Professor Steven Paul, 1954 – 2019
Prof, we will miss you
On Sunday 2nd February, eight RTWFC fencers met the challege of 11 friendly fencers from New Ash Green Fencing Club, four fine fellows from Brighton College and three amigos from Our Lady of Sion for an afternoon of individual epee competition in two age-groups (U19 and U15).
Following one round of poules, where males and females and both age groups were rolled into one big qualifying quagmire, the competition was then split into the two age groups for the drama of direct elimination. Whilst the top few seeds made serene progress, the middle seeds faced a stern test from below – a test that proved too tense for many of them.
The results of an afternoon of good-natured combat are below. Well done one and all – and many thanks in particular for Taran Nicholls and the New Ash Green gang for supporting the TWIST so numerously and fencing so sportingly!
1. Matthew Kohler (New Ash Green) 2. Jasper Yip (Brighton College) 3. Daniel McHale (Our Lady of Sion) 3. Finnbar McHale (OLS) 5. Ethan Hurip (BC) 6. Luca Masoliver (NAG) 7. Ben Wilson (NAG) 8. Matthew Bentham (RTW) 9. Will Mitchell (NAG) 10. Oliver Manners (OLS) 11. John Ben Evans (NAG) 12. Jacob Earl (RTW) 13. Bodie Patching (RTW) 14. Theo Hughes-Wilson (NAG) 15. Anastasia Khlemanova (RTW)
1. Anastasia Khlemanova (RTW) 2. Dalma Rajan (RTW)
1. Georgy Faires (RTW) 2. Freddie Higginson (RTW) 3.Oliver Barlow (NAG) 3. Max Stanbury (NAG) 5. John Prineas (NAG) 6. Theo Da Costa (BC) 7. Dalma Rajan (RTW) 8. Thomas Ives (RTW) 9. Rushil Shukla (NAG) 10. Sam Prior (BC) 11. Tom Harris (NAG)
In the Senior Mixed event, experienced tactical smarts were met with youthful fire, and whilst the former had its moments the latter won the day. Having starved Piero Steiner of his favourite diet – his opponent’s blade – in an eyebrow-raising semi-final win 15-12, Paul Baillache fenced Daniel Powers in the final. However, following his dispatch of ‘Deadly’ Amelia Dudley in the last 4 by a scoreline of 15-6, Daniel was even less charitable in the final – winning 15-5 against a bemused Mr Baillache.
In the Senior Female category, Lindsey Briggs eased past Maria Machado 15-5, only to be strafed by Amelia 15-6 in the final – youth, in this case, also holding all the cards of experience too.
Georgy Faires pulled off a resurrection via repechage in the Cadet category, having lost his quarter-final to the cooler head of Jacob Earl 14-15. After the dust had settled, Georgy picked himself up and went on to beat Matthew Gathern in the first repechage, then got handed a bye in the second round due to his opponent’s withdrawal. In the semi, Georgy scraped past William Briggs 15-13, then met fellow repechage survivor Benedict Graham in the final – who had edged out Jacob 11-10 on priority to slip through the semis. Although Georgy took the title 15-10, special mention should go to Benedict – who should have competed in the Under 14s but rose to the challenge of fencing older boys with his trusty size 2 epee – bravo Benedict!
In the Under 14 age-group, ‘Lethal’ Lloyd Osborne lived up to his nom de guerre, shading Sergey Khlemanov 6-4 in a cagey final. En route to the top step of the podium, Lloyd defeated Max Withers 10-5 in the last 4, while Sergey – having only just returned from a long injury layoff – kept Eilidh Paterson at arm’s length for a 10-7 victory. Miles Raymond and birthday boy Laurie Briggs finished fifth and sixth respectively.
Besides the ‘bling’ on offer in the four categories, fencers were also battling it out to get their hands on ‘The Professor Steven Paul Shield’ for outstanding performance on the day. Benedict came mighty close, compiling a ledger of six wins and three loses against older opponents with longer swords, but was pipped by Senior champ Daniel Powers. Having lost only once in the poules – finishing with a indicator of +15 – and outscoring his three DE opponents by a total of 31 points, Daniel was ultimately a worthy winner. All hail ‘Danny Longshanks’!
Huge thanks to Chris Higginson for piste preparation and refereeing, to Josh Pink, Rob Parsons, Roberto Steiner, and James Fleming-Fido for refereeing, to Martin Briggs for photography, and to Don Coe for armoury, refereeing and for setting up videos of ‘Prof’ in the bar afterwards. Don’s efforts (ably assisted by web wizard Jacob) meant that we could all admire Prof’s nonpareil fencing and coaching skills – a truly fitting spectacle following a toast by club members past and present to our irreplaceable head coach.
1 Daniel Powers 2 Paul Baillache 3 Piero Steiner 3 Amelia Dudley 5 Zach Burgess 6 Martin Briggs 7 Daniel Weaver 8 James Fleming-Fido 9 Simon Munns 10 Lindsey Briggs 11 Maria Machado 12 Simon Gnana-Pragasam
1 Amelia Dudley 2 Lindsey Briggs 3 Maria Machado
1 Georgy Faires 2 Benedict Graham 3 William Briggs 3 Jacob Earl 5 Leo Lee 6 Freddie Higginson 7 Matthew Gathern 8 Bodie Patching
1 Lloyd Osbourne 2 Sergey Khlemanov 3 Eilidh Paterson 3 Max Withers 5 Miles Raymond 6 Laurie Briggs
On Saturday 11th May, Royal Tunbridge Wells Fencing Club hosted its latest TWIST event. TWIST stands for ‘Tunbridge Wells Individual and School Team’ event, although it has grown beyond its origins to include an adult category and teams from other clubs.
This time, RTWFC’s fencers faced teams from Skippers Hill Manor, Mayfield Girls School, Roedean Moira House and Brighton College, as well as individuals from Lewes Fencing Club and Our Lady of Sion School.
In the morning, RTWFC won four of the five team categories, and in the afternoon all six of the individual age groups – although the club did provide half of the fencers competing on the day!
Notably, Mayfield Girls School managed to break the home club’s golden stranglehold by finishing top of the Girls Year 5-11 category, and there were silver linings for the Skippers Hill boys in the Year 5-8 team category, as well as Roedean Moira House’s Vivian Talintuya (Girls Year 8-11 individual) and Alex Hart from Lewes Fencing Club (Adult mixed individual).
Top of the bling list for RTWFC were Benedict Graham, Hannah Taylor, William Briggs and Martin Briggs, who won gold in both the team and individual categories.
Just as importantly, though, the event welcomed seven fencers who’d never competed before. We’re delighted that the TWIST is maintaining its friendly atmosphere and continues to attract newcomers to what is primarily a competition for novices.
See you in September for a female-only TWIST, and in November for a male-only event.