During an opening exhibition to kick off the 2nd Pétanque America Open on Amelia Island, Word record holder Claudy Weibel showed how it's done
And the Petanque America Open started off with a simply amazing exhibition by Belgian superstar Claudy Weibel. Claudy started playing the game at age 5 and now 34 years later can be counted amongst the absolute top in the rapidly growing sport of Pétanque. He became worldchampion in 2000 and European Champion last year, when he also played the first Pétanque America Open here on Amelia Island.
Just last month during the World Championships in Turkey he shattered the old world record shooting with a total of 66 versus the previous 51 shots. The official recording of this event states: Charles (Claudy) Weibel (Belgium) scored a World Championship record 66 points in the qualifing round to top the standings from Bruno Leboursicaud (France) 51, J-C Lopez (Spain) 44, Jean Manea (Tahiti) and Ahmad Temizi (Malaysia) 43.
The game of Petanque, played with metal balls of 1.5 pounds (700 grams), give or take couple of grams and a diameter of 7 cm 2.72″, give or take a couple of millimeters has essentially 3 ways of getting those “boules” closest to the piglet; pointing, looping or shooting. Claudy Weibel is a shooter. He is capable of taking a competitor out even when his ball touches the piglet.
From distances of 20 to 30 feet his balls simply knock the opponents out of the game. Imagine hitting another ball at those distances 66 times in a row. He is incredible to see here at work on Amelia Island.
It definitely leaves an impression, as it did when he showed a very appreciative crowd several techniques of playing even revealing that his balls of choice weigh 690 grams and have a 73mm diameter.
This morning the tournament started without a hitch and tournament chief Christophe was happy to see how Fernandina Beach has embraced the sport of Pétanque.
Last year was great but this year is magnificent. There is a big tent with lots of seating, audience chairs, a video tower, a bar that serves wine, beer and Ricard, the French anisette liquor that goes hand in hand with Petanque around the world, food concessions where one can also sample classic Mediterranean fare like grilled merguez (lamb sausage), paninis and crêpes, while enjoying timeless French tunes and a great international atmosphere.
A quick video invites you to come down and watch the spectacle on Sunday, November 14. For official scores go to the website www.petanque-america-open.com