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.

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.