In 2004, David Rockwell met Scott Bernhard, the guide assigned to his Rick Steves trip in southern France. Scott, a French instructor at North Seattle College, fatefully brought two sets of boules on the tour and introduced David to the game of petanque along the banks of the Tarn River. The first shot that Scott demonstrated to newcomer David was an 8-meter carreau. Open-mouthed and amazed, David was hooked.

Flash forward to the spring of 2013. Having enjoyed traveling together and playing petanque in France, David and Scott had searched in vain for a place to play in Seattle. Then on April 13, 2013, they made the short trip north to Edmonds and encountered a friendly group consisting of Chris Guitton, Dick VanHollebeke, Jerry Fireman, Larry Thomas, and Tom Nunn at the newly commissioned Edmonds Petanque Club courts. From that day onward, Scott and David were no longer restricted to playing petanque on trips to France. Edmonds became their petanque home.

Over the course of that year, at the courts and during post-game visits to Rory’s Pub, Scott and David deliberated on how the young Edmonds Petanque Club could shape a competition that allowed players to test their skills. While having lunch at Arnie’s, they mentioned the idea of a structured competition to Chris Guitton, who, with Michelle Martin, was instrumental in starting the club. As it turns out, Chris had been toying with very similar ideas on how to bring more competitive petanque to Edmonds.

The idea sparked, and at a subsequent meeting at Rory’s Pub, Scott, David, and Jerry Fireman drew up plans for the league structure that we recognize today. The “founding fathers” envisioned a doubles tournament for self-selected teams who would play a series of round-robin matches to determine a champion. Sadly, by this time Chris Guitton had succumbed to his struggle with cancer. Unanimously, the group decided that the trophy David selected at a Ballard sports shop would be named the Chris Guitton Cup to honor Chris’ early work for the club and his supportive enthusiasm for the proposed league.

Jerry Fireman was already serving on the EPC Board and brought the proposal to the next Board meeting. The idea was approved, and Commissioner Rockwell set to work planning the first competition in the spring of 2014. Since then, the EPC League has become an essential part of the club’s yearly calendar. Competition is friendly but stiff. Games are tightly contested, and every point counts. With pride, League champions read their names engraved on the Chris Guitton Cup. Now it is spring again, and the 2022 EPC League will begin on April 25. Excitement is growing!

[image: 2018 League. Ed Cornachio, David Rockwell. Chris Guitton Cup 1st Place.jpg] Ed Cornachio and David Rockwell. 2018 League Champions.
[image: 2019 League. Michelle Martin presents trophy to Brien Meilleur.jpg] David Rockwell and MIchelle Martin present the Guitton Cup to Brien Meilleur, 2019 Champion with his partner Jacques Maussenet

[image: League-winners-2020.jpg] In 2020, Mari and Paul Dever hoisted the Chris Guitton trophy.

Previous Winners of the Chris Guitton Cup:

  • 2014 Scott Bernhard and David Rockwell
  • 2015 Scott Bernhard and David Rockwell
  • 2016 Nabil Benali and Jack McHenry
  • 2017 Scott Bernhard and David Rockwell
  • 2018 Ed Cornachio and David Rockwell
  • 2019 Jacques Maussenet and Brien Meilleur
  • 2020 Mari and Paul Dever
  • 2021 Philippe Geraud and Tom Nunn

(Thanks to David Rockwell for his account of the early days of petanque in Edmonds)