This week was our first home match, and as the saying goes, those who are closest are last to arrive. It was our turn as the home team to turn up after the away team arrived. Though I (Angie), being the #keenbean that I am had arrived over an hour before the match (Cancelled lecture – I’m not that keen) to be called away to get kit for said match. After awkwardly waiting at the bus stop outside Beit for 5 minutes, waving on buses as they stopped, for Grace to help with the kit. We went up to the cupboard and proceeded to chat for over half an hour with our lovely President (Carys). We even convinced her to referee for us. Score.
The team turned up to the hall for the match – arriving BEFORE the home team. Walking into the hall, there was a hope that maybe this time we would win the match. Little did we know the hall’s dank, dark appearance was some foreshadowing. We slowly started to understand a reason that the home team may have not arrived so early would be due to the smell of the hall – seriously that place smelt BAD. Though things looked promising when the home team arrived with only four fencers. (more…)
The first fencing premiership BUCS tournament was held in Oxford two week ends ago, where the home crew as well as Cambridge, UCL, Bristol and the mighty Imperial crossed swords once again.
For two days, the valiant teams competed to take lead in the race for the coveted league title. Saturday started with an early 9am match against Bristol. Winning the weapon’s order toss, we decided to start with our foilists who were so pumped they had begun their warm-up the night before. Despite a tricky opposition, the team pulled off a promising 45-42 win. Sabre was up next, and we decided to sharpen the game. A ruthless and almost perfect performance by Chris “8pak” Lawrence lead to a 45-15 sweep, and left no time for the opposition to realise that their match was getting out of hand. This inspired the epee to finish off the match, scoring 41 points and giving the newly named “Pimperials” a comfortable win, 131-102.
Next on the list was the talented Cambridge team, an old rival that has been known to give Imperial fencers a hard time… Foilists were put up first and trailed by a few hits against a strong side. However as the match progressed, Imperial fencer “Super-Soren” Pfizer got increasingly angry, leaving no chances for a terrified Cambridge team. A beautiful finish by Glen “The Beast” Ostacchini turned the tables round and ended the match in a 44-42 win. Sabre was up next and felt pressured to perform after the textbook foil win. But the sabreurs were too proud to be outdone by another weapon and slashed their way through the opposite side to fetch a brutal 45-18 win. This provided a precious lead against Cambridge’s tricky Epee team. The epeeists did not take this as a sign to rest though, and battled to the finish getting an impressive 35 hits. This totalled to a 124-105 for Pimperials, showing the opposition who was really dominating the tournament. Not this year, Cambridge2far.
After a long tiring day of winning, the Imperial fencers gathered their forces to fight the Blues for Saturday’s last match. To the keen Imperial foilists’ disappointment, the weapon’s order toss was lost so the sabreurs reluctantly warmed up to start the match. Just kidding, they absolutely could not wait to kick some butt. The trio sharpened their swords and slew the Oxford sabreurs 45-15 with a star indicator by Didier “Old-School” Nolhmann. As Oxford’s strengths lying in Foil and Epee, the next match promised to be challenging. However Pimperial foilists kept it together, and with some swift attacks from Clyde “The Beard” Fare, reached a safe 36 hits against their on-form adversaries. The tension was at its peak as Epee started the last leg, needing 25 hits to win against the Blues. A difficult start showed that it was not going to be an easy finish. Wanna-be epeeists Camille Van Hoffelen and “M-Iron Man” used their sabre speed to confuse the opponents, pushing the Oxford team’s pride a little further into the ground with Maiyuran’s toe shattering foot flick. In the second half of the match however, Oxford changed tactics and played time. They were trying to avoid being hit, betting that their anchor would be able to catch it all up against our second-finisher. Little did they know that Jonathan “Ice-Croft” Ashcroft was the coolest man alive, and slowly took apart the top Oxford epeeist’s game in a thrilling penultimate bout. This gave the leverage for Harry “The Flick” Gulliver to finish off the match 45-25, winning overall by one point. Or as we like to call it, “one-ing” against the Blues.
