OXFORD & CAMBRIDGE

VARSITY MATCH

Saturday 12th MARCH 2016

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Oxford & Cambridge
Varsity Fencing Match

Saturday 12th March 2016

Live Stream


The Match

The 109th Varsity fencing Match between Oxford and Cambridge will be held on Saturday 12th March 2016 at the Examination Schools, Oxford.

The first two matches will begin simultaneously at 10am and feature the Women's Blues and Men's Seconds teams. Following this at 1:15pm will be the Men's Blues and Women's Seconds.

About the Match

Each match is an exciting showcase featuring 12 fencers from each university fighting up to 135 hits in a relay system for a coveted trophey and bragging rights. As in previous years the Varsity Match will be held in the Examination Schools in Oxford, a beautiful 19th century Grade II listed building. The hall provides the perfect setting for the matches, giving a scenic backdrop whilst also offering spectators the chance to view two matches simultaneously in the same hall. Further, there will be large multimedia screens to provide additional information for spectators.


Live Streaming

For the third year the match will be streamed live on the internet. Further details will be announced before the event.

Spectator Information

  • Free Entry - No ticket needed
  • Doors Open at 9:30am
  • Souvenir Programme Available

Location



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Meet the Teams

Each team is composed of up to 12 fencers, made up of 9 starting fencers and 3 reserves. Members of the Men's and Women's Blues teams are eligible to receive a prestigious full or half blue; however the exact criteria varies between the universities.

Sean Jamshidi
Sean Jamshidi
FOIL - CAPTAIN
Justin Bewsher
Justin Bewsher
FOIL
Antoine Grey
Antoine Grey
FOIL/SABRE
Alex Savin
Alex Savin
FOIL
Sam Bradley
Sam Bradley
EPEE - CAPTAIN
Tommy Lees
Tommy Lees
EPEE
Trevelyan Wing
Trevelyan Wing
EPEE
Campbell Thomson
Campbell Thomson
EPEE
Pavel Guzanov
Pavel Guzanov
SABRE
Doga Basaran
Doga Basaran
SABRE
Will Halliwell
Will Halliwell
SABRE
Laurence Peplow
Laurence Peplow
EPEE - CAPTAIN
Jack Dawson
Jack Dawson
EPEE
Hugo Smith
Hugo Smith
EPEE
David Burnside
David Burnside
EPEE
Richard Morris
Richard Morris
FOIL
Derrick Roberts
Derrick Roberts
FOIL
Alex Schlindwein
Alex Schlindwein
FOIL
Dan Summerbell
Dan Summerbell
FOIL
Julian Ghosh
Julian Ghosh
SABRE
Tom Olphin
Tom Olphin
SABRE
Ethan Ren
Ethan Ren
SABRE
Tom Harvey
Tom Harvey
SABRE
Madison Pearce
Madison Pearce
FOIL/SABRE - CAPTAIN
Grace Segall
Grace Segall
FOIL
Céline Brendler Spaeth
Céline Brendler Spaeth
FOIL/EPEE
Valentina Pegolo
Valentina Pegolo
SABRE
Hannah Schneiders
Hannah Schneiders
SABRE
Helena Rodriguez Caro
Helena Rodriguez Caro
EPEE
Imogen Stead
Imogen Stead
EPEE
Abigail Harvey
Abigail Harvey
EPEE - CAPTAIN
Elena Gelzinyte
Elena Gelzinyte
EPEE
Giovanna Dimitri
Giovanna Dimitri
EPEE
Miaoling Liang
Miaoling Liang
EPEE
Victoria Mascetti
Victoria Mascetti
FOIL
Eleanor Bacchus
Eleanor Bacchus
FOIL
Alex Craig
Alex Craig
FOIL
Kirsten Beggs
Kirsten Beggs
FOIL
Thorbjorg Agustsdottir
Thorbjorg Agustsdottir
SABRE
Elena Helgiu
Elena Helgiu
SABRE
Lara de Salis
Lara de Salis
SABRE
Niamh Spence
Niamh Spence
EPEE

Contact

General Enquiries

Please contact the organising President Grace Segall (University College) with any questions or queries via email: president@oufencing.co.uk.

