2015 Parasol Duelling World Championships

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A beautiful day for duelling!

The Second Annual World Parasol Duelling Championships took place on September 19th, 2015, in Calgary Alberta Canada.

Central Memorial Park in Calgary AB Canada
Central Memorial Park
The Championships were held in Calgary's elegant Central Memorial Park which was the site of one of this year's Beakerhead installations, "Intrude" by Australian artist Amanda Parer.

The park had three giant inflated white rabbits, a quirky and exotic back ground for the World's greatest Parasol Duellists.
 On the Thursday evening before the competition the Rabbits were lit up with coloured lights and synchronized music which made for a magical evening.
We added a little parasol fun to the event.

Cover illustration by
Kipling West
As part of Calgary's annual Beakerhead event we had great coverage leading up to the day, even making it onto the cover of one of Calgary's regular "things to do" magazines.

On Saturday afternoon the results of the coverage showed in the excited crowd that was gathering to watch the Ladies compete.

Soon the Chief Judge Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock arrived and was escorted to the Judges table by Doctor Adler joining the other judges for this year's World Championships.
Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock, Chief Judge, arrives and is greeted by Doctor Adler

Judges for the event were:
Photo by MetallYZA
L to R seated at the Judges table:
Her Grace, Christine Pearse the Duchess of Argylle, aka Christie Vanderloh.
Virgo Vermeil, aka Char-Min Wade-Creller.
Chief Judge and Black Sash, Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock, aka Jayne Barnard.

The Doctors for the event were:
Photo by Peter Justine

Left: Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe, aka Kevin Jepson (me).
Right: Doctor Johann Portsmouth Adler, aka Stewart MacPhee.

We had nine contestants for this year's World Championships.
L to R
Sarafina Kain, Josanna Justine, Nicki Brown, Cindy Bedford, Katherine Eleanor Lingwood, Cali Brewer, Deanne Robbins, Monica Willard and Raven Hawthorne (missing)
Photo by Karlo Keet

After a brief demonstration of the rules for the audience and an explanation of how the afternoon would proceed, we asked if anybody in the audience would like to try it out. Two young Ladies leapt at the chance!

Being shown the ropes by Raven Hawthorne
Photo by MetallYZA
Future Duelists try their hands at doing Snubs
Photo by Karlo Keet

 This year Street Duelling was included for the first time as an exhibition sport. The exhibition was conducted in the form of a "hold the field" type challenge. After each bout the victor held the field against a new challenger.

Steely gazes and intense action ensued!

Monica Willard
Photo by MetallYZA

Here is the bout between the 2014 Compulsory Figures Champion Josanna Justine and one of the most famous Street Duelists, Monica Willard with dual parasols always at the ready.
Photo by Karlo Keet

After a short break while the judges finished their paper work, the formal competitions began with the Compulsory Figures.

 The Ladies were paired off and each pair did three sets of the figures, the order being determined in advance by the judges. The sharpness of the completed figures and the smoothness of the transitions were notably better this year.

Deanne Robbins with a perfect Snub
Photo by MetallYZA
Raven Hawthorne with an elegant Twirl
Photo by MetallYZA

Raven Hawthorne and Sarafina Kain
Photo by Karlo Keet

Josanna Justine and Monica Willard
Plant and Plant with Ankling!
Photo by Katie Edwards
The Flirtation Trials, always a crowd favourite, demonstrated the artistic interpretations, and flirtatious stylings of the competitors. The competition was also done in pairs. In addition to the judges score, one point came from a vote from the audience by way of applause at the end of each round.

There was a lot of applause!
Nicki Brown and Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Katie Edwards
Cindy Bedford
An elegant Oriental Twirl
Photo by MetallYZA


Monica Willard in mid flirtation
Photo by Clare Gibson

The formal Parasol Duelling competition had only eight contestants as one Lady had to leave to attend a family wedding. Timing is everything wot?

The first rounds of the competition showed the speed and intensity increase noted at every competition since last year's Worlds! The Ladies really showed their skills and both the Doctors and the Judges needed to keep a sharp eye on the competitors to make sure each figure was complete at the hold.

Rather than give a blow by blow report I will give you a feel for what this World Class competition was like in pictures.

