Saturday, March 27, 2010

Petanque America's Amelia Island Area Tournament

We continued our Florida adventure by driving up the coast a ways to Amelia Island, home to our good friend Philippe and his Petanque America operation. He had invited us some time back to participate in a small tournament he was sponsoring primarily for local players and players in the general area. I guess our month vacationing in Florida qualifies us as "players in the general area"? At least he was kind enough to include us as such.

We spent some time on Thursday and Friday visiting with Philippe and getting another tour of his latest warehouse offerings courtesy of his trusty sidekick and helper, TJ. I'm sure all of you who were lucky enough to make the November 2009 Petanque America Open remember TJ. Not sure how Philippe ever got along without her.

Also, on Friday evening Philippe had arranged for a large carillon ( like an organ, only bells! ) that was traveling up Interstate 95 from Naples, Florida, on its way north to stop and perform a concert for the islanders. There were somewhere around 1700 people who turned out for the performance. Very entertaining! As we understand from Philippe, his mother's family in the Netherlands has been in the bell casting business for many years, thus his interest.

Saturday saw fourteen teams of three (triples) gather for the tournament. Play began at a little after nine o'clock in the morning and lasted, with a short break for lunch, until after three in the afternoon. As is the case everywhere we go, there were some good players and lively, enthusiastic games.

It was a casual, fun tournament with some players of limited experience getting their first taste of tournament-styled play. Philippe had encouraged the teams to be inventive in their choice of team names and team shirts. Thus teams like Screwboules, Meatboules, Cool Boules Chillin' (sponsored by a local air conditioning service), Dazed & Confused, The Lonely Boules, and others of a similar nomenclature competed against each other. It made our CarolinaPetanque team name seem rather ordinary, but our "No Whining!" club motto got a few laughs and comments.

The new FPUSA club in St. Augustine sent a fine team up to play. I'm sure they'll grow into a club to be reckoned with based upon the level of play exhibited.

I'm sure Petanque America will probably have a write-up soon, so I'll just say that a great time was had by all. Our team consisited of Shirley, myself, and a local person, Jeff Barksdale, that volunteered to play with us since we were only two and his team had failed to come together. And, oh, by the way, we won!


Bob said...

Very clever, Gary, saving the best part for last! Congratulations!

Johan said...

For the record however SeachAmelia's Beach Boules were the only team that beat the Carolina Petanquers and lost out on first place only by point spread.

CarolinaPetanque said...

Very true! And, don't forget, "Cool Boules Chillin'" would have won the entire tournament if they had not lost their last match of the day to a lower ranked team by a wide margin. That's one of the things that makes petanque a lot of fun. Teams that are fairly evenly matched will trade games back and forth most of the time, but even a lower ranked team can sometimes upset a team that everyone is expecting to win. Thanks again for a great day on Amelia Island.

TJ said...

Thanks Gary and Shirley for the sweet kudos. I just love you guys. Missed seeing you on the way back home. Was still out with the back, but getting better now.
Leave it up to Search Amelia to toot their own horn. LOL
Email me anytime if you need anything.