“Many heroes lived before Agamemnon; but all are unknown and unwept, extinguished in everlasting night, because they have no spirited chronicler.”
Perhaps I wouldn’t go as far as to label myself as a ‘spirited chronicler’ but our most recent adventures to Auvergne certainly separated the sheep from the wolves (or the lions of the UK Federation) and something needs to be said about the achievements of our pack. An alliance of men and women fought for the UK Federation on the 8th – 9th July at the 2ème Tournoi de Béhourd de Saint Germain l’Herm. It was undoubtedly a collaboration of teamwork, grit and ferocity that placed our women’s and men’s teams 2nd in the rankings in France.
Saturday kicked of with the women’s duels. Rosie Morton of White Company took the centre stage competing in the sword and shield and sword and buckler categories claiming silver in both! She made the long and arduous journey across the channel on the battle bus. In all fairness if anyone can survive that, then duelling with the French would be a welcome retreat. Rosie then formed ranks with Blue and Silks in the Swords of Cygnus women’s contingent of the UK Federation for the group stages – 3vs3. We were also blessed to be joined by our 2nd hero, Martina Ravarini of Italian Taurus MFC. Despite the buhurt being our first fight as a team it was a true show of strength and determination. Our very first fight left Blue holding her own against the Swiss (Leoni Rhodani) as Rosie and I had hit the deck with two fighters. Blue had been training hard and the work paid off as she dug into the fight and threw her opponent over her hip perfectly leading us to our first victory of the day. The Swiss took one back in the second round. Then Rosie, Martina, and Blue made light work of the third, with Martina giving us an early advantage and then sticking together to finish the fight. French team Martel overwhelmed us, they are formidable fighters, and a team worth aspiring to beat next time, so many a lesson learned from watching their strategy.
The last fight and certainly not the least with Rosie literally holding the fort for 5 minutes! Moments after the above capture Martina came to my aid to bring down the French Sloubi fighter. We were digging in for 2 and a half minutes at this point and although it doesn’t sound like much, all three of us had been fighting since midday and it was taking it’s toll along with the 38 degree heat. Martina and I felled our opponent at the severe cost of both ourselves hitting the deck leaving Rosie alone with the last opponent standing. She never gave in. More tormenting minutes past and all I could hear from the ground were the UK Federation screaming Rosie’s name before one almighty cheer on the 5 minute mark. The fight had a brief reset, Rosie had exhausted her opponent and swiftly introduced her to the floor.
Our final fight of the competition. I steady myself on the list and Barney approaches from the gaggle of support that have been rousing us from the lists.
“This is it, you’ve got this girl.”
I think I was done with fighting for one day, being our last show of will gives you the determination to go truly balls to the wall. Winning this fight would hand us silver medal. We didn’t know that yet but we were determined to win. The other team were feeling the strain of the day too. In less than 30 seconds victory was ours. And to the victors… lunchtime of dried meats, fruits and protein bars.
Our fights were over but there is no rest for the wicked! It was time to switch roles. Our masses of supporters at the sides of the list of UK Federation 1 and UK Federation 2 became the fighters, and we the support.
The UK Federation’s first team had a new additions to the line-up, Piers to compliment ours guys. His ballsy and tactical admission into the lists was a roaring success. With no subs to take over after hard times, all fighters came out swinging for every single round. If you have fought in a full contact medieval tournament before then you know how thoroughly exhausting that can be physically and mentally. If you haven’t then you can not begin to imagine.
Though I think none dug deeper than Dan, whilst under sustained, dizzying blows in most fights. Not least of all from 3 of Aquilla’s fighters in one of their final rounds. Standing side by side with James, Barney and Kurgan, UK Federation took 2nd place in the ranking to add another silver medal to the British pile.
And all the way from the Netherlands, two Dutch mercenaries Mike and Jona with a special place in our hearts bolstered up our UK 2 team. I’ve seen Mike bring a hard fight before and he didn’t let us down this time around. On the other hand, I had never seen Jona in action before. What a spectacle it was! I know I can be dramatic in my iterations at times but Jona‘s resilience round after round was mind- blowing. During one fight Jona resisted arrest for 10 minutes into the buhurt. Calling an equal round and letting team 2 reset and take the win!
Ashley debuted for team 2 in Auvergne showed no fear against the top dogs in this sport. It was noted that Ashley received a special helmet customisation from none other than Igor Parfentev himself. A tactical Buhurt Tech strategy for providing themselves with new customers.
Ashley deliberated “This explains the massive dent found in the back of my helm”
“I managed to knock the dents out and re-rivet, she has still got some fight left in her but a new helmet will be on its way soon I think.”
Our team 2 was combined with our well known legends Mark, Gruff, and Jim who took 10th position of 16 teams overall.
Finally I think it would be best to close on the knight who was not in shining armour at the tournament but still carried the weight of all three teams with her natural fortitude. Sofie conducted logistics of the FED forces which is often tricky at these events and screamed constantly from the side of the lists to keep us on our toes. I urge you to take a look at the videos. If you turn your volume up to full, you can feel like you’re right there with her.
Until the next time