Eilidh storms to LPJS triumph

Team-mates Eilidh Paterson and Izzy D’Abbraccio eclipsed the opposition at the Leon Paul Junior Series U13 event in London on Sunday 15th May, with Eilidh taking gold and Izzy bronze.

Both girls bagged four wins out of five in the first round of poules, with Eilidh winning two bouts 5-0 and Izzy one. Ranked second and third going into the second round, Eilidh then won all five bouts – to just six hits scored against her in total – and Izzy four, giving them both byes through to the quarter-finals.

In the round of 8, Izzy advanced by a score of 8-4 against Agnes Maudsley, but then succumbed to number one seed Zina Suresh 10-6 – the shorter bout format not allowing her scope for another infamous comeback. In the other half of the draw, ‘Hurricane Eilidh’ blew through Emily Delchev 10-4 and followed that with a come-from-behind 10-8 win against third seed Lea Panyandee-Cappelli.

Suresh awaited Eilidh in the final, and once again she hit the front against the RTWFC fencer, but Eilidh stuck with it, figured out a new strategy, pegged back her tricky opponent and ultimately nicked it 10-9 to strike a glittering gold.

Huge congratulations to Eilidh and Izzy on their latest podium performances.

National express

A great eight of RTWFC fencers travelled to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on the early May bank holiday weekend having qualified for the British Youth Championships. Here’s how they fared.

Super Saturday

Lloyd Osborne, having lost his first two poule bouts, then clicked into gear, winning nine bouts on the spin – including a superb 15-10 victory against number one seed Charlie Luytens-Humphrey and a great tactical triumph over Alex Nicholas in the semi-finals. In the final, though, Alessio Bazzocchi was on fire, and a tiring Lloyd couldn’t find a way to quell the flames, ultimately settling for a brilliant silver.

Sunday roast

Hannah Taylor, Benedict Graham and Miles Raymond set out in their respective U16 events in poules stuffed full of GB team fencers.

Hannah blitzed her first opponent 5-0, then showed some counter-attacking variety in downing her first DE opponent before her lack of experience at this level caught up with her in the last 32.

Benedict also got off to a good start, but a tricky last 64 draw against Cuzme Rigo resulted in an agonising 15-14 loss. Next time, Benedict…

Miles didn’t quite execute in the poules, but carried a higher tempo from his 5-3 loss against GB number 1 cadet Cador Beautyman into the DEs, hammering his first foe before going down fighting against top seed Amani Campbell-Okolo in the last 64.

Manic Monday

The third and final day of the British Youth Championships saw U14 trio Eilidh Paterson, Izzy D’Abbraccio and Daisy Beadsworth in action, along with Oscar Allison in the U18 Boys Epee.

All four scored some perfectly executed touches, and Izzy made it into the last 32 following a nerve-shredding 15-14 victory over left-handed Sophia Harper.

Next year, Eilidh and Izzy will have another stab at the same age group, when many of the girls who finished above them will be in the under 16s.

Well done to all of the RTWFC team in Sheffield for their camaraderie, fighting spirit and national-level fencing skills – you did us all proud.

Final placings

2nd Lloyd Osborne – U14 Boys (54 entrants)
25th Hannah Taylor – U16 Girls (41)
27th Izzy D’Abbraccio – U14 Girls (51)
33rd Eilidh Paterson – U14 Girls (51)
38th Benedict Graham – U16 Boys (71)
50th Oscar Allison – U18 Boys (53)
50th Daisy Beadsworth – U14 Girls (51)
62nd Miles Raymond – U16 Boys (71)

Izzy strikes gold!

Fighting back from the brink of defeat, Izzy D’Abbraccio proved her knockout stage steeliness once again to win the U14 girls event at The Youth Series in Manchester on Sunday 20th March.

Placed fourth after the poules, Izzy found herself 7-13 down against fifth seed Erika Hodkinson in the quarters, only to rally to 11-14… then 15-14. Zoinks! A 9-8 victory against Zina Suresh followed, then Izzy took the final 11-7 against number two seed Kia Wright – who’d beaten Izzy twice in the poules!

Mental toughness? Tick. The win may just take Izzy to the top of England’s U14 rankings.

Other results

On Saturday 19th March a fantastic four of RTW teens were in action at their first ever open event – the Invicta in Canterbury. Matthew Gathern was unfortunately injured in the warm-up but soldiered on to 77th place; solid starts saw Will Patten and Benedict Graham both get a bye through to the round of 64, and they finished 45th and 46th respectively – great effort, boys! We await a final placing for Hannah Taylor in the women’s event.

Two club coaches were also in action at the Invicta: James Fleming-Fido finished 35th and Gerry Lavin 55th. Spiffing work, chaps!

Well done to all of our fencers in action this weekend.

More Elite medals for RTWFC

A fantastic five fencers represented the club at the Elite Epee Junior Series in Moulton on Saturday 19th February, and two headed back down the M1 with medals.

Lloyd Osborne fenced brilliantly to reach the U14 Boys final, only to be squeezed out 15-14 in a dramatic bout against Garan Thompson.

