The Knights of the “Tintaine” (Aquatic joust in the city of Sète)
Every year in Sète, a unique event takes place on the last Monday of August: “The Saint Louis Tournament”. On this occasion, the regions jousting champions take to the water in small boats and affront one another with their lances. It is a time-honoured tradition dating back to the XVIIth century when nautical jousting was “de rigueur”. On this day, ten thousand people flood into the arena set up on the waterfront of the Royal canal of Sète. The atmosphere is electric. The Saint Louis Tournament is more than just an annual event; it is a veritable guerrilla between the regions’ towns that has been taking place for centuries. Each town has its own lord, only one of which shall be declared king of the tournament, and thus become part of history. Aurélien Evangelista has, so far, won the tournament 6 years running. All are in awe of his stature and charisma; he is a legend. In Sète, he is nicknamed “The Boss”, and all those who compete, dream of defeating him and walking away with the tournaments trophy: the infamous shield. In order to get a closer look, we embark upon the red boat and bare witness to one of the world’s most impressive tournaments. In the heart of the battle, we discover a world where the word “honour” is not to be used in vain.