as Austinites keep decorating their bodies and cars, we’re going to be fine.”

part of what happens in 36 hours in Austin is pétanque...

8:30 p.m.

There’s something almost Felliniesque about driving down a dark road lined with industrial warehouses, and stumbling onto Justine’s (4710 East Fifth Street; 512-385-2900; www.justines1937.com), bistro. a new, pitch-perfect FrenchOutside, a family plays pétanque on the driveway; inside, groups of friends and couples sit on Thonet chairs at candlelit cast-iron-and-marble cafe tables, as a turntable, manned by the owner, Pierre Pelegrin, plays old jazz and reggae tunes. With atmosphere this good, the meal — Parisian comfort food, and delicious — is just a bonus. Order the duck confit ($15) or the steak frites with pepper sauce ($18).

to see what happens the rest of the 36 hours, click here

Frederic Matocq

Greetings All,

Many of you have already heard that Frederic Matocq, a true gentleman and long-time member of La Petanque Mariniere, passed away last week. Health issues have kept him and his wife Henriette from being active members of the club for some years now. I am grateful to say that I became a member in time to have at least gotten to know him, if only a little. His friendly and gentle nature was always welcome on the courts. I will remember how he always greeted people with a smile. I know that he will be missed by many. He originally came from France in 1953 and worked as a head baker for Bordenave's for 34 years. Frederic was a devoted Catholic and member of Saint Raphael's. He married the love of his life Henriette Lanneretonne in 1960 and had three children Michele, George and John-Claude. Frederic was a long time member of the French League Henry IV. He enjoyed playing pétanque in his retirement years. He is survived by his beloved wife Henriette, his daughter Michele, his son John-Claude, and his one and only granddaughter Marissa all of San Rafael. The light of his life will be sorely missed by all whose lives he touched.
The Rosary will be held at Keaton's, 1022 E St., San Rafael, at 7pm on Tuesday, Dec 1st.
The service will be held at Noon on Wed. Dec 2. at St Rafael Church, Fifth Street, San Rafael.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pétanque America Open foto montage

Here is the latest slideshow of the Pétanque America Open to be published
Thanks to Christophe Chambers of New York and Gary Jones of North Carolina for capturing some great moments during the Open with such wonderful images.

Click here to watch the slideshow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pétanque America Open Finals

Spoiled by a fabulous November weather the Amelia Island Petanque America open showed some fabulous artistry, especially by European Shooting champion and former World Champion Claudy Weibel who was teamed up with his friend Xavier Thibaud from the New York Petanque club. The two proved to be too strong for the rest of the 200 plus competitors. The population of Amelia Island has embraced the century old French ball game and the city of Fernandina Beach has left permanent courts on the side of its brandnew Marina complex. A new league is already in the making and next year we expect an expanded field of players.

Click here to watch a video of the final match. Courtesy of SearchAmelia.com

Pétanque America Open Slideshow

Finally, here is La Pétanque Marinère's slideshow from the Pétanque America Open which took place on November 14 & 15 in Fernandina Beach, located on Amelia Island, Florida. Philippe Boets, owner of Pétanque America, organised the Open with many enthusiastic and impassioned volunteers helping him along. La Pétanque Marinière was represented by four of it's members who reported to have enjoyed the games and conviviality a great deal. Everyone was so enthused that 8 courts were left as they were to entertain people who want to come to the waterfront and play pétanque. It looks like Fernandina Beach has welcomed pétanque with open arms and that it may be a permanent fixture at the waterfront. Rumor is that another Open may take place next year, and people are already expressing desire to be involved.

