Sam Fearnley reports on the UCLU vs. King’s Varsity fencing match
Before this evening, I had never been to a fencing match and had only a vague idea of its objectives, so you’ll have to forgive anything I say which seems unequivocally and unambiguously wrong. For those who are equally uninformed about fencing, it uses three types of weapons: foil, épée and sabre; each with its own degree of viciousness.
Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the match tremendously: it had a great level of energy and you could see the skill that everyone had. The hours of training really paid off.
The matches started about three-quarters of an hour late, but this gave the fencers (if I may call them that) a chance to warm-up and take the obligatory selfie with King’s lion mascot.
The women‘s event began in the North Cloisters with UCL’s Chiara winning the first bout. I think each bout lasts three minutes, but I’m not sure because my only aid during the whole match, the automatic counter machine broke down for a while at the start. Unfortunately, the KCL girls won the foil round 45-43 despite the best efforts of Hayley and Andrea. Credit definitely goes to Chiara who almost inspired a great comeback. Undaunted, the UCL girls came back strongly to achieve a 45-36 win in the épée round.
Sophie Williams (who competed in the London 2012 Olympics!) unsurprisingly won the first bout for sabre easily, 5-0. Harriet and Letty followed suit with impressive victories. The UCLU women were definitely brilliant at sabre, winning by an impressive score of 45-22. Overall, we beat King’s by a score of 132-103 – an outstanding result.
Over in the South Cloisters, the men beat their King’s counterparts 45-17 in the épée. Next up in the men’s sabre, Chris established a strong 5-1 lead for UCL. Adrian and Matt followed up with an epic ding-dong battle, with King’s taking a few leads but UCL refused to throw in the towel. At one point, King’s was up 35-28 but Matt dragged UCL back from the dead to make it 36 all. KCL eventually won the sabre round 45-42, but we won the foil round comfortably 45-27 to beat KCL overall.
Fencing is definitely not for the faint-hearted and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one under the armour fighting it out. Running from one Cloisters to the other without having much of a clue of what was going on wasn’t great either but I was rewarded by witnessing both teams claiming impressive victories, a great effort and a great result for UCLU Fencing.