In a very hot Nottingham there was real excitement in the room as old friends were reacquainted, faced each other on the piste, danced the night away in Nottingham night clubs, and came to slightly regret it in the morning!
With the Commonwealth Championships only a few weeks away, the opportunity for our teams to fence together competitively was too good to miss, so 4 of the 6 teams fielded most of our senior Commonwealth athletes. Our WS team fielded 3/4 of our Junior team, and the WF team blended what was to be a perfect mix of youth and experience.
Over the 2 days of fencing, a determined Welsh team pushed the North West region all the way at the first Senior Winton following the Covid pandemic.
At the end of day 1, MF (Glen Ostacchini, Ethan Ridsdale, Euan Deamer & Jack Davies), WE (Jess Gundry, Lou Sadler, Abi Watkins & Emily Southern) and WS (Erin Corcoran, Georgia Howes and Amelie Russell) were unbeaten, but it was clear that the N West were going to be the team to beat. We also knew that the S East were fielding strong teams, and would be a big challenge on day 2………so it proved!
Outstanding performances from WF (Heulwen Hill, Thandi Nash, Maggie Myers and Amelie Russell – yes, you are reading that right…she fenced non-stop in the 2 weapons!) and ME (George Morris, Marc Burkhalter, Will Sturgeon and Huw Richards) on day 2 ensured that we kept the S East at bay.
MF remained unbeaten all weekend, and MS (Phil Shepherd-Foster, Calum Wilson, Tom Martin and Steve Ellwood) scored valuable wins, not to forget their ceaselessly vocal support of the rest of the team.
So with overall wins against 9 of the 10 teams, our 2nd place was confirmed in the presentation ceremony, with the N West deserved winners.
With some great performances and a few areas identified where even more improvements can be made, this was a really valuable experience for all of our teams, and we go into the Commonwealths in a few weeks with confidence!
A big thank you to the fencers, all of whom who gave everything to the team, the team captains for their support and leadership on and off the piste, and everyone who made the trip for their vocal support for the team.