Results for club members can be found at the bottom of the page, full results can be found at: http://www.gwas.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Dunster-Complete-Results-2019-v3.pdf
Sunday- The unexpected long wait before the journey began
Having had a mild panic on Friday evening for getting out the minibus keys and then discovering the minibus was more expensive than originally thought, everyone started to make their way to the pickup point by the minibuses while a couple went out to Wide Lane to grab stuff from the container. The loading took slightly longer than everyone was expecting and so instead of arriving at 1pm with everything, the minibus turned up at 3pm. With only 1 minibus, it was rather cosy on the way up although we had Lukas’s car as well.
This year was the first year that our head coach, Gary, joined us. Having packed lightly for the trip, Gary informed us that at no point during the week would he be coaching. Having known Gary a while, we weren’t convinced by this and promptly set up a sweep stake. This would start on the Monday morning and was only applicable to our own shooting.
Eventually the minibus turned up and we all piled in and set off. Music was provided by Stuart on the way up in the minibus with lots of decent tunes. Lukas, on the other hand, in his own car, decided to have Disney songs on which both he and Jade. While they may have enjoyed themselves, this did result in them taking several wrong turns on a straight road. Don’t ask how, but they did.
Arriving at the cottages around 8pm, after, according to Alice, going up and down many a small “mountain” (a.k.a hills), the minibus was unloaded and people divide up between the two cottages. One of the tarpaulins covering the stuff on top of the minibus didn’t survive the ordeal on top, due to it being too thin but luckily it hadn’t rained so everything was dry. Once people were settled in, the important task of cooking food for 20 people began with a couple of different curries. Food eventually finished around 11pm and people started to drift off to bed for the early morning start.
Monday- The Fellowship of The Bow
The actual week of Dunster began with a very early start on the Monday morning due to equipment inspections for the large number of people shooting. Due to the very steep hill (Porlock hill which is a 1 in 4 gradient), it was decided that it was safer to detour around that as the minibus breaks appeared to be “binary”. So we had a small detour in the wrong direction. After an hour and 15 minutes detour, which involved crossing a ford (this will be the first time many drivers have actually come across a ford in Britain and that part of the theory test is actually useful), we arrived at Dunster Castle. All the tents and gazebo were carted across and bows setup for the shoot to begin.
The weather on Monday was warm with some cloud cover and a moderate breeze which made shooting difficult as Dunster is famously unpredictable with the wind direction. This was also one of the first times that the novice gents had shot 90m. Despite this and the wind, all of them made it through the round and put in decent scores as well. Having completed the shoot, we headed off to Minehead Tescos for food for Tuesday and dinner which was a Spag bol.
The events of Tuesday can only really be described as “STRESSFUL!!”. I am not sure there is enough emphasise on that. Tuesday dawned overcast with some heavy showers and a moderate breeze and continued like that throughout the day. Tuesdays schedule was slightly complicated in the fact that there were two shoots on at different locations (the field and Albion). As there were more people going to the Albion, the minibus was loaded up with those going there while Lukas took the other 4 in his car (henceforth to be known as Boromir). Those going to the field course, left slightly earlier than the minibus due to a slightly earlier assembly time. However, on loading the minibus and getting ready to leave, we made the discovery that there was a small problem: we didn’t have the minibus keys. They were in Stuart’s pocket and were on the way to the field course. Luckily, we were able to get hold of the Lukas’s car via messenger and they turned around and did a drive by hand over of the minibus key out of the window. Eventually, the minibus, now with the key to turn the engine on set off.
After driving for about 10 minutes in the minibus, we spotted Lukas’s car “parked” at the side of the road with everyone standing around it. They had crashed. Once Lukas began to skid, things were in motion that could not be undone. Luckily no one was hurt and it was more of a bumpy ride over a grass verge and a fence. This did cause the slight issue of ferrying people to the field shoot as the minibus headed onto Dunster castle for the Albion. Luckily, Nick came along a bit later and helped take people to the field course. Thanks also to Sara and Tom for their help driving people around. However, Lukas’s car was written off due to the fact that the front wheels were pointing in opposite directions. Lukas can however, be happy in the knowledge that his contribution to the Dunster week will be remembered by all as the new landmark on the A39 by the Colbone Inn that will be forever known as “Student Corner”.
