Fencing 4/4/09

I went to my first tournament today. My main goal was to not finish last. My that-would-be-awesome goal was to survive the first cut and make it into the elimination rounds (thus earning my Salle Auriol patch). And of course the real goal was to not embarrass myself. On those standards, I did fairly well. The field was 25 fencers, ranging from a C rank to unrated (ranks are A-E and unrated; I’m unrated of course). We had five pools of five, then five more pools of five. You fence everyone in your pool, a 5-point bout, then everyone is ranked based on wins and points, then you go into a single elimination. For this tournament, they cut the field to 16 after the pools. I won one in my first pool, none in my second, and finished 22 out of 25. So I didn’t finish last (yay!), didn’t make the cut (boo!), and didn’t really embarrass myself (yay!).

yes, that’s me in the neon green socks.

My first pool consisted of me, Tony (another Salle fencer; he’s good but more in sabre than foil), and three lefties (lefties are harder), one of them a very good C, one a good D, and one unrated. I got three pretty good points off Tony (though I let him get some off me I shouldn’t have), beat the other unrated 5-0 (that was a nice one), and got killed by the C and D. In my second pool, I had that C guy again, Phil (who I fence all the time at the Salle), a D, and an unrated. I lost to Phil 5-1 (should have done better there), again lost to the C (but got a point off him, which is more than almost anyone else managed), somehow lost to the unrated guy 5-0 (should have done better), and almost had the D but finally lost 5-4.

I made two many counterattacks and remises — things that don’t work very often against good fencers. And a few times I was caught standing still when I should have been moving away more quickly. But on the whole I feel pretty good about how I did — but I hope next time I make the cut.