Monday, July 16, 2007

Bastille Day

I fenced in my first outdoor tournament this weekend. It was hosted by Salle New Bern. Every club in our Division has it's own personality. These are some courteous and friendly people. They are not in a heavily populated area , yet they have a good sized club. I would say that is a testament to the kind of people they are.

There were some interesting things about this tournament. It was of course, outside at the coast, in the middle of the summer. It was a " Bastille Day" tournament. But it was the little things that were strange.

It was hot, but no hotter than the UNC gym ( prior to the AC they are getting ) and was not as hot as "Blades at the Beach" which was an indoor tournament.

Up until this tournament I had never parked 20 feet from a strip. I had never worn sunglasses to the strip. ( Some folks fenced with them on. I thought about it, but did not want to start fencing and find it was a bad idea.)

I also had never fenced on a strip like this. It was artificial turf with strip markings over grass. There had been a hard rain during the night and both surfaces were wet. You were warned at the beginning of the tournament that flesching and going off strip might be dangerous. ( Meaning you were likely to bust your butt.) You could not move very fast on strip with foot work. Of course neither could your opponent, so it all worked out.

I never got sunburned at a tournament before either. There were many firsts.

I did not fence all that well, but I had a good time. I came in 8th out of 20 fencers. I started to write that I finished in the top eight, which sounds sooooo much better if you don't mention the number of people . About seven folks who pre-registered did not show.

I think I need to work on a parry 4 in opposition. I want to work on a parry that does not pull the tip across my body. I figure If I do a itty-bitty-inquartta at the same time it might work. The foot movement I thought had some merit from last week has none that I can see. It was a fluke...I think.

I liked the town of New Bern. I always feel at home near the sea. It is an old town and there are beautiful old buildings there. Some of the buildings are from the Colonial era. I hope I can find the time to return there and look around.

The links above are to Woody's web site who also fenced at the tournament. If you visit his web site, there are pictures of the event. The handsome gentleman sitting next to a red cooler and pampering " Mr. Pointy" is me.

Fencing Woody in DEs was one of the only bad things that happened this weekend. I wrestled with the idea about writing about a ref there ( Not from Salle New Bern) that has absolutely no people skills and should never be allowed to ref again, but I am not going to go into detail. And no....he did not make bad calls against me, he made them against the guy I was fencing. I have been subjected to his snotty attitude before. I have always tried to maintain peace and restraint when dealing with another club member, however, one more word out of this guy and I am going to his ass.

Henri was there, but I only got to see her fence her last bout in pools and DE. I was proud of her in the pool bout. She fenced a ECU fencer who was at least a foot taller than she was and the bout went 4-5. She is like a "hobbit fencer"...small ....but valiant.

After the tournament, I had lunch with the DFC people and Woody's parents. They were gentle people. We had lunch and walked around for a short while. It was a nice time.

All to soon it was time to go. I went to my house on the coast and worked on my lawn mower. I did a few chores and mowed the yard. I had a nice walk on the beach. Henri called and we met so we could caravan home. At a rest stop just outside of Greensboro we stopped for the last time to say good bye. As fate would have it, Woody pulledup at the very same time.  The musketeers gathered one last time before heading home.

It was a great weekend.

1 comment:

fencerkath said...

It sounds brilliant.   I'm waiting for the tournament where fencers aren't kept on the piste but are encouraged to run up starcases, swing from chandeliers, jump onto the backs of witing horses etc. Until then, fencing outdoors is probably as near to to being d'Artagnan as you can get.  I liked the photos too.

8th out of 20 sounds pretty good to me. Well done!