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Jan O'C
-23rd February 2009, 20:27
Congratulations to Cambridge on winning all 4 matches in this year's Varisty competition!
Men's Firsts 122 - 92
Women's Firsts 117 - 114
Men's Seconds 135 - 107
Women's Seconds 127 - 120

Dalesman
-23rd February 2009, 21:36
With O'Connell and Crutchen in the sabre team, Oxford would have to been fencing out if the socks to win the mens first team event !!!

Jan O'C
-23rd February 2009, 22:08
In fairness, Oxford have won for the past 2 years even though O'Connell and Crutchett have been on the Cambridge team. However this year Cambridge are stronger across all weapons and that's what counts in team competitions - one weapon is not enough.

pigeonmeister
-23rd February 2009, 22:56
one weapon is not enough.

It's a big help! I've fenced against Cambridge twice- in a BUSA cup final (when Alex's brother was captain) and in a semi final (in Alex's first year). First time we won the foil and lost the epee by a couple. We were then absolutely 'mullered' by their sabre team! The second time we fenced sabre first and that effectively ended the match there and then- but we won epee and lost foil (both by one or two hits).

I think sabre is the only weapon where there is no room to hide in BUSA/BUCS. If you have one weak link then you can never dominate or even consolidate. You can have epeeists who are very tough-to-beat foilists (and vice versa). Very few sabreurs are competitive at the other two weapons. A team will always do well if it has 3 good sabreurs and a combination of 3-5 epeeists/foilists who can either score or defend in both weapons.

Jan O'C
-24th February 2009, 11:53
Mmm don't necessarily agree about sabreurs not being versatile. Alex fenced the whole Varisty match at Foil and ended up +2 which is not bad. If Alex doesn't fence Foil then Danny Ryan does. Anthony fences Epee when needed and usually ends up +something but he didn't need to at Varsity this year because Cambridge now have 3 good Epeeists.

The biggest problem for sabreurs when fencing other weapons appears to be patience. If I had a pound for every time someone yelled 'be patient', 'patience' or 'wait' at Alex when he was fencing Foil on Saturday I would be very rich now!! 3 x 3 minutes is also a very long time for a sabreur to bounce about!!

pigeonmeister
-24th February 2009, 13:02
I'm not saying Alex is not versatile, I have not seen him fence other weapons (i'm sure he is tough!). I am saying, however, that I have fenced 5+ seasons in BUSA's premier league and cup and if he is, he is very much in the minority. At sabre he, and the team, are obviously unplayable.

Witness, for example, the BUCS individual results- at least 3 foilists in sabre L16 (1 in L8). Plus a foilist got bronze in epee, another a L8 and a couple more L16s. Number of sabreurs in foil L16=0 and only 1 in L32. Number of sabreurs in epee L16=0 (maybe 1 in L32).

Sabre are crucial to team fencing as it is the most vulnerable area to have a weakness in. Amateurs or part-timers are picked off with greatest ease and there is no way of stalling or protecting weaker members. Hell, most don't even understand the ref'ing!

The strongest cambridge teams I have fenced have had 3 sabreurs who have stuck to what they know (incredibly well). Sabre have, in effect, carried Cambridge to glory every year they have won it in the last 6-7 years (which must be at least 4 times). Northumbria won it last time, and may well again, because they have a very good sabre team capable of avoiding total demolition vs Cambs, a world class epee team who can defend and extend a lead (and defend it in foil) and one extremely dynamic foilist who is capable of scoring quickly and freely.

pinkelephant
-24th February 2009, 15:51
Funniest thing I've seen is O'Connell v Thornton at foil.

TomA
-24th February 2009, 16:07
Funniest thing I've seen is O'Connell v Thornton at foil.Dare I ask which O'Connell, which Thornton and who won? :p

Jan O'C
-24th February 2009, 16:39
Funniest thing I've seen is O'Connell v Thornton at foil.

I'm going to guess Alex vs Jimmy and I would guess Jimmy won but that's only based on the hypothesis put forward by Pigeonmaster than Epeeists make better Foilists than Sabreurs. Having said that I saw Alex beat Jamie Kember in a Varsity match at Foil so anything's possible!! However, I don't see him challenging Richard or Lawrence for the top Foil spots!

Going back to Pigeonmeister's comments - Public Schools results also support your theory but there is one variable that you haven't considered - there are usually far more entries into Foil and Epee than Sabre which therefore makes it harder to get through to the higher rounds in those weapons. Certainly Pigeonmeister is correct in that in Epee and Foil you can delay, stall, whatever you want to call it, but in Sabre a weaker fencer will simply get slaughtered (and it will happen very quickly).

pigeonmeister
-24th February 2009, 17:05
I'm going to guess Alex vs Jimmy and I would guess Jimmy won but that's only based on the hypothesis put forward by Pigeonmaster than Epeeists make better Foilists than Sabreurs.

I think my overall hypothesis, represented in the individual results, would be that foilists are the most dynamic and versatile fencers. I think it would be close, for the reasons stated about the dynamics of sabre, but if the Brit top 3 had a 3 weapon team event they would place..

1. Kruse, Halted and Beevers
2. two others plus Willis (touchy subject at moment ;))
3. OC, Buxton, Hutch

Basically, foilists make much better sabreurs than epeeists and much better epeeists than sabreurs. Epeeists generally struggle in their own weapon against foilists more than vice versa. Sabreurs are mostly (but by no means always) comedy value outside their own weapon. Epeeists are often solid, but not dynamic foilists or sabreurs. That said, Willis is perhaps the most dynamic fencer in GB- so the exception that proves the rule.

