Archived Gossip: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007


29/12/2009: TEN YEARS AFTER. Poor Frankie, Chris, Alex and Hamish no-one seems to have remembered them ten years on. You can read Frankie Bartolillo's amazing results at: Aussie champions, Chris McCarthy and Alex Scott seemed to have disappeared from fencing while Hamish McCracken was spotted spectating at this year's nationals.


25/12/2009: Brrrr. Apparently the picture of the snow covered vehicles in Fife does not adequately show what the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing this winter. Here's a shot from Russian fencer Anna in Novosibirsk where its a chilly minus 34 degrees!! mother

To learn more about Russia's third largest city and Anna's hometown - when she is not studying in Christchurch - have a look here: Mothers Place!

Some have asked for more pix of Andrew Kell, well be patient while I scan some old negs.


24/12/2009: Merry Christmas all! And, for those of you living in the Great Southern Ocean, here is something to take your mind away from sunny beaches and sweltering temperatures - a snowy scene in Scotland yesterday!snow09

Have a look here for more about the Scottish snow scene!


19/12/2009: Ten Years after. Back in the late 1960s there was a blues/rock group called Ten Years After they were very popular too and appeared at the Woodstock festival. Now are this group of four successful fencers, below, as popular? Lets find out - the old who, what, where and where please. First with the correct answers wins the left-over pavlova! You can read about the rock group here: Ten Years After


And I’ll post the information on our fab four fencers, ten years after, as it comes to hand.

Now, have a look at the all new FIE website, impressed?? The new FIE site or the Australian Fencing Federation's new site: AFF Don't they remind you of another site you know?


15/12/2009: OK, enough of Andrew Kell, and more about fencing. How about this amazing curved sabre blade captured at the Spanish National Fencing Champs in Madrid in 1997. Don't know the names of the fencers, but the acceleration of the extension from the right must have been phenomenal to make the blade curve so much!


And, no the picture has not been Photoshopped. Any thoughts? Have a look at these sites: Leon Paul patent for blades or this one: sword physics Have a look at the bendy foil pix in the Archive gossip for 2008.


14/12/2009: Someone asked are there any more pix of Andrew Kell with cars - perhaps - but you might like this better: andythree

Apologies to both Luke and Sandy. More about the Don and Rocinante at: Quixote

11/12/2009: No Guido, Alexander Romankov is the one on the right, otherwise you are correct, but no pavlova as the cream and strawberries which decorate it would not survive the journey.

On the left, in the photo below taken at the recent FIE Congress in Palermo, is Panamanian Doctor Ezequiel Rodriquez Rey and on the right is Alexander Romankov, ten-times world foil champion, in individual and team events, and Russian champion 17 times.

Romankov is well known to Aussie and Kiwi fencers after he coached the Aussie foil squad and ran training camps in Australia in the 1990s – he won the Australian National foil championship in 1990! Sasha said one of the things which drove him as a fencer was when he was told as a child he would never make a good fencer!

Rodriquez, who lives and works in Madrid and fences epee, is also well-known by Kiwi fencers as one of many spanish fencers and officials who have welcome them to the Spanish Capital. There is another difference ‘tween the two, one is left-handed and one is right-handed – which is which??? See here for more: Romankov and what is a pavlova? Kiwi delight.


10/12/2009: Someone nameless sent an e-mail decrying the fact that classic motoring news is posted on this site. ''Its a fencing site,'' he says. OK, here's a pix taken recently of arguably one of the greatest fencers ever. You know the story, who, what, when and where? First correct answer will receive a pavlova cake!Sasha


8/12/2009: Some of you have said I am being too hard on Andrew Kell and his mini-car urges - sorry but that's not true. Here is another picture of him with a strange Spanish vehicle: andytoo


5/12/2009: And now for some fencing gossip….

Former Kiwi fencer Peter Osvath has been made a Life Member of the Victorian Fencing Association. A graduate of Victoria University and the holder of a New Zealand Universities Blue for excellence in fencing, Osvath has been helping develop the new fencing centre on Arden Street in North Melbourne. Once noted for thrashing a Vauxhall Victor round Mount Wellington Peter is now driving a Mazda.

The Patron of Fencing New Zealand, Richard Petersen celebrates his 70 th birthday mid-January 2010. A top fencer in his day Richard now prefers the more sedate skills of lawn bowls, but occasionally turns up at club to pass his experience on to Wellington fencers.

Dunedin fencer Gio Angelo is the keeper of an interesting fencing blog have a look at:

The FIE has excluded the men’s team epee and women’s team sabre events from the 2012 Olympics in London. More at:


4/12/2009: Christchurch fencer Andrew Kell makes friends with an attractive local beauty in the Spanish Capital. The youngest of three fencing brothers, Andrew’s middle brother Patrick has vanished from the fencing-scope and may be living and working in Japan while big brother Peter is working and coaching fencing in London. Andypandy, as he is nick-named, fell in love with Fiat Bambinas as a young lad (his father owned a couple) and seeing this 600 look-a-like on Calle General Aranda in Madrid brought all those childhood memories flooding back. Though built by SEAT in Barcelona and not FIAT in Turin, the birthplace of the rear-engined, 500cc runabouts, the tiny cars were a hit with the motoring public and are collectors items today.SEATespana

This tiny SEAT was one of the many classic cars seen by Kiwi fencers on their way to and from the Royal Spanish Fencing Association’s national training centre which is also located on Calle General Aranda as is Talleres Gomez Garres SA one of several garages in the area specialising in classic cars. For more on SEATs try: or more about those cute Bambina’s:


28/11/2009: Fencing, apart from a few holiday events, is finished down here in the Great Southern Ocean, but here is a source of some holiday reading for Kiwi fencers:

Have a look at the History of Fencing document! And a squizz at the fencing videos.....



22/11/2009: Running a voluntary organisation can be a thankless task, but without these dedicated people our sport will suffer. Here are those that run Fencing MidSouth at the last meeting for the year on Friday. From left, Rachel (University of Canterbury Fencing Club) and Rachel (Fencing Institute) , Carville (Secretary) , Jono (Sabre Club) standing, Keith (President) and James (Christchurch Fencing Academy), both sitting, and Daniel (coach) Missing is Geof Low (Treasurer) and the rep for the United Fencing Club. You can log on the the MidSouth website to send your messages of support: We love MidSouth!meeting



17/11/2009: Could this be the last time Christchurch fencer Chris Nokes takes to a piste in the Garden City? noakes

Chris, a former New Zealand National Epee champion, 2002 Australian Veteran's champion, and Life Member of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club, was snapped at last weekend's MidSouth Open. He will be moving to Hamilton with his partner who has landed a lecturship in the North Island city.

Having wiped the tears from your eyes have a look at this new website: FencingCentral.


16/11/2009: ''Gotcha now!'' Behind the scene at the wedding of Rangi and Marguerite and their last moments as singles - An apprehensive Groom waits for his Bride - where is she? But wait, the cellphone rings and the joyful news that she is on her way and moments later here she is surrounded by two of her Men and Maids of Honour. rangione

The magic moment!margeone

Recruits for fencing?futurefencers


14/11/2009: ATTENTION KIWI FENCERS; Did you know that Fenz has released its newest selection policy?? No, then have a squizz here : Fenz Selection Policy...

7/11/2009: Enough of fencing humans, have a look at these fencing robots: Rowhats.

After an accident the FIE decided to temporarily suspend the use of the
transparent mask in foil in all FIE competitions. Read more: FIE


4/11/2009: Question: How many lawyers does it take to return a fencing trophy. Answer: Two. Former fencers Benoit Upton, left, and Wayne Hudson.mastertwo

Wayne had rebuilt the former massive marble Master of Armes trophy and returned it - sadly he was unsure of its holders since 1990 - any ideas? Cummon, own up you three weapon specialists.


3/11/2009: And here is the Evening News.

Three members of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club (two current one past) will tie the knot within minutes of each other on Saturday 14th November. Former Wellington fencer and usfc member Lucy Stewart will marry Michael Pearce at 1.30 pm, while four-times national epee champion and former ucfc member Rangi de Abaffy and Marguerite Neilson, a current ucfc member, will do the same at 2pm. Sadly for those wishing to attend both events, they are on the other side of the city from each other.

Have sword will travel. Well not quite like that, but Air New Zealand long-haul pilot and Auckland foilist Arthur Gatland, whose last big foray into the ancient art was in the early 1970s, magically appeared at Nationals this year. Just days later he took part in the "Shanghai Power Fencing Club" foil champs and came second. That's what you call a flying foilist!arthur

Talking of older fencers. There are rumours around that the last MidSouth Open fencing comp of the year (November 13th and 15th) is to be invaded by a group of geriatrics? Some even suggest that Rangi de Abaffy will make an appearance in the epee event on the Friday as a prelude to his table-top sword dancing display on the Saturday.

29/10/2009: Pictures from the Nationals...

One of those faceless, unknowns, who do the hard yakka of making things happen - thanks! Nats09one

BELOW: Coaches hard at work preparing their charges for their big momemt - two contrasting styles of dress!


Fencing is a true life-time sport. Once hooked, you are in it for the long haul - some faces from the past: Garth Shillito, Gaylene Ongley, Rosemary Sharfe, Arthur Gatland and

Bruce McGechan.nats09hs

There are always fireworks when two lefties meet as there are many more right-handers in fencing. This tussle in the pools of the Mens Epee saw Sam Ramsay and Graeme Payne, two of the four lefties in the pool, trying to work each other out. Ramsay, in his last year at Christchurch Boy's High School won 5-1 in spite of Graeme's passionate appeal to the ref and spectators. leftiesSee an earlier posting on this site to see which of them won their previous encounter!



27/10/2009: Results from the 2009 National Fencing Championships held in the gymnasium of Auckland Boys Grammar School over Labour Weekend are as follows:

Men’s Individual Sabre: Luke Robertson, Christchurch, 1; Alex Chan, Christchurch, 2; Eoin Queen, Christchurch, and Garth Shillito, Auckland, 3=. Bryan Clark 5; Max Roland 6; Ronan Whyte 7; Jerome Leveneur 8; Jonothan Hewlett 9; Jack Chen, 10; George Everts, 11; Hamish Bulmer 12 and Simon Farrell 13. Mens Team Sabre was won by Christchurch.

