Corinna had bandaging around her wrist following an op to a fencing injury which, while rather more serious than my sabre injury, allowed us to swap fencing injury stories. However, sharing wrist injuries was the closest I came to her all evening. The woman is lightning fast.
Having learnt the basics, Corinna was good enough to give me the chance to fence against her. I decided to try to use my height and reach advantage by charging into all out attack – but to no avail. I could see the kindly pity in her eyes as this man lumbered towards her with what, by her standards, must have been all the speed of a glacier. She then either casually parried or gently moved to one side and picked me off.
Rick, who’s a much better fencer than me, also had a bout with Corinna and he told me that the single point he scored against her would go down as one of the proudest moments of his sporting life.
Having already done foil and sabre, I should try to summarise how epee differs from the other two. The epee sword is heavier and more rigid and the whole body is the target unlike the other disciplines. You score points by depressing the button at the tip of the sword on your opponent’s body i.e. you need to give your opponent a good jab!
These may not sound like huge differences but they produce a very different approach and set of tactics from the other swords. Every coach I had explained to me why their sword was the best but I shall just say diplomatically that they were all good fun and you should definitely try them all.
Many, many thanks to Corinna and Tom – and good luck this summer!
Another sport down, but so many more to go. So once again I am asking you to please sponsor me as I take on this epic challenge for some amazing charities: NSPCC, Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, Right To Play and Scope.