2019 Highland Open - report by Elgin Duellists

The Highland Open Fencing Tournament 2019 and Scottish Team Selection for 

Elgin Duellist Callum Sutherland

Elgin High School was the venue for the UK’s most northerly open fencing tournament last weekend (28 & 29 September) when over 100 competitors from fencing clubs as far afield as Shetland, Orkney and Hamburg competed for the Highland Open Men’s & Women’s Foil, Epee and Sabre titles.

Robin Paterson, Head Coach at Elgin Duellist Fencing Club and organiser of the annual fencing tournament, said “this was the seventh year in a row that we have held the Highland Open in Elgin and, on so many different levels, it has been our best competition yet. The standard of fencing across the 3 weapons in both the Men’s and Women’s events was exceptionally high with many members of the Scottish Team competing. We also attracted the largest number of European fencers to date with 10 members of ETV Hamburg Fencing Club making the trip to Elgin especially to take part in this year’s tournament. Overall, entries were 20% higher compared to last year.

My fellow club coaches were also extremely gratified that 13 members of Elgin Duellist Fencing Club grasped the opportunity to test themselves against the best fencers in the country by entering the competition. For our Club, this is the biggest entry in any competition we have ever achieved.

Ranging in age from 13 to 49, the following Elgin Duellist Club members competed over the 2 days in the following weapons:-

Callum Sutherland (21, Elgin Men’s Foil & Epee), Alex Keddie (32,Elgin, Men’s Sabre), Robin Paterson (49, Elgin Men’s Foil), Casper Hawkins (17, Forres, Men’s Foil), Jon Goulding (49, Forres, Men’s Foil & Epee), Skyler Rainbird (17, Cullen, Men’s Foil), Oran McKenna (17, Hopeman, Men’s Epee), Fleur Hamelin-Stewart (37, Hopeman, Women’s Foil), Hebe Mucke (13, Garmouth, Women’s Foil), Rebecca Gilchrist (16, Grantown on Spey), Ellis Jiggins MacKenzie,(14, Rothes, Men’s Sabre), Irena Waszyrowska (14, Roseisle, Women’s Epee)  and Nathan Goureau (14, Forres, Men’s Sabre).

Robin added, “another reason why this was the best ever Highland Open is that on the Saturday, fellow Club Coach, Callum Sutherland won the Men’s Epee title.  In a hard fought final against Todd Kozlowski from ETV Hamburg, Callum eventually edged ahead of the American born student to win 15-13. This was the icing on the cake of a brilliant month for Callum after he received confirmation 2 weeks earlier that he had been selected as a member of the Senior Scottish Men’s Epee Team to represent Scotland in the Home International in Dublin later on this year.

Having joined Elgin Duellist Fencing Club at the age of 10, Callum is an inspiration for our young Duellists. Over the years, Callum has grown as a fencer, winning the Scottish School Under 16 Boys’ Epee title in 2013/14 and then competing at the highest level in the UK to come 3rd in the Elite Epee in Newcastle this summer. Along with Alex Keddie and myself, Callum is also a Club Coach specialising in Epee. Winning the Men’s Epee title is a poignant moment for me, in that I won the same title in 2004 when I was 34 and Callum was then only 6 years old! We are all very proud of what Callum has achieved.”

In the Men’s Epee, Scottish Cadet Team member Oran McKenna had a tough draw and was knocked out at the direct elimination stage and came in 23rd and Jon Goulding was 27 overall.

In the third year in a row, the Women’s Epee final was won by Mimi Figge (Wallace Fencing Club) who beat Nenah Verkaik (University of Stirling Fencing Club), 15-11. Irena Waszyrowski from Elgin Duellist Fencing Club also fenced very well in only her second senior competition to secure 13th place.

In the Men’s Sabre, Scottish Internationalist Toby Carter beat fellow Scottish Team and Club member Ethan Llewellyn (Salle Ossian), 15-10.  Elgin Duellist Sabre Club Coach, Alex Keddie secured a very respectable 8th place and Nathan Goureau and Ellis Jiggins-MacKenzie gained excellent experience of what fencing at this level is all about by securing 14th and 15th places respectively.

 In the Women’s Sabre event, Elsie Llewellyn (Sancroft Blades) beat Charlotte Wilson-Smith (Salle Ossian, (15-8).

On the Sunday, last year’s runner up Charlie Broughton (Salle Holyrood) could sympathise with Calum De-Sainte-Croix (Wallace Fencing Club) when Calum lost 15-13 after leading most of the way in Men’s Foil final.

Elgin Duellist Club Champion, Casper Hawkins fenced brilliantly in a direct elimination fight against ETV Hamburg veteran, Karl Becher, losing 15-10.  Skyler Rainbird also fenced very well in his first competition securing 18th place and Jon Goulding fought another hard DE fight to come in 17th overall.

In the Women’s Foil competition, there were 3 Elgin Duellists competing.

Hopeman’s Fleur Hamelin-Stewart competed in her third Highland Open, came in 12. Hebe Muckle from Garmouth demonstrated why she is the Club’s Women’s Elgin Duellist Club Champion by securing 10th place and only losing her direct elimination fight by 1 hit to secure 10th place. This ranking is even more outstanding since this is Hebe’s first ever Fencing Tournament.

Also competing for the first time, Rebecca Gilchrist from Grantown-on-Spey did very well to secure 14th place.

If you are interested in the Highland Open Fencing Tournament, long-term Elgin Duellist Fencing Club member, and University of the Highlands and Island’s Media Studies & Film student, Sean Saul has produced a short film on north of Scotland fencing. Shot at last year’s tournament and at Culloden and Elgin Duellist Fencing Clubs the film show cases the intense level of competition involved in this sport. Search for ‘Fight Perfection’ on youtube.

Men’s Epee

1. Callum Sutherland, Elgin Duellist FC

2. Todd Kozlowski, ETV Hamburg

3T. Tom Hoffmann, Dingwall FC

3T. Robert Blackburne, Dunblane FC

Women’s Epee

1. Mimi Figge, Wallace FC

2. Nenah Verkaik, University of Stirling FC

3T. Elisa Sedat, Aberdeen City FC

3T. Olivia Connolly, Wallace FC

 

Men’s Sabre

  1. Toby Carter, Salle Ossian
  2. Ethan Llewellyn, Salle Ossian

3T. Calum De-Sainte-Croix, Wallace FC

3T. Richard Wilbraham, Dundee City FC

Women’s Sabre

1. Elsie Llewellyn, Sancroft Blades

2. Charlotte Wilson-Smith, Salle Ossian

3T. Taylor Manson, University of Aberdeen FC

3T. Joana Pielsticker, ETV Hamburg

Men’s Foil

1. Charlie Broughton, Salle Holyrood

2. Calum De-Sainte-Croix, Wallace FC

3T. Rolf-Peter Kassner, ETV Hamburg

3T. Jonathan Woollard, Wallace FC

Women’s Foil

 

  1. Nenah Verkaik, University of Stirling FC
  2. Kirsty Urquhart, Culloden FC

3T. Chloe Campbell, University of Stirling FC

3T.  Fiona Coyle, Salle Holyrood

 

Elgin Duellist Fencing Club was established in 2007 and meets every Thursday during term time at Elgin High from 6.30 to 9.00pm.