In the South of France during the heat of the summer you can find a crowd by the river drinking Ricard and watching Les Joutes Nautiques. Nautical Jousting: it’s exactly what it sounds like. Any man filled with enough wine and testosterone is welcome to grab a spear and shield, and hop on the elevated tail of a boat holding 10 rowers, a captain, and a band (consisting of a wooden clarinet player and a drummer).

Two boats head full speed towards each other, and the jousters’ spears make contact with each others’ shields. One monsieur puts all of his effort into knocking the other monsieur off of his boat. Sometimes they both go off, sometimes neither do, and if one jouster stays on and the other tumbles into the water, we have a winner! I’ll boire une verre to that.


More pictures and details can be found here.