A group of aspiring young international fencers were thrilled to receive an invitation to watch some sublime swordsmanship in the serene surroundings of the Landsdowne Club in Mayfair, London.
Truro School’s Max, Roman, Darcy, Lexie, Sam and Jonathan travelled to London to watch the international ‘Masters of Fencing’ exhibition matches between Hungary and Great Britain.
Individual bouts displaying the highest levels of skill & dexterity between members of the Great Britain and Hungarian sabre squads were followed by a nail-biting foil match pitting Richard Kruse, World Championship Silver medallist and quadruple Olympian against James Davis, 2014 European Champion, Grand Prix & World Cup Gold medallist. Despite Kruse building a strong lead early on in the bout, Davis fought back effectively with some considerable panache to recover the points gap and pull off a 15-14 win.
Following a break with live music fusing flamenco guitar, lutar & percussion courtesy of the “Horsemen of the Apocalypse”, the scene was set for a series of team events with Truro School Alumni James Honeybone CO09 and Will Deary CO15, and Camden’s Webb and Miller, representing GB, facing a veritable “Battle Royale” against a world-class Hungarian squad comprising Szilagyi, Szatmari, Gemesi & Desci. A similar battle of weapons and wits was on display as the Commonwealth Championship teams of Scotland (Ghosh, Carter, Shek & Rocks) faced off against Wales (Jolley, and James & Nathan Potter). With victory to the Hungarians and Welsh secured, the audience was then treated to a one on one between JJ Webb and Andras Szatmari, with the Hungarian fencer and former World Champion coming out on top.
The evening’s grand finale did not disappoint. Truro’s James Honeybone – GB Sabre Champion & Olympian – took on double Olympic Gold Medalist Aaron Szilagyi. With a combination of some superb counter attacks and parries, and a series of clinical attacks, James secured a 15-9 GB victory worthy of this wonderful evening, which showcased the incredible athleticism, skill and sportsmanship which this sport combines.
We hope all the young Cornwall fencers who were lucky enough to be invited to this event not only had fun, but also took inspiration from this exhibition. All the long, hard lessons and footwork sessions, and fights on pistes both near and far, contribute to building a better, tougher, and more competitive fencer. James Honeybone reminded us of Muhammad Ali’s quote “The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.”
Finally, a huge debt of gratitude is due to Olympic referee Vasil Milenchev, assistant referee Alex Beta, and MC James Williams and all those who supported, organised and funded this event especially Jon Salfield & sponsor Julian Ghosh.