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Europe 2017

Bet You Have Never Seen This Sport Before!

FRANCE | Friday, 4 August 2017 | Views [405]

A few weeks ago when we were having brunch at Ben Franklin's resting place, we noticed a huge banner announcing that Auray would host a "Juting" competition today. So, of course we had to go. We were introduced to "Juting" in the south of France when we vacationed in Sete several years ago. The best way to describe it is to think of  knights jousting. But, instead of riding a "trusty steed" , the "knights" are in boats being rowed by several men toward one another. With lances raised, the goal is to hit your opponent and make him fall into the water before he can do it to you. (see photos).
 
We have never seen Juting anywhere but in the south of France. It is a real art form and it is taken very seriously. Young men (it is limited to men in the south) start training at age 15. Every little town has a team and all summer long the teams compete each weekend Then, there is a grand championship at the end of the summer for the year's bragging rights.
 
The southern boats have 8 or 10 rowers, a drummer who sits in the stern, beating out the rowing cadence and of course the juter. There are even weight divisions and of course there is an obligatory uniform which resembles uniforms worn by naval cadets years ago. (I mention all this because Juting in Brittany is not taken as seriously as you can see by the photos! First, the boats are much smaller and as you can see, the costumes are NOT regulated and even women can compete!
 
However, the idea is the same and so is the fun.
There is also a history of the beginning of juting. Supposedly, knights on their way to the crusades, wanted to practice their skills and they came up with juting from boats to work on their balance.

There is also a you-tube video for those that are interested in a 45 second encounter.

 

And since some 10,000 people were expected, two truck loads of soldiers arrived early, blocked off the main entrance to town and continuously walked around the town and through the crowds.

 

Joute Boats

Joute Boats

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