March is almost gone, next weekend I am ref'ing. I have 8 months to renew my B rating, or I drop to a C12 on Jan 1st, 2012. Of course, there is a tournament on that day and I could try to re-earn it then... But I would rather it not come to that.
Personally, having a C is better than having a B. You can still fence Div2 events and beat up on beginners, and at Div I events the ratings below A don't tell you much anyway. Even so, losing it would be embarrassing.
Last Saturday I was in Huntsville, AL for the Rocket City Open. The event was rated a B1, but I knew there were high level fencers in the area that still could come out and make it a A2 event at the last second. Ahh, no such luck. It was good to get out of Georgia and fence different styles, especially with Southeast Sectionals coming up.
My pool seemed to hum along until I lost to the other B in my pool. I rushed the bout, even thought it was to my disadvantage to do so. Then I lost to a girl who fences for her club at Indiana U. Badly. The score after 2:20 was 5-1, and my only touch was a double. Thank heavens no one told me she was a U - I would have done something stupid.
Worst of all, these losses made me forget all about my awesome beat-disarm attack with lunge earlier in the pool. It was pretty cool to see.
Thanks to a 3-2 record, I had to face my teenage girl student whose mother drove us to the event. Well, walking is good for the soul, right? I won 15-6, and kept my distance until the frustration wore off.
Next was the IU girl again. I watched her in her first DE. She never moved much, but she never stood still. And she took away the low line attacks by shifting her butt back and her shoulders forward. Did I mention she was tall? And the weirdest thing was that she was strong. Not really strong, but enough to remise or counterattack through anything I was trying. So I was down 5-3, and we doubled all the way to 13-11. She seemed content to just double out. I wasn't about to lose this early. Since I hit her hand early on, I kept beating and working to her hand. I figured I would either see it eventually, get her to counter and I would catch the top of her arm, or out of frustration or fatigue she would drop her hand. Eventually, she dropped her hand and I fléched for her shoulder. She didn't see it coming because I am just that damned good, and because I hadn't done it to her. It had to be fast because a beat attack would draw her counter, and since I was aiming for her shoulder there was nowhere to remise. Three in a row got me to 14-13. I figured she was all set to counterattack on a fourth flèche, so a nice deep medium speed lunge would be worth a double. 15-14 is good enough.
The next round I faced a guy who is fast enough for his new C11 rating, but still has an en garde of his old E rating. Once I established a lead with touches to the hand, I knew I wouldn't lose it.
The final for my B was against another club mate and child of my ride. Only he was talking smack and not interested in losing. While I executed nice hand touches, most of my points came by punishing his mistakes, not actually making things happen. When in distance I got gun shy instead of mowing him down. When he earned the 13th touch, I fought back hard to make a game of it, but by then I was fencing for pride and not for the gold.