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The “real” Bayonne festival

This story takes place during Bayonne festival

Not during the huge binge drinking party at night that you can see every year on the French news. No, during the real celebrations (careful!
don’t say “feria”, otherwise you may sound like a tourist… aren’t you cool). Those which take place during daytime, in a friendly atmosphere, around large tables where the young and the older ones gather.

During the day, the entertainment is at its peak, especially at Porte d’Espagne, where the Basque Country Espadrille (Basque sandal) Throwing Championship is being held for the second consecutive year…


How does the espadrille throw work?


  1. Take a well-built back row rugby player,
  2. Place him on a podium,
  3. Give him a girl’s size basque sandal,
  4. Ask him to throw it as far as he can!
  5. And add a local announcer.

And you get: the Basque Country Espadrille Throwing Championships!

2eme championnat du Pays Basque du lancer d'espadrilles


And what does the back row do?

Well, he kicks!

Sometimes straight across into the audience (watch out for the head), sometimes straight up into the sky 1 metre from the podium and sometimes… at 23.70 metres!

This is precisely what Jérôme Bainçoneau achieved this year, winning the competition for the second consecutive year!


An official competition

With real team entries (well, it takes time for everyone to arrive: don’t forget we’re in the south of France) and real pickers… of espadrilles!

Espadrille dans les airs lors du concours du lancer d'espadrilles aux fêtes de Bayonne


And above all, authentic referees, with one eye on the rope to measure… And one hand on the beer to stay properly hydrated in the warm Basque sun!


You can also play it at home!

So, have you been tempted? Will you manage to beat the official record of 24.70m?



Try it and post your best throw in the comments: the first one will win a dinner with Adriana Karemtxoa, the local Basque celebrity.


Note: the management declines all responsibility in case of accident wink.

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