Makes sense in my head anyway ;) All waaaay off track from the Varsity- in which I should say, well done Cambridge!

MatFink
-24th February 2009, 17:11
Hutch, Willis and Halsted have all had successes at all three weapons in their time. I think perhaps Halsted, Kruse, Rosowsky, and Kenber might make an interesting sabre team.

To give Oxford firsts some credit, getting mullered in sabre was somewhat inevitable with their top sabre fencers on the otyher side of the planet (replicating Alex O'C 's achievement of 3 years ago by winning double Commonwealth Gold).

Well done to Cambridge.

TomA
-24th February 2009, 17:56
- there are usually far more entries into Foil and Epee than Sabre which therefore makes it harder to get through to the higher rounds in those weapons.Those large entries space the good fencers out more - of which there are not a huge amount who enter (at least not in the older age groups). If you gave this year's boys' senior epee a nif from the junior ranking list, my guess is that it'd be around 10. Looking at the senior sabre, I think the standard is quite a bit higher.


Basically, foilists make much better sabreurs than epeeists and much better epeeists than sabreurs.Neil Tannock? ;)

Red
-24th February 2009, 17:59
Neil Tannock? ;)

Hannah Bryars? :p

TomA
-24th February 2009, 18:07
Hannah Bryars? :p

Touche :p

scottishsabreur
-24th February 2009, 18:32
Hannah Bryars? :p

Good footwork stands you in good stead in all weapons.

UglyBug
-24th February 2009, 19:50
Funniest thing I've seen is O'Connell v Thornton at foil.

O'Connell vs Thornton at foil at this year's varsity also very funny - except one of them was fencing it, the other one was refereeing it. Thornton won. Probably because he understands foil ;-)

As someone who was lucky enough to be invited - well done to both teams - the Men's seconds especially showed how much strength in depth Oxford and Cambridge have. People fencing on those teams who would be worthy members of first teams elsewhere.

Rdb811
-24th February 2009, 22:48
Basically, foilists make much better sabreurs than epeeists and much better epeeists than sabreurs. Epeeists generally struggle in their own weapon against foilists more than vice versa. Sabreurs are mostly (but by no means always) comedy value outside their own weapon. Epeeists are often solid, but not dynamic foilists or sabreurs. That said, Willis is perhaps the most dynamic fencer in GB- so the exception that proves the rule.


Based on what I've seen at the club nd locally over the years:

Epeeists make much better quondam sabreurs as they (we) have the right distance and don't get their technique (such as it is) mixed up. Most sabreurs can make a decent stab at one of the other wepons from the nights when they have no one to practise with. Some foilists provide comedy value at epee by bringing their arms up but some are quick enough to be problem (as they are at sabre).

pigeonmeister
-25th February 2009, 08:22
Epeeists make much better quondam sabreurs as they (we) have the right distance and don't get their technique (such as it is) mixed up.....

Some foilists provide comedy value at epee by bringing their arms up but some are quick enough to be problem (as they are at sabre).

Best 3 results by epeeists in BUCS sabre= 15,18,33
Best 3 results by foilists in BUCS sabre= 7,11,23

Best 3 results by epeeists in foil = 12,29 and ?
Best 3 results by foilists in epee = 3,6,13

If BUCS 2008 results are anything to go by, and they may well not be, then unquestionably foilists are the hardest to beat in a second weapon.

scottishsabreur
-25th February 2009, 08:42
If BUCS 2008 results are anything to go by, and they may well not be, then unquestionably foilists are the hardest to beat in a second weapon.

Having seen Cookie fence sabre at the Scottish Open 2008, I would agree (he got a last 8). He was only denied a medal by a sabreur who had a lot of previous experience in foil also and he knows he only won it because he had the footwork to keep up with Cookie (no easy task!)

pigeonmeister
-25th February 2009, 09:06
Having seen Cookie fence sabre at the Scottish Open 2008, I would agree (he got a last 8). He was only denied a medal by a sabreur who had a lot of previous experience in foil also and he knows he only won it because he had the footwork to keep up with Cookie (no easy task!)

I believe he has also won Epee opens (Edinburgh?). Just a damn fine fencer...

That said, Chris Howser, an epeeist, has also won opens in all 3 weapons. I'm sure Cesh will tell us all about it ;)

I'm sensing a sport relief challenge here...3 man teams, 3 weapon event- teams must comprise of fencers whose highest ranking has been achieved in the same weapon. Perhaps limit to equal number of teams per weapon.

75 entry per team- all profits go to charity.

Lets do it!

Rdb811
-25th February 2009, 11:58
If BUCS 2008 results are anything to go by, and they may well not be, then unquestionably foilists are the hardest to beat in a second weapon.

Possibly there is an age/speed difference - I'll have to check the Vets results to see what happens there.




I'm sensing a sport relief challenge here...

I'm half tempted to organise some kind of Master-at-Arms event.

Nick_C
-27th February 2009, 12:25
Interestingly,a coupleof years ago, BUSA were considering running the fencing team system by individual weapon rather than across all three weapons as they currently do... not sure how they'd have organised it tho. Nice Idea i think.