As you may notice, I mostly post reviews of tournaments when I like them
The Pomme was, as usual, a blast. However, some of that blast could be described as furnace-blast--it was atrociously, unforgivingly, searingly hot. The hallways outside the gym and the bathrooms were nice and chilly, but the gym was just plain horrible.
That said, as usual it was a well-run, friendly, pleasant experience. The bout committee was exceedingly well organized. I didn't have to wait in line for the armorer. There were two vendors - Blue Gauntlet and Zivkovic. Proprintwear was there with a wide variety of T-shirts and other paraphernalia. Phil Daly of Proprintwear brought a sample of the USA logo that he will be able to embroider on pants legs at Summer Nationals (he's bringing the machine). The Brandeis team, as usual, was selling hot dogs, pizza & other food. The T-shirt was nice, though I admit that I'm not fond of the cartoony motifs of the last couple of years.
There were plenty of referees, many of them top referees and most of them exceedingly well qualified, and the finals were done on modular strips with a backdrop in front of the bleachers so that a large audience could be accommodated--the perennial problem of the off-limits basketball court seemed to have been solved by some kind of overlay.
The seeding, pools, and DEs were posted in LARGE PRINT (hallelujah) in multiple places.
For those who are curious, I finished about the same distance from the end in both the open women's epee and the open women's sabre events--it was just different ends. Daria Schneider pulled off the gold in the women's sabre after being behind for most of the bout. As usual, the prizes were potato-related! The teenagers tied for third were trying to figure out what the heck to do with potato peelers, and I offered to take them off their hands, but they declined the offer.
I stayed at the Home Suites again. If anyone is planning on doing the Pomme de Terre next year, I really recommend that place. They have a free breakfast, a clean pool, free newspapers, and I'm typing this on a free computer in the breakfast lounge. Also, I ate tapas at the Solea in downtown Waltham (Moody Street) and it was wonderful. The Tom Can Cook restaurant tonight wasn't as good, but it was pleasant, and I recommend Lizzy's for ice cream.