International Pétanque Tournament Has a Fabulous Start

Amelia Island Pétanque America Open

Amelia Island Pétanque America Open

As the wind is lightly calming down, dozens of competitors in this weekend’s International Petanque Tournament were crowding the courts while they were still being measured and laid out. It’s a happy crowd playing a happy game and they all said, “What a great gesture and contribution from the city of Fernandina Beach to make this tournament happen.” As it turns out, they had all been waiting for Philippe Boets, Petanque America owner, to organize another tournament since the last one in Miami in 2005.

Celebrity chef Jean Banchet signed in at 3 pm sharp and practiced most of the afternoon. Larry Cragg, guitar technician for Neil Young since 1973, who still frequently tours with him these days as banjo and steel guitar pedalist, got into a deep discussion with me about vintage guitars and string instruments which is of course was exactly up my alley.

Seeing people from all over the world greeting and re-acquainting is a very satisfying scene here on Amelia Island and we thank Philippe Boets and TJ Seaton, his assistant for pulling it off. With French music in the background it started to feel like an afternoon in the haute Provence, with special thanks to the efforts of City event coordinator Susan Hurley.

I think we’re going to have some fun this weekend. The matches are starting at around 9:30 AM both Saturday and Sunday, with the finals planned for Sunday afternoon at 4:00 PM. If you have a little time on your hands this weekend, we highly recommend coming to the boat trailer parking lot in the downtown marina and watch the champions or try it yourself. It really is addictive fun.

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