After a well deserved lie-in on Sunday, Pimperials got ready for the last match of the tournament against an impressive, newly promoted UCL team. Sabre was set to start. The on-form UCL side fenced really well, but the sabre trio kept focus and won a comfortable 45-25. Epee was granted the arrival of resident star Jamie “The Hulk” Simpson direct from Bratislava U20 World Cup. His intimidating shouts and signature Green Mask spurred the team forwards. Harry “The Flick” Gulliver proceeded to destroy the opposition with his flawless technique in a 12 hit run, leading to a huge 38 points against an international standard UCL side. This left foil with a tense finishing task. A combative UCL side grinded away hits and kept up the suspense down to the last few seconds. Despite the building tension, a solid performance from “Super-Soren” and “Is it a sabreur, is it a foilist, is it an epeeist, no, it’s M-Iron Man” carried the Imperial team 2 points from the win in the penultimate bout. This paved the way for Glen “The Beast” Ostacchinni and his imperturbable concentration to shine at the tensest of moments and take the win by scoring 4 consecutive parries over the UCL finisher. Pimperial won the last match of the weekend 118-114, coming back home with a clean sheet and hunger for many more.
This week end proved to be a massive team effort, where the 10 Imperial men came together and showed how strong and talented they were. The other universities of the premiership have now been warned. Imperial is the team to fear for this year’s BUCS title.
It may be that February is shorter than other months, but would this stop ICFC from doing stuff? On the contrary! It appears to be a very competition and match loaded month.
Men’s 1st team tracked to Oxford to complete their second premier weekend. Since Oxford had been unable to make it for when we were hosting, there were some issues around re-organising it, so in the end it was declared a void. Other than that the second weekend in large mimicked the first with all victories bar against Cambridge, and Glen was named “BK MVP” for his efforts as foil anchor.
Both Men’s and Women’s 1st then had their first round of Championship knock-out matches at Ethos, against Manchester and Birmingham respectively. The matches were reasonably relaxed and were both won, the Men by 126-107 and Women 126-88. Semi finals are coming up this Wednesday, with the girls having to track to Cardiff (despite being the higher ranked team) and the Men greeting Edinburgh on home ground. Given that both win their matches, it’s off to Leeds in late March for the finals!
In Leeds we will also be joined by the Women’s 2nds who have had a brilliant season. Having had to travel a lot for the Trophy knock-out matches, they have held their spirits high and gone on to first beat Exeter by 130-127 in the quarter finals and later Plymouth by 124-120. They have the final in Leeds on Tuesday 19th March (Championship finals the day after) against the winner of Aberdeen and Sheffield. As for their league, they had to leave a walkover against Surrey after being unable to field a team resulting in them being ranked 4th with two matches to go.
Men’s seconds are wrapping up their league and only have one match left. Their league has proven way to tough despite a good team, but the mood as still been kept on the good side of things and they trot on. Men’s 3rd have had their last match for the season and have ended on 3 victories and 3 losses, ranked 4th out of 7 in their league.
BUCS Individuals took place last week as well, and the club did well this year too. In Men’s sabre we had an all IC final between Maiyuran and Camille, who offered a good show before it ended 15-14 for Maiyuran. The other medal collected was by Caitlin in Women’s epee, meaning we had one of each value. All IC results:
1. Maiyuran R.
2. Camille v H.
6. Henry G.
41. Loek J.
75. Shaun W.
98. Duncan L.
9. Outi S.
15. Alice M.
72. Sarah C.
26. Glen O.
40. Clyde F.
80. Ed C.
105. Shaun W.
118. Arnold N.
125. Dimitris V.
3. Caitlin J.
8. Kat Y.
53. Becky R.
59. Charlotte L.
16. Harry G.
66. Jamie S.
72. Jon A.
113. Tom P. (pulled out after poule because of injury)
5. Zoe R.
19. Emma H.
32. Jingles X.
As if BUCS wasn’t enough, two teams went to Paris for the yearly international student competition hosted by École Polytechnique. Entered was one foil team of novices (Cosmin, Martin and George) and the Women’s 1st Epee team (Charlotte, Caitlin and Kat). The latter only came for the team event, but surprised the other teams by rocking up unknown and going on to win, whereas the three foilists fenced both Individual and teams. Final results have not yet been uploaded, but all competitors had great fun and are already looking forward to next year!
