At a glance
Soton A (Sara, Nick, David): 3rd place
Soton B (Rachael, Callum, Matt): 6th place (i.e. joint last)
The Oxford Uni Indoor Tournament (OUIT) is an annual event that has a team competition on the Saturday morning, and then Portsmouths across the rest of the weekend. David also knew of a really good burger bar nearby so wanted to take as many people to sample its delights via shooting some arrows and possibly winning some shineys. Therefore, David managed to get two teams together comprising Sara, Nick and himself and Rachael, Callum and Lukas…
However, in the week running up to the shoot, Lukas mentioned the possibility of him being slightly inebriated on the Friday night, and likely to be ever so slightly “smashed off his face” the next morning. Luckily, Matt Story stepped forward to relieve Lukas of his archery duties so that we didn’t have to worry about a chunder dragon on the shooting line.
On the day itself, Sara picked up Matt and David, narrowly avoided a potential crash on the Avenue which caused David to get cramp in his bow arm. Upon seeing Callum, Nick and Rachael, Callum asked to go with Sara’s car too so that he “could hear himself speak” by the time we got to Oxford. Rachael was willing vict.. volunteer to navigate for Nick. As we had left very early for the shoot due to the M3/A34 problems the previous weekend for BUCS (see Stuart’s report here), we even had time to go two further junctions up the A34 as David wasn’t paying attention to the SatNav. Despite the diversion, we arrived in good time and saw some archers from Reading and walked in with Warwick’s team.
We got our bows together and had a chat with the other teams which included Warwick, Reading, Wallingford and Oxford A and Oxford B. It was to be a round robin tournament where we got to shoot against every team, so we wondered who we would be up against first. It turned out that round 1 would be Soton A vs… Soton B! We got sighters, but after the first end of them, Rachael set her sights on getting 6 arrows on the faces in the two minutes allotted. The first scoring end resulted in a whitewash 51-13 to Soton A. This was to be the tale of the match, as Soton A got 18 scoring arrows in a row, winning the next two ends 46 – 38 and 52 – 22. Soton A won the match 6 – 0, and as it turned out that was the scoreline in all the other matches.
Soton A and B went their own ways then and carried on shooting against other teams. Soton A went on a three match winning streak (including the bye that they had and an incredibly close tie with Warwick, where Soton A shot over 200/240 points to sneak the win) before coming up against Oxford A. They had also had a similar streak and so it was to be a tight match. After swapping the first two sets with some very close scores, David started getting some target panic issues and shot some misses to make it harder for the team. Luckily, Sara and Nick were still shooting golds almost constantly and we ended up drawing the match 4 – 4 with Oxford. Soton B had had opposite fortunes having gone on a losing streak, but Rachael was happy with the fact that they had got not only 6 scoring arrows, but also got their first point on the board and shot an end of 51.
Unfortunately for Soton A, David’s target panic issues got worse and this caused Sara to change the spots she was shooting to help him. Soton A managed to eke out a draw against a pumped up Reading team who shot ends of 55 and 56 to open. However, a loss against the Oxford B team meant that Reading and Soton A would finish on the same number of points. Soton B had managed to get more set points and recorded a draw with Wallingford. Rachael claimed that this meant that Soton B and Wallingford had both come second last, but they were both at the bottom of the leaderboard. This caused discussions as to what “being last” actually meant.
After a 15 minute break where David managed to recompose himself, Reading and Soton A were to shoot off for a place in the final. In the other semi final were top seeds Oxford A and surprise fourth seeds Warwick, who had shot well but had been unfortunate in a lot of their matches. In the all SEAL match, Reading and Soton A had a closer battle than they had before (if that were possible), trading points left and right. Warwick and Oxford were in a similar position and both semi finals went to single arrow shoot offs. David managed a good arrow, but Nick and Sara were struggling by this point. Nick’s 6 to one of Reading’s 7s was the difference in scores, and so Soton A would be in the bronze medal match against top seeds Oxford who had suffered a similar fate against lower ranked opposition in the other semi.
In the bronze medal match, David took control of his shots again and started sticking some arrows in the gold again (despite having problems with target panic still). Sara and Nick duly obliged and the bronze medal match was over quickly with a 6 – 0 whitewash for Soton A. The final was incredibly close and went to a single arrow shoot off. The first arrow for Warwick missed, but one Reading’s arrows was very close to missing too, such was the tension in the room. Luckily for Reading they had all three hits and so won the match, so there were 2 SEAL teams on the podium!
After a dubious photography session with Reading and Southampton unable to work out where to stand and show off their medals, much to the annoyance of photographer Rachael and a photo which one of the archers from Wallingford declared “I feel dirty after seeing that pose, I feel like I need a shower”, we packed out bows down and went off to Atomic Pizza in Oxford, leaving the cars and bows at the venue as it was a 10 minute walk away.
Despite lagging behind the others with a limp that had appeared, Rachael made it into the restaurant after the others. We also brought Reading along for a catch up and some burgers. After much belly aching over food, most people went for the biggest meal they could find and the AMAZING MILKSHAKES (editor’s note: SUAC/editor has not been paid or endorsed by Atomic, it’s just a really good restaurant in Oxford, honest!). Callum ordered lots of the weirder and spicier things on the menu like the “Baconator” milkshake under the pretence that he had been dared to. Rachael pointed out that this was not the case and was actually just Callum wanting it. Callum didn’t like the Baconator.
After filling our bellies with a lot of food and milkshakes, we walked (insert rolled/waddled) down to the sports centre to collect our things and head off. We said goodbye to Reading and by this point Rachael couldn’t walk, so she was placed in Nick’s car to be the navigator again. Off we went to Soton again and delivered everyone home. The OUIT had been successful for Soton this year, considering it was the first time a Soton team had ever entered it and we look forward to it again next year!