Brittany Backhold Championships at Guipavas, France

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Our two wrestlers who spent a week in a training camp in Central Brittany last week, were joined by twenty other wrestlers from the North of England who travelled to take part in the Brittany Backhold Championships at Guipavas, near Brest . They joined wrestlers fromThe line up for the serment or wrestlers oath Cantabria in Spain, Friesland in the Netherlands, Scotland and Tunisia, as well as a host of wrestlers from all over Brittany to make a total of 138 competitors. The numbers were so great, that even with three mats in action simultaneously, the wrestling went on so long that the open competitions which usually conclude the programme were cancelled.

No fewer than ten of our wrestlers came home with championship medals. Our wrestlers are used to wrestling a wide range of weights and ages of wrestlers, but the Breton system with many age and weight categories mean that all bouts are well matched. This, of course, is a desirable, but often the wrestlers had few opponents. The most spectacular instance of this was when James Hayhurst was the only wrestler in his section. He had travelled a long way to have a walkover, so the organisers matched him with a good Breton lad from an older age group. Hayhurst lost the first fall but woke up to wrestle at his best, taking three tightly fought bouts in row.

Duncan Hutton in actionThe biggest and best performance came from a Northumbrian wrestler who won the All Weights Championship in 1992, but has wrestled only rarely in the last ten years. Duncan Crazy Horse Hutton returned to international recognition when he won the biggest and heaviest group of all, the Senior Open Weight. With ten wrestlers in contention, thereJason Davison wrestling a Breton were two pools of five where everyone wrestled everyone else, best of five falls. The top two from each pool then went forward to the cross-ties, or semi-final, at which point Jason Davidson was eliminated by John Hirsch of Dundee with the leg-up buttock.

This meant that Hirsch and Hutton met in the final where Hutton prevailed mainly with the back-heel. At the repas, the big meal after the event, Duncan Hutton was forced to stand in the midst of all the tables and people, for it was his fortieth birthday, while Happy Birthday or its equivalent was sung in English, Breton, French, Friesian, Spanish, and Tunisian.

In the Under 21 Open Weight, four of our wrestlers took all the places, with Andrew Ord felling Ross Wilkinson in the final. Another all English final was in the open weight Under 15 Years, when Jimmy Hall of Milnthorpe Academy felled William Hayhurst.

Meanwhile, at home, the new wrestling class at William Howard School , Brampton , got off to a good start with some promising performances from the teenagers who came to sample our local traditional wrestling. The class meets each Tuesday from 7 to 8pm, with Alan Jones as coach.


Brittany Backhold Championships

Girl winners: 56kg, C Hodgson; 62kg, H Hodgson.

Male Winners: Under 13 Years 52+kg, J Hayhurst. Under 15 Years 56kg, B Brocklebank.68+kg, J Hall. Under 17 Years 54kg, P Murray . 74kg, D Crane. 74+kg, J Hale. Under 21 Years, 81+kg, A Ord. Seniors: 81kg F Hirsch. 90+kg, D Hutton.

Carlisle Wrestling Club Points Night

11 ½ st 1, R Dixon ; 2, A Carlile.

13st 1, John Harrington; 2, R Dixon ; 3, A Carlile.

All Weights 1, R Dixon ; 2, A Carlile; 3, John Harrington; 4, J Ewart.

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (February 10th 2011)

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