The third international ricochet competition was held this Sunday, June 12, in the afternoon.
In the middle of the river, a few meters downstream from Anduze, a man, cap on his head, sunglasses and his feet in the water up to his calves. He holds a megaphone in his hands. “7! 9! 12! 14!”, he shouts in the direction of a troop of people gathered on the opposite bank. They are about fifty to have gathered, despite the heat, on the edge of the Gardon, to participate in the third “international competition of ricochets”.
This meeting, more playful than competitive, is at the initiative of the Saint-Jean association L’Imprévue, which had, during the previous edition of the tournament, succeeded in bringing together several hundred people on the banks of the Gardon de Mialet , in 2019. Each candidate has four pebbles, launched in turn.
To win, there is no need to send them as far as possible, only the number of bounces on the water counts. Hence the need to have, in the river, a referee observing all the throws, in order to identify the best.
Ode to the river and to the young years
Whether they came alone, as a couple or with the children; whether they are students, active or retired; each participant in this modest tournament took the time to scan the edge of the water, or to dig into the reserves provided by the association, to find the perfect pebbles.
“It must, of course, be sufficiently flat, but neither too heavy nor too light“, analyzes Gabriel, a young student from the valley, who has developed his little personal helping hand to hope to make as many rebounds as possible. A practice often stemming from childhood, but which seems to have stuck well despite, for some, the arrival of adulthood. “Of course that’s what we used to do all the time when we went to the river as kids”continues the young man, a small smile on his lips, before throwing a pebble away with his right hand.
For the association, this moment is above all an opportunity to invite the participants, who did not necessarily know each other, to share this common passion for the river. A particular universe, both simple and fragile, but which makes everyone happy.