On November 14th and 15th Fernandina Beach became a microcosm of Europe. France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Holland, England, Ireland and more I am sure were represented at this fabulous tournament, of course in a company of many Americans.

The resident of Fernandina Beach had never seen such a thing….200 people clunking steel balls together before throwing them to get close to a brightly colored wooden jack! Before the Saturday morning, 95% of them had never heard of Pétanque et by Sunday evening, most of them were talking about putting courts in their backyards….after having purchased boules from Philippe Boetz!

Philippe succeeded in putting a great tournament, brilliantly orchestrated by his tournament Director Christophe Chambers (also known as “Le Grand Chichois”).

It was also a great weekend for all of us at New York Pétanque Club as all of our teams showed good results and great team spirit.

All the registered teams qualified for the Sunday single elimination round.

Sunday morning, some did better than others as Thierry and Laetitia could not pass the 16th of the final and Eric and JPS lost in the 8th against Gilles and Malik. But as soon as the game was over, the losers went on to support the NYPC members. Xavier was associated to his friend Claudie Weibel who is an exceptional player, and demonstrated it the entire weekend. But let’s not forget that Claudie would not be able to win with 3 boules only and that his partner Xavier played is usual game, which is excellent, making that team extremely difficult (if not impossible) to beat. It was a very honorable gesture for Claudie to wear NYPC colors the whole weekend, and we are very proud of this.

The other team whom we should be very proud of is the Gilles/Malik team. For the first time that they played together, they went all the way to the final, beating everyone on their way. Gilles played as he normally does…..glued to the cochonet, extremely focused, shooting and hitting when needed. Malik demonstrated a lot of experience, although he was the youngest player of the tournament (21 years old). His shooting was impeccable and his pointing very , accurate. The two of the made a terrific team, but had to face the “Belgian Monster and the Marseillais” in the final, which was quite a rude task! They tried their best, pointing and shooting well, but when your opponent (Claudie) shoots nine balls in 3 rounds and the results are 9 carreaux…there is not much to be done! Other than go and have a drink with him after the game is over!

Which is what we all did of course and win or lose the party afterward was great!

As president of our newly formed club, I not only would like to congratulate the 4 players who played in the final, it was a great moment to see 4 NYPC shirts together, but congratulate all the other players who made the trip and participated. We need even more people next year.

Finally a special cheer for our own Xavier Thibaud who has demonstrated again and again that he is our number one player, if not the number one player in the USA. Xavier’s tournament record this year is fantastic, he won (almost) all the tournaments he entered and we are very proud of him.

So join me for a virtual round of applause to Xavier first and to the rest of the club for a great 2009 season, and hopefully an even better 2010.


Jean-Pierre Subrenat

President, New York Pétanque Club

Copyright © New York Pétanque Club 2009. All Rights Reserved.