In order to keep everyone up-to-date on the affairs of the club, we have implemented a monthly newsletter. As with most things, this is fairly tentative right now, and will either prove useful and prosper, or not. If anyone has suggestions for what they'd like to see here, or if you'd like to contribute, please feel free to mail me or just grab me and talk.
September - Summer's like a month, right?
Because, you know. Both are periods of time, and both get their own newsletter, and both end in consonants, except for June which in fact ends in a vowel and most of the other months which sort of end in sometimes-y's. But besides that summer is almost exactly like a month!
Which is amazing! Or, to put it another way, isn't amazing at all! Because really it's not that summer is almost exactly like a month that would amaze even the most casual observer, it's more what an amazing amount of stuff we've managed to fit into one measly little month.
Week One: June, and the Second Annual Escrime Sundae! We had a tournament that resulted in ice cream, the best kind of tournament ever ever ever ever ever except for the Fence-a-Thon, which was also terribly exciting even without the partially frozen bovine lactations. Lots of people came out and fenced for the whole weekend in June, and we even launched a whole new (sort of) event upon the world: mixed team FLEPEE! featuring four teams of four fencers each, two foil and two epee. Jeff Bowman and the Rockettes took home the gold in the inaugural event, followed by the Polyglot Punishers, The Fifth Fig, and Team Ninja. Fun!
Week Two: July, and everyone went to lots of places to learn how to get really really good. Tammy Rogers, Aurora Harrison, John and Daffyd Foster and Anna Smith all went to the Okanagan for a week-long training camp with Victor Gantsevich, Josh McGuire, Joyce McKenzie and Manuel Belmonte. Alex Martin went to China instead, which is sort of like the Okanagan but very slightly further away. Everyone of course went away fantastic and came back terrific. Especially Anna, who inspires cold-hearted terror everywhere she goes. Rawr! And so forth.
Week Three: August. I'm not really sure what happened in August. Maybe nothing. Hmmm.
Week Four: No wait! I forgot,
Week Three: in August we went to Portland! I forgot about August completely because we spent the whole month on a bus, with Alex Gukov and this kid called Nathan who lives in Calgary. Gukov came 7th and the Calgary kid 20th but they don't fence for CCFC so nobody cares what they think. So take that! Ok I'm sorry I'm joking we care what you think, honest. Just we care more about us! Alex came 25th out of a field of 66, while Anna came 31st and got a Pretty Good for a Girl Award. She found this somewhat shocking as nobody has ever tried to give her a prize for making the 32s before but, what can you do.
Week Four (again): September marked the start of the new season, as well as the official joining of CCFC and the Pentathlon Epee Club, which we found very exciting. We started the year off right with a string of successes at the Montreal Canadian Selection Event: Alex Martin came 28th in the Junior Men's Foil and 25th in the Senior event, while Anna Smith made 15th in the Senior Women's Foil. However, it was Emiko Ihara, newly a member of CCFC, who really stole the show. She decided to go to the competition about an hour before registration closed, more or less on a whim (it makes a better story that way, anyway) and Alex had this whole complicated theory about how she'd randomly decide to go, and then lose 15-14 to Catherine Dunette and come fifth but actually he was dead wrong, the score wasn't quite that close. He was right in every other respect, though, so we got our first top eight performance and our first creepily accurate prediction all at the same time. September was also the Leon Auriol Open in Seattle, Washington, where CCFC again cleaned up. In the Mixed Epee, Ali Ulker suffered a heartbreaking 15-14 loss to come 17th out of a field of 67. In the Women's Foil, Aurora Harrison placed 28th, Sarah Smith came 14th, and Anna Smith took home the silver Leon Auriol bobblehead (most peculiar). Take that, America!
It was an action-packed month indeed. To be honest I'm surprised we still have the energy to have so many things on the go but we do! Our first beginner class ended late last spring, and CCFC's newest members are coming along in leaps and bounds. We're thrilled to have so many new fencers and so much fresh new talent to draw on, and look forward to great things from our first graduates in the months and years to come. In that same vein, we're just starting up our second beginner course, taught once more by our bestest best friend Duncan Johanneson, for whom we thank our lucky stars every minute of every day unless of course we're sleeping, eating, or there's something good on TV. Everyone should also start getting ridiculously excited about the upcoming Yonas Sadek Island Cup, tentatively slated for November 12 and brought to you by the great and gracious Sarah Smith. If anyone feels like helping her out, she'd love to have you; this is going to be our first non-ridiculous tournament, as well as the first one Anna didn't plan (coincidence? I think not!) and we can't wait to see how enormous a success it'll be!
