Last Saturday I was at our beach house for a long weekend. I took time to drive down to Wilmington and fenced at Cape Fear Fencing Club. I fenced with Paul Perkins and Greg Spahr. I did well. I feel like a year ago, I would not have done as well as I did, so I am happy that I see some improvement. I started with my French grip, but switched to pistol grip and did even better. I was grateful to them for letting me fence and that I got in some strip time.
Wednesday I fenced at home at the Downtown Fencing Club. I worked on under the cuff shots. I had some luck with that in Wilmington and wanted to try and perfect it. I really could not make it work in practice for some reason.
Thursday I fenced at Chapel Hill. (Do I get around….or
what?) I really did not fence at all, but had a private lesson with Josh.
Friday night I helped set up for the North Carolina State Games fencing competition. I had reservations about helping, but I am glad I did. Robert is a good guy and they were very appreciative.
Thursday I fenced in the Games. (This is sort of like a version of the Olympics with many different sports on the program.) Out of the 45 people that pre-registered 35 showed up to fence epee. This was an A2 event (I think) and there were some high level fencers there. (At least from my perspective. It is a relative sort of thing.) I did well in pools and finished second behind Nick the “A” fencer. It was the first time I got to fence Nick and I enjoyed it. I saw him “wax” a couple of people and it was my hope that that did not happen. It did not. I got 2 touches on him and it was a moral victory of sorts. In one of my first bouts I used my pistol grip and lost 5-4. I had intended to try and use it more, but the French always lent itself to certain situations. I needed to make up some indicators, so I pommeled and used it to gain back some ground on a weaker fencer. I used it against a UNC fencer, as he liked to flick using the bell guard as a fulcrum. When I pommel, my hand is not where it needs to be, for that to work. I beat that young man 5-3.
So after the dust of pools settled, I had a bye and was seeded 13th out of 35 fencers. That does not sound all that good, but I was up there with the higher rated fencers and I felt pretty good about it.
I know that pools do not mean all that much. I looked at some of the people that were seeded under me and I knew that I would have had to have had a REALLY good day to beat some of them. Now, as I said, pools do not mean that much, but I figure they must mean something. So I was kind of happy with my results.
In DE’s I fenced the 20th ranked UNC guy I beat in pools. Sadly, he got smarter and my game did not work as I hoped it might. I lost and I was done for the day. I will say that my coach was WAY cuter than his coach.
There were a few negative comments about this and that at
the Games. Mostly (as usual) from a couple of people that took no part it putting it
together and never seem to take any part in any sort of Divisional effort. I have
always felt if you don’t do anything to help; you should forfeit the right to criticize. On a more positive note, there were refs from a lot of clubs and people helped with cleaning up from all over.
This was a "starter” event in the State Games for fencing. And I am happy that Robert Thomas got us this far. It can improve, but it had to start some place. This was a GOOD start.
I would also say that I felt a sense of community at the event. Everyone seemed to get along. I did not notice anyone being an ass. It was nice.
I had to hang around to get our club equipment back, but it wasn’t bad. I talked to a lot of folks and felt very at home with all of them.
I thought it was a day well spent and I enjoyed it.