HOT NEWS! LE P’TIT LOUIS IN RIO RANCHO, NEW MEXICO.

Hello everyone and welcome.

I just got off the plane, from coming back from Le P’tit Louis first Open Petanque tournament in Rio Rancho New Mexico .  There is so much to say.  It was such a full experience in just 3 days!  I am going to try to go on a day by day basis.  Four of us from the Heart of Texas Petanque Club went to represent the club Rick Armstrong, Christopher Chambers, Rudy Vallee and myself.  Rick and I flew to get there and  the rest drove. Texas was well represented in general because the  San Antonio  club was also there with Fernando Triana, Steven Johns, Mike Fargnoli and Michelle Healy.  One of the main draws of this tournament  was to get the chance to see Marco Foyot in action since he is on his  US Tour as well as connecting with him in person regarding the fact that he is coming up to visit and give teaching clinics with us in Austin in just a few weeks. His popularity drew teams from all over the world- France, Canada, Algeria, etc..   It was  so Incredible!   It was like getting together with your family and being introduced to a bunch of cousins  that you had never met before as well as meeting some long lost brothers but everyone got along magically!.    As soon as we arrived  on Friday in Albuquerque, we decided to go  strait to see the courts and practice.  To  our surprise they were not even finished  yet!  But we were  welcomed by Christophe Carpentier the organizer of the tournament who was working hard with a shovel in hand with the help of a few others to make it happen. This tournament is named after Christophe’s son Louis.   Christophe was excited to see that teams were starting to show up from all over. So we practiced on the side of the courts and got to play a few games with a team  from LA that actually finished in the main bracket (Concours) in third position after being eliminated by Marco Foyot.  It was really windy and cold especially for a French Texan.  So Rick and I decided that it was time to go to the hotel on the way to the parking lot we saw Marco Foyot  and Bernard Martin.  It was a thrill especially for Rick who had studied Marco’s book for years.  I have had the opportunity to meet Marco before at Millau but that was my first encounter with his partner and friend Bernard Martin.   Yep, he was one of those lost brothers from Paris.  We became instant friends, talked for a while and went back in with them to see the courts.  Then the Canadian team started to show up and the other teams from St Tropez and the US teams, so we stayed for a while longer and watched them practice.   And because the big boys were there we had the opportunity to test drive one corner of the courts.  That was already a full afternoon to get to see all those great players.  We got back early the next morning just after sunrise to do some more practice.  Now everyone started to arrive from all over. Friends that I recently saw, friends I didn’t see for a while and new friends that I only saw on websites.  Everyone was unpacking boules and equipment to test out  the courts. To be honest it was surprising because of the carpet under the granite the courts were bouncing all over,  but instead of complaining I remembered two things.  First the game of Petanque is played anywhere and also it will be the same courts for everyone.  It was time for the gathering of everyone to look which teams and courts they will be playing  and boom, all 30 courts started at once, no time limits, games to 13 points.  Win or loose you report your scores to the main table and they keep your scores to see if you will make the cut for the second day.  Only 16 teams make it, the other 50 go into a consolante. We finished our first couple of games rapidly.  That  allowed me to go watch Marco and Bernard battling against Pascal and Juan. Fantastic game to witness Team USA won 13/12. Everyone had a lunch break and came back to play another two games in the afternoon. The weather got warmer and  the end of the day was graced with a beautiful sunset.  The buzz around the field among the  players was – did you win four games ? Did you win by a large margin ? Do you think you made the cut to still stay in the Concours  for the next day for the top sixteen teams? or do you think you will go to the Consolante? All of the results  were calculated overnight by  Christophe.  The next morning everyone showed up with anticipation to know what their next moves were?.  Most Texas teams made the cut except Rudy who went to the Consolante but turned out to finish in third position in that bracket.  Congratulations!.  On the other hand if you had qualified in the last remaining 16  teams  you knew you would have to face the top teams.  And it was no exception for us.   We had to  face team USA and got eliminated right away.  So I had plenty of time to watch all those incredible  great games among the top of the line, like the Canadian team against Richard Trani and Jeannot Zanella from France as well as the Canadian team against the USA team and the final the Canadian team against Foyot.  Ok let’s talk about the famous Canadian team Redouane Hammouchane  and Thomas Pouplot.  Talk about pure talent, just totally unreal to witness them play.  They scored the highest of any teams.   It  was a sheer pleasure to see their technique.  Since they are from Canada we got to speak French together and not only were they fantastic players but also very humble as well and great guys all together.   In the final they started very slowly, probably the slowest of any of their games.   They were loosing 4/0  due to the great pointing of Bernard and great shots of Marco, but soon enough they came back after Thomas started to do carreaux after carreaux at 10 to 11 meters. The crowd went wild every time and they brought  back the score  to 8/7 their favor and they didn’t give any other chance to Marco and Bernard and finished it 13/8 under the cheers of the crowd. They well deserved the new type of trophy that Christophe came up with, a  boxing belt.  Congratulations to all.   It was a  pleasure to see everyone’s smiling faces, to meet new and old friends,  I surely enjoyed myself.  Something to remember,  the success of promoting the game of Petanque is due to such an event like this.