Practically Already June - Hooray for Everyone!
Man, time flies. Flies! I just turned around and not only is it practically already June, as the name implies, and so much incredibly cool stuff has happened that the only way to describe it really is, hooray for everyone!
For example, hooray for Alex Martin! Who made alternate for Canada's Cadet Men's Foil team, and almost almost got to go to Worlds. He missed the spot by three points (three!), which meant that if any of the three guys named to the National team was unable to attend the World Championships, Alex got to go. Then Zach Redeker couldn't afford the trip, so Alex got to go! Then for reasons none of us could fathom that turned out to not be true so then he stayed home. Booo. Hisssss. But, life goes on, and we of course hope that Alex has the best of all possible luck in his Junior years, and that he doesn't need any kind of luck at all. And then we'll yell "Ha! Take that!" at certain nameless members of the CFF. Cough.
After that, we got to many thousands of hoorays for everyone involved in the running of the first annual Fence-a-Thon. It went better than anyone in their right mind could have expected, with 37 entrants and ridiculous amounts of money raised. We had guys from up and down the island, from all over BC, and even one crazed idiot that flew in from Calgary to fence with us. There were guys I see daily, guys I haven't seen in years, and guys I bullied into coming (I'm a pretty scary girl). We put on one hell of a show, with almost everyone sticking it out for the full twelve hours and then helping us clean the place up at 7am before stumbling home to bed. It could not possibly have been done if everyone hadn't let themselves be duped into helping out - with the food and the setup and the cleanup and the gear and the food again and don't forget the effing pistes! It was clearly an all-out effort worthy of a huge Hooray for Everyone! Which is coming pretty soon in the form of a plaque (a plaque guys!! I've never had a plaque before!) from the BC Cancer Foundation. Neat, eh?
Two weeks later we had a big hooray for Ali Ulker and Anna Smith, who attended the Lazar Memorial Tournament at UBC, where they picked up a 10th and a 6th place respectively. Then, an even bigger hooray for the CCFC Provincials contingent: Alex Martin, Daffyd and John Foster, Sarah Smith, Tammy Rogers, Aurora Harrison, Ali Ulker, Meaghan Noseworthy, Melanie Friesen, Bev Dunfield, and Catherine Thwaites, who between them picked up 13 medals and 7 more top eight finishes. Not bad considering we only sent ten people!
At least a week passed without any of us doing anything particuarly heroic. Probably that's because we spent those two weeks desperately trying to learn to fence before heading out to Nationals in Edmonton this past weekend. Nationals was more awesome than I had dreamed of thinking of hoping of imagining that it might possibly be. We had a great weekend and everyone did really really well - even in those events where the results don't tell the whole story our guys came along by leaps and bounds. It was really a pleasure to see. See?
Awesome. Awesome! Sometimes we amaze even me. Everyone fenced really really well, everyone improved from the experience, and everyone had a great time in Edmonton which is a feat in itself because. It's Edmonton. But no yeah it was a great tournament, and a great start to the new season.
So hooray, hooray for everyone and everything. Capital City and the PEC get stronger every day and will eventually be like the vampires of the fencing world: we'll be the stuff of legend, the terror of entire countries, and an inspiration to weird angsty teenagers everywhere. In the meantime, keep your eyes and ears open for news of the Second Annual Invitational Inspirational Recreational Non-Denominational Fencing Tournament of Fun, with Entrance for a Song Plus a Nominal Fee, Kazoos Provided at the Door, Come for the Saturday, Stay for the Escrime Sundae!
February - New Tourney!
The Capital City Fencers' Club is proud to present the Fence-a-Thon, a twelve-hour fencing marathon. This event will be held on the night of Saturday, March 19 at St. Andrew's Regional High School. All proceeds from this event will benefit the BC Cancer Foundation.
The BC Cancer Foundation is a charitable foundation which supports cancer research and care through the BC Cancer Agency. The Foundation is committed to funding programs for the early detection of cancer, research into the causes and cures of cancers, and care for patients and family members of those suffering from the disease.
The idea for this event was sparked by the death of national and international fencing referee Christian Vidosa. Mr. Vidosa was well known across the country for his optimism, his playful antics and his demand for good sportsmanship. He passed away in November 2004 after a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Although his death did spark the event I should mention that proceeds will not be donated in memory of any specific person or for any specific cancer.
