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Sea Jousting: Knight spirit on boats

Sea Jousting is a traditional martial art on boats, taking place in many places like France, Switzerland and Germany. Among them, this sport is developed most strongly in France, especially the Languedoc region.

In the summer, around August every year, along the Mediterranean coast echoes the sound of water waves, drums, music, because it takes place the Sea Jousting water sport. These sounds are bustling all over France, and each has its own competition rules, of which Languedoc is considered the center of this sport.

The format of competition for Sea Jousting in Languedoc is as follows:

The competing boats will be painted two opposing colors, red or blue, and red flags or blue checkers must be put on each boat. On each large wooden boat rowing by eight or ten rowers, the rowers are mostly fishermen and there is an experienced captain who takes the leadership position.

Each boat is painted blue or red. A Jouster stands on a special platform (la tin taine) at the rear of the boat, about 3 meters from the water.

Jouster was forced to wear white clothes, white shoes and a shield measuring 70 x 40 cm, with a 2.8 meter long lance.

Also on board were two musicians, one playing a drum-type instrument (tambour), the other playing the oboe (hautbois), and maybe a few more troubadours along. The band is responsible for singing ancient songs and playing music to contribute to the fun, while also cheering the rowers to speed up the boat.

The rowers proceed to sail towards each other, and pass each other on the left. Jousters then uses spears to perform blows and pushes opponents into the water. The remaining Jouster still standing on the podium will be the winner.

This form of water sport is very fun and attractive. Formed since ancient times, there are many Sea Jousting tournaments dating back to the fifteenth century.

For example, in 1270 Louis IX and his crusaders, soldiers and sailors were faced in a battle on boats, on their way to the Holy Land of Egypt; In 1808, a water sports battle took place on the Garonne River in Toulouse to welcome the Naponean King to visit the city.

Since 1743, on August 25 every year, in Sète held a prestigious tournament jousting de la Saint – Louis. Then, from 1941 in France held a championship, and in 1962 held a French Cup (Coupe de France) with two age categories and two weight categories.

Over the process of formation and development for a long time, Sea Jousting today evolves according to different rules depending on each region and country. So far, this form of water sport has still received a lot of participation and encouragement.