Sunday, September 30, 2007


October News

Hi to all, October, 2007

And……..happy October to everyone. Here is October and November information for DFA members, families and friends.


October 10, Wednesday, DFA will be closed. Diane and I are driving to Las Vegas to the Red Rock Fencing Center which is home to the Pacific Coast Section Chair, Frank van Dyke, to pick up six electrical strips and six sets of Favero electrical scoring gear which will be used at the Palm Desert Open.

October 20, Saturday, division tournament will be held at Harvey Mudd College, located on the Claremont campus. Directions to this new venue are on the DFA and San Bernardino Division website. Our thanks to David Williams, who works at HMC, for coordinating with his superiors to make this new venue possible. (Note: Keep in mind that this is about a two hour drive for us desert residents so, plan your travel time accordingly).

October 28, Sunday, is the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade. DFA is already signed up for this event. This year’s theme is “Trick or Treat…Palm Desert Style”. Our golf cart theme is “Zorro”. Our golf cart will be transformed into Zorro’s hat, the front of the golf cart will be masked and on the back of the golf cart will be the cape. Our DFA fencers are invited to sign up with me and come dressed as Zorro, or a Mexican soldier, or a la Catherine Zeta-Jones.
We had a lot of fun last year and took First Place. So come and join us again. It’s the only time we can dress as we want and carry swords on the streets of El Paseo!

November 3-4, Saturday and Sunday, are the dates for the Palm Desert Open, being held at College of the Desert. Entry forms and schedule of events can be found on the DFA website with link to the Palm Desert Open. There is pre-registration on AskFred, but entry forms must be given or mailed to me. The deadline for registration for the PDO is October 24.

We’ve been contacted by the Mexicali fencing team, indicating their interest in coming and competing and their participation will make our tournament an international competition.

November 2, Friday, there will be no fencing at DFA as we will be busy getting the venue set up. We need volunteers to help us set up Friday evening at COD at 6:00 p.m. We will be setting up 10-12 strips, six of which will be electric strips. It takes 5-6 people to lay one electric strip. The strips must be very flat and very taut. And it takes about forty minutes to lay one strip so……..we need at least twelve of our fencers, if not more, to help us. It’s the set up for any tournament that requires the most volunteers. Diane will be busy setting up the computers (we will be running two computers for this tournament), I’ll be busy coordinating people and answering questions, the armorers will be in setting up their work area. So, all this preparation takes place the night before so the event will run very smoothly. So, Friday, November 2 is not a date night for anyone other than making a date to be at COD and help set up the gym.

Also, we will need volunteers to help with check-in on Saturday and Sunday. Our check-in times are 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on both days. We need four people to help with check-in.

We also need “runners”, volunteers who “get things” , i.e., water for the referees and armorers and bout committee.

Lastly, we need a someone, or two, to drive the shuttle bus on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We have shuttle bus drivers set for the late morning and into the evening, but we need drivers for 7 a.m. pick ups from the hotel to the venue.

November 10, Saturday, is the qualifier for the Junior Olympics at Victor Valley High School. We are currently working on the schedule, but the date and venue have been confirmed.

November 22-23, Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, DFA will be closed those two days but will be open Saturday, November 24.

Yes, we have a very busy, but fun and exciting, October and November. December’s schedule will be just as busy, but we’ll save that for the next newsletter.

Wishing you all blissful fencing,


Leslie Taft
Fencing Coach
Desert Fencing Academy

Sunday, September 09, 2007


September 2007 Update

Hi to all,

An information up date for everyone as we settle back to school and fencing.

Our first San Bernardino Division tournament will be Saturday, September 8 at College of the Desert. Close of check-in times are 9:00 a.m. for sabre, 10:00 a.m. for foil and 12 noon for epee. The entry fee remains $10 per weapon. We also have the USFA membership forms if you need to renew your membership.

Also on the horizon is the Palm Desert Golf Cart Parade on Sunday, October 28. DFA has already sent in the entry form. This year’s theme is “Trick or Treat, Palm Desert Style”. We are going to transform our golf cart into the black hat of Zorro, a black mask with slits for the eyes (so we can see where we are driving!) and a black cape. We invite our members to dress up as Zorro, or some such character, and be in the golf cart parade. Please let me know and I’ll put your name on the list. Last year we took first place for school spirit! Let’s see what we do this year.

We are again hosting the Palm Desert Open, November 3-4, 2007, at College of the Desert. This is a Pacific Coast Section tournament and we do expect a very large turnout this year since there is no longer the Long Beach Invitational in October.

We are anticipating approximately 150 fencers for the PDO this year and so, we are very much in need of volunteers to help us with check-in. The last two years we had the assistance of Pacific Coast Section Secretary, Midi Cox, and her son, Kip, to run the computer. This year, we will not have Midi. Diane Whan will run the computer and oversee most of the tournament,
I will also assist, but we will need volunteers on hand to act as “runners” for the bout committee and tournament officials. We will also need volunteers to drive the shuttle van. This Palm Desert Open will be totally and completely run by DFA, so, we need its fencers, and parents, to help, Diane and I cannot run it by ourselves. I will be emailing more information as we get closer to the tournament. Entry forms are already on the DFA website. The deadline date for entry forms is October 24.

And, the U.S. Olympic Pentathlon team is coming to Palm Desert December 8-9, 2007. DFA is a co-sponsor and the fencing will be held at College of the Desert. This is a time trial for the Olympic Pentathlon team, but the neat part is that the epee event will be open to all fencers!
That means, our DFA epee fencers, or anyone who wants to fence epee that day, may do so!
I’ll have more information on this event, with schedules and venues.

Please know that if your fencer is already competing, or we’re getting him/her ready for competition, that on Monday evenings from 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., we invite our sabre fencers to come and fence electric during that time to hone their competition skills. We are offering the same opportunity for our epee fencers on Thursday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
And, of course, there is open fencing on Friday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

And, in case you are wondering, our fees remain the same; $30 monthly membership and $20 per lesson.

Welcoming everyone back to the 2007-2008 fencing season,

Wishing you all blissful fencing,


Leslie Taft
Fencing Coach
Desert Fencing Academy

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