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.

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.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Saturday July 19

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

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

LPM's Steak Picnic

Sunday June 14 - Steak Picnic and OPEN tournament

Registration ends at 11:00 a.m. All games start after lunch.
No Cash Prizes. Prizes to be awarded by raffle.
Panaché Tournament $7.00. Bring friends or guests.
$13.00 per person for Lunch

Reservations mandatory by Thursday June 11!!!
Please Call Alain Efron, 415.479.5820 or aefron3@comcast.net

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pét@nque Passion - Thrill On-Line

For all of the Francophiles, there is a new venue for pétanque on the web. Pét@nque Passion is the first web-tv site dedicated to pétanque where you can discover exclusive videos of pétanque events in all classifications, and interviews with the competitors. Click on the image to reach the site.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pétanque Wines

Michel-Schlumberger, California’s own Bordeaux-style leader, makes sophisticated, terroir-driven wines of style, grace & power from one of the most stunning Estates in the world. The wines are perfect for fine dining, special occasions and serious wine consumption.

Born from this pedigree, we present Pétanque, wines crafted simply for enjoying the lifestyle of leisure and recreation. With Pétanque, we throw out all pretension and encourage wine enjoyment as it should be, paired perfectly with food, friends & fun!

Jacques Schlumberger, proprietor of Michel-Schlumberger, put it succinctly when he said, “We built a Pétanque court for a little recreation. Then we thought we better make a wine to go with it!”

Pétanque Wines are the liquid embodiment of the Pétanque lifestyle…cultured, sophisticated, relaxed, very portable, a little competitive, and a ton of fun!

To learn more about the winery, the pétanque wines, the game of pétanque and their blog of pétanque events,

please click on Pétanque Wines

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Vision Committee Update

By Ron Ford, Lesley McTaggart and Mary Lou King

THE MARIN Civic Center Vision Committee began with six Marin homeowners in August 2006. The committee now lists more than 120 supporters and five support organizations.

The committee opposes the Marin Board of Supervisors' proposed location for a future Public Safety Building. The Field of Dogs Park and Petanque Courts would be paved over and used as parking lots. The committee has designated two other sites that will fit all criteria for a PSB site.

In August 2006, the committee questioned the location proposed by the Board of Supervisors. The site chosen had no public input and the public had no information on alternative locations. The committee specifically requested information including comparative site analysis, comparative cost analysis and community support. The county stated no comparative site analysis, no comparative cost analysis and no polls of the community were conducted. The county stated it would cost too much ($100,000) for these analyses. The projected cost of the Public Safety Building in 2006 was $80 million.

The vision committee decided to take this issue to the electorate as an addendum to the 1992 Marin Civic Center Open Space measure that covers all structures on the west side of Civic Center Drive. The addendum would expand coverage of this measure to include the entire Civic Center campus. It would require voter approval of any construction at the Civic Center over 250 square feet in size.

Members spent hundreds of hours collecting signatures. The drive garnered huge support. The committee turned in 12,122 signatures, more than any initiative in Marin history, only to have the Registrar of Voters' office declare more than 2,000 signatures invalid and that the effort did not get the required 10,596 signatures to place this initiative on the ballot.

The vision committee supports two other locations: the facilities structure lot and the area next to the Pit parking lot. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright's vision for the campus, from numerous historical documents, indicates the architect's intent was for "cultural, recreational and fair activities" on the east side of Civic Center Drive. The west side of Civic Center Drive was designated for administration and court buildings. Wright's model included a future administration building parallel to Highway 101. His model is on view at the Civic Center. These two locations are adjacent to Highway 101 with access via an "emergency only" freeway ramp. The Heller Manus report, the county's hired consultant, concludes either of these two sites would support a 93,000-square-foot building.

The vision committee has followed the law when stating this "Save Our Parks" initiative would not require a special election. The committee hired an attorney, a California Elections Code specialist, and sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking the county to cease stating this initiative would require a special election. There was no response from the Board of Supervisors. The committee is requesting the Board of Supervisors cease making these incorrect statements concerning special elections.

The committee has filed a "Letter of Intent" with the registrar of voters to once again start the drive for the June 2010 regularly scheduled election. The Marin Civic Center Vision Committee will be in shopping centers and markets soliciting your support and your signature in support of this important initiative.

Ron Ford, Lesley McTaggart and Mary Lou King are members of the Marin Civic Center Vision Committee.