Merci a tous.   A+ love Arsene

Welcomed by Christophe while he is setting up the courts.

Welcomed by Christophe while he is setting up the courts.

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Le P'tit Louis helping to set up!

Le P’tit Louis helping to set up!

Meeting Marco Foyt and Richard Trani in the cold.

Meeting Marco Foyot and Richard Trani in the cold.

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Happy birthday Marc Greenberg

Happy birthday Marc Greenberg

Didier, Christophe Chambers, Tom

Didier, Christophe Chambers, Tom practicing on the side of the courts

Shirley pointing out . Yep that my husband!

Shirley pointing out . Yep that my husband!

Friday practice

Friday practice

Friday practice

Friday practice

Cold Friday but that didn't stop the practice!

Cold Friday but that didn’t stop the practice!

Richard Trani on left

Richard Trani on right

Christophe Chambers traveled with the HOT banner across the Country

Christophe Chambers traveled with the HOT banner across the Country

Ed Porto on left

Ed Porto on left

Mon ami Jeannot Mon ami Jeannot

Brenda Green President of the Sarasota club

Brenda Green President of the Sarasota club

Joe on left, Ziggy on right

Joe on left, Ziggy on right

All teams gathered to get their opponent and court numbers under Christophe guidance.All teams gathered to get their opponent and court numbers under Christophe guidance.

The super star of the event.

The super star of the event.

Marco foyot's team against  USA

Marco Foyot’s team against USA

Marco in action

Marco in action

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Marco's chiffon

Marco’s chiffon

The magic table.

The magic table.

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The FPUSA's table.

The FPUSA’s table.

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Ed Porto with the trophies.

Ed Porto with the trophies.

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Left Chrsitophe Chambers,right Joe

Left Chrsitophe Chambers,right Joe Cortright

Mile high Petanque club, left David Keil, right Steve Lessard.

Mile high Petanque club, left David Keil, right Steve Lessard.

They came as far as Algeria!

They came as far as Algeria!

With the Algerian Team.

With the Algerian Team.

They brought dates for everyone from Algeria. Sweet!

They brought dates for everyone from Algeria. Sweet!

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And the first pace goes to Canada!

And the first place goes to Canada!

Pow Wow

Pow Wow

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The final.

The final.

La finale.

La finale.

Yep, we got it!

Yep, we got it!

Left Thomas Pouplot, right Redouane Hammouchane from Canada winners of the whole tournament unbelievable talent!  Bravo congratulations.

Left Thomas Pouplot, right Redouane Hammouchane from Canada winners of the whole tournament unbelievable talent! Bravo congratulations.

Right, Redouane hammouchane, Left,  Thomas Pouplot

Right, Redouane hammouchane, Left,
Thomas Pouplot

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Hey I had to sneak into the picture just to say I know those guys. Watch out for them at  the next World Championship.

Hey I had to sneak into the picture just to say I know those guys. Watch out for them at the next World Championship.

My favored new friends! Tremendous human being as well as great Champions  Left  Jeannot Zanella, right Richard Trani

My favored new friends! Tremendous human being as well as great Champions
Left Jeannot Zanella, right Richard Trani

From left to right,Thomas Pouplot, Juan garcia, Redouane Hammouchane, Pascal Corchia

From left to right,Thomas Pouplot, Juan garcia, Redouane Hammouchane, Pascal Corchia

The San Antonio team with Pascal Corchia (center)Left Steven Johns,right Fernando Triana

The San Antonio team with Pascal Corchia (center)Left Steven Johns,right Fernando Triana

Left to right Arsene,the Renaissance man Marco Foyot and his sidekick Bernard Martin.

Left to right Arsene,the Renaissance man Marco Foyot and his sidekick Bernard Martin.

Marco Foyot discover America!

Marco Foyot discover America!

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Team USA

Team USA

Les camarades.

Les camarades.

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Vive La France!

Vive La France!

The biggest prize of all the Marco Foyot's boules were raffled and Rick Armstrong won.  Congratulation

The biggest prize of all the Marco Foyot’s boules were raffled and Rick Armstrong won. Congratulations

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Les Fous de la Petanque!

Les Fous de la Petanque!

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