Fencing avoid the fake tan

Loek Janssen pokes you in the ribs. It’s called fencing, don’t get so mad…

Rolling into Essex campus the slightly understrength 3rd team were prepared for a bashing, things started well with Jamie ‘destroyer’ Simpson damaging Essex in the warm-up. Then first up was our foil team of Andy Simpson, Niall Corry and Thoe Suter. Getting us off to a great start was old timers Thoe and Andy who dropped only three points for the first 10 to imperial, and then new to the team fresher Niall showed his worth (and flexible arm skills) in a 5-1 victory. The three musketeers continued their fine form and put imperial into an impressive 45-14 lead.

Then team captain Loek Janssen, new team member Pavitar Singh and conscripted foillist Thoe stepped onto the piste for sabre. Despite starting well the team fell to a 30-24 deficit with just 3 bouts (to 5) to play. However a late push from Pav and Thoe brought imperial to within 3 points of their opponents, leaving it to the captain to win his spurs with a stunning (lucky) final hit against his Essex counterpart to win sabre 45-44.

Finally with a strong lead and time running out the epee team went onto the piste to attempt to bring the match home. Due to the absence of a couple of epeeist, Pav and continuing star of the show Thoe would provide the support to Jamie Simpson in the final bouts. Generally the slowest of the 3 weapons the lack of time prompted some show stopping fighting and a 5-1 win to Jamie in just 27 seconds (surely some sort of record). Fittingly three-weapon Thoe provided the overall match winning hit while Pav and Jamie secured a victory with a great 45-34 win. Giving Imperial a fantastic win of 135-92 in all 3 weapons and so bringing a successful end to the 3rd teams Essex adventure.

Felix Sport

 

Women’s Premier Weekend

It’s a cold Saturday morning as IC Fencing Women’s 1st‘ makes their way over to Oxford. It’s the first weekend out of two, and they’re going to fence Cardiff University, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and UCL, the other 4 strongest teams in the South of UK. The epee team, first up onto the piste, consists of three new recruits: Paula Heister, Kat Young and Caitlin Jones, and an old member Charlotte Levin. The nerves are tense, for the past two years the women’s 1st team has remained unbeaten; will they do it again?

First opponents are Cardiff, newcomers in the league who prove very strong in epee. Despite best efforts from the Imperial girls, they faced a 39-45 defeat, already putting some pressure on foil and sabre. Determined to still do their best, they focus on the next match, Oxford. Kat and Paula showed their new alliance as they watched their old team lose by 44-31, giving the team’s confidence a boost. Unfortunately, it’s shaken again as they lose to Cambridge by a mere single hit, 43-44. By the last match against UCL, Kat had to leave early and Paula was not feeling well, so with a team slightly out of balance IC lose 35-45. Feeling slightly guilty, they pass the baton to the sabre team with team captain Zoe Robinson, the fresher Emma Horrix and Jing Xiao (Jingles) who fenced for the Women’s 2nd last year.

They don’t have to worry for long. Zoe, Emma and Jingles set the bar high in the first match and prove exactly how strong they are by demolishing Cardiff 45-13. They continue to impress as they first beat Oxford 45-38, grow stronger against Cambridge with 45-24, and finally, gaining even more momentum, land at 45-19 against UCL. With the epeeists reassured that everything is under control, and the sabreurs with a strengthened confidence the day comes to an end, and the foilists can look forward to being a few hits ahead.

Sunday morning presents foil. Zoe is joined on the piste by Alice Mitchell, 4th year running on the team, and Outi Supponen who have just returned from a year abroad.  Thanks to sabre’s impressive performance the day before, they have a 26 hit lead to Cardiff as they start their first match. It’s extended as they win by 45-29, resulting in the season’s first overall victory, 126-87! They confidently continue by beating Oxford 45-39, counting the second overall victory of 134-108. Cambridge, on the other hand, has gained some new foilists, and beat the Imperial girls by 34-45, but with the aggregated scores being 122-114 Imperial remain calm and confident.

The weekend is coming to an end as the girls have the final match against UCL. Having done the maths in advance, Zoe, Alice and Outi know they need to score at least 29 hits to secure the overall victory. However, how can you say no to winning if the option is there? They end it at 45-34, giving a total of 125-98, and lengthening the Women’s 1st Teams unbelievable streak of wins to 27 matches in a row, spread over more than 2 years!

By Charlotte Levin

4 team competition against Cardiff, Oxford and Cambridge University, and UCL

A tough one to begin with…

Men’s Fencing 1st League: Imperial 2nds vs UCL 1sts, 24th of October

Imperial Fencing’s 2nd men’s team finally began their new season last Wednesday with an away match against UCL’s 1st team, after the disappointment of a rescheduled match the week before. UCL have previously been in the Premier League but after ending up in the 2nd league last year they have been working their way back up, winning last year’s Conference Cup with the help of some well-known names on the national fencing circuit and rejoining Imperial’s 2nds in the 1st league. We arrived at the venue near Euston Square at 2pm in high spirits but knew that UCL would be a tough nut to crack over the next few hours.

The match started with sabre, with Camille van Hoffelen, Tim Wright and team captain Jamie Fairclough on the piste. After 2 bouts we were trailing our opponents slightly but Camille did a great job in his first bout, getting several hits to catch up and keep us in play. UCL’s sabreurs then found their own steam and over the next 4 bouts they developed a good lead, even though Camille kept parity with his opponent in the final bout by scoring 5-5. UCL finally won sabre 45-29.

The second weapon of the day was foil, a particularly strong weapon for UCL. Our foilists, Steve Moore, Arnold Ng and Joby Hollis had their work cut out. UCL took an early lead with some devastating flick-hits and particularly bad luck for Arnold, who took priority from his opponent several times but missed them on the riposte. Steve and Joby struggled too, catching out the UCL foilists with successful counterattacks and feints but failing to catch up on the rising UCL score. Foil ended with Imperial losing 20-45, now trailing UCL by a total of 41 points with only one weapon to go.

Last up was epee, Imperial’s strongest weapon, but we needed to win this one 45-3 if we wanted to win the match. A tough challenge for epeeists Tommy Hirst, Adam Butler and Tom Powell! Sadly UCL scored their 4th point in the first bout, guaranteeing their victory, and extended their overall lead with a score of 20-13 by the 5th bout. Instead of losing hope, our new recruit Adam took the fight to UCL by driving his opponent to the end of the piste. Several hits later Adam finished his bout and Imperial were back in the running to win epee. Tom and Tommy kept up the assault, reaching the final bout only 5 points behind. Tommy tried his best to take the lead in the last 3 minutes of the match, but UCL managed to hang on to their 5 point advantage with the last points awarded to both sides due to simultaneous hits, eventually finishing epee 45-40 and ending the match.

UCL won all three weapons, with a final score of 135-89, an uncomfortable loss for the Imperial 2nds after never scoring less than 100 per match in last year’s league. With a strong team of old and new fencers on our side, we were very impressed by the quality of UCL’s 1sts and how well they did across all 3 weapons. With us, UCL and Kent gunning for promotion this year the 1st league is going to be very interesting indeed. We look forward to playing them again at home in a few months time, and with any luck we will even the score.

By Joby Hollis