Luckily the actual shoots weren’t as eventful as the journey there. The Albion started off with a couple of heavy showers although these didn’t last past the 2nd dozen. After that it was a pleasant days shoot. Following the shoot the Dutch auction began and Ben came away with a box of chocolates for having a score nearest to 250. On the drive back to the cottages, a number of interesting events occurred. First of all, Gary fell asleep despite the music and general chatter in the bus. Then Harry somehow misidentified a rabbit as a fox (and he is now graduating from his master’s degree, Lord help us). And finally, many members of the minibus joined in as a chorus of trumpets to the chorus of the “Final Count”. Tune full and melodic are not words that can really be applied to this really. Despite this, as each chorus came, everyone was become more in tune. This did however cause everyone to burst out in laughter and Stuart had to stop the minibus to wipe the tears out of his eyes.
Throughout all of this, Gary was asleep. Somehow.
Once the minibus had returned to the cottage, we set up starting to cook Spag bool for the evening meal while we waited for those at the field course to finish up and come back. Once they were back, we found out that Gary had broken one of his arrows by sitting on it as he fell down a bank, Stuart had lost 9 arrows and Michael lost 2 arrow points. However they had enjoyed the course even if it had been incredibly difficult and challenging.
The food for the evening was provided by Callum who cooked a number of Mexican dishes that required the use of both cottages cooker to cook.
Wednesday- The Two Longbows
As Wednesday was Longbow day, everyone apart from Stuart and Callum had the day off from shooting. Instead, people mainly just hung around the cottage playing games like Munchkin all day before heading off for a 3 hour round trip to the shops. Gary decided to meet up with a friend to get away from the rest of us so that he wouldn’t end up coaching us.
In the evening, the plan was that we would have a barbeque. However, this didn’t go according to plan as Lukas didn’t realise how big the barbeques were and hence bought about half the amount of charcoal that was needed. It didn’t help that there was a bit of a breeze as well so that the coals burnt down very quickly. In the end, we ended up having a half barbeque, half grill, which was still very nice. A last minute bit of clout training was given to those new to clout as a reminder before people headed off to bed.
Apart from the weekend, Thursday was one of the better days for shooting weather as it was sunny with a light breeze. This did make it a bit more interesting as the wind was going into our faces for one of the directions of the 2 way clout and was then behind us the other way. For those that don’t know, unlike target archery, in Clout you aim at a flag and try to land your arrows as near as possible to the flag to get points. For the Gents clout, the flag is 180 yards away whereas the ladies Clout flag is 140 yards. Ben and Annabelle struggled with the distance due to having low poundage bows, but Ben was able to eventually hit the clout circle after winding his limbs in. Annabelle retired early as her arrows were still a good 20 yards short of the circle. Gary also didn’t have a good time as he just couldn’t hit the circle despite having the poundage.
However, not all was doom and gloom, as multiple club records were beaten. Bethany put in a massive score of 90 on the Ladies clout, beating the previous record by 38 points, while David claimed the novice gents record by adding 33 points onto the old record and also claiming the senior record as well with 93 points. Michael also set a new alumni record with a score of 132 with his compound.
In the evening, the novices cooked a sweat and sour curry and a number of us played Sonar, which is a very stressful live action version of Battleships.
The drive down to the shooting ground for the Western was another interesting trip for a number of reasons. Firstly, Gary discovered that he was on the same target as Ben for the shoot and so much fun was had trying to work out how to get Gary to coach Ben to win the sweep stake. Well we had fun, Gary may not have.
Next, we got stuck behind a moving house. Yes, you read that right. A lorry was carrying a house down some rather narrow roads and hence travelling fairly slowly. This did lead to some interesting encounters with lorries coming the other way. However, when the lorry was going downhill , Ben commented that “The house is moving quite quickly”. The reply to that was “In any other circumstance that wouldn’t be a good thing”.
While all of this was going on, multiple versions of “I need a Hero” were being played over the music system. Each of these was in different styles and languages including Japenese, Finish, screamo and classical. Unfortunately, we could not find the version in Latin (for singing in the Vatican). However, the Japenese ones were actually quite good. If anyone is interested, there is a Spotify playlist of these.
