How to get there: Highwoods Sports Centre, Brinkley Lane, Colchester (Tel: 0206-841463). From the town centre, take the Ipswich road. Competition starts at 9.30am tomorrow (foil) and on Sunday (sabre and epee). Spectating is free.
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The Essex Open, at Colchester this weekend, marks the start of the fencing season and the five-weapon event has attracted more than 450 entrants, including five from Saudi Arabia. Salle Boston, a large London club, have entered 28 fencers, while their smaller neighbours, Sussex House, field 20, including a future British prospect in Paul Walsh, who won the foil section at Colchester last year. His main rival this time will be Salle Paul's Mark Heath, runner-up in the National Championships. In the epee, six of Britain's top 10 men will compete, including the No 1, Tony Perity, while Jos Hofmans- Clark, the Dutch International based in Felixstowe, is favourite to retain her title in the women's event.