The DIT Cup is a competition for beginners with less than two years of fencing experience brought to life by Richard Noonan.
When I took part in the competition in 2002
I had already gained some experience in other professional competitions and with a lot of luck in the pools I nearly won, in spite of the fact that there were several much better fencers in the competition. In the semi-finals I had to fight Christopher Gambino who had started fencing a year before me and although I managed to parry most of his wild running attacks his greater experience and shorter reaction time finally prevailed and I lost 13:15 after a great fight. Christopher easily beat the other finalist 15:4. The bronze medal was much more than I had hoped to get and I was very satisfied with the outcome.
As promised I came back in 2003 to win the cup this time and my chances weren’t bad since all the guys who had been better than me in 2002 weren’t beginners any more. Alas - it was not to be.
The competition was on a Saturday. I flew to Dublin on Thursday morning which meant that I only got 4 hours of sleep that night. The next night I stayed in a hostel 15 feet away from the DART-line. The
night before the competition I had to spend in a cellar with three farting, perpetually drunk Italians who started chainsmoking in their bunk beds at two o’clock in the morning. In short: I had barely slept at all
for three days and nights before the competition.
Not surprisingly, I did not do well in the pools, unnecessarily losing at least one fight against a clearly inferior fencer 4:5. With one hit more the competition would have ended very differently.
Anyway, I was seated 7th after the pools and automatically reached the second round where I had to fight Colm from our club. He was a formidable opponent but my fencing style corresponded better to the referee’s way
of seeing things and I won 15:11 or so. In the quarter-finals I met David who according to Tony was a very neat fencer. Well, I liked his style very much and easily beat him 15:1. I think I exagerrated a bit,
putting up quite a show on the piste (“moonwalking” backwards after each hit) and generally humiliating my opponent (I suppose). I’m really sorry about that now but it was just too much fun. In the semi-finals the
fun would soon be over, though. Kenneth, my left-handed opponent, had the habit of counter-attacking instead of parrying first like you’re supposed to do and every time he did this he got one-light hits. I was too
tired to adapt to this weird strategy and he finally won 15:6 or 15:8 (who cares) after a very ugly fight. He also beat Gavin in the finals and so I’d lost against the winner of the DIT Cup yet again.