At a glance
SUAC Team (Andrew, John, Matt, Tap) – 2220 – 1st
Samantha Hewkin – 486 – 3rd
Janna Collier – 485 – 4th
Isabelle Hawkins – 412 – 8th
Jenny Gibbs – 308 – 11th
Fiona Walsh – 463 – 1st
Andrew Howe – 578 – 1st
John Bowes – 565 – 4th
Matthew Potticary – 553 – 7th
Stephen Fawcett – 524 – 17th
Dominic Collis – 487 – 34th
This year’s squad for the Bournemouth Indoor Open was heavily weighted towards seniors, with Jenny Gibbs being the only novice entering herself. Danielle Newman would have loved to be able to shoot, as she greeted the team at the minibus, but she is currently physically unable to do so. This prompted Stephen Fawcett to come out with all sorts of American/Canadian terms relating to sporting injuries, which seemed lost on everyone else. The front row of the minibus was not the usual senior triumvirate of Matt Potticary, Stephen and Janna Collier, as Janna decided she’d prefer to sit next to Fiona Walsh on the way. Despite the offer of backseat driving from John Bowes being turned down, the team generally navigated a sound path to the competition, including the bizarre roundabout in which you also have the option to cut straight across. The only hiccup came at the end, when Stephen realised that they’d missed the turning into Canford School, and then went through the wrong entrance which led towards a different part of the school. Once the team found their bearings and more familiar surroundings, they arrived in plenty of time.
There was no good luck text message, though Nat Chavanich did wish good luck at the range a couple of nights before, so that technically counts. The team set up their bows and had lunch, with Stephen continuing his recent trend of finding his bow being generally in the way of everyone. Since Stephen was busy on charity duties the day before, he left it for other people to pack Jenny Gibbs’ wooden bow in her first competition. However, they had forgotten to pack her a stand, so Stephen lent his, as he could just rest his bow on his side rods. It seems that the last time he did this he had longer side rods, as the resting bow positioned itself at a greater angle than was anticipated. Coupled with the fact that his target would be where the path for the fire exit had to be kept clear, this served for his bow to just be further in the way of everyone.
The start of the shoot went well for Samantha Hewkin, who scored an end of three Xs on the way to half dozens of 56 and 57, but unfortunately she couldn’t quite maintain this impressive run for the rest of the shoot. Janna was finding that her arrows were going high, no matter how much she was moving her sight, and she wasn’t able to keep up in her mini rivalry with Stephen on the far side of the hall away from everyone else. The rest of the team were shooting well in general, even with Matt shooting a ‘1’ in amongst all the tens he was shooting. Most of the people in and around Stephen’s target were admiring just how orange his bow was, although as he points out, it was so popular that it’s the only colour that is no longer for sale on the market.
The other debutant, Isabelle Hawkins, was politely reminded by another archer that she wasn’t touching her nose and chin. When Matt came over to investigate what the conversation was about, his only sympathy was to agree that she wasn’t touching her nose and chin. Andrew Howe was being watched too, and the guy with the beret remarked that he had a very classical style, possibly tied to SUAC being coached by Gary Carr. Whether the archers appreciated being watched over is a slightly different matter.
Isabelle did not anticipate quite how long the ceremony would be, with the standard fare of raffle and award giving going on for much longer than even Stephen had suggested it would be. With a number of star prizes on offer such as a bow bag, archery vouchers, and a fully built mini recurve bow, John bought himself a number of strips of raffle tickets, which was described as “more of an investment” by the organiser. John’s tickets paid off early on, as he had a selection of prizes to choose from. It was quietly suggested that he should take the most random, creepy prize, to which he fittingly returned with a giant rolling pin. Matt always tries too hard to win these raffles and got suitably rewarded by winning the penultimate prize, which was in fact a choice of two toys. He went with a humanoid monkey doll called Zak whose main selling point was the little plastic rectangle accessory described as a harmonica, but fittingly the doll was also labelled as having ‘Posable Actions’ (see Hampshire Clout report).
The shoot turned out to be highly successful for SUAC. Firstly Samantha Hewkin surprised herself by coming third in the ladies recurve with 486, one point ahead of Janna in fourth. Fiona won the ladies barebow score with a score of 463, which is a good score regardless of how many people she was against. Andy won the gents recurve with an impressive 578 to take home the blue lion trophy. John just missed out in fourth with 566 while Matt came seventh with 553, and the team of those three plus Stephen with 524 (woop) made for a strong team score of 2220, enough for a 16 point win over the hosts. Jenny then even completed the successful raid on Bournemouth’s prizes by winning the Lord Patron prize from David Williams (not Boris, otherwise it would have said) for being the closest female score to 300. She was somewhat embarrassed to claim this prize, partly because Stephen hadn’t previously explained in his briefing what a Lord Patron prize was.
There was mild controversy at the end when half the squad went straight back to the minibus rather than doing team photos to celebrate all the prizes that had been won, as was the case this time last year. By the time Matt picked up his phone, that half were already inside the bus, and they decided to insubordinate as it was too cold to go back to the hall, leaving those inside the hall unimpressed. However, at this time of year it was pitch black outside to want to take a photo by the minibus. Fiona decided that if nobody else wanted a photo then she would still have one anyway, so Stephen obliged. As the other half returned to the bus, the judges were suggesting other competitions Jenny could do in the year. Bearing in mind this was her first one, a FITA 70 is a little bit in the distance for now…
The music on the way back was from Stephen’s eclectic collection, with him trying to find the balance between reasonably credible songs, and songs that were decent to drive to (in Matt’s opinion). However, the return journey went without a hitch, particularly as they went back the way in which they were supposed to have arrived in.