Women’s Individual Sabre: Monique Coleman, Wellington, 1; Katherine Taylor, Christchurch, 2; Sasha Green, Auckland, and Katie Logan, 3=. Silvia Martino 5 and Stephanie Simpkin 6. There was no womes sabre teams event.

Men’s Individual Epee: Nils Lemee, France, 1; William Bishop, Wellington, 2; Paul Hentschel, Wellington, and Christian Linke, Auckland, 3=. Sam Ramsay 5; Kyle MacDonald 6; Mark Rance 7; Benjamin Lee 8; Andreas Sesun 9; Andrew Cribbin 10; Graham Payne 11; Felix Mann 12; Alex Chan 13; Martin Cribbin 14; Felix Boyce 15; Rex Heffernan 16; Eoin Queen 17; Julius Herzoff 18; Tim Jones 19; Rory Murray 20; Brendan Hair 21; Brian Ammundsen 22; Gideon van Zyl 23; Paul Hawkes 24; Jurgens van Zyl 25; Kwok-Yi Lee 26. Mens Team Epee was won by Christchurch.

Women’s Individual Epee: Monique Coleman, Wellington, 1; Katherine Taylor, Christchurch, 2; Nancy Liu and Amanda Van Zyl, both Auckland, 3=. Sheryl Fan 5; Williams-Jones 6; Hannah Tang 7; Tiffany Piper 8; Jazmin Hopper 9; Ming-Yi Lee, 10 and Carla Campbell 11. There was no womens epee teams event.

Men’s Individual Foil: Wayne Cui, Wellington, 1; Graham Payne, Auckland, 2; Michael Hoskins and Karl Snell, both Auckland, 3=. Chris Bell 5; Hamish Chan 6; William Schmidt 7; Clovis Dyson 8; Landon Watt 9; Ben Wilkins 10; Gideon van Zyl 11; Arthur Gatland 12; Chris Hay 13; Michael Aymes 14; Felix Boyce 15; Alex Chan 16; Mike Angelo 17; Christopher Lear 18; Matthew Hill 19; Robert Dunn 20; Christopher Jones 21; Simon Farrell 22; Rory Ogg 23; Benjamin Lee 24; Robert Ogg 25; Rex Heffernan 26; Rory Murray 27; Julius Herzoff 28; Neil Young 29; Jamies Johnson 30; Richard Souness 31; Kwok Yi Lee 32; Jonothan Hewlett 33; Rob Thomsen 34; Simon Williams 35; Karl Butler 36; Lu Elborough 37; Max Rowland 38; George Lello 39; Matt Klee 40; Jurgens van Zyl 41; Daniel Wilson 42. The Mens Foil Team was won by Auckland.

Women’s Individual Foil: Ping Yuan, Wellington, 1; Nora Erler, Christchurch, 2; Monique Coleman, Wellington, and Nancy Liu, Auckland, 3=. Katherine Taylor 5; Rachel Rowlands 6; Ming Ye Lee 7; Hannah Tang 8; Vicky Fan 9; Fiona McDonald 10; Amanda van Zyl 11; Sasha Green 12; Grace Christie 13; Jazmin Hopper 14; Alice Boyd 15. The Womens Foil Team event was won by Wellington.

Mtc... pix shortly...



19/10/2009 The Duel at Dawn was held in front of the Christchurch Art Gallery on Saturday. The annual event celebrates the end of the fencing season for members of the University of Canterbury Fencing Club. Below; Tom and Rob parade their sartorial elegance....hats

Windows executes a salute:Salute

While sundry gawpers gather round to watch a duel in the Death Pit.deathpit

The University of Canterbury Fencing Club is the only specialist epee club in New Zealand, producing many national age group and open champions over the years, such as Rangi de Abaffy, the only person to have won our national epee championship four times in succession. Among the current crop of top epeeists Andreas Sesun and Sam Ramsay are members while former national champion Chris Nokes is a Life Member. UCFC also runs an unusual annual epee event - the Eccleston One Hit Epee Competition. UCFC is also recognised as the oldest continuously running fencing club in New Zealand.


16/10/2009: FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE ... The 2009 World Veterans Fencing Championships where three-times foil champion Maurizio Galvan (warmly remembered by Kiwi foilists after running a training camp in the Garden City in 2007), nearly made it four, but after a great fight in the final, had to settle for second place. russia

Full results and lots more pix at: From Russia with love... read on and see how the more mature fencers can still move it on and off the piste!


12/10/2009: The timetable for Nationals is available here: NZ Nationals



The Matriarch of fencing in Christchurch, Olga Jeykll, celebrates her 91st birthday today. Born on the 8/10/1918 at the end of the First World War, Olga, who still lives at home in ChCh, was a noted fencer and fencing coach in the Garden City. A member of the now defunct Swords Club Olga was one of the founding members of the United Fencing Club which still runs at Avonside Girls High School. A hardy competitor on the piste, she had her fencing career limited by the Second World War, but built a fabulous record as a coach turning out hundreds, if not thousands, of fencers, many still involved in the sport to this day.


6/10/2009: Pssst! Wanna follow the results at Nationals? Then visit here: Nats09 but don't tell em I told you as it could mean trouble.

2/10/2009: Brothers in armes, a Kiwi and Aussie face off in Sydney at the Australian U15s and U17s. Longway



30/9/2009: Rumour is that Fenz, at a meeting in Christchurch last Saturday, is committed to sending full teams in all weapons to the Commonwealth Senior Fencing Championships next year.

In the photograph below why are the workers leaving?? Is it because they have found out the venue they are working on could be the site of the 2010 CFCs? They are frightened of people waving swords? They are not paid enough? It is knock-off time?walkers


28/9/2009: Want to know about qualifying for the first Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010?? Then have a look here: Fencing

27/9/2009: Interesting decision by the American Fencing Officials Commission: ''Given the expense that would be required of our already taxed athletes (and their families), the relatively limited impact on scoring, and no change in the fencers' tactics, it is the recommendation of the FOC that the USFA not adopt the FIE rule requiring lame material on the foil bib.''

Seems that someone, somewhere is taking a stance on what many fencers at the bottom of the food chain think is a contentious and expensive decision to make the bib target. Read more at: Foil bib.. Will Fenz follow suit?

Competitors sign-up on Saturday for the 2009 New Zealand Secondary Schools championships being held at the Fencing Institute in Christchurch. Held in conjunction with the New Zealand U20s, they end on Wednesday.ss09

Also Last chance to enter NZ nationals tomorrow! On tuesday they will be collated
and and Fenz will announce any places available in events.


23/9/2009: There has been many a tune played on an old fiddle - so to speak - three times world vets foil champion Maurizio Galvan (seen here enjoying the solitude of Pigeon Bay), who visited ChCh in 2007 came within a few places of another former Italian visitor to ChCh, Gianfranco Mochi, at a recent Italian vets epee tournament in Luganno. Mochi, a former junior world epee champion, lived in ChCh for some years and had a profound affect on local fencing. He also organised a qualification tournament for the Vancouver Commonwealth Games which saw hundreds of spectators pay to fill the Great Hall in the Arts Centre.






Fencing in New Zealand has a once in a lifetime chance of unfettered and limitless growth with the help of two major events happening in 2010. Starting early next year the Government is to pump $82 million into school sport in an effort to combat childhood obesity, and then later in the year come the senior Commonwealth fencing championships which are very likely to be held in Australia. These two events provide an outstanding opportunity for Fencing to dramatically increase the number of coaches and its overall membership by investing a bit of time and effort in forward planning.


Most of the $82 million will be invested in after-school sport and Fencing New Zealand and the regions can tap into this investment by stepping up to organise and run after-school fencing in hundreds of schools throughout the country.

Lets be frank, fencing is an ideal sport for after-school exercise:

  • It can be done all year round, summer or winter and is not affected by the weather.
  • It caters for boys and girls of any age – well, ten and above seem to be a good age to start.
  • It is injury free – more get hurt in the various codes of thugby, even cheerleading suffers more injuries than fencing!
  • Fencing is a perfect form of cardiovascular exercise that gets the heart pumping and oxygen flowing. Experts advise people to undertake some form of cardiovascular exercise regularly to maintain optimum health and fencing is a fun and exciting way to accomplish this aim.
  • The benefits of fencing include increased stamina, lower cholesterol, strengthened heart and lungs, increased immune function, and decreased risk of heart disease, it also reduces stress in a safe and enjoyable manner.
  • Fencing burns calories, helping participants to lose weight and maintain their ideal weight. It also helps tone and define the body. These physical improvements boost self-esteem, a fundamental attribute of mental and emotional health.
  • Fencing develops muscle strength, flexibility, coordination and is a workout for the mind, requiring mental discipline to perform properly.
  • Fencing also sharpens the mind as participants try to out-think and out manoeuvre one another in split-second decisions. Fencing is quite often compared with chess, in that the competitors must always be calm, clear-headed, and thinking several moves ahead – chess on the move!
  • Lastly, fencing is a social activity, one that entails regular interaction with other like-minded people with benefits that extend to every aspect of a healthy and happy life.

If you think the idea is waffle or pie in the sky, here is the National Party’s plan in their own words:

‘’Our Kiwisport initiative answers calls from schools, clubs, and regional sports trusts for greater support and investment in sport for children. It delivers $82 million over the next four years directly to the frontline.

This funding comes from savings that have been identified in social marketing campaigns, websites and tagged funding programmes. We believe it’s better to invest money directly into schools and organisations helping to deliver sport. Kiwisport will see more children getting active and enjoying sport.

We’re providing $45 million directly to schools around the country over the next four years. Each school will have the flexibility and freedom to spend the money in a way that ensures more of their pupils get access to sport without layers of bureaucracy and heavy-handed reporting.

