Monday, July 09, 2007

Miami - Lots of Heat, Some Fencing

Few things I enjoy more than watching fencing. Learning about opponents, commenting on good or bad technique, preparing myself mentally to fence myself are all benefits from hanging around the Summer Nationals venue for a week.

Unfortunately, such dilligence cannot fix a broken bodycord.

Watching my pool in Division II Men's Epee I wasn't too worried. My record was 0-1, but I lost by only one touch. Sure my weapon seemed to be acting funny, but I figured it was just nerves on my part. After another weapon failed shims, and then another failed weights, I started to get nervous.

Soon all my weapons were alternately failing and passing, as my record dipped to 1-3. Knowing I needed to absolutely win the next two bouts just to get past the 80% cut for the direct elimination round didn't help at all. Then came the moment of fear - in my fifth bout I was up 4-2, and was repeatedly stabbing my opponent. No light, no touch. No touch, no halt. With no halt, I had to keep hitting the guy just to keep time running out. My opponent, no fool, pressed his advantage, and won in priority.

By the last bout, record now 1-4, I realized it was a body cord problem, and I just couldn't get my head back into the game. I lost 5-4 on a bad fleche (double-touch), and with only one victory and a -7 indicator, I was four touches out of the DEs.

The worst is that only one kid legitimately beat me, the rest benefited from my non functioning equipment. Never mind I brought four epee weapons (Uhlmann FIE, STM FIE, brand new Leon Paul, brand new PBT), or that both my body cords were certified by the armourers. Getting railed at Nationals by your betters is one thing. Crapping out in the pools in an event you could have won is completely humiliating. The body cord more than anything else was at fault, and now I must remember to buy a brand new cord at every national competition I compete in. See below if you want the old one.

It's there somewhere.

Back to the drawing board.

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