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 evening.

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 skills.

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 .