C.O. fencers compete in 20th annual tournament

High Desert Duel celebrates 20 years of fencing

POSTED: 9:23 PM PDT April 28, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

The clashes of swords filled the High Desert Fencing Club building in Bend this weekend for an event celebrating its 20th year.

The High Desert Duel, an annual fencing competition, features Olympic-style fencing.

There were three different events, including a junior competition featuring kids 19 and under, an open competition for all ages and all ratings, and a Division Three event that none of the high-rated fencers could fence in.

Fencing is a sport gaining more and more in popularity.

"It's very playful, it's very thoughtful," said Jeff Ellington, a fencing coach. "It's something you can do into your 70s. It's a lifelong sport, and after running out of my early life sports, I needed something that was going to last me."

The competition featured only epe'e, the traditional dueling weapon, and one of three different styles of weapons used in fencing.

It's the only weapon that both competitors can get a touch in the same action and still get a point.