June 22, 2010

Airfares to Jacksonville (JAX)

AirTran just announced special fares from Atlanta, Atlantic City, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Dallas FW,  Detroit, Harrisburg, Kansas Ciy, NY LGA, Richmond, ... and more.

Valid for travel by Nov 17.
Book by June 29

June 17, 2010

Petanque in Jerome, Arizona

Everyone who came to the Open last year remembers the Jerome contingent! They went back home with the motivation to build a flat court for a change. Here's a report from Manuela & Bill:

We started the court after the Amelia Island tournament last year. Five months later it was completed. We worked through frozen ground, mud and moved tons of rock. We had to wheelbarrow in and out all the material. Now we have a flat court. We were spoiled after playing in Florida. Still across the street is our main court – the ghost town cemetery and parking lot that is between a 2 and 5 degree slope. If a boule goes over the edge – not to worry – we’ll get it later - 430 meters below in the next town.
We will be back again to Amelia Island for this year’s tournament. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

What a beauty!!

June 13, 2010

Bastille Day at Bar Tabac in Brooklyn

In 5 weeks Smith Street will again turn into one huuuge petanque street party. For the 9th time.
By now there are tons of videos on YouTube, but a new one about 2009 just popped up from Ricard, the main sponsors.
For the record, it includes some scenes of the Cercle Rouge (Tribeca) event as well (like the French cancan dancers). Thàt petanque tournament will not be repeated this year, but Bar Tabac is on for July 18.

June 10, 2010

Fresno Petanque Club in the news

Reporter Clayton Clark ("Monsieur Clay-ton" for the occasion) of the local Fox news channel came to visit Tim and his friends at Cary Park for an extensive segment. Hats off to Clayton who did very well for a beginner. It was "live", so that shot at 3:50 was genuine. No fake.
And good luck to PengSue, the young player who will soon participate in the qualifications to represent the USA in the Junior Worlds.
Nice show, Fresno!   

June 8, 2010

Petanque in Boulder, CO

And in Boulder, François Bellouin has been in touch with the Parks & Recreation Dept for several years and was able to convince them to include a petanque play area in the East Boulder Community Center development project.

It's almost ready! Next to the volleyball courts and the pond. Based on the map below, the size is roughly 60 x 120 ft or enough for 10 games at a time.

Congrats & thanks to François and the City of Boulder!

Boulder Petanque website

Project photos 2008 and overall site plan (click)

Petanque in Virginia

Hans in Toano, just W of Williamsburg recently decided to start a petanque group from scratch, all by himself. He opened a Meetup page to attract players and announce the first petanque party on Sunday June 27. At Upper County Park in Toano. Great idea. Reactions are coming in.

The Boulefrogs from Richmond have been alerted and may well drive over to give him a hand. After all, Richard did the same thing in Church Hill 5 years ago.

Hampton Roads Petanque Club

June 3, 2010

World Championship cancelled?

Today the FIPJP website announced that Taiwan had withdrawn as host country for the 2010 World Championship. Only 4 months ahead of the start date, Sep 30.
One cannot but wonder (a) what happened and (b) how many people have already booked tickets to get there.

My first reaction was -- "Let's do it in the USA!". And why not Amelia Island?
But it's not that simple. Under current FIPJP principles, selected teams (48 out of some 90 contending contries) have to get to the championship under their own steam, but the host city must pay for lodging, all meals, local transport, the welcome and farewell banquet, ànd the local expenses of a host of officials who come along for the ride for all sorts of reasons. A total of well over 300 people. That's a lot of dough, a.k.a. dollars.
The Netherlands cancelled once (for 2009), and now it's Taiwan.
Maybe time to revise the cost sharing formula so more countries / cities outside France can step up to the plate?

From the grapevine I heard that maybe Turkey will take over the torch for this year.
On the other hand, this newspaper in Laos today talks about hosting a world championship in December....?

June 2, 2010

Ludo ("I play") - in Cannes

After all the models and stars are gone, back to daily life: an impressive short story from the folks at UBK Studios in Chicago. The images and sound are excellent. Watch all the way to the end, where petanque shots are used for a Hewlett Packard promotion.
If you have fast connection, watch in HD and full screen!

Jean-Claude and his friends meet everyday to play an ancient game of skill and strategy called Pétanque. Set in Cannes, "Ludo" is the story of one man's way of using the game as a means of simultaneously escaping, yet enjoying life."

Petanque in Antwerp, Belgium

Telepathy? Tonight - out of the blue - I wanted to see what's going in Antwerp, my old hometown, and - pure coincidence - on the front page of Gazet van Antwerpen was this story:

The animators in a local retirement home want to introduce petanque, so even those in a wheelchair can compete on equal footing. With a bit of wine, baguettes and cheese for the atmosphere. Everyone loved it and the home is now convinced they need to convert part of the lawn into simple plain dirt, for even more fun. It's "in the pipeline" - the reporters are told.
When interviewed, the lady in the wheelchair says: "First time in my life I played this game. And I won!"

June 1, 2010

2010 Hery Open - NY - June 13

The tradition continues!
In honor of Hery, a player from Madagascar who spent several years in NY, and became one of the top players in the country, La Boule NY welcomes everyone on Sunday June 13, in Bryant Park.