Thursday, 7 August 2008

Boomerang-throwing in Charleville-Mézières, France

Despite being more popularly associated with Crocodile Dundee and the Australian outback, France has taken the boomerang to heart, and is at the forefront of turning into an international sport.
It all kicked off properly in Charleville-Mézières in the Ardennes, where a sketchily-organised world championship was held in 2004.
From that point, the world’s boomerang-throwing federations got together in order to make the rules agreed upon internationally. It’s never going to overtake football, but the sport is growing at a phenomenal rate, and there are now 21 clubs across France who regular travel huge distances to compete against each other.
There are various events in these contests, some specialising in accuracy, some in endurance, and some in showing off with fancy catches. France currently has one world record-holder too, with Arnaud Tribillon managing to keep one of the old Aboriginal Australian hunting devices airborne for 190.2 seconds in Dijon last year.
Tournaments are held throughout the year, and given the small attendances, there’s a real feeling of discovery when you turn up to watch. Charleville-Mézières is still a major staging post, but a list of tournaments can be found at the French Boomerang Federation’s online arm.

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