Finally, we have the AGMs coming up very soon, so by the next newsletter I will be able to announce the new committee! Don’t forget to stand for the positions (you can find a list of them here) by emailing fencing [at] imperial.ac.uk and get someone to second you!
PS. If you have any more pictures we can upload, please email!
It has only been a few weeks since term started, but a fair amount has happened nonetheless. The novices are now fencing electric full time, and friendly matches against both UCL and Sussex later on are being planned. Some of them have gone to the friendly competitions organised by Central and have found them great of fun.
The teams have been kept busy as well: Women’s 2nds are on to the quarterfinals in the BUCS Trophy after having beaten Royal Holloway away 135-110. They’re doing well in the league as well, with another away victory against ULU, that time with the impressive score 135-57. Very well done ladies!
Men’s 2nds fenced UCL 1st recently, a team which judging by level would do well even in the Premier League, and had to find themselves defeated on home grounds by 135-89. Men’s 3rd have got a good wave going, first beating UCL 2nd 133-128 and then a week later ULU 2nd 133-96.
Men’s 1st have finally got around to starting their Premier League matches and were successful against both Bristol (122-93) and UWE (134-104) but Cambridge had gotten too strong and won 121-104. Women’s 1st only fenced two matches, against Cambridge and UCL and won both with 128-120 and 131-90 respectively.
Overall, Imperial is the university with the most BUCS point for fencing, and we’re also Imperial’s best sport with 166 points (closest is Table Tennis with 95 points…)
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.
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!
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.
It was a crisp Saturday morning as a group of Imperial fencers headed out to St Paul’s School Sports Hall for the London Team Trophy. The number of entries for the competition was its highest ever, with 16 epee teams, 16 foil teams and 12 sabre teams, making the competition the second biggest team event in the country after the National Championships. Representing Imperial were three full teams. In foil: Imperial 1st with Ed Collier, Chris Gilliam, Outi Supponen and Robert Shaw. In epee: Imperial 1st consisting of Ed Gilhead, Marcello Colombino and Miles Gandolfi and Imperial 2nd with Thorsten Hamann, Charlotte Levin and Peter Cronbach. In both weapons, we had previous year’s results to defend, gold for the foil team and silver for epee.
In the epee, Imperial 1st won all their matches in the first round without much trouble, while in the foil Imperial 1st also kept their level high with the same result. Imperial 2nd epee lost one out of three matches and won the rest with a comforting margin. All teams easily qualified for the quarterfinal knock out rounds.
In the quarterfinal draw for the epee, Imperial 1st were faced once again with a young ULU team they had meet in the first round and Imperial 2nd was up against a team called “+39”, a hint that the entire team originated from Italy. Imperial 2nd unfortunately had to admit themselves defeated by the skilled Italians. Though the sad faces did not last for long as Imperial 1 methodically made their way to the final, convincingly beating +39 in the semis. In the final they faced Brixton, a strong team of young fencers. The match was even, swaying back and through all the way to the last period where Imperial showed the value of experience and keeping their nerves under control to win the match and clinch gold.
Meanwhile, in another hall, the foil team was presenting results similar to the first team epeeists. They cruised their way to victory in both quarterfinal and semi-final, but were defeated in the final by Salle Paul EU, a very strong team from one of the country’s top clubs. This was a small let down compared to last year, when they had won gold, but they at least had the honour to have the President of British Fencing, Keith Smith, as a referee in the last match. When we left the hall at the end of the day, after prize ceremony and high-fives, we were all tired but happy off to enjoy the delights of Halloween.
Today saw Hannah Bryers from Imperial College, London claim her fourth Women’s Foil Championship in four years over Nikki Barlow from Brunel University. A fellow competitor from Imperial, Outi Supponen came joint third along with Luisa De Sordi from the University of Kent.
Imperial continued to shine in the Men’s Sabre competition. Every competitor was expecting Franceso Egro from the University of Bristol to retain his title once again, but he met his match against Stephen Fenwick from Northumbria in the last 16. Fenwick then went on to lose against the eventual winner, Maiyuran Ratneswaran from Imperial. Coming in second was Dominic Kerr from Oxford, with Matt Billing (Bristol) and Henry Gann (Imperial) taking the bronze medals.
Congratulations to everyone who went!
Full results for Imperial fencers after the jump: (more…)