Bulletin for the Week of December 10, 2018


Here is the schedule for this week:
Mon Dec 10: Special Fun Night in Middlebury, 6:30-8:30 p.m, Mary Hogan School, featuring the Infamous Candy Stealing Game (see #2 below for more). All fencers of all skill level are invited, including Charlotte fencers. (Note: if coming from Charlotte and needing a rental mask or jacket, please let me know by this afternoon. If you have your own mask and jacket, you can just show up). This is a free, bonus night of fencing since we have an unused make up date.

Tues Dec 11: Make-up class in Charlotte. Please arrive at 7:15. That way, if basketball is not using the gym until 7:30, we can start a little early, and if they are, we will be ready to go right on time. Our official scheduled practice time is now 7:30-9:30 (and will stay that way through February, unless the finalized basketball schedule ends earlier than 7:30 (we won't know this until a week or two into January). Competitive Squad fencers-no organized practice this Tuesday, but you are welcome to come for a last blast of open fencing before break. I'm not sure if Geoff is planning to come, so contact him directly if you want to schedule a lesson.

No Level 3 classes or Wed/Thurs practice this week.

Club sweatshirt order has arrived! If you ordered a sweatshirt or jacket, you may pick it up at practice this week, or arrange to pick it up at my house (in Addison). Otherwise, I will bring it for you in January.

Reminder: if you wish to continue to rent equipment for winter classes, please let me know as soon as possible by email (if you just tell me at practice I might forget).

No fencing December 12-January 1. Level 3 classes resume January 2/3 and Level 1/2 classes resume January 7/8.

Here is how the game works: everyone starts with a certain number of candy pieces, ranging from 4 (an A rated fencer) to 12 (a youth or veteran beginner). Fence 5 touch bouts against every opponent you can find. A challenge can not be refused! All bouts are self-directed to the best of your ability (if it is not clear, throw it out - no arguing!). No referees-call your own touches honestly. If two fencers prefer different weapons, the one who started with less candy gets to choose (if they are equal, use rock-paper-scissors). Experimenting with all 3 weapons is encouraged!

At the end of each bout, the loser gives one candy piece to the winner. The goal of the game is to accumulate as much loot as you can by the end of the game. The more bouts you fence, the more chances you have. Please do not eat your candy before the final count (empty wrappers will not be counted)! If the difference in ratings between fencers is 2 or more in the weapon being fenced (e.g. a D vs U, or a C vs E), and the lower rated fencer scores 3 or more points, the lower rated fencer does not have to give any candy to the winner. Of course, if the lower rated fencer wins, the higher rated opponent must give a piece of candy.

No rematches unless you have fenced everyone in the game. If you do get around to a rematch, it must be with a different weapon. Game ends 8:30 p.m., with small, seasonally appropriate awards for best youth, best unrated, and overall, based on final number of candy pieces in your bag.

The more who play, the more fun this is. All fencers of all skill level are invited tonight!

Our club grows mainly through word of mouth, so make sure to tell all your friends about our winter classes. For every friend who joins a Level 1 class, you get $5 off your own class fees. Point your friends toward our website (www.vtfencingalliance.org) and/or pass on my email address. Really want to help promote the club? I have found that Front Porch Forum is a powerful tool for reaching potential new fencers, but members can only post in their own Forums. I belong to the Vergennes FPF and will post a blurb on that one. I am looking for help in posting the ad below to as many local FPFs as possible (feel free to add your own personal statement about the club if you wish). So, if you can help, please go ahead and post sometime before Christmas (just check before posting that someone else has not posted the same thing in the same Forum, to avoid duplication).

"Vermont Fencing Alliance Winter Beginner Classes
Fencing is an exciting Olympic sport which develops strength, agility, and mental focus. The Vermont Fencing Alliance offers an active program of recreational fencing and competitive training for people age 9 through adult, in Middlebury and Charlotte. Whether you want to go for the gold, or just try a little swordplay for fun and exercise, the VFA warmly welcomes beginners.

We are now registering students for beginner classes in two locations:
Mondays 6:30-8 p.m (with open fencing until 9), Mary Hogan School (Middlebury), Jan 7-March 11
Tuesdays 7:30-9 p.m., (with open fencing until 9:30), Charlotte Central School, Jan 8 - March 19

Cost for the 10-week Level 1 class is $140, which includes instruction, equipment rental, club and association dues. Partial financial assistance is available for those who could not otherwise participate. Advance registration is required to reserve equipment and a place in the Level 1 foil class (no walk-ins please!).

To register for VFA classes or for more information about fencing in Middlebury and Charlotte, contact coach Viveka Fox (vfox@gmavt.net or 802-759-2268). More information can also be found on our website at www.vtfencingalliance.org"

Time to start thinking ahead for the annual winter fund drive! Between early January and the 26th Annual Middlebury Open on March 2-3, we need to raise most of our operating budget for next season. This money is used for maintaining and replacing club equipment, subsidizing the cost of gym rental, financial aid for class and competition expenses for those who need it, and rewarding our assistant coaches (in the form of modest credits that they can use for fencing expenses). Our goal is to raise $4000+, which we should be able to do easily if everyone pitches in. The majority of our fundraising comes from sponsorships given by local businesses and civic organizations. For a donation of $25-$100 they get an ad in the Middlebury Open program (bigger donation=larger ad) and a listing on the 2019 Champlain Cup t-shirt. In January, I will email sponsorship forms to you. Start thinking now about who you might approach for sponsorships!