We would like to extend our most sincere appreciation to, of course, Philippe, for all the sleepless nights, the countless days of planning, coordinating and endless energy and passion. The wonderfully able and erudite Christophe Chambers for directing the tournament, Mayor Susan Steger of Fernandina Island, François Kloc of the Alliance Française de Jacksonville. To T.J. Seaton, Philippe's adorable girl-friday, to Robert from the New York Pétanque Club for his tireless efforts in turning the parking lot into the pétanque courts, to Monsieur Jacques Pépin and his wonderful wife Gloria, Michel and Lori Nischan of Wesport Connecticut's The Dressing Room. to Pete "da meat" for catering a mouthwatering "welcome-to-amelia-island party", to the Police Auxiliary for providing refreshaments all weekend to thirsty competitors and spectators, to Babe Ruth Baseball for hitting home runs with their hamburgers and hot dogs.
To Niko of Ace Taxi for always being at the ready, with a smile, to pick up someone and take them somewhere at a moment's notice. To Bob Ramshaw General Manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites and all of his wonderful staff for being so accomodating to so many of us. To the staff of the restaurants Le Clos, Karibo, España, Bright Mornings Café, Brett's Waterway and The Palace Saloon for keeping us fed in fine fashion and ALL of those who spent tireless hours and days preparing for the onslaught of so many boulistes.

We would also like to thank the participation of so many enthusiastic players hailing from as far away as Belgium, Germany, St Barts, FWI. Canada, California, Texas, Arizona, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Maine. Delaware, Iowa, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Click here to view the slideshow.

Feel free to download copies of any foto. They are all high resolution images.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

French game petanque welcomed in Fernandina Beach

International petanque tournament attracts hundreds of players, spectators

Gleaming metal balls from France flew through the air last weekend as many passersby wondered about all the people wandering around wearing straw Ricard hats.

With the number of different languages heard on the street, Fernandina Beach might have passed for a European town when it hosted its first petanque tournament Nov. 14-15. It was the second international petanque tournament ever held in the United States.

Petanque, pronounced "pay-tonk," is a French game that is wildly popular in Europe and is similar to both horseshoes and Italian bocce ball.

Almost 100 two-player teams from Europe and 22 U.S. states competed in the 2009 Petanque America Open on 45 gravel courts set up along the waterfront just south of the Fernandina Harbor Marina. In keeping with its roots, the tournament was sponsored by Ricard Pastis, an anise-flavored liqueur popular in the South of France.

click here for the complete article

Chef Jacques Pepin at Petanque America Open

Celebrity Chef Jacques Pépin, Ambassador for Pétanque

During last weekend’s Amelia Island Pétanque America tournament we had the pleasure and honor to interview several world famous chefs and players in front of our cameras. The first one of a series is TV celebrity chef Jacques Pépin, who with his wife Gloria gave a very special dimension to the event.

click on the title to view complete article and interview

Chef Michel Nischan at Petanque America Open

Interview with Pétanque playing Master Chef Michel Nischan

One of the most delightful down-to-earth people ever to set foot on Amelia Island is, in my opinion celebrity chef Michel Nischan owner/operator of the famed ‘Dressing Room’ restaurant in Westport Ct. During last week’s Pétanque America Tournament, he and his charming wife Lori lit up the town and a lot of hearts. A novice Pétanque player, attracted to the game by fellow celebrity chef Jacques Pépin, his presence among some of the best Pétanque players in the world was somewhat short-lived, which gave him and his delightful wife Lori abundant time to explore our island.

click on the title to view complete article

Jacques Pepin at Petanque America Open

Master Chef Jacques Pépin and Pétanque America Go Way Back

The game of Pétanque attracts people from all social and cultural levels of society. However there are two particular high profile groups that seem to have a special affinity to this century old French ballgame: Actors and Chefs.