In the U17 Boys event, Benedict Graham looked sharp throughout, just coming up short 15-10 against strong-armed Cai Eastwood at the semi-final stage. Team-mate Miles Raymond finished a solid 18th in the same event – onwards and upwards, Miles…

Isabella D’Abbraccio and Eilidh Paterson acquitted themselves well in an U14 Girls comp that featured almost all of the country’s best fencers in the age group,. Frustratingly, Izzy and Eilidh collided in the last 16, with the former outreaching the latter 15-10. Still, 8th and 9th respectively against a tough crowd – most of whom are a year older – bodes well for future success.

Well done, weekend warriors!


🥈 Lloyd Osborne (U14 Boys)
🥉 Benedict Graham (U17 Boys)
8th Isabella D’Abbraccio (U14 Girls)
9th Eilidh Paterson (U14 Girls)
18th Miles Raymond (U17 Boys)

RTW fencers shine at regionals

RTWFC had 15 fencers battling it out for British Youth Championship qualifcation at the SE Regionals in Burgess Hill on Saturday 5th February… and 11 made it through! Four medals – including two golds – were just the dazzling tip of an iceberg made of pure team spirit. Take a bow, one and all.

🥇 Lloyd Osborne (U14 Boys)
🥇 Freyja Chisholm* (U12 Girls)
🥈 Eilidh Paterson (U14 Girls)
🥉 Benedict Graham (U16 Boys)
5th Isabella D’Abbraccio (U14 Girls)
5th Alec Hargreaves (U12 Boys)
6th Hannah Taylor (U16 Girls)
7th Oscar Allison* (U18 Boys)
8th Anastasia Khlemanova (U18 Girls)
8th Daisy Beadsworth (U14 Girls)
11th Miles Raymond (U16 Boys)
Just missed out:
11th Zach Bench (U14 Boys)
12th Gabriel Lam (U14 Boys)
13th Matthew Gathern (U18 Boys)
17th William Briggs (U18 Boys)

* Represent RTWFC but train elsewhere

Eilidh, 12, becomes U17 national champ!

Following her victory in the under-13 Scottish national championships on Saturday 15th January, Eilidh Paterson stepped up to the under-17 age-group the following day… and won! Again!

Eilidh beat the no. 1 ranked fencer in the semi by a score of 15-10, then took the final 15-13 to become Scottish Cadet Champion – all at the tender age of 12!

Truly awesome fencing, Eilidh. We salute you!

Elite Junior success for RTWFC

Strong performances by RTWFC’s fencers at the Elite Epee Junior Series were capped by bronze medals for Lloyd Osborne and Isabella D’Abbraccio.

All five of the club’s representatives performed admirably at the competition in Surrey on Saturday 23rd October, but it was our Under-14 fencers who shone the brightest.

Lloyd Osborne amassed five victories in the poules to be ranked fifth out of 21 going into the knockout rounds. A bye was followed by two dominant wins – 15-2 and 11-4 respectively – before Lloyd went down fighting in the semi-finals against eventual winner Oghenegaren Thompson. Despite a late rally via sharp beat fleches, Lloyd couldn’t quite neutralise the attacks of his speedy left-handed opponent and went down to a score of 15-10.

In her first Under-14 competition, 11-year-old Isabella D’Abbraccio took three wins from four in the qualifying round to progress as fourth seed. A bye was followed by a nail-biting 15-14 victory over fifth seed Emily Brunellesi, then Isabella lost a similarly nerve-shredding bout 15-14 against semi-final opponent Agnes Palmer – the latter’s parry-ripostes just enough to quell Izzy’s fire-power.

A busy week of stage performances caught up with Eilidh Paterson at the quarter final stage of the Under-14 event. Having fenced brilliantly to win all five of her poule bouts and progress to direct elimination as top seed, Eilidh ran out of steam in her quarter-final, losing to Palmer 15-13 and finishing fifth overall – a very creditable result given her hectic schedule.

The club’s two representatives in the boys Under-17 event ended up colliding in the last 16.

The fast-improving Miles Raymond qualified tenth out of 30, then kept his composure to sneak a 14-13 win against Jack Brandon in the round of 32. In contrast, team-mate Benedict Graham misfired in the poules and ended up 26th, then fenced brilliantly to dismantle seventh seed John Prineas 15-8 and blast through to the last 16.

A tense first period of ‘friendly fire’ saw Miles and Benedict locked at 8-all, before the latter’s greater arsenal saw him pull away for a 15-10 win. In the quarters, Benedict couldn’t quite solve the southpaw puzzle of William Paice and slipped to a 15-7 defeat – but he may well have learned enough to secure the win next time. Ultimately, Benedict placed 8th – just one win away from a medal – and Miles finished 12th, and both should be proud of their efforts.

Overall, all five RTWFC fencers finished in the top half of their respective events, showing great potential in a competition that is a step up from regional level and just a rung below British-ranking events in terms of difficulty.

TWIST Event 1 2020 – Results

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!

Mixed U19
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)

Female U19
1. Anastasia Khlemanova (RTW)  2. Dalma Rajan (RTW)

Mixed U15
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)

Championship Performers

The RTWFC Championships 2019 took place on Saturday 22nd June, bringing together current club members, regular club visitors and a couple of speedy alumni in four different competitive categories.

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.


Senior Mixed

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

Senior Female

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

Under 14

1 Lloyd Osbourne  2 Sergey Khlemanov  3 Eilidh Paterson  3 Max Withers  5 Miles Raymond  6 Laurie Briggs

TWIST – Saturday 11th May 2019

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.