In addition to sponsorships, we always have a raffle. Can you donate a prize for the raffle? Nice things that anyone would want, or fencing-specific prizes are welcome (but no white elephants please). I will make raffle tickets available in January for you to sell far and wide.

Want to be even more involved?
We need one or two volunteers to serve as Raffle Czars/Czarinas.
We need a volunteer or small committee to coordinate refreshment sales at the Middlebury Open. Please let me know if you want to be the Cafe King or Queen! It’s a great job for a parent or spouse who will not be competing over the weekend.
Do you have artistic or graphic design skills? We need a t-shirt design for this year - up to 3 colors, a nice logo that captures the spirit and excitement of fencing, with the words "Champlain Cup 2019" and (smaller text) "Green Mountain Division US Fencing". The design is needed by early February (and the designer gets a free t-shirt).

Anyone who raises $50+ and/or volunteers in a major fundraising role (Raffle Czar, Cafe Queen, t-shirt designer) fences for free in the Middlebury Open.

2019 Mid-Winter Melee, January 12, Mary Hogan School, Middlebury. Open foil, epee and saber events, plus Youth Foil and Youth Epee for kids born 2006 or later. Register by January 7 to get discounted entry fee (and because it really really helps me organize the tournament). Since many of you won't even see me again before January 7, you won't get another reminder. So why not go ahead and register now, rather than wait until January?

For event schedule, more info and to register:

Congratulations to the finalists of the Upper Valley Holiday Open on Saturday.

Open Foil (21 competitors, C1 event)
1 Brookes, Scott MOE
2 Schenck, Koen RIFAC - earned D rating
3 Etholm, Didrik MOE
3 Hewes, Thomas BOSTON FC
5 Horak, Peter BAY STATE
5 Achilova, Feyza RIFAC
7 Brideau, Justin SC
8 Bagley, Ryan VFA

Open Saber (10 competitors, E1 event)
1 Borgal, Cameron UNH
2 Wyatt, Seth PVFA
3 D'Souza, Charlie UNAT
3 Tait, Trevor UNAT

Open Epee (23 competitors, B1 event)
1 Horak, Peter BAY STATE
2 Crocket, Anne SC
3 Morales, Marcelo KH - earned C rating
3 Walting, Paul PVFA - earned C rating
5 Wyatt, Seth PVFA
6 Bagley, Ryan VFA
7 Nop, Will VFA
8 Rivait, Birk SC

E-Under Epee (15 competitors, D1 event)
1 Greenwood, Seamus VFA - earned D rating
2 Houst, Michael SFC
3 Yarbrough, Finn VFA - earned E rating
3 Ruggles, Bill UVFC - earned E rating
5 Kane, Garrett VFA
6 Yaggy, Judson VFA
7 Moeykens, Emmet UVFC
8 Tasker, Monisha UNAT

E-Under Saber (16 competitors, D1 event)
1 Wyatt, Seth PVFA - earned D rating
2 Hathaway, Dawn UVFC
3 Borgal, Cameron UNH
3 Dusinberre, Kate UNH - earned E rating
5 Tait, Trevor UNAT
6 Putnam, Kevin UNAT
7 Bagley, Ryan VFA
8 Sironi, Gage SC

E-Under Foil (21 competitors, D1 event)
1 Alimi, Yacine IFABOSTON-earned D rating
2 Achilova, Feyza RIFAC
3 Bao, Wenyuan MFA-earned E rating
3 Schuppe, Ray VFA
5 Kaplan, Isa VFA
6 Davis, Rick VFA
7 D'Souza, Charlie UNAT
8 Tasker, Monisha UNAT

Performance of the Week: Progress in fencing is more like climbing stairs than going up a ramp. You can work for a long time (years, even) and feel like you are not getting much better, than suddenly something clicks and you move up to the next step. That clearly happened with Seamus this fall. As often happens with rapidly growing kids, it took Seamus a long time and a lot of work to develop the coordination needed for good footwork and point control. But this season, Seamus has been going from strength to strength. In October, he earned his E in a small E-Under event. In November, he won the Cadet JO Qualifier event. And this weekend, he defeated the #1 seed (an experienced, E-rated veteran) to earn his D rating. I did not get to watch Seamus fence much, but from the little I saw, he looked more poised and confident on the strip, and his game was more cohesive (he wasn't just reacting to random opportunities as he has done in the past).

Honorable Mentions: First of all, the ironman award goes once again to the indefatigable Ray, who set a a personal record (extreme, even for Ray) of fencing 5 events in one day. Isa fenced a fantastic, undefeated pool (it was a pleasure to ref him), remaining calm and purposeful, defeating the eventual 2nd place finisher (who was fast, aggressive and squirmy) and changing his game (from attacking to riposting) to come back from a 4-1 deficit to win 5-4 against an E-rated fencer. Unfortunately for Isa, he drew Ray in the round of 8 (against someone he fences with less often, he may have been able to pull off more surprises). Rick also had a strong day of fencing, with the best finish for an unrated fencer in the open foil event, and going 5-1 in his E-Under pool. He has been working on not rushing his preparations and leaving his options open, and the change in his game really paid off as he was able to make a late choice about where (or whether) to finish his attack or to parry and riposte if his opponent attacked into his preparation. He is off next weekend for his first Vet70 tournament (because fencing is a lifetime sport!). Finally, Finn finished his first semester of fencing with an A+, taking to epee like a fish to water and earning an E rating in his second tournament ever. Finn's observation to me was "I notice that if I retreat other people can't hit me but I can hit them". Yep, that's a great place for a tall epee fencer to start from!