Joutes Provençales (Water Jousting)

I recently went to a nearby port, where there was to be a Provençale jousting event. While waiting for it to start, I watched rowboats and sailboats, and looked around the area. Not knowing really what to expect, other than that it involves water and two boats, I was anticipating a fun event. Apparently, there are different varieties of jousting, depending on the region; however, the principal goal is the same: try to push the other competitor into the water, using a lance, before he pushes you in! Technically speaking, there are foot positions and posture, traditional dress, and lance-striking methods to respect.

In the Provençale method of jousting, the lances are made of iron and are aimed at the chest-covered padded vest, or hand-held shield, of each opponent. The jousters are called (in Provençale language) “targaïre” and the lance/weapon is called “targue.” All ages can compete in their own-age category, making this a family/team event. (Source:

As it turned out, one of the team’s boat had a motor problem, so they had to solicit some rowers to power the boat for the competition — this made it a rowing-powered boat against a motor-powered boat — not sure if this was a fair battle or not, but everyone seemed to enjoy seeing which team won in the end!

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