Oakhurst Petanque Club

Oakhurst, California

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The Oakhurst Petanque Club is currently my home club. I started there simply because at 140 miles from my home, they were the closest club to me at the time! My first tournament was at Oakhurst (a panache tournament that I won!). I won their Men's Club Championship Tournament in 2007. I really like the setting and the people. So what can I say? I'm sort of partial to the club!

 
 
SW Regional Mixed Doubles
   
 

Oakhurst has hosted several very successful Federation Regional tournaments. Pictured above is the Doster-Stampher team wearing our extremely bright team colors playing on the OPC sand terrain during the 2007 SW Regional Mixed Doublettes tournament. No doubt the colors helped intimidate the opposition sufficiently for us to take third place.

   
 
Club Championship  
   

 

The players above are playing on Oakhurst's gravel terrain. The gravel causes grief to the bowlers in the crowd as it slows their boules down considerably. The picture above was taken during the club championship tournament. Note the importance of finding shade during that time of year at Oakhurst!  
   
Oakhurt Champions

The 2007 OPC Club Champions!!! That's me in the middle with the vest on... a quilted vest in the scorching summer sun?! Actually the vest is a cooling vest that has been soaked in water and lowers the temperature for the wearer by 20 degrees. The tall fellow to my right is my brother Mark who took second in the Men's competition. That's him in the picture above losing to Pat Stampher and getting bumped out of first place (allowing me to take top honors)... note that Pat is my teammate in the top picture. A coincidence? Perhaps. heh heh.

These pictures were taken by OPC club president Jan Claire.

   
   

SW Regional Doublettes

Oakhurst hosted 3 SW Regional Tournaments during 2007 - the Triplettes, Doublettes, and Mixed Doublettes. I can't think of a more pleasant setting to dissipate some of the tension of that level of play!

   
   

The OPC Terrain

The images above show the three terrains at the OPC. There are sand, river silt and gravel terrains. Each plays differently, and during a tournament there you will probably get the chance to play on all of them at some time during the day.

The sand terrain tends to be very fast with some subtle slopes. Watch the paths of the other players' boules for a clue on how best to play the sand terrain. After a rain, the sand becomes very hard and very fast!

The river silt, is an interesting material, very fine, and the level of moisture can change the surface considerably - even during the same day of play! I have played that terrain with 4 inches of fine dust and bowls of dust lurking under the surface. And I have played it when it is nearly mud with every lob leaving egg cup depressions. There are also slopes to contend with, so again, watch the boules for clues on how to best play the river silt terrain.

The gravel terrain is another good challenge. It is a rounded pea gravel that does not deflect your boule as much as you might expect. So you can roll across it, but you must do so assertively! Otherwise your boule will get bogged down and not go the distance. It is not necessary to high lob on this surface as is often the case with gravel terrains, but watch your donnee carefully as the gravel can get puddled or be pushed almost bare during the day's play.

a view of the 3 terrains

From this angle you can see all three of the Oakhurst terrains - gravel in the foreground, sand to the left, and river silt in the distance. Note that the club will play their terrains in either direction (as you can see by the lighter piste lines perpendicular to the ones being played in the picture). This shift can leave undulations that can be tricky!

 
   

Level of Play

OPC is a relatively new club, but that hasn't kept them from doing well in regional competition. Indeed Oakhurst sent a team to the World Qualifiers in Portland in 2007! So they can be serious about their playing. But they are also a fun and gracious group to play with and very kind to new players. I really enjoy the crowd at Oakhurst and play there every chance I get.

   
    Want to know more about the Oakhurst Petanque Club? Here is the link to the Oakhurst Petanque Club site.