1st/2nd December 2001

The 2001 tournament was a great success with over 400 fencers taking part in the six competitions. The format was similar to last year but without the gala final on Saturday and only the two foil events doing two rounds of poules.

The Womens Sabre check-in was moved back to 2.00 p.m. this year. As it turned out the entry was rather bigger than last year and at the end of the first round the majority the fencers wanted to go straight to DE. Consequently we did only one round of poules as we had done for both the epee competitions.


On Sunday we were able to give the foilists two rounds of poules plus DE for all. However, we had one setback.for the Mixed Sabre, when our plans for two rounds of poules were thwarted. We ran the tournament using Engarde 7.1 which was a big improvement on the DOS versions but in the Mixed Sabre one late entered fencer appeared after we had created 1st round poules and sent everyone off to their pistes. We had not spotted him written on the end of the check-in list, partly because we had been distracted by a printer problem which was causing a minor delay on Men's foil. Since we were doing two rounds of 11 poules, 10x6 plus 1x5, we decided after a careful look at the ranking order to add him to the poule of 5. The programme allowed us to do that and the poule sheet printed OK. We were also able to enter all results of 1st round poules before our trouble began. The formula had set automatically to 65 fencers when 1st round poules were created and had not updated to 66 when we added the extra fencer. The options to amend the formula were greyed out, so we were faced with either eliminating one fencer before 2nd round poules, which we decided was not fair, or go back recreate 1st round poules, modify formula, modify poules to what we had had originally and re-enter all results. There was not enough time for all that especially since we had already used some time exploring our problem. In the event we decided with the majority support of the fencers to go straight to DE doing the two 128 fights, which fortunately led to the same 64 tableaux as on the computer so we were able to proceed smoothly to a conclusion. Fencing was completed shortly after 6 p.m. and we were all cleared up before 9 p.m.

Again this year Shaun Garley and Matt Haynes fetched 12 metal pistes plus spares and volunteers from local clubs worked hard to set up the hall and gym with 22 pistes, The contributions from our main sponsors Leon Paul Equipment Ltd (the recording apparatus), Thomas Vale Construction Ltd of Stourport (Cadet prizes), and Rick Bailey from Callow End (a brilliant PA system) were much appreciated.

The weekend went well thanks to all who came especially fencers, referees and helpers many of whom were brave enough to be evident in bright orange tee-shirts. We also thank our caterers, the staff at Thorns and volunteers from St John Ambulance (Brierley Hill).

Feedback on any aspect of the event and suggestions for improvement are requested and should be sent to John Haynes.