The other $37 million will go into a regional partnership fund, which will be allocated across the 17 regional sports trusts around New Zealand. This will build stronger links between schools, sports clubs, and private sporting providers as they aim to give more kids the chance to play sport. National is committed to increasing opportunities for children to get involved in sport.

Schools and sports clubs play a crucial role in introducing young New Zealanders to organised sport. By providing funding directly to schools and regional sports trusts, Kiwisport will make a difference. More children will see the benefits of physical fitness, being part of a team, developing leadership skills, and having fun.’’

Now is that an offer Fencing, or any sport for that matter, can refuse?






These are likely to be held across the pond in a purpose-built venue in a Melbourne suburb in the latter part of 2010 and with a little forward planning and direction the event could become the carrot to keep the over 20’s in the sport.

  1. Fenz should decide now that they will whole-heartedly support the event and encourage older fencers to train for the event.
  2. This would be done my making it clear in the selection policy that only those OVER the age of twenty will be selected. Since Fenz’s selection policy is not yet set in stone this should be an easy line to walk.

After all there are fencing events in which those older than twenty cannot enter so a bit of reverse ageism could be a good thing for our seniors. Set the selection criteria long enough in advance and there could be a dramatic increase in senior numbers and if that does not happen it is easy to revert to present selection process.

After all, if Fenz can dictate entry to this year’s Aussie U20s; ‘’…remove any applications from fencers who have not entered the New Zealand event.’’ One could say that Fenz and those running the sport are morally required to do the same for seniors. But most of all, an early decision by Fenz will encourage older fencers and engender a nation-wide sense of participation.

In fact all Fenz will be doing is following its stated aims of:

  • To promote and foster the art of fencing throughout the Dominion of New Zealand.
  • b) To conduct tournaments and fencing competitions within New Zealand.
  • c) To promote and foster the participation by New Zealand fencers in competitions and meetings with fencers from other countries than New Zealand. …..”

Note the use of the words promote, foster and participation and not qualify, limit, select or restrictive, in fact Fenz could really step up and promote the Senior Commonwealth Fencing Championships by selecting all those interested in competing as members of separate weapon squads as soon as possible in 2009 and then holding a qualification tournament mid-2010, three or four months out from the senior commonwealths and select all team members on the results? This would have the added advantage of removing any bias fencers perceive with the present selection system by making all those wanting to go having to compete – in other words - put up or shut up! It would also give squad members a chance to seek financial support and focus their training



Now is the time to take advantage these two great opportunies, not by trying to graft on a European system based on clubs or salles, but by doing our own uniquely Kiwi thing – taking fencing back to the schools and not just rich private schools at that, but all schools.

In Christchurch the strength of fencing has always been in the schools and university this is much the same in the other centres of fencing. When the schools and universities were allowed to wither the numbers attending senior clubs dropped. Now there are no, or very few, senior fencers while most of those doing the coaching are in their late fifties or sixties and some tournaments are being postponed owing to a lack of entries – in other words we need more 20 to 50-year-olds in our sport.

Fencing should welcome the Government’s investment by actively encouraging the established clubs to develop a schools programme. Imagine if every senior club took over the coaching and running of four or five schools each??! Remember the emphasis is on after-school sport the majority of which will take place in school for safety and convenience. This will allow the development of part-time, perhaps even full-time, employment of properly trained coaches by the clubs/Fenz in schools.

(For example, MidSouth is already scouring the funding agencies for support to train six new level one coaches in foil, epee and sabre.)

After three or four years there should be a dramatic increase in membership for the senior clubs as those leaving school look for further opportunities to continue the sport. This could also see the beginning of a seamless inter-schools- senior competition regime, which could be based at clubs/permanent fencing venues, all by welcoming newcomers to our sport and developing their skills and participation by providing opportunities for ALL ages. But lets move quickly, for no doubt other sports will have the same idea!


15/9/2009: Entries for the National Secondary Schools and U20 fencing champs close on the 19/9/2009. They run from Saturday 26th of September to Wednesday 30th. Entry form and timetable here. Competitors will be able to purchase food and refreshments on site courtesy of the Sabre Club.

14/9/2009: And now for something completely different that is not fencing or motoring related - well not much. An artfully decorated wall in Christchurch...welders


11/9/2009: En Guarde!spanishbeginners

A top Spanish coach introduces youngesters to the mysteries of fencing at the Royal National Fencing Centre in Madrid. In Italy and Spain, as in many other countries, children are the most enthusiastic practioners of fencing and are actively encouraged by the local and national organisations.


10/9/2009: NATIONALS!

For those that have inquired, this year's open national fencing championships in Auckland will be held at the Auckland Grammar School's sports centre, Mountain View Road, Epsom where it was held the last time it was in Auckland. Fenz had posted a timetable on its website which had fallen off the list but the whole caboodle was updated yesterday with entry forms etc so there is no excuse for not coming - plus the entry fee includes a special t-shirt!

4/9/2009: Is this the site in Melbourne, Australia, of the 2010 Commonwealth Fencing Championships????aerial


Below: One Hundred and Fifty years, plus, of fencing experience, Chris Nokes, left, Mark Rance and Paul Hentschel.trio

30/8/2009: Thanks to all those fencers from Dunedin, Nelson Wellington, Napier, Auckland and Gulf Harbour? Without your support this year's South Island Fencing Championships would not have been half the event it was.

Below: Mens foil action on the Sunday.



Mens' Epee. 1 Hentschel, Napier; 2 Bishop, Wellington; 3= Nokes and Rance, both Christchurch; 5 Andreas Sesun, Christchurch; 6 Brendan Hare, Wellington; 7 Alex Chan, Christchurch; 8 William Braddell, Wellington: 9 Gideon Van Zyl, Auckland; 10 Adrian Saw, Christchurch; 11 Julius Herzhoff, Christchurch; 12 Ciaran Cook, Christchurch; 13 Eoin Queen, (First Woman) Christchurch; 14 Carla Campbell, Christchurch; 15 Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch; 16 Jazmin Hopper, Auckland; 17 Hannah McKenzie.

Womens' Foil: 1 Ping, Wellington; 2 Eller, Christchurch; 3= Fiona McDonald, Dunedin, and Rachel Rowlands, Christchurch. 5 Jasmin Hopper, Auckland; 6 Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch; 7 Hannah MacKenzie, Christchurch. No eighth placing.

Mens' Foil: 1 Bell, Christchurch, Hoskins, Auckland; 3= Andreas Susun, Christchurch and Christopher Lear, Auckland; 5 Gideon Van Zyl, Auckland ; 6 Nick Ustin, Nelson; 7 Ben Wilkins, Christchurch; 8 Jamieson Johnson, Wellington. 9 Michael Aymes, Dunedin; 10 William Cowper, Christchurch; 11 Alex Chan, Christchurch; 12 Julius Herzhoff, Christchurch; 13 Neeraj Patel, Christchurch; 14 Eoin Queen, Christchurch; 15 Spencer Smith, Christchurch; 16 Chris Jones, Auckland.

There was no mens or womens sabre.

Below: Spectators relax during the epee and womens foil finals on Saturday. All that is missing is the chardonnay. Now, wouldn't that make an exciting event, good food and wine with exciting finals fencing!?


Just good friends? - some more action shots by Ryan and Vik from the South Islands.




29/8/2009: Remember the old song '' Trailer for Sale or Rent?'' Well Fencing MidSouth do, they have a purpose-built, twin-axle, lockable trailer for sale.


The weather-proof trailer is ideal for moving or storing fencing pistes, scoring gear and all the equipment needed for running tournaments.


As you can see it is strongly made and very secure. All inquiries to: Vik at the address at the bottom of this page please.



28/8/2009: Many years ago when studying at Canterbury University I used to hitch-hike to my home in Dunedin. One morning outside Palmerston, while waiting for a lift on the State Highway between Christchurch and Dunedin, I came across this overgrown cross on a roadside bank on the Christchurch side of the North Otago town.


The pictures were taken with a Pentax Spotmatic on TriX black- and-white film in 1970. I never thought much more about the lonely, unkempt cross until recently when I was sorting through a box of negs and decided to do a bit of research and this is what I found:






New Zealand




New Zealand Maori (Pioneer) Battalion



Date of Death:


Service No:


Additional information:

Son of John A. and A. Emilie Field, of Port Levy, Canterbury, New Zealand; husband of Tui F. D. S. Field, of Palmerston, Otago, New Zealand. Also served in Gallipoli and Egypt.

Casualty Type:

Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference:

XI. B. 5.



Perhaps somebody knows more??


20/8/2209: Epee fencing, as one person put it, is a weapon waiting for an invention to make it interesting. Maybe, but in the meantime it makes for some bloody exciting these two show.

Below: is a shot from the Commonwealth fencing Champs in Newcastle, Australia, taken by me, and below that is Pavel Kolobkov, Russia, and Philippe Boisse, France, at the Athens Olympics taken by Kiwi-born photographer Duane Hart. You can view more of his fencing pix at: Athens fencing Duane used a bit of panning and slow shutter speed to generate the blurring while I used a high shutter speed to capture the bend in the Aussie's epee - who says epee blades don't bend?





17/8/2209: How many scotsmen does it take to put up the hood on a Morgan sports car - Two and the car's English owner. Taken in Windermere last month the picture brings us nicely into the real story - the centenary of the Morgan Motor Company of Malvern! Read more especially about their amazingly fuel efficient three-wheelers at:Morgan



16/8/2009: Some pix from yesterday's Eccelston One Hit Epee competition.

Seventeen braved the damp weather and lack of car parking. There would have been more but exams, birthdays and illness took care of six or so. Am I right in thinking that the University of Canterbury is the only NZ uni which holds exams on weekends?? Anyway the winners of this year's event were Auckland fencer Graham Payne and Russian fencer Anna Sobeleva.

The annual event commemorates former national epee champion David Eccleston and the work he has put into the sport over the years. A former Nelson school teacher now retired, Ekky spends much of his time trout fishing, but still takes an interest in the event and promises to turn up sometime - maybe next year!