Katherine Eleanor Lingwood vs Nicki Brown
Photo by Karlo Keet

Monica Willlard going for a Snub
Photo by Clare Gibson
Raven Hawthorne vs Katherine Eleanor Lingwood
Photo by Clare Gibson

Cindy Bedford
Photo by Karlo Keet

Monica Willard vs Deanne Robbins
Photo by Katie Edwards
Sarafina Kain s Josanna Justine
Photo by Karlo Keet
Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Karlo Keet
As happened at the Spring Regionals one Duelling pair fought to a draw three times and had to be decided in a Sudden Death Duel.
After a hard fought first two rounds the Judges announced the Semi Finalists.
L to R
Sarafina Kain, Monica Willard, Raven Hawthorne, Deanne Robins, Katherine Eleanor Lingwood (missing)
The competition was fierce and the Ladies very evenly matched and the next few rounds decided who would be the new Duelling Champion!

You could see the tension and concentration in the faces of the Duelists.
Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Clare Gibson

Sarafina Kain
Photo by Clare Gibson

Having fought her way through the entire afternoon losing only a single bout, the clear winner was Sarafina Kain! Sarafina was the first Duelling Champion in 2014 and also won the Spring Regionals in April this year.

Doctor Adler presents the 2015 Duelling Champion
Sarafina Kain
Photo by Karlo Keet
The Judges then announced the winners of the Compulsory Figures and Flirtation Trials.

The winner of the Compulsory Figures was Cindy Bedford. This was Cindy's first competition!
The 2015 Compulsory Figures Champion
Cindy Bedford

The winner of the Flirtation Trials was Josanna Justine. Josanna was the 2014 Compulsory Figures Champion.
The Duchess of Argylle presents the 2015 Flirtation Trials Champion
Josanna Justine

 A hush fell over the crowd as the judges tallied and checked the over all results to decide who would be the 2015 World Champion of Parasol Duelling.

Finally Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock came forward and presented the blue World Champion's sash to...
 Sarafina Kain!
Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock presents the 2015 World Champion
Sarafina Kain her Sash
 So here they are, the 2015 World Parasol Duelling Champions. Congratulations Ladies!
L to R
2015 Flirtation Trials Champion Josanna Justine
2015 Compulsory Figures Champion Cindy Bedford
2015 Parasol Duelling and World Champion Sarafina Kain

Prizes were awarded to the Champions, donated by artisans and sellers of the exotic from across the Steampunk World. I'll show the details of the prizes in another post but the prize awarded to the new World Champion is a real treasure.
Sarafina Kain holding her prize.
A hand bound volume of the Parasol Duelling rules! Bound by Azephelus Strangeness in England.
Azephelus describes this treasure thusly:
'Full cloth' leather binding. The pages are bench-sewn by hand in the traditional manner, and encased in fine Persian kidskin, with an inlaid panel of vegetable-tanned ox leather.
The Latin motto on the crossed parasol emblem: Iacite Umbra Splendida roughly translates as "Throw Shade Splendidly"
The book contains an additional set of pages in which duelling results can be recorded.

 "Please convey my enthusiastic compliments to your competitors, and my heartiest congratulations to the victor, when she finally emerges."
--Azephelus Strangeness

Many thanks to all the competitors this year, you dueled superbly with grace, skill and honour.

We look forward to seeing you all on the Duelling field in the coming years.

Photo by Karlo Keet

 Thank you all for reading and as always...

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


Photo by Clare Gibson

An event such as this cannot happen without the help, support, and encouragement of a lot of people.
Please join me in thanking them, and if I missed anyone my sincere apologies!

The Ladies of Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

The awesome folks that organize (and cat herd) Beakerhead for letting us have our competition as part of this wonderful event.

The Steampunk Arts and Science Society and the Calgary Steampunk Facebook Group

The Victoria Park BRZ and especially Rebecca Griffith for helping us get set up and organized on the day.

The photographers that make us look so good!
Karlo Keet.
Clare Gibson
Katie Edwards

The amazing people who supplied our prizes:
Azephelus Strangeness for the Grand Prize of the bound Parasol Duelling Rules
Melissa Wartenburg of Attic Raiders for the parasol holsters
Jess and Monica Willard of Zoltangal Emporium 
Trespasser Ceramics

And of course the wonderful people who came out to cheer on the Ladies in their quest to be the 2015 World Parasol Duelling Champion.

Click here for information on the history and development of Parasol Duelling
or click the Parasol Duelling tag.

The Rules for Parasol Duelling are here.


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