17 February 2020 - 12h04
For the second year in a row, Monaco hosted the Buhurt Prime, an international medieval battles championship. It took place on Saturday under the chapiteau de Fontvieille. A spectacular day where the top ten teams of the season were gathered.
On the outskirts of the chapiteau de Fontvieille, the atmosphere started very early, as soon as the teams arrived to prepare themselves, more than an hour before the start of the competition. Several activities were organized in the surrounding area to welcome the numerous spectators, waiting for the start of the battles at 12pm. Buoyed by last year’s success, Edouard Eme, President of the Historical Medieval Battle International Association (HMBIA), noticed at the beginning of the day a particularly important interest around the event: “We noticed that the spectators are asking fairly specific questions in our various information stands. They’re more interested in it than they were last year. It’s very positive.”
The group stages
“The teams are in the bailey”. These solemn words announcing the start of the battle were repeated nearly 20 times between 12pm and 3:30pm. The ten teams present at the event faced each other in order to reach the quarterfinals of the Buhurt Prime. The fights were very intensive and several teams managed to get out of the lot. The competition was organised as follows: two groups of five team each, with only four qualifying places for the next stage. In Group A, the Russian team “Bear Paw” finished first, ahead of the English of “White Company”, followed by the Czechs “Prague Trolls” and the Ukrainians “Warriors of Light”. Finishing last, the Mexicans “ACM Mexico” were eliminated. In the other group, the Russians “Western Tower” had no difficulty to finish first, ahead of the other Russian team “Old Friends”. The French “Aquila Sequania” were also present. After a difficult start, they managed to get back on track, especially with two consecutive victories, to end up qualified for the next round. The Ukrainians “Taurus UA” also qualified for the quarterfinals. The Polish “KS Rycerz” were eliminated in this group stage.
For the quarterfinals, the chapiteau de Fontvieille was almost full. For nearly two hours, the spectators were watching the Buhurt World’s best teams in ever more exciting battles. The atmosphere has escalated and the referees were even more vigilant about the safety of the athletes. They checked if the fighters were okay and the quality of their protection before each confrontation. Even though the bodies are tired by this day of battles and the rest of the season, the quarterfinals were of a higher intensity. Teams that defeated “Taurus UA”, “Prague Trolls” and “Warriors of Light” respectively, the “Bear Paw”, “Old Friends” and “Western Tower” teams advanced to the semi-finals. For “Aquila Sequania”, the task was more complicated. Despite the unconditional support of the public, the French were eliminated of the competition against the “White Company”, just before the semifinals. In the next stage, the “Bear Paw” defeated the “Old Friends” and the “Western Tower” defeated the “White Company” after a decisive third round. The latter, who had difficulty recovering from their previous fight, did not manage to resist the “Old Friends” in the third place battle and finished fourth. After a 100% Russian final, the “Bear Paw” won the tournament against the “Western Tower”. A one-way final that ended a very high-level competition.
The Grimaldi Milites also present
Between the semi-finals and the battle for third place, the Monegasque team “Grimaldi Milites” took part in an exhibition fight against an Italian squad from Genoa. The meeting was one-way. Very motivated, the Monegasque won two rounds zero. A good way to please an audience fully behind them. For Antoine Lutz, vice-captain of the team, it was the opportunity to promote a little more the practice of the Buhurt in Monaco and to allow the fighters to perform at home, especially right in front of Prince Albert II. Delighted with the result, Antoine Lutz did not hide his ambitions: “We are working hard to be there next year, but not to compete in an exhibition…” A team of friends ready to welcome new members: “This fight has shown that the team exists and that it is performing. It was also an opportunity to give us more visibility and to attract those who might want to get involved in this sport.”
© Buhurt Prime
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