Sunday, January 18, 2009


Today, I fenced in a tournament hosted by the Raleigh Fencers Club. The event ran smoothly, and the club was a great host as usual. Attendance was way up from the last two events RFC has hosted as well.

It is an unusual format that I think works well. There is an open event. Then, there is a cut off, and the people that did not make the cut fence in a " D and Under" event.

I was hoping to fence in the " D and Under", which is more my speed, but made the first cut by finishing 10th out of pools in a field of 23. (As I remember it.)

I was happy with fencing in either event for different reasons.

In the second round of pools, I placed 9th.

My first, and last, DE was against Greg Spahr. It was a good, close bout most of the time, and we went back and forth for the lead. In the end, he pulled ahead by a couple of points and I could not catch back up. And.............Jim is done for the day.

I will not go into all the numbers, but while I did not fence well, I did not fence bad (most of the time), either. I was okay with the day, and I had a good time. What more can you ask?

I beat a kid in pools that beat me badly in pools in a previous tournament. He is very cocky when he wins, and I felt good about it, even though it was sheer luck. He is a much better fencer than me.

There was another pool bout that was of great note.

In the past, I have recorded in my journal how much I admire Kerry Herrick. I have watched this petite, vet woman fencer fence freakishly, tall college fencers time and time again. She is always undaunted, and, for my money, one of the gutsiest fencers I know.

When Kerry's son or club members are not around, I like to think she is part of our little group at tournaments.

Kerry made the cut and fenced in the open part of the tournament. She has improved dramatically since the last time I saw her fence.

I had to fence her in pools. For a moment, I thought about fencing French grip for the reach against her, thinking I could make up some indicators by adding a little extra distance against her shorter reach. I decided I did not need to do that. To make a long story short, she beat me in pools 5-4. While I am not very happy to be beaten (particularly by a petite, vet woman fencer), I think I was as close to being happy about it as I can get. She did so well and has persevered for so long, it is impossible for me to think of her in any other terms but being proud of her.

I will not underestimate you again, "Killer". Good job on all counts and well

Note for Brian Toomey: Kerry does not spend much time on -line. Should you read this post, please convey my thoughts to her.

Note For Matt Cox: ( See Below)

From my perspective, there WAS a sense of community at this tournament. My perspective is the only perspective I have. I hope it was the same for most people.

My immediate tournament fencing family was there (The Agrestos and Henri), which is always home base.

But, I also got to have conversations and socialize a bit with a number of people I rarely get to talk to. I enjoyed that aspect of the event very much.

People offered advice and cheered for us, and we did the same for others. That is difficult to explain without being overly wordy. I will just say that it was a really nice thing, and this was a day well spent.


Anonymous said...

It was a fun day. I hope you were finally able to get something to eat as you were getting VERY cranky by the end of the day!

mattacox said...

I agree, Jim. It was a great atmosphere- I showed up later in the day with the boys, and had a good time, too. It looked like a pretty big foil turnout, too. The sabre was small, but at a pretty consistent level.

Meredith D. said...

I enjoyed the tournament as well. Everyone was terribly nice, as usual. I would love to grab a pizza with you after a tournament sometime to talk blogging, Jim. Your thoughts are always a good read.

Hope you are OK with me linking to you also. I am happy to remove it if you desire.

cobalt said...

Thanks for the kind comments about Kerry, I'll pass them on :)

Kerry has always been kind of a group project. She doesn't put a lot of hours per week in, but she's always consistently there. She's a part of the team, and she loves the sport (The most important part). Tuesday's have mostly freed up for me, so I get to sneak in and give her a lesson once in a while, when I don't want to fence myself.

One of the bigger things we went over was what her primary game is. (Or, how do I score touches against younger faster opponents)

As a coach, you learn that not all lessons are home runs. Sometimes the student doesn't get it, sometimes you can't quite communicate the concept to them, etc...

So thanks Jim, looks like that one went out of the park! :)