The explanation for this phenomenon turns out to be quite simple: They have short spurs of idle time on their hands between performances. Anyone who has ever worked a restaurant kitchen knows the hectic pace of lunch time, usually followed by a lull of about an hour or so. In France this break is often filled by a relaxed but highly competitive game of Petanque. Especially in the South of France, most of the kitchen staff have their own set of balls (boules) and when the work pace slacks, the game begins.

click on the title for the complete article

Petanque America Open #1

Weibel and Thibaud too Strong for Competition

European Champion Claudy Weibel and New York partner Xavier Thibaud were too strong for the rest of the Petanquers in the Amelia Island Pétanque America Open last weekend.

click on the title to view entire article

Monday, November 16, 2009

Pétanque America Open 2009

Pétanque America Open 2009 comes to a close

Here are the photographic impression of the second and finals day of the American Open Petanque 2009 on Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach. The second day may have been even more glorious in weather than Saturday’s treat of a phenomenal sunrise followed by azure blue skies and temperatures in the high 70’s. The weather was so beautiful that many a player and spectator at the end of the day had slight sunburns and wearing a hat or cap was almost a necessity.

click on the title to read the complete article and to view the fotos

Friday, November 6, 2009

Celebrity chef to visit Amelia Island

Celebrity chef Jacques Pepin will visit Amelia Island next weekend. His main mission in coming to Fernandina is to participate in a petanque tournament, but he will also sign books from 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 15, at the tournament site just north of the Fernandina Marina.

Pentanque is French game described by the tournament organizer Philippe Boets as a cross between bocce ball and horseshoes. The game is played with balls, but instead of rolling them like bocce ball, you throw them.

Pepin, who is French, is an avid player and has even started a league in his neighborhood in Connecticut. Pepin is a longtime fixture on PBS cooking shows, is a dean at the French Culinary Institute and was a featured judge on "Top Chef."

In addition to Pepin, Boets said the tournament will be drawing in other French chefs as well, including Chef Michel Nischan, who has written several cookbooks and is an advocate for sustainable agriculture and cooking with local foods.

The Pentanque America Open will span the weekend and is open to spectators. Nearly 200 players are expected to participate. Newcomers to the game can also participate in pick-up games. For more information, visit petanque america.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Third-Annual Interclub Tournament

November 8, 2009

hosted by La Pétanque Marinière

at Pierre Josque Courts, San Rafael

To register, contact Alain Efron by Friday, November 6
email: lutecemeister@gmail.com or phone: 415-479-5820

Pre-registration is required for this event.

Tournament details

On-site PRE-REGISTERED PLAYER CHECK IN ends: 9:30 / Games start: 10:00

Registration fee $3.00 per player

No Cash Prize

Club Name and Winning Team will be engraved on Tournament Trophy

Winning team will be awarded individual plaques

Tournament Format

3 Qualification Games in doublettes with random paring of members of the same club.

Within each club, players will be ranked according to number of wins and number of points.

Clubs will then be given a ranking by adding the number of wins and number of points of their 8 best ranked players.

Final Championship - Triplette to 15 points

The clubs ranking 1 & 2 will play a Final Championship round by opposing their 3 best ranking players in a – 15 point final round.

In the event of:

* Two clubs ranking equal for second place, the club having the larger number of players enrolled in the tournament wins second place and plays in the finals.

* Two players of a given club who rank equal for third place, the tournament director will choose randomly between these two players by a coin toss.

LPM Members,
Join us in helping Marin take back the trophy!
Sign up soon to make sure you can get a spot in the tournament!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

FPUSA 2009 NW Regional Doubles

La Boule d'Or - October 4, 2009

It was a beautiful day in Golden Gate Park as a small but enthusiastic group gathered to compete in this years FPUSA NW Regional Doubles competition. I had the pleasure of playing with my sister, Donna Klaiber, a member of Club Francais de Sacramento. We were the first to arrive - after Joss and John Krauer who, of course, were already busy setting up for the day. As players arrived and coffee and cake were consumed, the team numbers were pulled and the tournament soon began.

With ten teams playing three qualifying games before lunch, Donna and I were happy to get 12, 11 & 9 points, against the fine players that we were paired against. As the day progressed, the wind picked up a bit, but the sun held and soon lunch was over and the afternoon games began. I was busy trying to win - so I can't give you any specific game details - but I can give the final results.

