European Veterans Fencing Team Championships Hamburg 2022
Veterans fencing is very active in the UK and across the world. From Wednesday 25th May to Sunday 29th May 2022 the European Veterans Fencing Team Championships took place in the magnificent q.beyond Arena, in Hamburg, Germany.
Eastern Region fencers Fiona Turnbull (ladies foil and epee), Chris Howser (epee), Andy Luckman (epee) and Richard Sage (non-fencing foil captain) were selected to take part. Selection for the GB British Veterans Fencing (BVF) team is from the results of three veterans fencing competitions:
- BVF Championships (Manchester) 2021
- BVF 6 Weapon International (Guildford) 2022
- BVF Spring Qualifier 2022 (Epee at Leon Paul Centre, London 6 March 2022, Foil & Sabre in Cardiff 13 March 2022)
These qualifying events were open to all veteran fencers, with veterans categories starting at the age of 40. These qualifying events will be run again this year and next so look for details on the British Veterans Fencing – https://www.veterans-fencing.co.uk
Each weapon team consists of 5 fencers with a team captain for each team appointed by the selectors. At the Championships the Team Captain decides which fencers are to start and which fencers are to be a reserve for any given match at the event.
For a Veterans team the team on the piste must have fencers from Category 1 (40-49) and 2 (50-59) with at least one Category 2 fencer.
For a Grand Veterans team the team on the piste must have fencers from Category 3 (60-69) and 4 (70+) with at least one Category 4 fencer.
The team fencing is 45 hits relay system with application of passivity rule at any bout.
The competition begins with a round of poules of 3 and 4 teams composed according to the team seeding system of European Veterans Fencing. No teams will be eliminated, and they will be followed by a Direct Elimination tableau established taking into account the results of the poules.
Most of the European nations fielded both men’s and women’s foil, epee and sabre teams in both the Veterans and the Grand Veterans categories.
Fiona Turnbull said “I was delighted to be selected for both the Grand Vets Epee and Foil teams. In the poule round of the epee event we faced some tough opponents from Austria, Finland and France. Some tight matches and victory over France meant we faced a very strong Italian team in the DE which we lost 30-39.
Our placing fights against Switzerland and Hungary gave us a 6th place finish. In the foil event, we beat Poland, Austria and France to give us top seed and a bye to the semi-final. A hard-fought match against Germany gave us a 45-31 victory to go into the final against Italy. Despite our best efforts we lost 34-39 but I’m very happy to come home with a silver medal. Overall, an amazing experience.”
Chris Howser attended as part of the GBR Veteran Men’s Epee Team, which had an up and down European Championships, with quite a few close matches. Following a strong showing in the first match against Spain, with a 45-33 win, the GBR team fenced the Swiss in their 2nd poule match. Fencing in the last bout, 36-32 down, Chris dragged the match back to 42-42 with 2 seconds left on the clock but lost in the priority minute.
This was followed by a 45-28 loss to a very strong Italian team to finish the poule rounds seeded 11th. The Swiss one hit loss was crucial, dropping GBR down by 5 spots and meaning a match up against the strong 6th seeded Germans. A 45-33 loss took GBR into the 9th to 16th fight off matches.
A 45-44 final hit win against Netherlands, 44-43 priority minute loss to Ireland and then a revenge 45-25 win against the Swiss resulted in a final placing of 11th, which with 3 of the team representing GBR for the first time was a solid result.
Andy Luckman, who fought in the Grand Veterans epee team said “I watched the lady’s foil final and it was nail bitingly close with Fiona’s controlled fencing key to their great result. The men`s epee team lost out on a podium place by one point, 33 all at end of time … then the Italians got the last hit pushing us out of the medals.” Andy and his team mates came one hit away from a medal!
In the men’s Grand Veterans foil Richard Sage said “I was non-fencing captain in the men’s foil. We beat Germany, Poland and France in the poule round to get a bye into the incomplete last 8 to fence a strong Hungarian team, who we beat. That put us in the final, the gold and silver match, but we lost to a strong Italian team in the last fight in the finals so came 2nd with silver medal. All-in-all a result to be proud of.
About British Veteran Fencing
British Veterans Fencing (BVF) promotes and supports fencing for people over 40 years old.
Veterans fencing is split into age categories: Cat 1 (40-49 years old); Cat 2 (50-59 years old); Cat 3 (60-69 years old) and Cat 4 (70+).
Throughout the year BVF holds competitions, either divided into individual age groups or open to all fencers over 40. Certain competitions are used to select fencers to represent Great Britain but there are also smaller open competitions and team events. One thing common to all veteran events is a spirit of camaraderie and inclusivity
The Veterans Winton Cup
The Veterans Winton Cup was offered to BVF in 2008 by Bobby and Sir Nicholas Winton. Their wish was to have a competition between regional teams which is a social event as well as having a high standard of fencing. Ten regional teams compete in all three weapons at both men’s and women’s events.
Are you forty or over?
Would you like to fence in the Winton Cup team for the Eastern Region?
This year, 2022, this fun, friendly and competitive team event is planned for the weekend of 24th and 25th September at RAF Cosford near Wolverhampton. There’s a gala dinner on Saturday 24th to look forward to too!
If you are forty or over and you’d like to fence in the Eastern Region team please drop an email to Richard Sage, the Eastern Region Veterans Captain on firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. Richard must nominate the team by 10th September so please contact him before the end of August if you’d like to fence in the Eastern Region Veterans Team.
If you’re new to veterans fencing or if you’d like to discuss veterans fencing then please get in touch with Richard who’d be pleased to share his experience of veterans training camps, competitions and camaraderie to encourage all eligible fencers to engage in what for him has been and continues to be a rewarding and enjoyable fencing journey.
For more on British Veterans Fencing please visit