Below: Winners Captain Hook and his roistering female compatriot.


Below: One-hit action. ekkyaction

Below: Spectators - don't ask what Dave and Martin, left, are doing!ekkyspecs

Below: Eoin keeps score.




15/8/2009: How many men does it take to erect the hood on a Morgan sports car??? morganone

First correct answer wins a prize!! No Lizzie, not you.


14/8/2009: Drunken buildings?? Kiwi fencers Sandy Paterson, left, Andrew Kell and Luke Robertson with one of the more unusual sights they came across in the Spanish Capital, Madrid. The trio passed the unusual buildings when they exited the Metro station close to the left-hand tower each day on their way to the Royal Spanish Fencing Association's national training facility.

drunkYou can read more about the twin leaning towers at: Boozy buildings.




9/8/2008: A refereeing conundrum - is this an attack, bent arm and all?? A great sabre action shot taken by Duane Hart a Kiwi photographer working in Brisbane. You can see more of his exciting images at: fencing pix

5/8/2009: Watch out for this... There is a documentary called 'The Sword" to be shown on The History channel (Sky TV) 8.30 pm Sunday 9th August. It is the first part of a two part documentary and deals with history, design, making of swords and the sport of fencing.

3/8/2009: Latest on the rumour that the 2010 Commonwealth Senior Fencing Championships could be held in Melbourne, is that an announcement is imminent. Keep watching this space!

1/8/2009: Don't believe everything you hear. The rumour that the 2010 Commonwealth Senior Fencing Championships are to be held in Melbourne is just that - an unconfirmed rumour.

The story started at the 2008 Council Meeting of the Commonwealth Fencing Federation held at Salon Milner, Hotel Le Méridien Montparnasse, Paris on Thursday 4 th December 2008. The President, Helen Smith (Australia), reported that so far no country had submitted an Expression of Interest in holding the 2010 Commonwealth Fencing Championship. Given anticipated government support, she felt there was a possibility that a venue might be available in Melbourne, Australia in the second half of 2010.

Correspondence with the Australian Fencing Federation and the Fencing New Zealand brought no response, but that with the Commonwealth Fencing Federation did. Succinctly put, the Secretary Peter Andersen replied, ''Don't believe everything you hear - nothing has been decided yet.'' So there! You have been told.

However, spies say that Victoria fencing is soon to move base from the old Fencing Factory in Brunswick to an all sparkling and spanking new venue - could that be the reason fuelling the rumour??

Now wouldn't that be a great fillip for Kiwi senior fencers if the CFC were held in start agitating and booking places in the waka! Plus Pacific Blue are offering flights to Melbourne for a paltry $149 in todays copy of the nation's favourite newspaper, The Press.


29/7/2009: An Interesting read? Came across this old fencing text book, dated 1890, in a Christchurch second-hand bookshop.


They say that singlestick was a precursor to sabre, but have a look at the other delights offered....titlepage

Bayonet and umbrella fencing??? Nice lunge!


The remarkably tidy little volume is available from Liberty Books at 145 Manchester Street, Christchurch, or you can email Rhys at: Tell him you are a fencer and he might just give you a discount!


26/7/2009: Mind Games! Former national epee champion Graham Harris gives a young fencer some ideas on fencing performance. Harris, a former Canterbury University Fencer and president of Fencing MidSouth - or the Canterbury Amateur Fencing Council as it was then known - turns up at local fencing events from time to time.....




21/7/2009: From the Australian U15 and Oceania U17 (Cadets) championships held recently in Brisbane....


Above: The Quiet before the Fury. The M A Howell Sports Centre at Brisbane Grammar School awaits the influx of competitors and spectators.

Below: The action. Fencers, coaches, officials, parents and spectators, Aussies and Kiwis, crowd the sports centre during the five day event.



Above: Dressing up. Kiwi fencers prepare for combat. Twenty-five Kiwis crossed the ditch to compete. You can view their results using the link below in the previous posting.

Below: Kiwi support team. Some of the ten-strong support team that accompanied the 25-strong team of fencers to Brisbane cheer on their charges.kiwisupport

Below: Snap! Photographer Duane, a Kiwi from New Plymouth naturally, is caught catching other unsupecting fencers in action. You can view his images at: These are for sale and will be viewable for the next three weeks or so - be quick. Duane has also covered fencing at the last four Olympic Games and has some exciting fencing shots on his site that are well worth a look.


Finally, the organisers hide-out! With big steel bars suitable for keeping Alex, Denise and the other officials in the manner to which they are used to. Sadly they had escaped when this pix was taken.



6/7/2009: Keep your eye on the results of the Kiwi Sharp Blacks from the Australian U15s and Oceania U17s here!


3/7/2009: Some sabre action from around the world. sabreoneAnd for that handful of Kiwi sabruers who had the chance of fencing and training at the Royal Spanish Fencing Association's national training centre in Madrid, have a look at an old friend in action: Jaime and look under the Press Notices.


1/7/2009: A humungous group of Kiwi fencers, plus ten coaches, managers and parents, 35 in all, are off the the Oceania Cadets and Australian U15 fencing championships in Brisbane next week - wish them well:

Oceania Cadet (U17) Championships.
Men's Foil:
Simon Fisher, Wellington.
Daniel Kahu, Wellington. Current New Zealand U17 men’s foil champion.
Matt Stopforth, Wellington.
Nick Mercer, Wellington.
Isaac Officer, Dunedin.
Finn Butler, Dunedin.
Felix Boyce, Wellington.
Kwok Yi Lee, Auckland.
Hamish Chan, Auckland. Current NZ U17 men’s epee champion.
Haz Forrester, Wellington.
Julius Herzoff, Christchurch.

Women's Foil:
Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch. Current NZ U15 girl's foil champion.
Charlotte Forrester, Wellington.
Ming Yi Lee, Auckland.
Olive Butler, Dunedin.
Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch. Current NZ U17 girl's foil champion.
Melissa Burgess, Wellington.
Stephanie Alexander, Wellington.
Katie Boyle, Wellington.

Men's Epee:
Eoin Queen, Christchurch.
Alex Chan, Christchurch. Current New Zealand Men’s U17 sabre champion and current senior open sabre national champion.
Daniel Kahu, Christchurch.
Nick Mercer, Wellington.
Kwok Yi Lee, Auckland.
Felix Boyce, Wellington.
Gideon Van Zyl, Auckland.
Julius Herzoff, Christchurch.
Matt Stopforth, Wellington.

Women's Epee:
Katie Boyle, Wellington.
Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch.
Ming Yi Lee, Auckland.
Jazmin Hopper, Auckland.

Men's Sabre:
Eoin Queen, Christchurch.
Alex Chan, Christchurch.
Matt Stopforth, Wellington.
Nick Mercer, Wellington.
Will Cowper, Christchurch.

Women's Sabre:

Katie Boyle, Wellington.
Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch.

Australian Under 15 Championships
Boy's Foil:
Simon Fisher, Wellington.
Kwok Yi Lee, Auckland.
Felix Boyce, Wellington.
Clovis Dyson, Auckland. Current New Zealand boy's U15 Foil champion.
Julius Herzoff, Christchurch.
Haz Forrester, Wellington.

Girl's Foil:
Stephanie Alexander, Wellington.
Melissa Burgess, Wellington.
Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch.
Olive Butler, Dunedin.
Charlotte Forrester, Wellington.
Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch.

Boy's Epee:
Kwok Yi Lee, Auckland.
Felix Boyce, Wellington.
Julius Herzoff, Christchurch.

Girl's Epee:
Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch.

Girl's Sabre:
Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch.


30/6/2009: Action from last weekend's schools fencing competition at Linwood College: Alex Chan, left, Christchurch Boy's High School, faces off against Ben Wilkins, Cashmere High School, in the individual foil. Wilkins won the closely contested bout, but CBHS took revenge by winning the teams event from Burnside HS, St Andrews College and Christ's College.schlsfinal



29/6/2009: Why are these two standing under the Welsh dragon with an empty take-away coffee container??



And, why are these people sitting in the lounge at the Fencing Institute??


Keep watching this space for ALL will be revealed soon. As usual a wee pressy to those who can correctly name the subjects and situation - no, the pressy is for those lucky people who were NOT involved in the fantastic weekend.

BELOW: Coaches Luke, Mark and Jenny demonstrate their pedagogic skills at the Sabre Camp held earlier this month at the Fencing Institute.

The camp, expected to be the first of regular camps developing the long ignored weapon of sabre in New Zealand, saw coaches from Australia, Wellington and Christchurch working together. Some of those fencers attending the camp will be competing at the Oceanic Cadets and Australian U15s fencing championships in Brisbane early next month.




Mid-South Junior Champs 2009


Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 July 2009


The Fencing Institute. Jack Hinton Drive, off Whiteleigh Avenue, Addington (the red dot in the map below), Christchurch.


Time table:

Roll Call

Saturday 10am Epee 3pm Sabre

Sunday 10am Foil

Events will be mixed if numbers warrant


$10 entry for the tournament.

Pay by cash or cheque made out to ‘Fencing Mid South’.

Please do not post cash – pay this on the day.

Entries are to be received by Thursday 11 June

Entry fees must be received before the roll call for each weapon.

Enter by e-mail to:

or post your entry to 440F Oxford Terrace, Christchurch 8011.

Clothing standards:

350N/sturdy breeches/jacket plus plastron.

Maraging blades not required



Contact number:


Emergency contact:

Club and regional affiliation:

U20 Foil M/F


U20 Epee M/F

U20 Sabre M/F

18/6/2009: Former Christchurch sabreur Thibault Lozach is alive and well in Australia. Townsville to be exact. The Christchurch Boys High School fencer finishes his degree in New Media Arts with a major in digital imaging and a minor in digital graphic design at James Cook University at the end of the year. He plans to work as a photographer: visit his website at: Thibault's Place to see his pictures.thibault and no, he is not fencing still - they only do epee he says, not sabre.


