Team Epic braced the snow, giant rats and some of Europe’s finest fighters on their way to a successful haul from Croatia!
The Karlovac Open is a prestigious tournament and a major WAKO series event that attracts many well-known fighters from all over Europe to compete in the western-border town. Organised by Zoran Cicvara, this event has been one Team EPIC have attended a few times before.
The team arrived in Venice airport on a cold, wet Thursday night and trampled out of the airport towards their connection transport when they came across the biggest rats imaginable! With a small army of mutant rodents on the scavenge for food, the brief excitement and standard picture-taking came to an end and the team set off for a 3.5-hour trip across the snow-layered Slovenian mountains.
Upon arrival the team settled into the hotel for a night’s sleep before head instructor Andy Cleeves joined the following day following a flight direct to Croatia. The team weighed in and settled into the arena ahead of the evening’s team events. A great night of action as our teams took two golds and a bronze! A special mention to Captain Kam Doyle and Andy Cleeves who took out two German teams on their way to the title.
Saturday saw the start of the main action. The packed points-fighting categories proved to be exactly what you would expect from a major tournament. The standard in the cadet divisions was of world class and we had golds, silvers and bronzes across the board, as well as some strong performances that weren’t rewarded with medals. Kam Doyle and Teia Doyle both won their grand champion divisions which was brilliant and we had many strong fights from Alex Fellender-Evans through to Dylan Hunt. The adults also were represented in points-fighting through Emma Thomas, Ben Beavis and Matt Roberts- all of whom placed in their cateogries. Rhiannon Bater also stepped onto the mats at her first international tournament on foreign soil and Harvey Pollard was also on form in his divisions as he built more experience in the world of kickboxing.
Sunday saw the light continuous and kick light action. The arena was full again for day 3 and this was a testament to the standard in Europe. Captain Kameron Doyle recovered from a nasty foot injury to win his continuous division in style, Emma Thomas came from behind at half time in her fight to power her way to gold and there were other strong performances from Harrison Doyle, Dylan Hunt and the younger cadet squad who all battled hard through their categories.
The next stop for Team EPIC is the EPIC open on February 25th!