The start wasn't promising - I lost my first three bouts in the pool round, and at one stage two of my epees mysteriously stopped working during a bout. I had to run across to my fencing bag and get my third weapon out to continue. The mysterious problems stayed mysterious, of course, and went away as soon as I tested the weapons after that bout. Still, I managed to win the remaining three bouts in my pool, including one against a guy named Richard who often beats me, so I wasn't too unhappy.
On to the DE, and I won the first bout fairly easily (15-5), against one of those fencers that likes to stick their arm out, head down, and chaaaaarge! It obviously works, up to a point - and I was that point, today (ow, bad pun).
The second was against Haluk, someone I train against from time to time. He fences a style that I sometimes find hard to fence against - where I'm weilding a French-grip epee right down on the pommel and relying on reach and distance and timing, he's very strong and very good at binding my blade off to the next suburb and hitting me. To do well against him, I have to concentrate and keep good distance and stay disengaged as much as possible, and then my style can take effect. Today, it did, fortunately, so I beat him 15-10.
That put me in the final 4, fencing Josh, who had conveniently beaten Richard just before that (because I'd generally prefer facing Josh to Richard). Again I had a slow start, down 3-0 quite early on, before staying a bit, then taking over the bout with distance and quite a few leg hits and even a foot hit or two (I don't normally do those, despite my height and reach).
I won that 15-10 too, and that put me in the final, fencing Martin, who is around 20, and has done well in junior and senior competitions (I think he's currently the Australian under-20 champion). I started the bout with a foot hit to him too, which surprised both of us, I think. I managed to get to a 7-3 lead briefly, before he rallied and my concentration lapsed a bit, so it was quickly 7-6 again. We stay nearly level, or with me slightly ahead, all the way to 12-all, and unfortunately I had another concentration lapse then, so he got to 14-12 ahead. I managed to get a hit back, to make it 13-14, but the next hit was a double, so 15-14 victory to Martin.
Still, I'm quite happy with my effort considering that I haven't really been training particularly hard, and I managed to get the basic competition stuff going ok (like waking up on time, getting there on time, having three weapons working at the start of the day, not forgetting any equipment) - which meant I was free to (mostly) concentrate on fencing.
Now I just have to repeat the performance in two weeks time, except one place better (in a much tougher competition, hmmmm ... could be tricky :-) ).