Third Annual Parasol Duelling World Championships Sept 10 2016

Sunday, October 9, 2016 0 comments

An elegant afternoon of competition!

The 2016 World Championships were held on September 10th on the elegant grounds of the Lougheed House in Calgary.

The weather in September can be pretty variable but this Saturday was a beautiful Autumn day, cool but mostly sunny.

There were still lots of flowers in the gardens but some of the leaves on the trees had started to change.
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Photo by Antonina Taskaev
The previous two World Championships were held in conjunction with the Beakerhead festival, but this year we were on our own. There was some concern that we wouldn't get much attention, however there was a great crowd of spectators which was awesome to see. Lots people came out to watch the Ladies compete, many were in costume too.

Photo by Antonina Taskaev
A beautiful day for a competition.
Photo by Karlo Keet

There were eight competitors in this year's World Championships, including two previous World Champions, Karen Siemens and Sarafina Kain, as well as previous Duelling, Flirtations, and Compulsory Figures champions.  As you might expect this made for some intense competition!

The Duelists
L to R
Doctor Adler, Sarafina Kain, Monica Willard,Cindy Bedford, Raven Hawthorne,Karen Siemens,Josanna Justine,
Briona Justine, Cali Brewer
Photo by Grant Zelych

The event started with a Grande Promenade of the competitors and Doctors around the stately Lougheed house. In addition to giving the judges a chance to get organized it also allowed the spectators and photographers a chance to get some good photos.

This year the previous year's champions were permitted to wear their winner's sashes during the competition as you can see in the promenade pics.

Cindy Bedford and Josanna Justine
Photo by Grant Zelych

Cali Brewer and Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Grant Zelych

Karen Siemens
Photo by Karlo Keet

Briona Justine and Lyric Justine( Junior Doctor)
Photo by Karlo Keet

Baroness Daniela Fawkes (aka Dana Teh.) and
Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock (aka Jayne Barnard)
Photo by Peter Justine

The Judges for this year's Worlds were Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock (aka Jayne Barnard) and Baroness Daniela Fawkes (aka Dana Teh.)

Doctors for this event were Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe (aka Kevin Jepson) and Dr Johann Portsmouth Adler (aka Stewart MacPhee.)
Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe (aka Kevin Jepson)
Photo by Grant Zelych

Dr Johann Portsmouth Adler (aka Stewart MacPhee.)
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Madame Saffron welcomed all competitors with the now traditional Welcome and Admonition, first given at the Spring Regionals back in April.

The first competition was the Compulsory Figures competition.

The Ladies competed facing each other in pairs. The judges set the figure that the duelists must end on but the order of the first two figures was at the competitors choice.

You can see the intensity of this formal competition in this picture of two previous Champions during the Compulsory Figures:
Josanna Justine and Sarafina Kain
Photo by Grant Zelych

Raven Hawthorne and Cali Brewer
Photo by Grant Zelych

During one of the bouts Raven Hawthorne experienced a technical malfunction due to an over aggressive snub resulting in a "French Tulip".
Raven Hawthorne's "French Tulip"
Photo by Grant Zelych

The next competition was the Flirtations Trials.
Always a crowd favourite.
The ladies were again paired and were given the figure to complete by the judges.
Elegance and creativity were the bywords this year.

Cali Brewer
Photo by Karlo Keet

Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Karlo Keet

Monica Willard
Photo by Karlo Keet

During one of the trials between the first World Champion Karen Siemens and Street Dueler Extraordinaire Monica Willard there was a "Bloomer Incident" .

Captured in this video by Grant Zelych.

A fine way to break the tension that!

Once the Flirtation Trials were complete there was a short break for tea and cakes supplied by the Victorian Society of Alberta.
Christie Vanderloh and crew from the Victorian Society of Alberta
Photo by Lougheed House

The formal Duelling competition included a new procedure this year, a Duelling Card. Designed by Raven Hawthorne. This yellow card, very much like a old fashioned dance card, makes keeping track of the wins and loses easier and gives each competitor a record of how they did during the competition.

Explaining the Cards
L to R
Briona Justine, Cali Brewer, Raven Hawthorne,
Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe, Josanna Justine

The Chief Doctor Maxwell MacDonald-Smythe explaining the new Duelling card to the competitors before the Formal Duelling competition begins.

Another change from previous years was how draws were handled. In the event of multiple draws in a bout the result was determined through the use of Audra Balion's delightful Duelling Cards. Each card has a picture of one of the figures. Each competitor draws a card and the the result of the duel is determined best two out of three.

Parasol Duelling Playing Cards
By Audra Balion
Again this year there has been a steady improvement in the speed and control of the Ladies in their duelling.

This video by Antonina Taskaev, of a bout between two of the fastest duelists I have ever seen, Briona Justine and Cali Brewer, gives pretty good idea of the speed!

The intensity of the formal duelling competition can be seen in these photos.