Second Place Consolante: Jacques Avedissian and Richard Prydz
(they took off before our camera came out)
First Place Consolante:
Joss Krauer and Jean-Claude Bunnand
In the Concours:
Third Place: Alain Gusella and Yvette Ghione
(Alain accepting for the team)
Second Place:
Louis Toulon and Ed Porto
With First Place n the FPUSA NW Regional Doubles
going to
Antoine Lofaro and John Krauer.

To John, Joss and the members of La Boule d'Or,
many thanks for a great day!

Christine Cragg

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Greetings everyone! CLICK HERE to download the flier for the upcoming FPUSA Northwest Regional Tournament being hosted by Club Français de Sacramento. This event will be held in Rancho Cordova, CA on Sunday, September 20, 2009. The flier provides all the details you should need. However, if you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact our Director of Pétanque, Kevin McGill, or event co-coordinator, Reid Evans. We're planning on a great day of FPUSA competition pétanque, so please encourage your members to join us. See you all next month!

Tim Dugas
CFdS Secretary

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lamb Picnic 2009

The ever anticipated annual Lamb Picnic was held Sunday. In spite of the blustery weather, of the 80 plus people who were present to enjoy the food and festivities, there were 60 players. We welcome John And Nancy Mengshol as our newest members, and were happy to see Birgit Alton, Gentry Bronson and Steve and Ellie Termecz, newcomers to the sport, enjoying themselves and even winning in the raffle as well as in the competition.
Even the rain looked upon us with favor and decided not to dampen our endeavor until we were all finished with the clean-up.
La Pétanque Marinière was also proud to have Mark Koppen present from the Dry Creek Valley winery of Michel-Schlumberger. Michel-Schlumerger is the maker of Pétanque Wines and they graciously sponsored the event. Click on slide show to see the days events.

The winners of the tournament were:
First Place: Jacques Sarafian, Douglas Vernet and Laura Bohin
Second Place: Luis Velez, Jean Ectcheverry and Claudie Chourré
Third Place: Richard Bagel, Steve Termecz and Eva Lofaro

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Lamb Picnic & OPEN Tournament

Sunday September 13

Panaché Tournament OPEN to ALL.
Guests and newcomers are welcome.
Registration ends at 11:00 a.m. !!
Casual games before lunch.
Games will start after lunch at 1:00 p.m.

Lunch Menu: BBQ Lamb, white beans, salad, cheese & bread.
Free for Members in Good Standing, $13 for non-members.
No Cash Prizes – Wine awarded by raffle drawing, as well as PÉTANQUE wine raffled for participation
Post-Lunch raffle drawing for a $200.- gift certifcate to PÉTANQUE AMERICA
Reservations are required by the evening of Thursday, Sept. 10
Please send rese
rvations to Alain Efron (415) 479-5820 or aefron3@comcast.net

Sponsored in part by our friends at Michel Schlumberger Winery. Makers of Pétanque Wines

Monday, September 7, 2009

Louis Vuitton Pétanque

Louis Vuitton pay special tribute to this quintessentially
French s
port with a set of pétanque balls featuring their legendary monogram. The time has come to take pétanque across frontiers, whether it's in London's Hyde Park or New York's Central Park, or in the lobby of the Plaza Hotel.

To read the complete article click here

Monday, August 24, 2009

Buddhist Boules?

It is the quintessential French pastime uniting millions around dusty courts and bottles of aniseed liqueur. Now la pétanque — boules — has been elevated to a higher plane by a Buddhist master, who has been hailed across France for his theory that the activity is a helpful tool for meditation.

The thoughts of Maître Kaisen have been well received in a country that has always believed the national sport to be a superior discipline. Journalists have flocked to his retreat in southwest France to record his wisdom since the publication of his book on the art of throwing metal boules.