13/6/2009: Some head shots from North Island Champs... can you name them?? headshots


12/06/2009: An unimpeachable source says the Victoria University of Wellington Fencing Club is planning a knees-up and competition to celebrate 100 years of fencing at the Uni. It will be held round June 2010 so you old Varsity fencers have a bit of time to de-rust your weapons and start limbering up. It would be a great way to celebrate our ancient art and modern sport. Information will be posted as it comes to hand.



Canterbury Schools

2009 Foil Championships


Saturday 27th June 2009


Linwood High School Gymnasium - Aldwins Road


Saturday 8:30 am Sec Sch Foil Registration. 8:50 am Roll Call

10:30am Primary Foil Registration and 2009 first year

Fencers not fencing in sec school foil championship

Entry Fee:


Entries close

Wednesday 24th June

Entry of yr 7 -8

Intermediate Sch aged fencers can choose to fence in either primary or sec school tournaments depending on ability but if in Sec Sch, must wear full protective gear including 800N plastron and plate and/or padding.

Return forms to:

Diane Swain Fax 3510-567 or Phone 3510-507

or mail to 193 Greers Road, Christchurch 5

Clothing and gear:

All fencers must wear proper protective clothing in good condition.

  • 350N fencing jacket, sec sch 800N plastron or a plastron and/or chest plate/ padding, glove, knee britches, long white socks,white soled gym shoes, track-suit pants are acceptable for primary sch and beginners only, if you have no knee britches.
  • Please bring your own foil, mask, and electrical gear.Some gear is available for beginners. Ring Diane by 22 nd June re borrowing.



Each schools or club must arrange for at least one non-fencing Referee/President to accompany their teams.


Saturday Separate secondary male and female electric foil seeding pools will start at 9am. Primary school championships pools will follow. There will be separate1 st year fencer pools for junior trophies.

Limited DEs will decide the Secondary Foil Champions

School Team events for Sec Sch[3boys or 3girls from the same school] and mixed teams for Primary and new fencers will follow.[ Time and numbers may limit these events]

Food and Drink:

Food and drink available to be purchased at the hall on Saturday

Please notify and return any trophies to Diane Swain by Wednesday 24 th June 2009 Thankyou


8/6/2009: The University of Canterbury Fencing Club held one of its regular epee comps on Saturday. Eighteen epeeists turned out including former cufc fencer Rangi de Abaffy the first and, so far, the only person to have won our National Epee Title three times in succession - question, how many uni students does it take to get one newbie on the piste? Geof Low a former Uni fencer of the 1960s and now Treasurer of Fencing MidSouth also turned up to cheer.uniepee


1/6/2009: Results of the 2009 North Island Fencing Championships




Held at Wellington Girls College the weekend of 29/30 June the medal winners were:

Womens’ Foil. Ping Yuan, Wellington, 1; Nora Erler, Germany, 2; Fiona McDonald, Dunedin, and Monique Coleman, Wellington, =3.

Men’s Foil. Chris Bell, Christchurch, 1; Michael Hoskins, Auckland, 2; Andreas Sesun, Christchurch, and Daniel Kahu, Wellington, =3.

Men’s Epee. Paul Hentschell, Napier, 1; Christian Linke, Auckland, 2; Brendan Hair, Wellington and Mark Rance, Christchurch =3.

Women’s Epee. Monique Coleman, Wellington, 1; Anna Soboleva, Russia, 2; Nancy Liu, and Jasmin Hopper, both Auckland, =3.

Sabre (mixed). Alex Chan, Christchurch, 1; Monique Coleman, Wellington, 2; Nick Mercer and Matt Stopforth, both Wellington, =3.

If you total up the number of medals going, 20, and divide by the areas/provinces/cities this is what shows: Wellington eight medals (1 gold, one silver and five bronze), Christchurch six medals (two gold, two silver and two bronze - we claim Nora and Anna since they train at the Fencing Institute), Auckland four medals (two silver and two bronze), Napier one gold, Dunedin one bronze. Quite a bit different from the results of the 1971 Nationals below - wonder why???

A general view of one of two gyms the fencing took place in:ni09

And those unsung, and unpaid, folks who have to clean up after everone has had their fun - the helpers and volunteers - well done! Say thanks to them at your next competition....cleanup



26/5/2009: Results of the 1971 Rothmans Fencing Championships

MEN’S FOIL: G Stratigopoulos, Wellington, 1; G Philp, Welington, 2; D Boston, Auckland, 3.

LADIES FOIL: L Pomeroy, Wellington, 1; J Fenton; Wellington, 2; K De Luen, Otago/Southland 3.

MEN’S FOIL TEAMS; Auckland 1; Wellington 2; Canterbury 3.

LADIES FOIL TEAMS: Auckland 1; Wellington 2; Otago/Southland 3.

LADIES’ FOIL PLATE: S Thirring, Canterbury, 1; J Crowley, Canterbury, 2: D Ellis, Auckland 3.

EPEE: P Temple, Wellington, 1; G Lodge, Auckland, 2; D Boston, Auckland, 3.

EPEE TEAMS: Canterbury 1; Auckland 2; Wellington 3.

SABRE: B Pickworth, Auckland,1; R Peterson, Wellington, 2; Z Apathy, Auckland, 3.

SABRE TEAMS: Wellington 1; Auckland 2; Otago/Southland 3.

MASTER OF ARMS: P Temple, Wellington.

JUNIOR MEN’S FOIL CUP: D Boston, Auckland.


SYDNEY ROSE BOWL: Miss S Sandford, Canterbury.

(Two reasons for posting these results. One, you will notice there is no womens' epee or sabre. Two, they held teams events back in those days, but most important the only one of those named still fencing is Richard Peterson - anyone know of any others??)



25/5/2009: Someone has asked about the Sabre Club and why it is running a training camp.

The sabre club was started by a group of fencers and parents in Christchurch to promote the sport of fencing and sabre fencing in particular.

Established under the Incorporated Societies Act in October 2008, recognised by Fencing MidSouth and Fencing New Zealand, the club is dedicated to harnessing the energy, excitement and skills of its members to work alongside clubs and organizations to advance the sport of fencing as a whole and sabre in particular.

The first President of the Sabre Club is Jonathan Chan; Secretary, Sharon Taylor; and Treasurer, Tracey Ramsay. It has conferred Life Membership on Keith Mann, former National champion, Empire Games and Commonwealth Games competitor, twice Fenz president and current President of Fencing MidSouth, and Vik Manuge, a long-time sabreur and fencing coach. It has 24 members aged 10 to 77, including Katherine Taylor who did most of the donkey work in founding the club, many of them competitive sabreurs. It welcomes members from throughout the world, fencers or not, who desire to promote the special skills and attributes of sabre fencing. To join, contact the Secretary Sharon Taylor.

Apart from regular sabre competitions (and club meetings) at the Fencing Institute, the club has just received a grant for electric sabre gear and will run two sabre only training camps (open to all fencers) this year (2009). It also plans to offer sabre only classes to local clubs and extra sessions at the FI when numbers warrant them. It also publishes a regular club newsletter for its members and other interested readers – contact the (Secretary) if you would like to go on the list of recipients or would like to join the Sabre Club or attend either of the sabre training camps. The Sabre Club has also produced a unique design of T-shirt and Polo top to encourage a sense of pride and belonging. These are available from the Secretary.


22/5/2009: Have a look at the new look web site of Australian Fencing Federation: AFF Plus follow the results of Kiwi fencers at the Challenge Australian FIE epee World Cup here: Challenge Aust 2009 (well done Andrian Saw, William Bishop and Anna Soboleva!) Check out their great results.


12/5/2009: Lets celebrate another success for fencing: After 110 students from around New Zealand were nominated for a NZU Blue sporting award, only 39 received the prestigious award for outstanding sporting performances during the 2008 academic year.

 The panel also awarded one Distinguished Performance Award, Four Outstanding Achievement Awards and an NZU Coaching Award which went to Auckland fencing coach Andrew Imms.

This year’s awards will be presented at a black tie dinner on Friday 5th June at Te Papa, Wellington. Imms

The photograph shows a lean, relaxed Andrew Imms taking a break during competitions at the 1996 National Fencing Championships. Andrew has a surprise gift for the first person to contact him with the correct answer to where the Nationals were held in 1996!


11/5/2009: Results of the weekend’s MidSouth U15 and U17 fencing championships held at the Fencing Institute Christchurch, were:

U15 Foil (mixed), Julius Herzhoff 1; Joon Hong 2; Tim Jones and Sarah Tzoumis 3=.

U17 Epee (mixed), Alex Chan 1; Eoin Queen 2; Ciaran Cook and Julius Herzhoff 3=; Highest ranked female, Hannah Ramsay 5.

U17 Foil (mixed) Alex Chan 1; Sam Deavoll 2, Julius Herzhoff and Eoin Queen 3=; Highest ranked female, Hannah Ramsay 6.

Here are a couple of pix of the action....Spectators spectators

Competitors and spectators: competitors



8/5/2009: Former Christchurch fencers Peter Kell, Simon Young and Nic Mason are still at it.

The trio, now resident in London, are members of the Civil Servants' fencing club where Peter is a coach. All three enjoy their regular bouts and appear determined to encourage other Kiwi fencers living in British Capital to come along and have a fence. One name mentioned was that of another former Christchurch fencer Willie Upritchard.

Any London-based former fencers who read this, and I know there are a few of you, e-mail me and I'll flick your contact details on to Nic.

Now, while near London recently, a Spanish Supporter of things Kiwi snapped this pix of the Kiwi flag fluttering defiantly in the English breeze!invaded


5/5/2009: NZ Sabre Training Camp

Organised by The Sabre Club.

Suitable for beginner to senior fencer.

Date: 20th & 21st of June 2009

Location: The Fencing Institute Christchurch.

Coaches: Vik Manuge. Guest Coaches: Jenny Cassidy (Australia) and Mark Booth (North Island) Assistant Coaches: Jonathan Chan and Luke Robertson

Food: Please Bring your own. There are cafes and a supermarket within walking distance. There is water, A Zip, Fridge and microwave available.

