At a glance
Chris Skipper – 4th – 726
Stephen Fawcett – 6th – 722
Janna Collier – 5th – 624
Scarlett Theron Rush – 9th – 324
Team – 3rd – 2396
The 10th Chris Sherwood Memorial Shoot was all about the substitutions for SUAC, as a team for this was pieced together for the first time in a few years. The initial three entrants were Chris Skipper, Matt Potticary and David ‘Boris’ Williams. With the requirement for four archers to make a team, including at least one from the other gender, Boris persuaded Janna Collier to take part. The amount of duress that was required is not yet clear, though the kindness of Janna should be pointed out. However, it would transpire that Boris would not be able to return to Southampton in time for the competition since the Delco field situation meant for an earlier start than in previous years. Matt also wasn’t able to make it as he had to return home that weekend. Fortunately Scarlett Theron Rush was back in town for a late entry, and Stephen Fawcett decided out of kindness to change his plans to make a late entry as well in order to complete the team. This late decision pleased Janna as it meant she wouldn’t have to deputise for Stephen in writing this report.
Stephen almost missed the bus as he had to go back and pick up his chair. While he could have arrived a little bit late, he opted to chase down the bus that he could see in the distance; a somewhat ungainly manoeuvre when carrying a full bow bag. He did have enough time though to text Janna (who was hopefully on the bus) “Nooooooo!!!” Fortunately the bus was held at the stop and Stephen was able to make it in time, slightly out of breath.
The forecast was for sunny spells, but with one short downpour right at the start of the competition. Janna had her umbrella, but no other suitable clothing as it was still dry when she left her house. As we were receiving the now traditional good luck messages from the absent Matt, Boris and Fiona Walsh, Janna didn’t have enough hands to deal with the texts and stay dry, so Stephen was given temporary employment as her umbrella holder! Incidentally, Janna and Stephen would be shooting on the same target, which would culminate in the latest chapter in their mini-rivalry.
Sighters for the Western round went well for Chris, who started with 50 out of a maximum of 54 at the furthest distance. He had one bad end at 60 yards which meant his score wasn’t quite as high as he would have liked, but he was regularly in the high 40s. The problem with shooting imperial rounds is that when shooting a large face at relatively short distances, it is easier to get disheartened when arrows aren’t hitting the middle as often as one might think they should. The team were doing their best to support each other when things appeared to not necessarily be going so well. Stephen was regularly scoring around 40, while Janna was progressively scoring 2 points less than her previous end. She did still beat Stephen at one end though. It was agreed that Stephen would give Janna a consolation hug if she continued her trend and wrapped up that distance with a score below 30, at which point she decided this was enough of an incentive to shoot properly and score 38 again. Scarlett managed to get 6 hits in an end, and the team was happy to have come through the ordeal together.
Since the Western round isn’t shot particularly often, it meant that the team didn’t have much of a reference for how well they should be doing at each distance, apart from knowing the overall final score based on handicap tables. Coach Gary decided to sit with SUAC for lunch, which is always a mistake because it means you get written about in these match reports. After he had struggled to open his sandwiches, he revealed his score, which was only just ahead of Stephen, but behind Chris. Stephen pointed out that this must have meant he had a miss in order to have an odd number, which went down well. The lunch break was particularly long, justified by the long walk in order to get to the toilets that had unusually high urinals in the case of the men’s.
The shorter distance went by more happily, with SUAC more accepting of whatever they ended up shooting and realising they were probably on target for their expected scores. Janna and Stephen were getting confused with each other’s arrows when it came to scoring as they both had orange fletches. Janna has since vowed to get a change in colour despite having a fully fletched set right now. Scarlett had her moment, beating the other lady on her target for one end, and Stephen finished the round with an end of 52, missing out on the full 54 by a fraction of an inch. In the end, Janna and Stephen would beat their handicap predictions quite comfortably, Stephen and Chris getting scores approximating 1000 for a full FITA round.
Chris felt he could have scored more, but this was his best Chris Sherwood shoot ever, and he came 4th with 726. Stephen was not far behind in 6th with 722 (woop), while Gary was down in 12th. The ambition of SUAC’s gents is to always beat Gary, so this was a resounding success as Chris achieved this in one of his final competitions before leaving SUAC, while this was the first time for Stephen.
Janna came 5th out of the ladies with 624, substantially ahead of the next person, while Scarlett managed to avoid coming last with her score of 324. As a team, this added up to 2396, which was enough for the team to win a bronze medal. A little controversially, it appears that the winning team score doesn’t contain their female archer, but it wouldn’t have changed the result. However, it does leave Boris rueing what might have been if he had turned up, since the addition of his expected score would make things quite close.
SUAC just about managed to maintain their raffle winning streak, though as ever it was at the back end of the raffle and Stephen went away with a CD wallet. Other possible options left included a range of fragrant soaps, a Skittles fruit scented candle and necklaces. Scarlett won the Lady Paramount women’s prize, which was a good selection of various small items.
All that was left was for the medal winners to collect their medals, which took a while due to the sheer number of junior categories with only one competitor in them. For some reason the strap on Stephen’s medal was far shorter than everyone else’s, so it looked a bit awkward for the team photo. Now that the sun had come out, it was the perfect time to demonstrate something that had come up in practice recently. Stephen and Janna both have a photic sneeze reflex, which is a bit weird/completely normal. As they both looked up into the bright sunlight for the photo, they simultaneously sneezed! A ‘good’ photo was eventually taken…