Sarafina Kain
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Briona Justine
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Josanna Justine
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Raven Hawthorn and Karen Siemens
Photo by Antonina Taskaev
Cindy Bedford and Josanna Justine
Photo by Antonina Taskaev
Karen Siemens vs Monica Willard
Photo by Karlo Keet

Cindy Bedford vs Cali Brewer
Photo by Karlo Keet

Raven Hawthorne vs Cali Brewer
Photo by Karlo Keet

Monica Willard vs Cali Brewer
Photo by Karlo Keet

Monica Willard
Photo by Karlo Keet

Raven Hawthorne vs Karen Siemens
Photo by Karlo Keet
Briona Justine vs Karen Siemens
Photo by Karlo Keet

Briona Justine vs Josanna Justine
Photo by Karlo Keet

Briona Justine
Photo by Karlo Keet

Each Duelist was given two duels and after the first round the competitors with no wins were eliminated As each eliminated competitor was announced they were given the now traditional Twirl by the other competitors. Those Ladies with two wins were given a by for the next round.

After three rounds and another short tea break the semi-finalists were announced.

The Semi Finalists
L to R
Cali Brewer, Cindy Bedford, Briona Justine, Karen Siemens

A further two rounds led to the final bout between Cali Brewer and Karen Siemens.

Captured in video by Instagram user Celtsnite

Cali emerged victorious having been undefeated in the duelling competition!

While the judges compiled and checked their results to determine the World Champion a Street Duelling tournament was held as a "Hold The Field".

A competitor stood against all comers till eliminated when the victor would take the field against the others.

This was the first official Street Duel competition held in modern times and the Ladies showed that they had been practicing since the demonstration bouts at last year's Worlds Championships

Raven Hawthorne
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Briona Justine
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Cindy Bedford
Photo by Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Cindy Bedford showing off her two elegant Street Duelling Parasols purchased recently in  Budapest
Photo by Photo by Antonina Taskaev

Cindy Bedford was very well armed indeed displaying a total of FOUR street duelling parasols in a custom holster.

Those parasols served her well and she won the competition thus gaining the honour of being the first World Street Duelling champion!

A hush fell over the crowd as Madame Saffron Taxus-Hemlock called all the competitors before her to announce the winners of the 2016 World Championships!

As each was announced the previous champions presented their sashes to the new champions.

The 2016 World Champions

Compulsory Figures Champion Josanna Justine
Flirtation Trials Champion Raven Hawthorne
Duelling Champion Cali Brewer
Street Duelling Champion Cindy Bedford
Junior Champion Briona Justine

And finally Madame announced the new 2016 World Champion Karen Siemens.
Karen was also the first World Champion in modern times.  Congratulations on your victory Karen!

The new World Champion of Parasol Duelling
Karen Siemens
Photo by Elizabeth Howerton

Here they are, all the 2016 World Parasol Duelling Champions!

2016 World Champions
Standing L to R
Monica Willard (Creator of Street Dueling), Cali Brewer Duelling Champion, Karen Siemens 2016 World Champion,
Cindy Bedford Street Duelling Champion
Seated L to R
Raven Hawthorne Flirtation Trials Champion, Josanna Justine Compulsory Figures Champion
Missing Briona Justine World Junior Champion

Congratulations Ladies!

Each of the champions received a prize bag containing items created especially for the winners.

The World Champion received a special prize.

These beautiful Street Parasol Holsters custom created  for the World Champion by Master Holster maker  Ricardo dos Reis of Old West Leather in Portugal.

Fit for a World Champion!
Custom made Parasol Holsters by Ricardo dos Reis

And so another great World Championship came to a close.

Special thanks to the Lougheed House for letting us use their elegant grounds.

Thanks as always to the photographers that make us look so good.

Karlo Keet of Catstar Images
Grant Zelych
Antonina Taskaev
Lougheed House
Elizabeth Howerton
Barb Sand
Peter Justine

Thanks to Christie Vanderloh and the Victorian Society of Alberta for making sure we had tea and scrumptious goodies to keep us going through the long afternoon of competition.

Thanks to all competitors, Doctors, Judges, and spectators.
Photo by Antonina Taskaev

See you all in 2017!

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

 For more information and to find out more about this great sport go to:
Madame Saffron Hemlock’s Parasol Duelling League for Steampunk Ladies

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.

Photographer's Slide Rule

Saturday, September 17, 2016 0 comments

Before there were lightmeters...

Another interesting Nomographic device.

Like the Airship Engineer's Slide rule I discussed previously, other technically complex disciplines made use of nomographic devices to simplify on the fly calculations.

Photographers developed devices for determining exposure times known as Actinographs.

The name originally meant a device that recorded the amount of sunlight for a day but was adopted for the photographer's slide rule that used that data.

Here is an example from the later 19th C

Since the exposure time depended on several factors these could be set by sliding the scales. The scales were adjusted to account for plate speed, lens type, and other variables.  The curves on the roller indicated the changing light intensity for different times of the year.  The result was an estimate of the exposure time needed.

Here is another Actinograph that used a card instead of a roller for the sunlight data.
This is one of the first commercially produced devices made by Ferdinand Hurter and Vero Charles Driffield and patented in 1888.

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

About Gears, Goggles, and Steam oh My!

Here I collect interesting bits of information related to the world of Steampunk.

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