Cost: $100 for the weekend (Sabre Club Members) or $150 for non-members (Day
rates could be arranged for younger fencers)

Times: Saturday: 10am to 1pm. 3pm to 6pm. Free fencing afterwards for those
with the energy. Sunday: 10am to 1pm. 2pm to 5pm. Free fencing afterwards for those with the

Details: Jenny Cassidy is an Australian fencing coach based in Adelaide and was the first women to qualified as an FIE sabre referee. She is also extremely experienced in running tournaments and may be running other seminars when she is here. Mark Booth coaches sabre in Wellington and Jonothan Chan and Luke Robertson have trained and fenced sabre overseas alongside sabreurs ranked in the top ten in the world.

The two-day camp will cover, goal-setting, tactics - with emphasis on the
push-pull nature of top level sabre - and sabre fitness focusing on recovery
ability, speed and strength. Plus there will be structured bouting.

Each day will begin and end with a round robin competition so the coaches
can analyse fencers and provide each fencer with specific recommendations
for improvement and fencers experience a wide range competitors

Billets may be arranged for out-of-towners, please ask.

Be ready to start on time. The Fencing Institute has heaps of free
off-street parking, a lounge, showers, toilets and changing rooms for
your comfort and convenience. Plus gallons of free cold water available to
quench thirst.

Much of the information imparted during the sessions may not available in
books or on the web so a notebook and pen is a useful training aid.

For further information please contact Vik Manuge - 03 3666 396 or


4/5/2009: Thanks to an observant Spanish doctor, a fencer of course, here is a great site for Swine Flu humour: Laughter is still the best medicine! It is in English too...





Action from the weekend's New Zealand U15 and U17 championships in Dunedin.u17two

They also serve, in this case a sausage sizzle. Parents and members of Claymore Swords Club, Richard Ellis, Liz Boyle, Steve Butler and Alison Howlett were among the volunteers who made the national u15 and u17s run smoothly.u17four

Results. U15 Men's Foil: Clovis Dyson, Auckland, 1; Haz Forrester, Wellington, 2; Felix Boyce, Wellington and Joon Daniel Hong, Christchurch, 3=.

U15 Girl's Foil: Wai Ling Chan, Christchurch, 1; Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch, 2; Olive Butler, Dunedin, and Charlotte Forrester, Wellington, 3=.

U17 Men's Foil: Daniel Kahu, Wellington, 1; Hamish Chan, Auckland, 2; Alex Chan, Christchurch, and Gideon Van Zyl, Auckland, 3=.

U17 Sabre (mixed): Alex Chan, Christchurch, 1; William Cowper, Christchurch, 2, Eoin Queen, Christchurch, and Ronan White, Auckland, 3=.

U17 Women's Foil: Hannah Ramsay, Christchurch, 1; Katie Boyle, Wellington, 2; Gina Kim, Christchurch, and Charlotte Forrester, Wellington, 3=.

U17 Men's Epee: Hamish Chan, Auckland, 1; Daniel Kahu, Wellington, 2; Alex Chan, Christchurch, and Gideon Van Zyl, Auckland, 3=.


More action from Dunedin. Alex Chan fronts up in the U17 foil event. Note the casual poise of some of the spectators.u17one


They work hard and get little respect, they are occasionally abused and insulted, but without them there can be no fencing competitions - they are the referees! Here, the four that did the work at Dunedin, are caught in the manner that the spectators see them:u17five


And, how the fencers saw them:u17six



22/4/2009: We now have photographic evidence of the hi-jinks that went on at the recent University Games in New Plymouth, they shall remain nameless and do notice the red and black border in honour of the University of Canterbury fencers who did not attend - shame on you:

: unigames

Also decided at the NZUFC Annual General Meeting were the officials for 09, President remains Nancy Liu, Secretary is now Ben Drayton, Treasurer is now Anna Garcia.


21/4/2009: Thanks to Flight of the Conchords' programme of Prime TV last night we can expect a surge in fencing memberships. Find out more here. Their sabre duel was a classic.


19/4/2009: Someone asked who was Dr Francis Zold and what was he doing in New Zealand.

Dr Zold

A world-renowned sabre coach, he took part in a training camp at Northcote College back in the late 1980s (not too sure of the exact dates) organised by Andrew Harmos and Steve Clarke - Steve was teaching Physical Education at the College then. Fencers from all over the country turned up and the most enduring memory is of epeeist Gavin McLean's feet hanging over the tiny bed in the motel we were staying at. You can read more about him here: Dr Zold


15/4/2009: Homeless or legless - you decide.

Spotted in Central Christchurch early one morning and the question is why did he have his bedding with him? Homeless


11/4/2009: Have a look at this site. I guess you could call it the Aussie equivilent of Sparc: Ausport


6/4/2009: Latest from the Worlds in Belfast:

Record number of nations prepare to cross swords at World Championships

Belfast will be putting one of the oldest Olympic sports on centre stage over the next fortnight for the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships.

The University of Ulster will welcome 1108 athletes from 89 countries across the globe from 4 to 13 April to demonstrate their skill and dexterity using the Foil, Sabre and Epee weapons.

Ahead of the competition, the International Fencing Federation (Fédération Internationale d’Éscrime) has invited 25 young fencers from around the world to train under Petru Kuki, Daniel Levavasseur and Tadeusz Pigula - some of the world’s greatest coaches - and take part in a dedicated training camp on-site.

The event marks a Northern Ireland début as host of this high profile championships, as Britain’s hopefuls gear up to pursue medal glory on home turf.

Keith Smith, President of British Fencing said: “I am delighted that Great Britain is hosting its first Junior World Championships since 1968. This is the beginning of a period of immense activity culminating in the London Olympic Games in 2012.”

Commenting on the event, Piers Martin, Chief Executive of British Fencing said: “Fencing has an incredible heritage and is continuing to grow in profile as a sport, from grass roots level through to world-class competition standard.

“This year’s World Championships have attracted record numbers and promise to be a spectacular experience for both competitors and spectators alike.”

Added Alisher Usmanov, President of the FIE: “We are delighted to bring the event to Northern Ireland and look forward to watching such a strong international field of Junior and Cadet fencers compete at the highest level.

“Free to spectators, the event is an unmissable opportunity to witness the world’s greatest fencers showcase lightning reflexes, skill and agility.”

mtc (more to come).

GB hopefuls bring fencing to the fore

Robin Hood is back on our screens and the clash of swords is a familiar sight, but not something we associate with mainstream contemporary sport.

More than 1,000 international athletes would beg to differ as they descend on Belfast this fortnight to compete at the highest level at the Junior and Cadet Fencing World Championships.

Members of the GB squad will be fencing on home turf for the first time since 1968 at this high profile event.

Young British talents have their eyes on the rostrum, keen to claim a medal in one of the country’s oldest sports. Despite its heritage, however, fencing still remains on the fringes of mainstream popular sport.

Corinna Lawrence,18, first discovered fencing as a child attending primary school in Plymouth. She claims the sport is normally associated with public schools but her state school was an exception to the rule as her older sisters were both fencers and had introduced the idea of lessons.

Number one in the UK under 20 section, Corinna claimed a bronze medal in the 2008 European Championships in Holland and is striving for a strong medal position in Belfast. She trains more than 14 hours per week, which can be tough when juggling a Maths degree at Kings College London.

She said: “Our college has a really strong fencing team but it’s not typical of most universities. A lot of people aren’t familiar with the sport at all but I’ve grown up with it in my family and took to it from an early age.”

With a late maturing age, it’s not unusual for fencers to reach their prime in their 30s so time is on Corinna’s side. This is also the case for her team-mate Alex Craig, who at 15 is a promising talent and came to the sport at the tender age of 6.

Alex lives in Hartlepool and regularly commutes to Durham for training sessions as there are no facilities on her doorstep to nurture her passion for fencing. She too juggles a rigorous training programme with studies and will be taking her GCSEs next year.

Alex said: “I’m still pretty young in fencing terms so it’s really about moving up the rankings. I came second in the Commonwealth Under 20 category earlier in the year so I’m hoping to maintain this form. I’m lucky to have a really supportive family who are coming to Belfast with me to support me at the World Championships.”

GB fencers, Ed Jefferies and Marcus Mepstead are strong medal contenders at the University of Ulster competition. Ranked 17 and 78 in the world respectively, all eyes will be on them in the men’s Foil event.



6/4/2009: Stop Press. Hail to the Chief! Or should it be a politically correct Chieftainess??

Fencing New Zealand management elected at yesterday's two and a bit hour's long Annual General Meeting in Wellington, were Susan Grant-Taylor and Mark Booth(both Wellington) President and Treasurer while Laura Harvey is Secretary. Long time fencer and Wellington lawyer Richard Peterson remains Patron.


6/4/2009: They left on Friday, Chris Bell, Hamish Chan and William Bishop are now in Belfast ready to take to the pistes at the World Junior and Cadet (thats U20 and U17s to you and me) Fencing Championships. You can follow their progress here: Kiwi fencers..


4/4/2009: Fencing action from today.....The door on fencing, a look at


the 2009 Olga Jekyll at Linwood College, and the ref rests, a relaxed Jeff Low controls the visual foil team event.


And University of Canterbury Fencing Club members jump for joy after hearing that they can have the Easter off as the university cannot get/afford security guards to work during the holiday. unione



3/4/2009: Should we federate with Australia?

The Anzac brotherhood, closer economic relations, international flights to be treated as internal flights and now tagging the New Zealand team heading to the World Juniors in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on to the Australian team, this unprecedented spirit of combined comradeship is good for both countries. In fact I remember becoming an Australian referee for the duration of a World Cup epee event in Europe back in the mid 1990s – all for the good of trans-Tasman fencing relations of course (and the saving of a few thousand American dollars), so could it be in the interest of New Zealand Fencing and Kiwi fencers to merge with the Australian Fencing Federation?

