At a Glance
|Andrew Howe||1189||4th Senior Gents Recurve|
|Justina Valyte||1054||11th Senior Ladies Recurve|
|Patrick Corning||635||6th Senior Gents Barebow|
|Jon Arnarson||974||9th Novice Gents Recurve|
|Rachael Smith||884||5th Novice Ladies Recurve|
|Tom Reed||1311||1st Novice Gents Compound|
|Abbie Hall||1025||3rd Novice Ladies Compound|
|Ladies non-Compound||Justina, Ally, Sara||3128 (4th)|
|Gents non-Compound||Andrew, David, Matthew||2983 (8th)|
|Novice non-Compound||Jon, Samuel, Rachael||2743 (3rd)|
|Compound Team||Tom, Abbie||2336 (10th)|
One year more, one more rainy BUCS! Part 1!
As always, it rains in Lilleshall in mid-June, just in time for the start of the BUCS Outdoor Championships! Everything was set (or so we hoped) but as many found out, just getting to Lilleshall is a trip in itself! David Williams, Michael Sessions and Sam Baldwin set off very early to get a tent up and help the field party as David had a meeting at Lilleshall on the Friday afternoon. That car trip was fairly straight forward and enjoyed a view of new, as-yet-unreleased McLaren sports car driving along the motorway next to them for a bit. By the time they got there at around 12:30, the minibus – which had planned to leave at 11am, was still in Southampton. The cars of Sara Rubio, Lotty Boatman, Adam Darbyshire, Abby Slark and Ally Miller were all on their way by this point. In the meantime, accompanied by the Benny Hill theme, Patrick Corning led his troops around Southampton to collect all the bits and bobs required for camping which were stored in the various ranges. At 2pm (after a trip to the local Asda), they set off with Tom Reed driving the first stint. That wasn’t too bad until after Warwick services, where Isabelle Hawkins took over and immediately hit traffic. From there they crawled along at eventually (after an arduous 8 hour journey much akin to that of Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee) made it to Mount Do– I mean Lilleshall. By this point, all the other tents had been delivered in the cars so that all that needed to be done was to get bits off the minibus and set up the last tent. Of course, this is when it started to rain… heavily. It wouldn’t be BUCS without it would it? After all of this malarkey, SUAC went to the pub (as no one was crazy enough to practice in the rain) and all had some yummy food before going back to rest before the big day.
The Saturday started grey and it was to remain that way for the weekend. All of SUAC set up their bows. Andrew Howe immediately started shooting strong as did the eventual women’s team of Justina Valyte, Ally Miller and Sara Rubio, with just a handful of points separating the three at this point. Patrick was in a tough field with 6 other barebow archers and at the end of the longest distance, discovered between them that 1 point (and number of golds/hits) separated 2nd to 5th place! Novelita Mondamina started strongly too being one of the few novice ladies to approach 200 points after her first distance and all the other novices Rachael Smith, Jon Arnarson, Vale Amezcua and Samuel Mott shot some good arrows. Tom Reed started as he meant to carry on (he didn’t shoot a distance under 324 all day which is an average of 9 per arrow!) and Abbie Hall was 20 points behind her two rivals from Swansea after the first distance (although this wasn’t helped by Tom setting her bow up backwards that Sam B only saw a few ends in!).
At 70m, the rain started to come down hard and David started to have problems, falling below his usual standards and Matthew Wellman brought back a strong 70m score. Andy was in la-la land and shooting excellent ends having started with 271 at 90m, he followed with 278 at 70m. The ladies team put in some good shots with only a few points between them all at the end of 60m. Justina was on 523, Ally had recorded 524 and Sara was sitting pretty on 527! Abby Slark was a little way behind these three, but was shooting strong at this stage too which was good considering her injuries going into the weekend. Over in barebow land, Patrick had eeked out a 3rd position, but 2nd to 6th now only had a few dozen points between them, meaning it was still anyone’s game! Sam M and Jon must have had a right ding dong battle at 60m as one point difference (to Jon) separated their 60m scores. Meanwhile, Rachael was catching Novelita in the women’s novice competition whilst Valeria was shooting nicely a little bit below them in the scores. Tom shot his worst distance of the day (a 324/360)… while Abbie clawed some points back but was still in third.
Most people were happy with how they were shooting. However the evil faces for the seniors were being put on targets for the 50m distance. As it would turn out most people shot quite well at these. There were plenty of moans going on from various archers and it did catch some of the teams out. However, Andy put in a score of 309, but his teammates David and Matthew had all sorts of problems (for different reasons). Abby’s serving came loose and gave her an end of 6 misses which didn’t help her score, while Justina put some breathing room between her and Ally by shooting a 238 to Ally’s 214. Sara had shot a 201. Patrick’s barebow battles continued but he started to slip away at this point, with his closest rivals just pulling ahead of him slightly. The novices didn’t have to content with teeny tiny faces and they all shot excellent scores close to or surpassing 200! Tom carried on scoring 9s but Abbie struggled to continue her form from the previous distance and slipped further away from those she was chasing. At the end of 50m, the women’s team were in 3rd place and looked strong. Tom was winning outright and Patrick, Novelita, Rachael, Jon, Abbie and Andy were all firmly inside the top 10. 50m was also the distance that a bow misfired on the recurve line and the limb delaminated (sadtimes) and also Novelita noted that her arrows were flying weirdly. They may no longer have been straight. 🙁
The last distance! Finally! More rain ensued, some wind picked up and evil faces remained. Despite a good last distance from all of the women, Edinburgh’s team came from 4th and jumped up to second at the last distance. They beat Justina/Ally/Sara by 80 points in the last distance alone and that meant no shineys for the women’s team unfortunately. Andy meanwhile was gunning for 1190, having learnt that it was a Master Bowman score (he had previously wanted 1200 but got disappointed when he realised it was unlikely he would get it). Unfortunately, he came just short, ending 1 point shy of it. What he didn’t realise was since 50m he had slowly but surely been picking off some of the other gents in front of him and now found himself in 4th place, his highest ever BUCS competition finish! David and Matthew carried on but the wind was out of their sails by this point and neither made 300 at 30m. Patrick’s 30m score wasn’t as good as he wanted, with all his nearest rivals posting slightly better scores. Despite a good day earlier on he ended up 6th of 7, however he took the club record with 635 for a gent’s WA1440 and should take pride in the fact that that would have won BUCS for the last few years. To the novices! Novelita’s wonky arrows were to be her undoing as she ended up just being pipped by Rachael. Novelita was 10 points behind Rachael was one point behind Sam M who had come a very respectable 16th. Vale put in a good last distance too finishing 13th while Jon’s 30m score put him into 9th, losing out on 8th on golds alone! Tom shot 333 for his last distance and in-so-doing smashed the BUCS record! Abbie fell away at the last distance unfortunately and ended third out of three, but she did so with a new club record.
After a long wet day, we stayed for the medal ceremonies, congratulated Tom and the novice team on their medals before running for cover as a massive rain storm came overhead whilst the last of the presentations were made. After it had subsided, food was put on by Michael and Isabelle and assorted others. Burgers! Yum! Sam B got a shot roulette out and whilst some went to bed, others stayed up and enjoyed 2 years old squash shots (with other assorted alcohols). London Uni didn’t like this too much as people were up until 1am, so the next morning, they played Disney songs at 6am, which brings us onto…
(Coming soon to a SUAC website near you!)