You should all be very excited about it, and voice your positive remarks to everyone you meet. Any concerns should be pushed down inside, right down to the soles of your feet where they'll never bother anyone again, or else phrased in the most positive possible way so that I can hear and fix them without having panic attacks.
To help in the battle against panic attacks, there are several things you can do. First off, because we plan to donate the entire proceeds of the event we also don't plan to spend almost any money on anything. Since we still need lots and lots of fabulous prizes to entice people from around the province and down in the States to come up and fence with us, that means we need donations of prizes.
Donations can take the form of actual objects (ie food, wine, salt shakers, Vespa ET2s), stuff to do (if you are someone or know someone who can get like free sailing, or surfing, or spelunking, or paintball or something) or services (like tickets to shows or attractions, or... eye exams.... I'm sure you guys can think of lots of things anyway...) If you can get something that you think would be a huge attraction but you can't get it free, only heavily heavily discounted, give me a shout and I'll see if I can't just pay the difference. If you need request type letters, we've got those too - again, call me.
Closer to the event itself we will of course need all the usual mountains of help setting up and taking down and all that other fun stuff. For this we will be forming Coalitions of the Willing, which are like teams but differ in one vital respect: in that there is no "I" in team, but there are LOTS of "I"s in Coalition of the Willing!
In the meantime, if you feel like fundraising at all, there are pledge forms on the website on our shiny event letterhead (ooh). For some of you, this might be a good way to raise some money for a good cause. For others, it's a great way to not incur my wrath.
Now for the exciting parts where all you have to do is fence. The event is a twelve-hour, overnight tournament that will test your endurance and possibly also your will to live. It's sort of a two-part affair: a regular old fashioned run of the mill tournament in foil, epee, and with a 20% chance of light sabre; and a handicap event where you fence as many people as possible without dying. At the end of the day, there promise to be some really fabulous prizes (honest) for all kinds of different things. All this, including a detailed explanation of the format, is now officially on our website , after like fifty thousand hours of work by someone we all know and love, namely, me. Hooray for me.
Cost of the event is $20. The location is the St. Andrew's School gym at 880 McKenzie, NOT Trinity. Fencing starts at 7pm on Saturday, March 19 (but be there an hour early to help set up if you can) and ends at 7am Sunday. Passports, whether BCFA, CFF, or USFA are mandatory for the event - but then they're also mandatory for the club so yeah. Please preregister ASAP through askFRED.
Thanks, as ever, for your help, and I hope to see you all there!
October - What a long, strange trip it's been
Capital City Fencers' Club is now into its tenth month of existence, and so its second monthly newsletter. Febmaraprijunulaugseptoctobruary has been a very successful month for CCFC.
We've competed in nine competitions between us, and destroyed the opposition in each and every one. At the BC Winter Games qualifiers, Alex Martin qualified for the Zone 6 team, men's epee division, by fencing foil with an epee in his hand better than any of the competition. John Foster also qualified as the foilist for the Home Zone team, pitting teammate against teammate in a bitter and bloody civil war. The Games themselves were also a success: John took home bronze in the team epee, and was a near fifth in the individual epee, while Alex cleaned up, taking the team epee gold, team foil gold, individual foil gold and individual epee bronze medals.
At the BC Provincials in May, CCFC was represented by Sarah Smith, Nina Xu, Ali Ulker, Tammy Rogers, John and Daffyd Foster, and Aurora Harrison. We took medals in just about every cadet, junior, and mosquito event possible, as well as a good showing in the senior events. Some time in the spring, Ali Ulker, Alex Martin and Anna Smith attended the Stephen Lazar Open at UBC. It was the usual slaughter.
May was also the month for Nationals, in Laval, QC. The club was well represented by Alex Martin, Nina Xu, and Sarah and Anna Smith. We won no medals, but had several strong finishes and a lot of very close bouts. The new CCFC-PEC conglomeration means we also get to bask in the reflected glory of PEC's Emiko Ihara's top 8 Junior Epee finish, as well as the gold medal Team BC won, with Emiko's help, in the Team Epee.