“If pétanque is practised in a just frame of mind, then yes, it can help you to grow,” he said. His words earned plaudits from amateurs on internet chat forums, but also from the country’s greatest boulistes, including Philippe Quintais, who has won the world championship 12 times. “I am not an adept of Buddhism, but people like that, they help you to recharge your batteries,” said Mr Quintais after visiting Ho Sho Ji, the temple founded by Master Kaisen in the Dordogne.

For the full article click here

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lamorinda Summer Tournament







Mary Albright 925-283-2682-or-Bill Hansen 925-283-6452

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Emile Furlan Memorial 2009


SEPTEMBER 5th and 6th

Greetings everyone! This is just a reminder that the deadline for team entries in the 2009 Emile Furlan Memorial Tournament, to be held in Knight's Landing, CA on Saturday, September 5th and Sunday, September 6th, is rapidly approaching. Please forward your team information as quickly as you can. As you know, this is a popular annual event for us and we've already had an enthusiastic response. Please remember again that the dinner on Saturday night requires separate reservations, so be sure to calculate your total fees for the weekend carefully. Click here for the entry form, hotel information and directions. If you have any additional questions please email Kevin McGill or Reid Evans right away.

This event is hosted annually by Club Français de Sacramento to honor the memory of Emile Furlan who did so much for our club. It promotes and encourages camaraderie and the enjoyment of the sport of Pétanque. While we follow the FPUSA's tournament rules for gameplay, please know that this is not an FPUSA-sanctioned event.

Best wishes to you all! See you in September!

Tim Dugas
CFdS Secretary


Monday, August 17, 2009

Pétanque & Pot Luck

1st French-American "Petanque" & Pot Luck

Thursday, August 20, 2009. 11-2

at the SF Victory court !!!
(at Hallidy Plaza, in front of City Hall, San Francisco,
between McAllister, Grove, Polk and Larkin
one block from Civic Center Bart)

Sponsored by
Apple to Pomme,

and SF Education not incarceration.
Come and celebrate Franco-American
Fun and Solidarity,
in memory of Idriss Stelley

Bring a dish or try our Petanque sandwiches !
(Thanks to Fabrique Délices)

Boules provided if you don't have any

Sunday, August 9, 2009

FPUSA NW Regional '60+Over' Mixed Doubles

La Pétanque Marinière is proud to host the FPUSA NW Regional '60 & Over' Mixed Doubles on Sunday August 9th. Registration is from 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Competition will commence at 9.
Coffee and pastry in morning with apéritif at tournament conclusion – provided courtesy of LPM. Please Bring your own Lunch.

Click on the following for access to the official FPUSA entry form and local hotels.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Art Of Pétanque

Fellow Pétanque Players,

I would like to inform you about the new “Art of Pétanque” blog on petanque that is quickly gaining popularity. You can find it by going to www.artofpetanque.com.

This blog will cover aspects of technique, strategy, tournament play and preparation, training, and idiosyncratic aspects of petanque that come up as more and more users comment and request certain topics to be covered in greater depth. The goal is to spread the knowledge of the game to as many novice as well as advanced players as possible. More experienced players will enjoy the blog as advanced techniques, mental and psychological aspects of the game are explored in great depth.

I encourage you to visit the site and join the blog either by entering your email address on the right side to receive live updates, or you may choose to follow the blog by signing in with your Google, Yahoo, or AIM accounts.


Artem Zuev



Saturday, July 25, 2009


Dear Pétanque Club Presidents and Players,

We would like to remind you that LaMoRinda Pétanque Club will be hosting the FPUSA National Doubles
Championships, July 25-26 2009.

This will be a fun and challenging two-day tournament in a lovely
setting at the Lamorinda Pear Orchard Pétanque Courts in Lafayette, California. The tournament includes mixed doubles, women’s doubles and men’s doubles.
Please find the enclosed entry forms, dinner reservation form, directions to the courts and lodging information.
We anticipate a large attendance and look forward to hosting you at the tournament and the dinner.

