Rowing and joust

Provençal water jousting 

Provençal water jousting consists of a battle on the water between two people in different boats on top of a platform called a “teinteine” in Provençal. As the boats move towards each other, the opponents try to push each other in the water with a lance. They wear a wooden shield on their left for protection. The boats are generally different colours to distinguish between the different teams. 

Provençal water jousting is particularly violent and has extremely complicated codification. The combat is virile and jousters falls rowdily. There are more rules than for classic water jousting. For example, jousters must not have their feet joined when hitting.  Jousters must place their left foot in front of the white line of their platform, and their right foot behind it. If a jouster’s right foot crosses the line when they hit, they are disqualified and their opponent wins.

Provençal water jousting, more commonly known as Targo, is different to other classic water jousting: the lance is shorter and the platform is narrower. Provençal Targo is practised in France on the Mediterranean coast. It is a typical sporting activity during festivals organised in the name of patron saints in southern cities.

This sport, once practised by men only, now attracts more and more women and children. 
  • Joutes martégales © Silvy Ducreux
  • Joutes martégales © Silvy Ducreux
  • Joutes martégales © Silvy Ducreux
  • Joutes martégales © Silvy Ducreux

Traditional Provençal rowing

Provençal rowing dates back to the days when fishermen raced each other back to port after work...before their boats had motors.

Traditional Provençal rowing is practised around the Mediterranean in France. The crafts measure 7m20 cm long and weigh 600 kg. They have 6 oarsmen and a helmsman.  They resemble old fishing boats but the hull is made of fibreglass and polyester resin. The benches, sides and oars are made of wood.

All the crafts used in traditional Provençal rowing must be accredited by the Fédération Française de Joute et de Sauvetage Nautique.
  • Traditionals rowing
  • Venetian rowers
  • Tradition