We also cheated a little, and hosted our own tournament just so we could beat up on the rest of the province. Bwahahaha. The First Annual Escrime Sundae was a roaring success, drawing fencers from up and down the Island, as well as competitors from the Mainland. Thanks to Bill Robertson and Bob Grant, plus a gazillion volunteers who turned up early to set up pistes and take registration money, the event ran smoothly, and even finished near as damnit on time. Plus, there was ice cream! What more could anyone want?
More recently, Aurora Harrison and Ali Ulker competed in the Leon Auriol Seattle. Two events - Women's Foil and Mixed Epee, respectively - and two sixth place finishes! Not bad at all, considering that there were 29 foilists and 80 epeeists to contend with. Ali earned his US C at this event, and Aurora her E, making them Competent and Eager, respectively.
Nina Xu, Alex Martin and Anna Smith also competed in Montreal at the first CEC. Alex placed 6th in the Cadet, putting him in strong contention for the Candian Cadet Team. Anna apparently forgot to fence. Grr. Alex also competed in Atlanta, Georgia, in October at the first Cadet NAC of the season. Though he didn't earn selection points for his finish in the cadet event, he still had the second best Canadian finish in this event, and came 12th in the Division II, as sort of a bonus.
In non-winning-everything news, we've recently welcomed the Pentathlon Epee Club to our facilities. Pentathletes are clearly insane, devoting their lives to a combination of fencing (yay!), running, swimming, shooting, and horsey sports. We are nontheless thrilled to have them, as they've repeatedly proved themselves to be among the best epeeists in the province.
Last Monday, we had our first ever Extraordinary General Meeting, discussing everything from beginner courses to the fee structure to throwing El Presidente out of office. In the end, the rebels were overthrown by the bourgeouisie, so we unanimously reelected him anyway. Congratulations Robert Smith, who remains our very own Fearless Leader. We also elected two new directors to the board: Darleen Rogers, and Duncan Johanneson. We salute you!
There are also plans in the works for a whole stack more tournaments, at home and abroad, as well as training camps, beginner courses, and maybe even bending Camosun College to our will. More details will be available as soon as we have something to actually report.
So what's next for the CCFC-PEC conglomerate? Clearly, super powers.
The very first newsletter, at the end of our very first month of existence, is provided by Yonas:
Now that we have successfully survived our first month it is with pleasure that we present our first newsletter to all participants by which means we hope to keep all of you informed of the Club's activities on a monthly basis.
The founding directors are most grateful to all members of the club without whose enthusiatic support this club would never have got off the ground. Special thanks to Founding Director Robert Smith, President, for his indefatigable search for a proper location, his magnificent website for the club including our artistic logo and also for ordering all the necessary equipment. Also to Founding Director Bob Grant, Membership and Personnel, for keeping track of members and cajoling them to pay their dues on time and his endeavours to find the appropriate bungee cords etc. to make the scoring machines workable. Founding Director Bruce Ihara, Vice-President, gave his unlimited enthusiam for establishing the club and loaning his own scoring machines for the opening week.To Founding Director Nancy Sadek, Secretary, burdened with the weighty responsibility of keeping brief minutes of the sole meeting of the Board of Directors to date. We appreciate very much Jake Snowden's acceptance of the thankless task of Club Treasurer, a job for which he seemed to be eminently fitted as Assistant Manager of the Royal Oak Plaza Bank of Montreal. Jake is an avid sportsman being adept at football, rugby and scuba diving and now has a great interest in fencing.
All members of the Club are indebted to Jed Chapin and Bill Robertson for joining the Club as coaches and offering their expertise in the form of free five minute individual sessions, group workouts and mini lectures. Jed and Bill are also available for paid individual lessons. Yonas Sadek is on call for free lessons in distilling some 50 years plus of his fencing experience.
No fencing club could be viable without an armourer and our club is doubly fortunate in having the practised skills of Brian Budenski and his apprentice Aurora Harrison. Brian and Aurora are also the custodians of all spare parts. A list of these at cost price is available from Bob Grant. [and now from the inventory page too - RS]
Yonas Sadek went through all the governmental hoops to get our club name approved and having our club officially incorporated as a non profit organization and also provided the BC government with our constitution and by laws. Robert Smith made arrangements for us to be a member of the British Columbia Fencing Association. and we are now officially listed on the BCFA website as an accredited member.
Five sets of Favero three-weapon scoring machines and the related materials to make them workable are on temporary loan from Yonas Sadek to the CCFC. Robert Smith and Yonas are the custodians of this equipment. In the event of Yonas' absence Robert Smith and Jake Snowden will be joint custodians.