Best wishes,

Mary Albright, President,
Lamorinda Pétanque Club,
Vice- President, FPUSA.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's the SCORE?

The SCORE is FPUSA's Newsletter. This issue pertains to any and all matters regarding our wonderful women players. Up until recently, women have been somewhat out of the "circle" so to speak, but as the title of Christine's article says, "The times, they are a changin." It looks like all the folks at THE SCORE have achieved a perfect 13-0 with their efforts on this latest issue.
To read the latest click on THE SCORE.
Also in the news of women boulistes is the new forum for women who play pétanque. For further information, please contact Christine Cragg at LeCochonnetRose@gmail.com

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Sunday July 19

Registration ends at 10:00 a.m. All games start at 10:30 a.m.
Format to be determined. Entry fee: $7.00/person
Potluck lunch. Bring something to share with your fellow members.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

VOMPC-Bastille Day

Valley of the Moon Pétanque Club will hold its annual Bastille Day "Grand Concours de Pétanque" event, sponsored by Ravenswood Winery, this Sunday, July 12, starting at 10 a.m. at the Henri Maysonnave Memorial Courts in Sonoma's Depot Park. Sign-ins begin at 9:30 a.m. and the random pétanque team-play fee is $6 a player, with the picnic and wine cost is $20 a person. To make reservations for the Bastille Day Grand Concours lunch, or for more information about this and other VOMPC events, call 258-3450 or visit www.vompc.org.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Portland Regional Results


Our President, Christine Cragg just checked in from where she is playing in the FPUSA Regional Tournament in Portland to convey the results of todays games.

1st Place: Pierre Agnesse, Phillipe Agnesse, Thai Nguyen Portland
2nd Place: Greg Conyers, Lee Harris, John Hunt Seattle
3rd Place: Pierre Brun, Daniel Andre, Hugh "Huge Money" Gallagher Portland
4th Place Ed Porto, Frank Pipal, Dave Riffo Sonoma

FPUSA NW Region Triples, June 27, 2009

Left to Right, (Standing) Pierre Brun, Hugh Gallagher Daniel Andre- 3rd Place, all PPC, Greg Conyers John Hunt, Lee Harris- 2nd Place, all Seattle Petanque Club, then Thai Nguyen, Pierre Agnesse, Philippe Agnesse, 1st place, all PPC, IN Front, Joe Martin, Pres FPUSA, Albyn Jones, Tournament Director, both PPC

FPUSA NW Region Singles, June 28, 2009

Left to Right, Albyn Jones, PPC Tournament Director, Duong Nguyen, 3rd place Seattle Petanque Club, Joe Cortright, 1st Place, Philippe Agnesse, 2nd Place, Thai Nguyen, 4th Place, all PPC

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

LPM Steak Picnic & Open Tournament

La Pétanque Marinière's Annual Steak Picnic was held on Flag Day, June the 14th. With this group, we have an extra flag to honor. A flag that represents the contribution of a wonderful group of people, a culture rich in history and grastronomie...not to mention the addition to our lives of the sport of pétanque. The weather couldn't have been more perfect. Sunny yet with a slight breeze to temper the heat. On the menu of course were new york strip steaks, barbecued to perfection , peas and carrots, salad and brie. The event is one of the three picnic and open tournaments open to all comers. The next open picnic is the Lamb Picnic and Panaché Open. Tell all of your friends regardless of their pétanque ability to come on down and join us. We look forward to seeing you there.
For a look at the slideshow of the day,
click here.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


La Pétanque Marinière would like to hear from those of you who participated in last Saturday's Open Tournament at the Steak Picnic. If you have ever participated in a tournament where you wished things might have been a bit better had they been organised differently, now is your time to let us know.

You can simply go to the sidebar on the right side and vote anonymously,
or click on post your comments to leave us your more detailed praise and/or criticism.

We would love to hear from you so that we can do our best to make our future events more pleasurable for everyone.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Menlo Park Pétanque

La Boule Joyeuse of Menlo Park will hold a Sunday get-together, this coming Sunday June 21st.