Lets face it, in 1850s when the two nations were British colonies it was quicker to travel from the South Island to Sydney or Melbourne than to Auckland, in fact it was only in 1891 that we pesky Kiwis knocked back the chance of Federation with our big brother over the pond. Nowadays it is almost as cheap to fly to Sydney or Melbourne as it is to fly from Invercargill to Auckland and it is certainly quicker to fly form God’s Own to Kangaroo Land than it is from Perth to Sydney.

So why not go the whole hog and merge Fenz with the AFF? After all the combined population of New Zealand is less than that of a large aussie city such as Melbourne, so the benefits to New Zealand fencing could be enormous. A selection system that is clear, unbiased and works; an up-to-date ranking system; a functioning national body that plans ahead and keeps its members in touch most of the time; well run competitions; The list goes on. Sadly the four Australian fencers I suggested the idea to want nothing to do with it! Wonder why?



31/4/2009: Enough of fencing, here are a couple of rare classic cars snapped in Christchurch, an Alvis and a low-light Moggie.Alvis


23/3/2009: This is one for the more mature among you - who is this fencer? A former National Champion, fenced at the Worlds and loves fishing. Your answers please.oldphoto


20/3/2009: Speedy reactions, want to test yours? Try this site: Thanks fencingforum.



19/3/2009: A reader has just pointed out an interesting statistic from the Fenz website concerning the NZL logo available from the Downloads section - 1489 have been for the left leg and 1362 for the right leg. Why the discreprency? But the thought that there are 127 more left legs among Kiwi fencers than right legs is mind boggling.





A high School teacher or university lecturer’s work is done before the pupil or student sits the examination and the teacher or lecturer is not allowed into the examination room to coach or help. It is much the same with a fencing coach. The coach’s work is done well before the pupil competes however coaches are allowed into the competition; so how important is it that the coach attends a competition with his or her pupil? Dr Francis Zold, a Hungarian fencing coach working in America, who ran a training camp in Auckland many years ago, wrote the following:

        ‘’Physical training schools and sport psychologists are devoting more and more attention to the rôle of the coach. I have written several times about the differences in training methods between East and West and also between their respective conceptions of the amateur status. The differences are also reflected in the part they allocate to the coach.

        The decisive difference between East and West in this respect is that Western competitors appear completely independent as individuals both in training and at the competitions. More often than not the coach is a mere observer at the competition and afterwards, like as not, he communicates his observations to his pupils. Western coaches do not regard themselves as guardians exercising full control over their wards, i.e., their pupils. Eastern athletes and fencers, on the other hand, rely too much on their coaches. In fact, I have seen several interviews given by Eastern athletes who practically laid it down as a condition of entry that their coach must be present at any international competition in which they took part and that the coach should also be sent with the individual competitor or the team (at the expense of the National Association that goes without saying). It is by no means unknown for Eastern champions to blame their occasional defeats on the fact that the Association failed to send the coach with him and he had to fight without the benefit of his coach's constant advice and guidance.

        These two extremes are now beginning to come a little closer and there is little doubt that the ideal is halfway between the two.

        Clearly, a coach who trains competitors of world class must be quite outstanding at his job. He must have not only the highest technical qualifications, but also the right temperament. He must know the physical capabilities of each of his pupils down to the smallest detail. He must know the degree of concentration each is capable of and he must study their personalities and dispositions When it comes to preparing for an international competition, it is up to the coach to impart to his pupil the style and fighting habits of the competitor's future opponents, it is the coach who must think up the most likely methods and tactics leading to victory.

        Having said that, I feel that it would be equally mistaken to leave a competitor entirely to his own resources as it would be to wet nurse him throughout the competition. The coach must study and know his pupil. There are some competitors who, without expressly saying so, expect the coach to sit next to them throughout a competition, not only to soothe their nerves but also to advise them between bouts. Others find this distracting and I once heard that Bob Murrow, the triple gold-medal Olympic champion, was walking up and down with his coach before the 100 metres final discussing the best make of sports car on the market. There are many like him who prefer to forget the competition in progress altogether. Others retire into remote corners and resent any disturbance of their solitude. But, as a general rule, a competitor who trusts his coach implicitly is glad of a little encouragement and a guiding word here and there from him. There is nothing more repellent than the self-important, self-opinionated coach who tries to have a finger in every pie and generally makes a nuisance of himself. Yet, the coach who completely retires into a corner and leaves his pupil alone throughout, as if to suggest that he himself has no interest or stake in the competition, is equally useless. So the ideal coach must fulfil the old definition - he must be guide, philosopher and friend.’’

As many of you will have realized, the above was written some years ago towards the end of the Cold War. Has much changed since then? Not really. My experience is that it is not vital for the coach to be there for all competitions, especially at low-level local comps, unless it is the pupil’s first competition or, the pupil is within three or four places of winning a medal or, is capable of making a final or, has to perform as part of a team.

So when should a coach attend a competition with the pupil? As above – at a first comp or when the pupil is likely to medal - here the experience of the coach is vital in supporting the efforts of the pupil, both in individual and team events, with warm-ups and tactical advice, but it is only a supporting role, not a guarantee of perfect performance. Other coaches, or fencers, such as those appointed to teams or groups, may try and fill the role of a personal coach, but unless they have been working with the fencer for a considerable time, as Zold points out, they are not likely to be as effective as the personal coach and can, in many cases, be detrimental to a fencers’ performance.

Having said that, my own personal experience as an adult fencer is that any coach/support is better than nothing. Another reason for the coach to be present is when a group of pupils are competing at an event, it is cheaper to pay the coach than have two or three parents all attending the same event to manage and look after their off-spring – the big saving here is not so much money, but convenience and the value of two for the price of one – coach and manager together.

Now, should personal coaches travel with national teams, either as an assistant team coach or coach of an individual fencer? That is another can of worms worth discussing, sometime, especially if the pupil(s) are prepared to pay and support the coach. Reread what Dr Zold wrote. In a recent discussion with a group of fencers they made it clear that nearly all of them wanted their coach on hand especially at large national or international comps. They said that having their coach there reduced the fencer’s stress of competing by the coach taking control of much of the down-to-earth problems of travel, communication with organizers, pre-competition warm-ups and tactical advice so perhaps those former Eastern athletes knew a thing or two? And, as Dr Zold says, ‘’… the ideal coach must fulfill the old definition - he must be guide, philosopher and friend.’’


13/3/2009: And now for something completly different. Have a look at this:



12/3/2009: And now something for the younger fencers....

New Zealand U15 and Cadet (U17) Fencing Championships

Friday 24 – Sunday 26 April


Queens High School Gymnasium

195 Surrey St, South Dunedin



Thursday: Weapons check – 6.00pm – 8.30pm

Friday: U15 Foil – Registration 9.00am

Saturday: U17 Men’s Foil – Registration: 9.00am

U17 Men’s Sabre – Registration: 10.00am

U17 Women’s Epee – Registration: 12.30pm

Sunday: U17 Men’s Epee – Registration: 9.00am

U17 Women’s Foil – Registration: 10.00am

U17 Women’s Sabre – Registration: 12.30pm

Finals (top 4 in each weapon) will start at 4.30pm.

Entry Fees:

$35 for any first weapon

$25 for each additional weapon

Late entry fee: $50 (in addition to standard fee)

Please make cheques payable to Claymore Swords Club


Email for the Claymore bank account details if you wish to pay directly into the club bank account.

Date of Birth:
Competitors must provide evidence of their date of birth with their entry form e.g. photocopy of passport of birth certificate.

Please send all entries and enquiries to:

Fiona McDonald

Claymore Swords Club

PO Box 5609

Dunedin 9058

All entries must be made on the attached entry form and received by the closing date, Monday 20 th April 5.00pm.

Additional Notes:

All equipment must conform to the requirements on the Fencing New Zealand website (

Competition format will be a first round of poules followed by direct elimination.


9/3/2009: The National Rankings are up and running. They are a tad incomplete at the moment, so do view them and pass on any problems or missed results to Kyle so he can correct them. If you don't help him then don't moan or complain if they are not correct! ...Rankings





Just found this old black and white negative of Brian Pickworth taken at the Dunedin Nations more years ago than I care to remember. The photograph shows Picky and, I think, Barry Garland or Bob Millar, in the final pool in the sabre event. There were no direct eliminations in those days and the final was fenced as a pool of eight! It is easier now, but then there does not appear to be as much time fencing as we had then.

Brian Pickworth was born in Oamaru in 1929 and represented New Zealand in fencing at the 1960 Olympics and at four Commonwealth Games. He lost his left arm in a shooting accident in his early years after his gun went off while he was negotiating a fence and damaged his arm, which was later amputated. He continued to hunt and was known for his prowess in firing a .303 rifle from the hip. Anyone who has experienced the kick-back of a .303 calibre rifle from the shoulder will know how difficult it was shooting from the hip one-handed!


A long-time member of Auckland fencing club, Salle Jean Louis, which was founded in 1955 by Bert Raper, Picky’s first coach, Picky was a very focussed fencer who used his disability to his advantage both with the ladies and other fencers, in particular referees. Among fencers he was known for his willingness to help others and his fondness for hunting and fishing.

Also coached by Prof Phil Lilley, a British Academy of Fencing-trained fencing maitre, Picky fenced all three weapons (most fencers did so in those days owing to the lack of depth in New Zealand fencing – a problem that still plagues our tiny nation today), but it is in sabre that I most remember him.

In my first Nationals in Dunedin in 1972, he lost his balance in an attack when I retreated too quickly, fell and did a forward roll, jumped up and hit me on the head (while I was stupidly standing there wondering wether to go and help him) and then showboated with the President and Jury to award the hit. They did!


In those days sabre was visual, only foil and epee were electric, and a President and four judges, two behind each fencer, officiated each bout. The application of the rules was more relaxed for nowadays loss of balance followed by a renewal would be penalised.

Picky, who worked for Tisdall’s sports shop in Auckland, generated a lot of media attention for fencing. At the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games in 1970 he was filmed sharing a meal with the Duke of Edinburgh, and at tournaments his tendency to lose his balance provided a spectacle for the audience and photographers as the cuttings show.

