October 10th, 2008

ifence

Fencing in the UK ...

So, now that I've finished fencing in the UK (for the foreseeable future, at least), it's time to look back at how it's all gone.
While here, I competed in 44 Open and Championship tournaments [1], starting with the Highland Open in 2004, and finishing with nice symmetry at the Highland Open 2008. My results have ranged from 98th (a fairly dismal effort at the poorly-run Leicester Open a few years back) to 1st (last year's Scottish Open (not to be confused with the Scottish Championships, which is entirely different) ). I've also placed second twice, and third six times.

Some more statistics :
I've fenced 96 DE bouts, winning 53 and losing 42. I don't have complete records of my pool rounds, but I've fenced at least 296 pool bouts, winning 216 and losing 80. As far as I can recall, I've won at least 2 bouts in every pool round I've fenced over here, which I'm quite pleased by. I've won all of the bouts in a pool round (variously 4, 5 or 6) at least 15 times, which is also rather pleasing - the best being 5 wins with only 4 hits scored against me (first round of the Glasgow Open this year).

As far as memorable bouts go, my effort at this year's British Champs stands out. I was 3 hits to 9 down, and the first period wasn't even over. I changed my style a little (lots of bouncing around), and started clawing my way back into the bout - back up to 5 - 9 at the break, and then level-pegging up to 10 - 14, before I won five hits in a row and won the bout 15 - 14. I wish I had access to statistics on how many times people have won bouts after being 3 - 9 down. On the other hand, in the final of this year's Highland Open, I got 7 - 1 ahead after 30 seconds - by which time I had to ease up because I was completely out of breath and my heart was galloping. Unfortunately, my opponent adapted well once the pace eased off, and managed to come back and win it 15 - 13 (all before the first break! In epee !) - but I still enjoyed the bout greatly. rwrylsin recorded it, so I may even stick it up on youtube or something ...

[1] The British Championships is only open to UK citizens who are also members of the BFA, and the Scottish Championships is only open to those residing in Scotland, or with some sort of Scottish ancestry. Opens are ... well, open, to anyone over 13 who either hold a BFA license or some international equivalent.
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