As the Galveston Fencing Club prepares for its final tournament of the Spring 2014 season, fencers from Houston, San Antonio and Fort Worth are getting ready to cross blades with their island counterparts. Fencers from the Houston area account for the largest number of fencers and, among the youth fencers, the Sugar Land area, in particular, will be well represented.
This will be the third year the Buccaneer Open has been held. Unlike some tournaments, which restrict competitors to those within a certain ranking, an open allows any competitive fencer, from an A ranking down to an E ranking, to fence. As well, currently unranked fencers may also compete.
In keeping with the theme of the tournament, first place in each youth event wins a pirate statue. Each first place winner in the senior (teens and adults) events will win a cutlass.
The Galveston Fencing Club hosts three tournaments each year. In addition to the Buccaneer Open, it holds the Neomia Abbott Memorial each spring, which is a women’s tournament. Each fall it holds the Jean Laffite Classic, a tournament restricted to fencers who have not yet achieved a letter-ranking. Additionally, the club assists the Brazosport Fencing Club with the organization and operation of the Gobbler’s Revenge, a Thanksgiving weekend epee tournament held in Lake Jackson. The Galveston and Clear Lake Fencing Clubs also assist the Spindletop Cavaliers in Beaumont organize and run the Bruno Invitational the first weekend each March in Sour Lake.
Those interested in, or merely curious about, fencing are welcome to stop by the club’s regular practices. The Galveston Fencing Club meets on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6:15 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the gym at the O’Connell School.
Additionally, one of the coaches, John Trojanowski, has recently begun a beginners foil class for adults on Tuesdays at the Crossfit Tidalwave on Market Street and 24th Street.
In addition to classes, John Trojanowski will also present two OLLI lectures this summer on the histories of fencing and dueling, with the emphasis of one on the Texas Coast. He will present another lecture on dueling in Texas this summer for the Jean Laffite Society of Galveston.