Report from the Parasol Duelling World Championships

Monday, September 15, 2014

We have a new World Champion!

Saturday September 13, 2014 dawned grey and chilly in Calgary.

Wed Sept 10, 2014
Two days before
the World Championships!
The previous week had seen an unseasonal and tree-damaging pair of heavy snow falls with temperatures dropping 27 degrees C in 12 hours!

It was not at all certain that the outdoor venue at which we were to have the Championships would be ready.

The World Championships were scheduled to run at a major outdoor event called Little Big Street during the Beakerhead festival in Calgary, and right up to the Saturday morning it was unclear just what kind of conditions the contestants, judges, and spectators would have to contend with. Luckily as the morning progressed the temperatures rose and the clouds thinned. By the time the competitions began in early afternoon the day was quite pleasant and by the end of the competitions the new World Champion could accept her accolade under a bright September Sun.

Since there has never been a full formal Parasol Duelling competition, one that included all three sections of Compulsory Figures, Flirtation Trials, and Duelling, it took a bit to get organized but soon the competitions began.

There were nine competitors entered in the competitions. Two were Junior ladies who could not participate in the Flirtation trials but participated in the Duelling and Compulsory Figures. One lady competed in the Duelling competition only.

The entrants to the World Championships of Parasol Duelling 2014
L to R
Standing: Josanna Justine, Sarafina Kain, Cali Kyhn, Karen Siemens, Teigan Blondin de Boer, Lorna Vanderloh
Front: Briona Justine, Raven Hawthorne

The Judges for this event were:
The Honourable Madeline Salisbury (aka Monica Willard)

Baroness Daniela Fawkes (aka Dana Teh)

Her Grace Doctor Christine Pearse Duchess of Argylle (aka Christie Vanderloh)
Chief Judge, and Black Sash, Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock (aka Jayne Barnard)

There were two Doctors for the event, myself and Dr. Johann Portsmouth Adler (aka Stewart MacPhee)
Dr. Johann Portsmouth Adler (aka Stewart MacPhee)
receives his Doctor's ribbon from the Chief Judge

The order of the competitions was Compulsory Figures, followed by the Flirtations Trials and then by the Parasol Duelling.

The Compulsory Figures were interesting. Each contestant must complete all three figures during the standard count, in the order Plant/Twirl/Snub, and they must make each figure distinct. It was a difficult job for the judges to determine the winner. The contestants did very well each completing all the figures in the six seconds allowed. There was a surprising amount of variation between their routines.

Each contestant ran through the figures three times before the judges.

Karen Siemens, in the guise of a Hungarian competitor, complete with accent and attitude to match, livened up the proceedings.  When I reminded her, pointing at her cuffs, that under the Brandenburg variations of the Hanoverian Rules lace was not allowed and she must remove them, she promptly replied "Really? My Lace? As you wish" and started to undo her blouse!

Once that misunderstanding was cleared up, with much laughter and chuckling from the crowd, the competition continued apace.

The winner of the Compulsory Figures Competition was Josanna Justine with her elegant, smooth and graceful display.

The Flirtation Trials were run with three contestants at a time going through their routines together.  Each trial consists of the contestants doing one of the standard figures, elaborating on the move for the full count and finishing with a completed form in a tableau of sorts. The figure to be done is chosen by the judges and there is a trial for each of the standard figures.

Flirtations are a chance for the contestants to show off their creativity while still performing a complete figure. The competitors did not disappoint, with each figure being shown with elegant, tasteful but exotic positioning.
For this competition the audience is asked to participate by indicating, by applause, their favourite of the three in each trial.
A Flirtation Trial for the Plant
L to R
Josanna Justine, Teigan Blondin de Boer, Karen Siemens

 The winner of the Flirtation Trials was Karen Siemens who, with her Faux Hungarian accent and attitude, but also precise and controlled movements, wowed both the audience and the judges.

Karen Siemens Flirtation Trial Champion with Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock Chief Judge

A tea break followed the conclusion of the Flirtations, whilst the competitors warmed up for the Parasol Duelling competition itself.

Tea at the Judges table
The Duchess of Argylle and Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock
The light and the dark in amity.
With the preliminary competitions done and the Sun shining brightly the formal Parasol Duels began.
Here the skill and style of all the competitors, young and old(er) alike, was very apparent. These Ladies had been practicing intensely for this competition.

Once the first rounds were done there was a short period of deliberation and the judges revealed the Semi Finalists.
The Semi Finalists
L to R
Cali Kyhn, Sarafina Kain, Simone 'Bronwyn' Haywood- Brazel, Karen Siemens

The excitement of these final duels was palpable! Even spectators who knew nothing about what they were seeing knew something big was happening. After a couple of duels the final two contestants faced off to determine who would be Duelling Champion!

After the applause and huzzahs died down Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock, as chief judge, rose to present the competition champions with their sashes.

Madame Saffron Taxus Hemlock presents Sarafina Kain with her Duelling Champion's Sash
The Compulsory Figures Champion Josanna Justine

The Flirtation Trials Champion Karen Siemens adjusts her sash.
Finally, as a hush fell upon the crowd, Madame announced the Lady who, based on the points from all three competitions, was to be awarded the title of the First World Champion of Parasol Duelling.

Karen Seimens World Champion
Receives her sash from the Chief Judge

And here they are: the winners and World Champion of the 2014 World Championships of Parasol Duelling.
L to R
Sarafina Kain, Duelling Champion
Karen Siemens, Flirtation Trials and World Champion!
Josanna Justine, Compulsory Figures Champion
Congratulations Ladies! 
Well done!

This was an interesting and complex event. One that demonstrated the full range of Parasol Duelling competitions. For being the first one ever, I think it came together very well and everybody seemed to be enjoying  the event and definitely got into the spirit of competition.

Photo by: Curtis Anderson
L to R
Back: Lorna Vanderloh, Christie Vanderloh, Monica Willard. Andrew Nadon, Cali Kyhn, Sarafina Kain, Me, Stewart MacPhee, Karen Seimens, Teigan Blondin de Boer, Jessep Crossfield
Front: Coleman Vanderloh, Rown(?), Raven Hawthorne, Briona Justine, Jayne Barnard, Dana Teh, Josanna Justine.
Missing: Simone 'Bronwyn' Haywood- Brazel, Peter Justine and Jess Willard

Thanks to everyone who helped to make this event happen:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I salute you!

And so the bright September sun set on the first ever Parasol Duelling World Championship.
Thanks for reading!

Photo by Audra Balion

Keep your sightglass full your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

Lewis King has posted a bunch of pictures of the competition here.

For more information go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

For background on the history and development of Parasol Duelling 
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

The Rules for Parasol Duelling


MichelleH says:
at: September 16, 2014 at 1:08 PM said...

Brilliant - I love it! :)

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