Picky won numerous national titles and a Commonwealth Games bronze medal in the sabre teams event at the Perth games along with team-mates Mike Henderson and Bob Binning.

Now, Bob Binning, he was a top sabreur and boss of a Christchurch biscuit factory who used his office as a fencing salle, but that’s another story? So is the story of a self-taught fencer who represented New Zealand.

(Thanks to Alex and Keith for their recollections and cuttings. Any mistakes are mine!)

STOP PRESS: A reader has just sent in these results. Picky won a total of 19 national titles. Ten foil between 1956 - 1969. Six sabre 1958 - 1971 and three epee 1963 - 1969.







Modern fencing uses three weapons; foil, epee and sabre the three are included in Commonwealth Championships and the Olympics yet for some years now in New Zealand there has been a drift to focus on one or, at most, two weapons, generally foil or epee, in the belief that by concentrating on one or two we can produce better results. Sabre, the third leg of the fencing tripod is the one many see as the weapon to drop, while others think we should specialise in epee and drop foil and sabre. At last year's nationals two Fencing New Zealand officials suggested to a top sabreur who, admittedly made the top three in both weapons here and in Australia, that he should specialise in epee!

* I found this belief of specialisation to be alive and well at a recent coaches meeting in Christchurch. The meeting, of the region's four most active coaches, was called by Fencing MidSouth's President Keith Mann as part of MidSouth's plan to grow the sport over the next few years and, as usual, the hoary old chestnut, specialisation, reared its head and poor old sabre was the weapon picked on. Keith, who is adamant that the three weapons receive equal input in time, money and effort, quickly squashed the idea of specialisation. In fact, he pointed out, that equality for all three weapons was enshrined in the Constitution of Fencing New Zealand and, as twice President of Fenz, he should know.

* Is he right? Are those who propound specialisation right? Lets look at the facts and the fictions surrounding this ongoing belief.

* Ponder upon these facts.

a. At last month's Junior Commonwealths in Penang what weapon produced New Zealand's solitary medal (bronze)? Epee.

b. Over the last four years (2005 to 2008) in which weapons have Kiwi Kids won the most medals in at Australian national U15 events? They have won seven foil, five epee medals, and no sabre medals. Now before you go, I told you so, remember there are NO individual or team sabre events at all and NO epee teams events in the U15's facts which skew the final medal count strongly in favour of foil by allowing sabreurs no chance of winning medals and limiting the epeeists.

c. In the U17 events there is a huge swing to sabre with nine medals, nine for epee and four for foil.

d. In the Australian U20's for the same four year period, sabre again comes out on top in the medal count with four, foil three and epee one. And, don’t even look at the senior rankings as it just too sad.

* Another reason for this unconsidered bias was brought up by one of the coaches at the meeting when it was inferred that it was the lack of coaches trained in teaching sabre that was to do with this negativity against the weapon. He pointed out his training was in epee and foil, hence he concentrated on those two weapons and did not teach sabre. He is probably right for out of around 20 coaches I know of in New Zealand only five teach sabre so no wonder the results are once again skewed in favour of foil and epee. In fact sabreurs should be praised for returning such a large medal count from such a small base. Imagine if more coaches taught sabre? The results could be phenomenal. A couple of questions, in the last four years how many coach’s courses have been held for epee and sabre? How many training camps have specialised in epee or sabre? How many for foil? Now read the previous paragraph again and weep for the medal haul that could have been.

* To pursue another angle in the hoary old debate about specialisation, doesn't it seem strange that those running a sport should only concentrate on two of its three streams?

a. For example, do those officials running Triathlon make the participants concentrate on swimming to the exclusion of cycling and running?

b. Do those heading the sport of Rowing concentrate on single sculls to the detriment of pairs and eights?

c. The same with Athletics, hurdling in favour of the shot put or 1500 metres, and Grand Prix racing, do drivers only practice on straight roads and forget the corners or the start?

d. And then there is Rugby. Do they just teach players how to run with the ball with no emphasis on kicking or tackling?

e. What about Cricket, do those officials running cricket concentrate on bowling to the detriment of batting and fielding?

* So why is this idea of dropping one or two weapons still alive in Fencing? Is there some knowledge or plan about in the wider world of fencing which shows that by specialisation a country can improve its medal count and performance? If there is why is there no informed debate about it? Does this one-size fit all concept have any validity in fencing? Is there any proof that specialising in one weapon will increase the numbers taking part? Personally, I think the more outlets you have for a product (fencing) the more you sell, but then I am not a marketing man just a fencing coach who teaches all three weapons.

* With the results of our Fencing Kids in Australia one could now argue that those of our volunteer officials standing for election, in the upcoming Annual General Meetings of the national and regional bodies, should look even closer at an even-handed approach to developing Fencing as a whole regardless of whether their personal belief is something different. Lets face it, it is the hardworking volunteers that drive our sport and like most unpaid officials they tend to push what is close to their hearts. But, after reading this, they could put our sport on a path to greatness by training more coaches in sabre with the aim of eventually ditching foil and epee - boy would that raise a fire-storm - and what can readers of this rant and general fencers do to ensure an even-handed approach to our great sport? Start fencing three weapons, but most of all enjoy your fencing!



28/2/2009: Doco about former Christchurch fencer Larance Shustak wins award!


The big winner of the night was New Zealand director Stuart Page, who picked up the prize for Best New Zealand Feature to go along with the Staples Rodway Best Emerging New Zealand Filmmaker award for his documentary Shustak.

The film is exploration of the legacy of enigmatic radical Lawrence Shustak, a popculture philosopher who left New York in the 1970s and later set up the photography department at the University of Canterbury.

Shustak took up fencing on his arrival in the 70's at the Christchurch Swords Club. He also fenced at the University Club and United. An agressive and bouncing fencer Larry was more interested in fencing as an art-form than a sport. That said, his competitive urges won him many bouts.


26/2/2009: Daniel Chan has the new foil mask with conductive bib. Hassle him for your example here: Mainland Fencing

19/2/2009: Why is this woman and an older man sitting in front of a wall covered in pin-up centrefolds? What have they to do with fencing? They say her voice can carry for hundreds of kilometres and reach thousands of people - keep watching this space to find the answers.........


18/2/2009. The Junior Sharp Blacks win their first medal at the CJFC - William Bishop, bronze in the mens epee!


17/2/2009: Fifteen countries are represented at the Commonwealth Junior Fencing Championships in Penang, including New Zealand. Competition starts doday. Keep an eye on how they do at: results See also the blog on the Fenz site: Blog


16/2/2009: Now there is no reason for affiliated Christchurch fencers not to know what is being done on THEIR behalf - feel free to instruct YOUR club rep on what YOU want from fencing and MidSouth and/or turn up to watch democracy in action!

If you ask nicely who could be given permission to speak, but attempt to get YOUR views raised by YOUR club rep first.

Fencing Mid-South Executive Meeting Schedule 2009

All meetings at the Cranmer Centre, commencing at 5.30 pm

January 30

February 13

March 13

[March 26 Annual General Meeting]

April 17

May 15

June 19

July 24

September 11

October 16

November 20.



6/2/2009:A celebration of handedness.............lefty

Left- handed fencers are a bugger to deal with for right-handers and, as this picture shows, the poor Righty has come up with an unusual action to counter the Leftie's dominance and awkwardness. Left-handers make up around 10% of the population, but nearly 50% of champion fencers - read more at:


2/2/2009: UCFC has its own website.....

Yes, the nation's oldest fencing club has moved into 20th Century - CUFC plans to catch up with the 21st Century next year! Have a look.......



27/1/2009: A pensive Nelson foilist ponders his next bout at Nationals last year....Foilist08


25/1/2009: Fencing numbers take a big jump in Christchurch!

Now that we have your attention you may like to know that former fencers Renee Brook (nee Lindsay) and Robert Snoep and their partners have been busily increasing the number of potential fencers in the Garden City. Renee and Phil have twin daughters, Alanah Lindsay and Emily Jane, while Snoepy and Kelly have a daughter, Emily Elizabeth, all in the last week! A women's sabre team at last. Best wishes and thanks to all involved.


17/1/2009: Kiwi girls win bronze at the Australian Youth Olympics...


13/1/2009: A documentary has been made of former fencer and University Lecturer in photography, Larance Shustak. Larance started fencing at the United Fencing Club back in the 1970s when he taught at the Arts School at the University of Canterbury. He died a few years back and the film about Larance's photographic career in America and New Zealand made by Stuart Page, a former student of Larance, has been accepted into the DOCNZ Film Festival and will be screened in the four
main cities.

• 26 February '09 - 8 March '09

• 12 March '09 - 22 March '09

Christchurch and Dunedin
• 26 March '09 - 5 April '09

600 films were submitted to the festival and 40 have been selected.
5 films have been selected for the best documentary award and
Stuart's film "Shustak" is one of these 5 nominees.
Stuart is also nominated for best emerging documentary film maker of
the year.
These awards will be announced in Auckland on 25 February.

For more info, go to:



Kiwi Fencers off to the Olympics!

 Oh yes, just when you thought your sporting world had got back to normal after its four-yearly dose of overkill, we have more Olympic sport for you - The Australian Youth Olympic Festival - which starts in Sydney on Wednesday and six Kiwi fencers will be among the 1800 competitors. 

Half the eight-strong team are from Christchurch, Chris Bell, Alex Chan, Carla Campbell and Sally McCance. From Wellington comes lefty William Bishop and from Auckland are Rebecca Cribbin and Jazmin Hopper along with Gideon Van Zyl from Whangapararoa. Manager Kate Brill is also from Christchurch. 


The young sharp blacks will take to the fencing piste on Friday and Saturday at Sydney’s Olympic Park. The fighting eight will meet teams from six other countries in individual and teams epee events.

 Epee is the only weapon being used in the fencing at these games. It has a large bell-shaped guard and is derived from the old dueling weapon. The whole body, from head to toe, is target just as it would be in a real duel. Foil and sabre are the other two weapons used in modern fencing.  


Results will available daily from: http: // so keep an eye out for some good results!

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