It will be a pot-luck affair with cake to be served since it falls on Father's day. It should be a wonderful day to enjoy an informal gathering of friends, Dads and pétanque so grab your lunch and fall by the Menlo Park courts at 11 a.m. For more information and directions to the courts, click

La Boule d'Or 50 Ans

Even the well-known San Francisco summer fog could not dampen the spirit of the two-day event as old friends and players from as far away as Utah converged on the pétanque courts in Golden Gate Park to help the members of La Boule d’Or celebrate the Club’s 50th Anniversary.

Saturday’s competition, the Concours du Président, had a total of thirty-four players signed up as shooters or pointers. We played five games in a Doublette Panaché (Carrousel 2/2) format, changing partners with each game. The play was serious but friendly and as the final games were nearing their end, and points were being tallied, players headed to the aperitif table for a pastis or a glass of PÉTANQUE wine, being poured by Mark Koppen, from the Michel-Schlumberger Winery.

Soon the winners were announced and prizes – cash, trophies, bottles of PÉTANQUE wine and t-shirts – were being awarded. In the shooting division, Max Legrand took first place, donating his cash winnings back to the club. Raymond Neilson, Antoine Lofaro, Yanis Vihos, Jacques Biscay, Alain Guesella and William rounded out the winning shooters. In the pointing division, yours truly had the pleasure of tying for first place with Jean-Francois Decottignies, followed by Douglas Vernet, Adair Lee, Donna Vernet, Pierre Conte, with Eva Lofaro and Jeanine Kronenberg tying for seventh place.

By now the barbecue pits were blazing and the smell of flame-licked merguez and Italian sausages was starting to make everyone quite hungry. A little more wine, a delicious barbecue dinner and it was time to pack up and head home.

Sunday morning arrived too soon, blanketed in the same misty fog – but that will not stop a serious pétanque player. Upon arriving at the courts I saw that the crowd was even larger for the second day’s events. Many of the same players had returned with the addition of quite a few new faces. There were at least ten players from Sacramento and nine from Fresno. Marin had a good showing and there were players from Sonoma and Willits. I must not leave out the Palm Desert and Los Angeles contingencies – there for the whole weekend.

There were two tournaments scheduled – a Select Open Doubles, for the most serious players and a Mêlée Triples for the rest of us. With twenty-eight teams in the Select and twelve teams in the Mêlée, there were more games than could be handled by the club courts. The over-flow games were played on several temporary courts that had been designated on the dirt road that borders the dog park. My team played our first game on one of these, and I can say for a fact – it was truly pétanque rustique.

The Select tournament proceeded, with qualifying games to determine the concours and consolante teams. The Mêlée teams played a total of five games, random draw. The day progressed with boules flying in all directions and though the sun never came out, the true spirit of pétanque did. As the teams finished their scheduled games, players stashed their boules and found a game to watch. The hard-fought semi-finals came to an end – the finals were determined. It would be Raymond and Pim Nielson (La Boule d’Or) against Paul Yang and By Vang (Fresno).

Lawn chairs were pulled close and squeezed together as we all found our places to watch the final match. From the first boule, it was an aggressive game. The shooting and pointing was spectacular. There was awe-filled silence. There was enthusiastic cheering – for both teams. It was pétanque playing at its best. In the end, Pim’s rock-solid pointing and spot-on shooting gave the SF team the edge and they ended up with a 13-10 win. The day was decided.

