CHICHESTER Fencing Club held the largest-ever fencing competition in Sussex at Westbourne House School.
The club ran the contest for local fencers and 120 went along on the day to give it a go – some of them trying the sport for the very first time and some as young as five years old.
In the seven-and-under foil category, all the youngest fencers of the day behaved and fenced beautifully with Oakwood’s Josh Fawcett and Fishbourne’s Alex Brandon taking the bronzes.
Oakwood’s Nathan Potts took the silver and CFC’s Mathias Dawson took the title complete with the biggest smile ever.
Central School’s Zinedine Badoorally took the much-coveted style cup for his excellent footwork.
In the nine-and-under foil, a hard-fought competition took place in which most fights could have gone either way.
CFC’s Thomas Dawson and Kian Buchholz, also of Westbourne House, took the bronzes, with Bognor Arena’s Harry Gray taking the silver after a wonderful final against the eventual title winner, Westbourne House’s Theo Scott-Wells, a worthy champion.
Prebendal’s Ben Shepherd deservedly took the style cup for his excellent footwork and blade-control.
The 12-and-under foil was undoubtedly the most hotly-contested competition of the day with some of Britain’s top fencers in action.
It had the audience enthralled from beginning to end. Recent Sussex championship winners Angel Bull (CFC and Arena) and Charlotte Beadle (CFC, Arena and Bishop Luffa) shared the bronzes. That left Sussex championship friends and rivals Sebastian Maxted (CFC and Arena), and Isaac Jolley (CFC and Bishop Luffa) to battle for the title in a brilliant display of foil fencing.
There was a nail-biting final with Jolley eventually adding to his recent gold tally. Windlesham House’s Kit Tod won the prestigious style cup for a beautiful display of foil fencing.
In the 16-and-under foil, CFC won all four trophies with Thomas Hosking and Ben Warton, both also from Bishop Luffa Fencing Club, sharing the bronzes after very exciting and tense semi-finals.
CFC’s Oliver Hayward was in winning mode once again after his recent Sussex Championship success, winning another silver.
He was narrowly beaten by CFC’s Jamie Loake, who epitomises everything that’s excellent in fencing, with superb technique coupled with a sporting attitude.
It was left to the epeeists to finish the day and they didn’t disappoint.
In the 13-and-under group, Bishop Luffa’s Josh Briffett won a bronze in his very first competition sharing bronze glory with the Arena’s Matthew Bradshaw, the youngest epeeist on the day.
Jolley added to his horde of medals with a silver in an unfamiliar event, narrowly losing to CFC’s Devlin Stigant, who fenced beautifully to take another title.
In the 16-and-under epee, Prebendal’s Oliver Gent took a bronze despite this being his first try at competition and the weapon, sharing the honours with Windlesham House’s Oliver Milne-Skilman.
Charlotte Beadle, undeterred by the roughness of the weapon, took an excellent silver medal with Jamie Loake managing to do the double, winning both his age-group events, a brilliant and very well-deserved result.
The newly-awarded trophy for the performance of the day went to the exceptionally brave Callum Budd of Fishbourne School, who missed the start of his own nine-and-under foil and so decided to enter the 12 and under instead, despite only being eight years old.
He fenced beautifully and still managed to end the day with a smile after a very brave and wonderful performance.
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