VFA Bulletin
January 16, 2023

We are in full swing this week, with all practices as scheduled, barring any weather disruptions. If there is winter weather, or any other unexpected cancellation, I will use this email list to notify you. If you would like an additional or different email added to the list, please let me know.

Level 1 students: If you missed class last week, please come about 15 minutes early this week and I'll get you caught up. Same thing for any future absences.

Are you the kind of person who finds written instructions helpful, or wants a written record of what we did in class (or what you missed if you were absent)? I send out a weekly email with Level 1 plans, and another with Level 2/3 plans. Anyone who would like to receive these is welcome to, just ask to be added to the lesson plan list.

Groundhog Open and Youth
Saturday, Feb 11
Vt Commons School, S. Burlington

10 a.m Open (Senior Mixed) Epee, Youth (Y10Y12) Foil
2 p.m Open (Senior Mixed) Foil, Youth (Y10Y12) Epee

Open events are for fencers born 2009 or before, and require Access or higher USAF membership.
Youth events are for kids born 2010 or later. No membership upgrade is required (noncompetitive membership is okay). I recommend this for all youth fencers in Level 2/3 classes, plus 11-12 year olds in Level 1 (younger Level 1 students, I recommend you wait until the next youth event, in April, to get a little more confidence and experience).

Entry fees: $20 for one event or $30 for two, if registered by midnight Feb. 6. After that there is a $15 late registration fee.

Reasons to sign up early:
-Avoid late fee
-The morning events have caps and may fill up. Make sure you have a place reserved.
-It is super helpful to the organizers, and pretty much critical for us to know well in advance how many youth fencers to expect (since youth need more refs and more help in general).
-In open events, early sign ups makes them enticing to out of state visitors, when they see that a large and exciting tournament is expected.
-There is no penalty for withdrawing if you have to. Payment is at the door.

So don't delay, sign up now!
To register:

New to using AskFRED? Get instructions on how to create an account:

Another fine day of fencing in the record books! Want to see the Champlain Cup point standings after 4 tournaments? Click here, scroll down to "2022-23 Champlain Cup" and select the weapon you wish to view:

Full results of the Mid-Winter Melee are posted here:

Congratulations to the winners!
Open Foil (17 competitors, C1 event)
1 Brookes, Scott MOE FC
2 Borgal, Cameron SFC
3 Coffin, Carleton RPI FC
3 Fox, Viveka VFA

Unrated Mixed Foil (12 competitors, E1 event)
1 Goldenbogen, Simon VFA - earned E rating
2 Balch, Trip VFA
3 Qashou, Yaseen VFA
3 Kisiel, Lucas URI

Open Epee (38 competitors, B2 event)
1 Wyatt, Seth PVFA
2 Bush, Thomas RIFAC
3 Wei, Zikun (Sam) RPI
3 Malenfant, Vincent SRN
also Adrian Clermont (8th, SRN) earned D rating

Unrated Mens Epee (12 competitors, E1 event)
1 Spencer, Garrick S&S - earned E rating
2 Clermont, Adrian SRN
3 Wallin, Adam S&S
3 Qashou, Mohammad VFA

Unrated Womens Epee (6 competitors, E1 event)
1 Moait, Hebah RPI -earned E rating
2 Wheeler, Michele VFA
3 Peden, Emily VFA
3 Cutler, Karen VFA

Performance of the Week: One of the things I enjoy about the VFA, and fencing in Vermont in general, is that it is intergenerational. It's not a super-competitive Little League that is all about picking the most talented youth and weeding out the rest, nor is it an old fogies rec league that is more talk than action. Where else can you see an energetic middle schooler and a 60 year old businessman/dad go head to head as equals, with respect and enjoyment on both sides? That is exactly what happened in the unrated foil event. Trip was the oldest competitor in the event, and as such, took a "work smarter not harder" approach. He has made great strides in keeping his upper body more relaxed, and as a result, his ripostes were deadly accurate. But that doesn't mean he was standing still or fencing passively. To make the final, he had to defeat two fencers young enough to be his kids (or grandkids!), the second one a 15-14 match. He used a mix of invitations and second intention actions to convince his opponents to attack, and put his ripostes to good work. Then, when his opponents began to lose confidance in their attacks, he could make occasional attack of his own when the distance was right. Having turned 13 in December, Simon was the youngest competitor in the event and one of the smallest. He was a ball of fire - loads of energy, intensity and hussle from the get-go. Simon likes to counter-attack, but if that is all he had done, he would not have won. He scored plenty of points with attacks from his own initiative, and with parry-ripostes. He did a good job of making himself unpredictable - varying the distance and timing of his actions so that his opponent did not know what to expect. He knocked out two very capable college fencers (and one 60 year old...) on his way to a well-deserved E rating.

Honorable Mentions: Personal bests for Axel, who won all of his pool bouts, and Yaseen, who edged Axel out in overtime to earn his first GMD medal. In the open foil event, Yaseen only lost to rated fencers. He seems destined to fence me over and over until he can beat me, and I'm pretty sure that is going to happen (note: error in uploaded results, Yaseen's score with me was 15-9 not 15-0). Ethan went undefeated in his pool (including an excellent bout with me in which he was able to adjust and suprise me by changing up his attacks) and was the highest E rated finisher (re-earning his E for 2023). Miranda also fenced a strong pool, losing only to 2 rated adult men. In epee, Jesse went 5-1 in his pool and was the best VFA finisher in a strong event (10th). Mohammad picked up his first GMD medal. How about those VFA veteran women epee fencers? Michele made her comeback after 4 years of injury time off (the life of a veteran fencer!), stepping in only when someone backed out due to illness, and showing she's still got it. Emily picked up her first medal, and Karen was able to overcome some self-doubt and focus on playing her game. Three cheers for Petra, who fenced her first tournament, and a warm GMD welcome to new transplants Xavier and Colton, both now Middlebury epee fencers. In open epee DEs, Colton edged out the #5 seed to make the top 16, and was the highest unrated epee fencer after one of the Canadians (who use a different rating system).

Thank you: to the big team of volunteers who made this tournament run smoothly and efficiently, including but not limited to Deirdre, Genevieve, Michele, Karen, Ethan, Ray, Charlie, Bill, Halima, me, and everyone who helped with set up, clean up and reffing all day long.

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