Thailand Fencing World Cup Kicks Off Tomorrow…

We spent the day checking out Pattaya and trying to stay awake so we’d get on a “normal” sleeping schedule.   It’s 13 hours ahead here from East Coast Time.   The competition starts tomorrow with the pools.   There are only about 40 fencers so only a few folks from our team are fencing.  Ben Igoe and I both have byes.
There are 3 Hungarians, 3 Polish, a couple of British fencers, Yakimenko, Japan is here and a few others making up the higher ranked fencers.    The competition is still very important for who will qualify for the final team spot now that James Williams has stopped fencing.   Mike Etropolski and Luther Clement both are in the running now.  Jason Rogers and Sean Buckley are also close to the 5th ranking (which would become 4 with James official retirement) but not competing here.
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Ben and I still haven’t gotten our fencing bags and haven’t gotten an update yet.  Hoping they arrive before we have to fence on Sunday!
On another note, was cool to see billboards around town advertising the tournament and a lot of the newspapers had write-ups.  Go Thailand Fencing Federation! Way to promote!

Team USA Safe and Sound in Pattaya, Thailand for World Cup

We’re safe and sound in Pattaya!   Ben and I had a little excitement this morning when we tried to head back to the airport in Bangkok to meet up with Dmitry and our ride….

They suddenly closed all the roads because the King of Thailand was coming to our hotel!   When we finally got the airport and met Dmitry our ride was nowhere to be found so we ended up taking a cab to our hotel in Pattaya.
Competition starts tomorrow.  Should be fairly weak, but we’re not sure yet how many countries are actually here. 
PS Coach Dmitry Guy (Pictured above next to Ben in our cab) said he’s a fan of the blog and wanted me to write for him, “HELLO TO EVERYONE!”
 
 

Fencing Coach is Finalist for Dunkin Donuts Design Contest! (VOTE ONLINE TO HELP HIM WIN!)

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Fencing Instructor Chris Wiley

FENCING COACH IS FINALIST IN DUNKIN DONUTS DESIGN CONTEST!

To win, Wiley needs the support of bake-off judges and of the general public, who can vote for their favorite donut online through May 3. As of Wednesday, Wiley was in a second place with 12 percent of the votes.

To vote for Wiley, click here. He’s now one of the 12 finalists! Go Fencers!

His donut is a chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker combination, which he titled the “S’morgosbord.”

Four Score and 20+ hours of Flying Later…Ben and I arrive in Bangkok…Our bags remain at JFK!

“Hello from the Bangkok lost baggage office!” (Picture above)
 
Bangkok, Thailand — 14+ hours to Beijing, a quick layover and then a 5+ hour flight to Bangkok only to discover that somehow our fencing bags never made it out of JFK!
 
Definitely not what you want to hear after a super long trip!   Not sure how that happened and it’s a first for me.   After 300+ or more flights out of JFK in my life I’ve never had my bags not get out of NYC!   Ben and I both arrived at JFK with plenty of time for them to make it on the flight (I was there 3 hours before flight) so my only suspicion is that perhaps someone doing the bag check didn’t know about fencing and held them because of either the sabers or body cords…who knows.    If not, just gross negligence of  the Air China folks…Which after our flight experience wouldn’t be that surprising!
 
Luckily, we carried most of our stuff on the airport so we’ll just need to borrow sabers…and I guess buy some underwear!    They said our bags might arrive by Saturday.(The first day of the competition)   Anyway, we’re spending the night in Bangkok and then meeting Coach Dmitry Guy in the morning to head to the competition hotel in Pattaya…about a 3 hour bus ride.