HEREFORD AND WORCESTER OPEN
3rd/4th December 2000
The 2000 tournament was a great success with almost 400 fencers
taking part in the six competitions including 132 in Men's Epee.
Consequently, the format was limited to one round of poules plus
direct elimination for everyone in order to allow time for the
gala final on Saturday.
Before the start of the tournament Shaun Garley and Matt Haynes fetched 13 metal pistes from Cardiff, volunteers from local clubs worked hard to set up the hall and gym with 22 pistes, the recording apparatus brought by Barry and Joan Paul and an excellent public address system borrowed from Rick Bayley. The event was much enhanced by the contributions from the main sponsors Leon Paul Equipment Ltd, Thomas Vale Construction Ltd of Stourport, and Rick Bailey from Callow End. Evesham Fencing Club organised the refreshments.
Despite the usual string of fencers without BFA membership
cards and some delayed arrivals the check-in team of Edith Haynes,
Alex Nicol and Ellen Haynes kept delays to a minimum. After one
false start to the Men's Epee, the competitions ran quickly with
help from Ismay Cowen and the invited referees Pat Casey and
Barry Clarke in the hall, Ellen Haynes on the public address
system and in the office Allen Bartlett, Simon Axon, Louisa Miller,
Edith Haynes and Alex Nicol. The Women's Sabre entry was a little
smaller than expected and unfortunately the competition had to
be strung out so that it lasted to the gala finals on the Saturday
James Williams travelled up from Kent to referee the Women's
Sabre finals. He successfully fended off a challenge from young
George Brown, whose mum Charlotte won the gold after defeating
Deseri Nally in the final. James also presented the Epee prizes.
Chris Howser beat Howard West 3/0 in the semi-final before defeating
Neale Thomas 15/8 to take the title. John Willis won Best Junior
with a 3rd place and Nick Perry was Best Cadet in 26th place.
In the Women's Epee, Jos Hoffmans-Clarke retained the title by
defeating Jayne Crook, who was the Best Cadet and Best Junior.
Jayne won her place in the final by winning 15/14 in a determined
fight back after losing early points against Janet Cooksey, who
was under time pressure to leave for an emergency dental appointment.
The gala finals were enjoyed by the few who stayed to watch but
given the constraints of trying to fit a six weapon tournament
into two days the extra work and costs involved seemed hardly
justified, as most competitors were keen to make the journey
home as soon as they were eliminated.
On Sunday the entry was smaller and there was space and time
for everyone to do two rounds of poules plus direct elimination
for all. Graham Paul won the Men's foil after beating Pat Robbins
15/13. Tom Jenyon came 5th to take the prizes for Best Cadet
& Best Junior. Claire Allen defeated Rachel Ducket 15/8 to
win the Women's Foil after winning in the Semi-final against
Emma Birtles, who won Best Cadet & Best Junior. The Mixed
Sabre was won by Chris Farren, who beat Robert Anderson 15/7
before defeating Ben Murphy 15/10 in the final. The competitions
on Sunday ran quickly and smoothly largely thanks again to the
accurate work of the check-in team, some well targetted effort
by invited referees Mark Thompson, Shaun Garley, Matt Haynes
and Rob Penton, the computer operation by Anthea Smith &
Edith Haynes, and another fine performance by Ellen Haynes in
the hall despite the fact that the sabreurs cut off the electric
supply to the PA system for a while.
Altogether the organisers considered it was a successful weekend
thanks to all who took part and the host of helpers before during
and after the event including the staff at Thorns, volunteers
from St John Ambulance and a team of Sports Therapy students
from Walsall College of Arts & Technology practising their
Feedback on any aspect of the event and suggestions for improvement
are requested and should be sent to John
Haynes and/or to Chairman of the International Committee,
Graham Paul .