New international cap wins title for Elgin club
THERE was home glory for Elgin’s Callum Sutherland at the Highland Open fencing tournament, contested at Elgin High School.
Sutherland, who also coaches for Elgin Duellist Fencing Club, won the men’s epee title at last month’s competition, and was runner-up in the men’s foil after leading most of the way in the final.
Two weeks earlier Sutherland discovered he had been selected for the Scotland international team.
Club head coach Robin Paterson said: “Having joined Elgin Duellist Fencing Club at the age of 10, Callum is an inspiration for our young duellists.
“Over the years, Callum has grown as a fencer, winning the Scottish School under-16 boys’ epee title in 2013/14 and then competing at the highest level in the UK to come third in the elite epee this summer.
“Winning the men’s epee title was a poignant moment for me. I won the same title in 2004 when I was 34 and Callum was then only six-years-old! We are all very proud of what Callum has achieved.”
Sutherland’s club colleague and Scottish cadet team member Oran McKenna landed a tough draw in the same event and was knocked out at the direct elimination stage, finishing 23rd. Team-mate Jon Goulding was 27th overall.
The competition is the UK’s most northerly open fencing tournament and attracted more than 100 competitors, including 10 members of the ETV Hamburg Fencing Club, based in Germany.
Paterson, who also organises the tournament, added: “This was the seventh year in a row that we have held the Highland Open in Elgin and, on so many different levels, it has been our best competition yet.”
He said 13 Elgin Duellist Club members entered the event to test themselves against the best fencers in the country. Irena Waszyrowski fenced well in only her second senior competition to secure 13th place in the women’s epee.
In the men’s sabre, Elgin coach Alex Keddie took a very respectable eighth.
Elgin Duellist club champion Casper Hawkins fenced brilliantly in a direct elimination fight against ETV Hamburg veteran Karl Becher, losing 15-10. Skyler Rainbird also fenced very well in his first competition securing 18th place and Jon Goulding fought another hard direct elimination fight to come in 17th overall.
In the women’s foil, Hopeman’s Fleur Hamelin-Stewart was 12th while Hebe Muckle, from Garmouth, showed why she is the women’s club champion, only losing her direct elimination fight by one hit to secure 10th place in her first-ever fencing tournament.