The Varsity Match on Social Media

University Specific Contacts

OXFORD

CAMBRIDGE

History of the Match

Beginning in 1897, the Varsity Fencing Match is one of the oldest annual fencing matches in the world.

The first varsity match was held in 1897, with foil only for the first two years, a sabre match being instituted in 1899. At this time, the Cambridge club was a combined boxing and fencing club, and it was presumably to facilitate the organisation of the varsity match that the Oxford fencing club joined up with the boxing club. Fencing was clearly secondary in this arrangement, however. In the varsity match, there were only two foil bouts and one sabre bout, compared to a large number of different boxing weights. In the copies of the club rules that survive, regulations refer to rounds and weights, but not bouts or weapons. In the executive, there was never more than a couple of fencing names out of seven committee members. In 1913, the divorce between the boxing and fencing clubs was made complete. The varsity fencing match was held separately and was moved to a fencing salle in London, though it was still held in early March. The number of fencers was increased, to three foilists and two sabreurs. It was to stay that way until 1947. A poster survives advertising the 1914 varsity match. It was held at Tassart’s Salle D’Armes, Oxford Circus, London. Tickets were 2/6, obtainable from the club secretaries.

The first post-war varsity match was held in 1920, but the Oxford club did not really get active again until 1921. In 1924, a joint committee of Oxford and Cambridge Fencing Blues established the National Public School Championships in foil. Sabre and epée competitions were added later. In 1930, the Oxford Fencing Club presented a shield to the university fencing clubs of Oxford and Cambridge to be held annually by the winners of the foil sabre and epée matches. The epée was still held outdoors in the summer (the electric epée was developed in the 1930′s and adopted by the FIE in 1933, but had not yet made its way to Oxford) and was not considered part of the varsity match. Cambridge did not award a Half Blue for the epée match until 1947; thus the winner of the shield was not necessarily the winner of the varsity match. In 1932 and 1933, Oxford held the shield, while Cambridge won the varsity match. This happened again in 1936, while in 1939 the situation was reversed, and Cambridge won the shield while losing the Blues match. In 1926, the Crown Prince of Norway, later to become King Olaf V, fenced for Oxford and became a Half Blue. He fenced sabre, won one match and lost one match. The varsity match was still fenced according to the same format, with the epée match out-of-doors in the summer. When in Oxford, it was held in St. John’s gardens. In 1947, the sabre teams were increased to three-a-side, and Cambridge finally awarded a Half Blue for the epée. In 1951, all the matches were held together in March, with four-a-side teams, and in 1952 the present format was finally established, with three-a-side teams fencing on the same day. In 1966 the fencing club’s decade and a half of peregrinations finally came to an end, as the university included a fencing salle in the newly built Iffley Road sports building. It is too bad they made it just slightly too short to hold an electric piste! This salle remained the club’s home until 1996. The varsity matches seem to have been fenced here in alternate years, until 1971, after which the Blues and Assassins matches were held at Crystal Palace as part of a day of Varsity matches in “minor” sports for a decade, before reverting back to Oxford and Cambridge in the 1980′s. The match currently takes place in the respective Examination Schools of the two universities, but has taken places in other locations, including the Oxford Union Debating Chamber.

The first varsity match for women was in 1957, which suggests that a women’s team only really got organised after 1945. Right up to 1980, when the clubs merged, the women had a separate club organisation, though a Blue from the seventies remembers that they fenced with the men. The time of the Assassins vs. Cambridge Cutthroats contest has varied over the years, sometimes being at the same time, sometimes at a different time than the Blues. In 1989-90, the assassins match was moved back to the same day as the Blues, which makes for an exciting atmosphere.

[Abridged by Edmund Wareham from Dylan Reid, ‘History’, http://oufencing.co.uk/about/history/, (5/11/13).]