The thirsty crowd headed to the aperitif table and the din of discussion grew as the various strategies and shots were being discussed. Called by a blast of the bullhorn, the group turned their focus to Joss Krauer and the awards ceremony began. Joss and Christine Lemor-Drake passed the bulky bullhorn back and forth as the words of thanks were stated in both french and english, then the ceremony took on a decidedly festive air as Christine kicked it off, bullhorn in hand, with a special presentation, to honor John Krauer’s Swiss heritage and to recognize several people who have been important to the club’s longevity. She called them by name and proclaimed them to be the L’ordes des Chevaliers de la Boule d’Or, giving each one a red baseball cap with a white Swiss cross. Then, introducing the guest presenters – Edouard Mayoral and the French Vice-Consul in SF, Jean-Charles Ledot – the winners were announced and awarded their prizes with all of the expected photo-ops.

They began with the Mêlée. I must thank my partners, Chong Xiong and Simone Furlan for making my name a part of the first place award, followed by Jean-Paul Martin, Emily Etcheverry and Chuck Klaiber; Christine Lemor-Drake and Nicolas Yang; Tom Fair, Elisabeth Gonzales and Denyse Haney; Antonia Chavez, Jean-Claude Bunand and Monique Bricca.

Now to the select tournament. The Consolante winners were: first place, Jacques Biscay and Gerard Canabou; then Tino Lofaro and Jean Etcheverry; Vang Moua and Jer Thao; Mickey Coughlin and Holly Sammons. In the Concours: first place went to the Nielson team, Pim and Raymond, with the excellent players, Paul Yang and By Vang taking second – followed by PJ and Narin in third and fourth place going to Ed Porto and Frank Pipal. Great playing – all of you!
You would think this was the end – but no – we still had a raffle to go – a large raffle. The group gathered close to the table that was covered with items and one at a time, the numbers were called – through the bullhorn – and winners collected their prize.

With the day officially over, many tired players collected their boules and headed home. The hard-working La Boule d’Or club members, along with a group of some of the participants, began the final load-out. Tables, chairs, tents, barbecue pits and lots of supplies had to be packed up and loaded into the truck before their work day was done. I helped for a while and then, when there was not much for ‘extra hands’ to do, I headed to the Metro restaurant for the weekend’s grand finale.

Owner-chef, Jacques Manuera, had prepared a delicious dinner for close to fifty of us. Seated at two long tables, we filled the room with conversation and laughter as we enjoyed the company of our teammates and our opponents. The courses arrived, the conversations continued, a toast or two was made and I arrived home around midnight, after a long but delightful weekend.

I would like to thank Michael and Jeannie Kronenberg for making the journey west from Utah to represent the Salt Lake City Petanque Club in this special celebration. It was a pleasure to meet you and I am happy you took the time to walk in the redwoods. Another thank you goes to the Michel-Schlumberger Winery for the many bottles of PÉTANQUE wine that were enjoyed – both in the glass and given out as tournament awards or raffle prizes. If there are names or details that I may have gotten wrong or left out, please forgive me. It was a long and action-filled weekend.

Many thanks, to John and Joss Krauer and their crew of hard-working helpers. It was a most enjoyable and memorable weekend. To all of the members of La Boule d’Or – Happy 50th Anniversary! May these courts, in Golden Gate Park, see the tossing of boule for many generations to come.

For a slide show from the weekend - click here - photo contributors are: John Krauer, Chris Lem and Christine Cragg

Christine Cragg

Slideshow music notes:

The Quintette of the Hot Club of France is generally considered by jazz historians to be the greatest of all European Jazz bands. The group started out as an informal jam session that was held between sets at the Hotel Claridge (37 Rue Francois 1er.) in Paris in 1933. Stéphane Grappelli, Django Reinhardt, Roger Chaput and Louis Vola were playing in the hotel dance band at the time. Between sets they would play jazz together in a backroom at the hotel. One day Pierre Nourry and Charles Delaunay of Hot Club witnessed one of these sessions and arranged that the group record it's first records for the Ultraphone label in December of 1934. The group went on to become very popular in Europe both on records and as a live act. The group disbanded in 1939 as war broke out in Europe. The band was playing in London when England declared war on Germany. Stéphane Grappelli decided to stay in London and while Django Reinhardt
returned to Paris. They would not see each other again until after the war in 1946.