Westbourne House is perfect setting for fabulous day of fencing

Some of the youngsters who made it a great day's fencing at Westbourne House School
Some of the youngsters who made it a great day's fencing at Westbourne House School

Westbourne House School played host to a huge Chichester Fencing Club-organised competition involving more than 100 local youngsters.

The aged seven-and-under foilists fenced beautifully. Oakwood’s Edward Marshall-Smith and Westbourne House’s Luca Nutt came joint third, with Central School’s Christopher Barry finishing a wonderful second but narrowly losing in the final to Fishbourne’s Charlie Pullen, who fenced splendidly.

The nine-and-unders had an incredibly hard-fought competition in one of the largest fields of the day.

Westbourne House’s Maxwell Harding shared bronze with Bognor Arena’s Harry Gray.

The final was incredibly tense as Angel Bull and Sebastian Maxted took each other on. Both were from the Arena and Chichester Fencing Club, so were old adversaries. Sebastian won by a point in a great fight.

Westbourne House’s Rory Coulson was awarded the Style Cup after the judges decided his footwork and blade control was of an exceptionally-high standard.

In the most hotly-contested age group of the day, the 12-and-unders had their work cut out getting to the semi-finals. Fencing beautifully to clinch joint third was Chichester Fencing Club’s Robin Elliott and Ditcham Park’s Gareth Waters.

The final was another nail-biter with Chichester’s Devlin Stigant taking on Charlotte Beadle, who fences at the Arena, Bishop Luffa and the club. Charlotte beat Devlin by one point.

Central School and Chichester Fencing Club’s Isaac Jolley was unanimously awarded the Style Cup for his dazzling display of footwork.

Bishop Luffa and the Chichester club’s Oliver Hayward and Thomas Hosking shared bronze in the 14-and-under foil.

The semis led to an all-Chichester affair between Matthew Warwick and Matthew Baker in the final.

Both fenced to the peak of their abilities in another close-run thing with Baker carrying off the title leaving Warwick with silver.

Extreme weather meant several under-17s were unable to attend, leaving only Chichester Fencing Club’s Jamie Loake and Harry Barden, who also fences for Seaford College, to compete for the title in the foil.

In a brilliant final, Jamie managed to wrest the title from Harry by a whisker.

Then it was time for the bigger weapons to be fenced with the epeeists up first.

Matthew Bradshaw fenced superbly in his first epee competition to come in a gallant third, with Bishop Luffa’s Joseph Marchant fencing in his second weapon of the day and doing brilliantly to take the silver.

Chichester’s Devlin Stigant took gold despite being only just 11 – his second medal of the day.

In the 17-and-under epee, Jacob Franke from the Chichester club and Seaford’s Jonathan Eden finished joint third with excellent performances.

Old friends and adversaries Max Toozs Hobson and Harry Barden, both from Seaford College and club, fought it out to decide the title with the victory going to Harry.

In the sabre competitions, it was a double victory for the Stigant family with Devlin again in devastating form to take yet another trophy.

Devlin’s brother Liam took the 17-and-under title despite it being his first attempt at a sabre competition.

In the 14-and-under sabre, Matthew Baker took his second medal of the day after another tense and exciting performance in the semis.

Seaford College’s Pip Gurney shared bronze with Bishop Luffa’s Joseph Marchant.

Ditcham Park’s Ben Spurge narrowly lost to Liam in a beautiful display of sabre technique with Harry Barden and Max Toozs Hobson joint third.

Every competitor can be very proud of their performances. Chichester Fencing Club thanked Westbourne House School for donating their superb venue.