Having arrived at the shooting field, we helped Gary take all his gear and a lead brick in his tackle box over to the shooting line before Michael, Callum, Stuart and Matthew headed off into Dunster to drop Matthew off at the station. Heading into Dunster, Callum and Michael bought supplies for their home brewing experiments and went in search of knives to use for field archery. The search led them to Porlock where they found a coach horn in a shop that sold a wide range of stuff. This was the coach horn that was used on the very last stage coach to go down Porlock Hill (a 1 in 4 gradient) to warn people that the coach was coming down. Although tempted, this was not bought. At this point.
Upon completing the shoot, however, the coach horn was mentioned to the others and a collective decision was made to buy the coach horn. A quick call to the shop, as it would close before the minibus reached the shop was needed, as well as flinging Michael out to acquire it. It has now been decided that this will be used as a trophy for one of the club competitions.
Saturday- Return of Agent K
The weather on Saturday was one of the better days of the shoot, with it being sunny with a gentle breeze to cool you down. However, as the weekend shoot was the double York/Hereford, this meant shooting the longest distances at the end of the week while being tired.
Stuart possibly got the closest to winning the sweep stake money from Gary, as Gary pointed out the release technique of another archer on the line to show him what he should be doing.
With lunch done, Jade joined in shooting the National and claimed a club record for the round in the alumni category.
In the evening, we descended upon the local pub for a meal, and engaged in deep and meaningful discussions such as: “Is a hot-dog a sandwich?”, “Is a loaf of bread a sandwich?”, and “If you stack 2 lasagnas do you have 1 lasagna or 2?”
Sunday- Into the East
As the end of the week neared, a number of people had to retire from the final day of shooting partway through with Sara retiring after 3 dozen and both Harry and Nick retiring at lunchtime.
With the shoot finished, the minibus was packed up and the trip back to Southampton begun before the prizes for the week had started. Perhaps, staying would have been a good idea as Annabelle, Stuart and Harry won one of the team prizes for the visitors for the weekend shoot.
I would like to say that on the minibus ride back that people lay down their sweet and weary heads; however that was not the case. The journey back was filled with Callum’s comedy music playlist instead. The journey back was largely uneventful other than that and the minibus got back into Southampton around 11pm although it took a while to drop everyone off.
Another successful year at Dunster has been completed. I would like to thank Michael and Jade for organising the week and to the drivers for helping to cart everyone around. We hope that everyone’s livers are still intact and functioning properly. And a final thank you to Gary, for putting up with us for the week and winning the pot of sweep stake money for himself (he normally only has to deal with us for a couple of hours at a time).
Scores on The Board
|Mon. – WA1440||Tue. – Field||Tue. – Albion||Wed. – 2-way Western||Thu. – Clout||Fri. – Western||Double York||Double Hereford||Sat. – National|
|Annabelle S||–||–||190||–||0 (Rtd)||–||–||318|
|Harry M||942||–||DNS||–||83||–||814||354 (Rtd)||–|
|Michael S||–||90 (Rtd)||–||–||132||DNS||–||–|
New Club Records
WA1440- Callum A (Gents Senior Longbow)
WA1440- Nick Wilson (Gents Alumni Recurve)
WA1440- Sara Rubio (Ladies Alumni Recurve)
WA1440- Tom Reed (Gents Alumni Compound)
Double 2 way Clout 180 yards- David Metz (Gents Novice Recurve)
Double 2 way Clout 180 yards- David Metz (Gents Senior Recurve)
Double 2 way Clout 180 yards- Gary Carr (Gents Non-student Recurve)
Double 2 way Clout 180 yards- Michael Sessions (Gents Senior Compound)
Western- David Metz (Gents Novice Recurve)
Double York-Callum Anderson A (Gents Senior Longbow)
Double York-Gary Carr (Gents Non-student Recurve)
Double York-Lukas Bastow (Gents Alumni Recurve)
Double York-Tom Reed (Gents Alumni Compound)
Double Hereford-Kathryn Holyland (Ladies Alumni Recurve)
National-Jade Topham (Ladies Alumni Recurve)
National- David Metz (Gents Novice Recurve)