May 13, 1995 UAP Foil Challenge (long)

May 13, 1995 UAP Foil Challenge (long)

Post by Tim EDWARDS/LexEM » Wed, 02 Aug 1995 04:00:00

This is the second installment in my ongoing saga of fencing tourism.
It is reposted for the benefit of everyone that didn't see it the first
time.  (i.e. 99% of the list)

UAP insurance company sponsored the 6th annual UAP Foil Challenge in
Paris on the 13th of May.  Preliminary competitions were held on the
12th and the morning of the 13th in the Stade Pierre de Courbetin.
There were about 140 entrants.  

The final began at 8PM.  The main room of the gym was used, with
seating for spectators on both sides of the strip.  There were about
1000 people in the audience.  The officials and competitors were
introduced with great fanfare.  The final went as follows:
(This will look best with a non-proportional font such as courier)

Tucker   CUB 15
                  Tucker   15
Wang     CHI  8
                                  Tucker   15
Omnes    FRA 11    
                  Gregory  13
Gregory  CUB 15
                                                  Tucker
Aioupov  RUS  6
                  Ye Chong 14
Ye Chong CHI 15
                                  Koch      9
Borella  ITA 13
                  Koch     15
Koch     GER 15

The fencing was great.  Flicks were prevalent, but not the only aspect
of the game.    Elvis Gregory and Philippe Omnes had a particularly
spectacular bout.  Unfortunately, Omnes' defeat kind of dampened the
crowd's enthusiasm.  The bout that followed was Aioupov/Ye Chong was
rather slow.  Both fencers preferred to draw the attack and stop-cut.
Perfectly good fencing, but not very appealing to the audience, most
of whom didn't wake up again until the very end of Tucker/Gregory.
(Which was a shame, because both T/G and Borella/Koch were closely and
brilliantly contested.)

The referees were excellent, and called actions moves I could only see
after watching the slow-motion replay.  The only exception to this was
the referee in the Tucker/Gregory bout.  I know that I will never in my
dreams have a rating anywhere near his, but IMVVHO, I think he robbed Elvis
Gregory of three beautifully timed attacks into preparation.  (Gregory
certainly felt that way, so I had lots of time to watch the
replays.  Each time, Gregory's attack began well before Tucker's flick
reached its apogee.)

Obviously, corporate sponsorship allows for better fencers and better
competitions in Europe.  (At Nationals, each _strip_ had a sponsor.)
Nevertheless, the tournament organizers are essential to an audience
friendly event.  The UAP tournament was not as easy to watch as April's
BNP Challenge.  The replays were shown after each action, instead of
during the breaks, which meant you had to divide your attention.  
"Play-by-play" commentary was rare and barely audible.  These minor
omissions were the only flaws in an otherwise fantastic tournament.

Tim Edwards / 7, Rue Albert I /  45000 Orleans, FRANCE