The Royal Navy hosted a Devon-wide fencing charity tournament at Plymouth Naval Base.
53 fencers from across the county converged on the Wyvern Centre at HM Naval Base in Devonport to take part in the team match against the Royal Navy. Funds donated at the competition were split between the Devon County Fencing Union and the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.
16 teams of three, from eight different clubs, fought in both foil and epee disciplines in the first event of its kind in Devon with mixed gender teams ranging in age from 13 to those in their 70s.
The competition was closely fought, with the Royal Navy hosts facing some tough fights to get though to the finals in both weapons; coming second to Newton Abbot Fencing Club in the Epee, and to Plymouth’s Salle Lawrence Fencing Club in the Foil.
Awarding medals the Naval Base Commander, Commodore Graeme Little said: “It is fantastic for us to be able to host events such as this. It’s a great way for the Royal Navy to develop links with the local community”.
Lieutenant Matthew Cullen, Royal Navy event organiser, said: “I’m pleased we were able to host this event using the excellent sports facilities at HMS Drake and to see so many of the county clubs and their fencers participate alongside the Royal Navy teams. This event has allowed us to further our grass roots development and has encouraged some of our beginner fencers into taking their first steps into competitive sport. We aim to use the success of this event in order to further promote fencing within the Royal Navy.”
Fencing in his first ever competition Harry Hennessey, 16, from Salle Lawrence Fencing Club, said: “It was great to complete for my club at a competition.”
Harry, who has only been fencing at Salle Lawrence for a year, said: “The Royal Navy were fantastic hosts. It made a real difference to be able to compete against other people who were not from my club.”
The competition was one of the best attended fencing matches in Devon in recent years with many competitors saying they hoped it will become annual.