At a glance
Sara Rubio, Ladies Recurve WA1440, 1150 (1st)
Callum Anderson, Gents Recurve Metric I, 589 (3rd)
David Williams, Gents Recurve WA1440, 1059 (4th)
Sergiu Rusu, Gents Recurve Metric I, 459 (4th)
Nick Wilson, Gents Recurve WA1440, 1032 (6th)
Ziheng Guo, Gents Compound WA1440, 1221 (7th)
Kathryn Holyland, Ladies Recurve WA1440, 843 (8th)
Stuart MacFarquhar, Gents Recurve WA1440, 962 (10th)
Elena Sun, Ladies Recurve WA1440, 623 (10th)
Senior Recurve Team: Sara, David, Nick and Stuart, 4203 (2nd)
SUAC entered the Easter FITA this year with much hope of Easter egg filled goodness from shooting good arrows and winning them, or buying all the raffle tickets and getting one that way! As always, several SUAC alumni were there, including Ally who was shooting on the same target as Sara and John Bowes who was shooting next to David and Ziheng. This would also be the first outdoor competition for Sergiu, Ziheng, Elena and Callum, as all chased qualifying scores for BUCS Outdoors from the first shoot of the season.
To start off with, David arrived at the field only to find out from Nick that Sergiu had turned up in jeans so Nick had to drive him home to get him changed so that he could shoot. Luckily Nick made it back in time for the assembly and much to everyone’s surprise, David was Lord Patron and was stood out the front with the others. This explained why he couldn’t wear a SUAC shirt on the day. Luckily, the weather looked good and before long everyone was getting ready to fling some arrows at their longest distances.
The tales of interesting shooting started in sighters. Ziheng didn’t go up to the line with David when he was meant to and when he did started shooting target 11… he was on target 13… He worked out after shooting all of his sighters at target 11 that he was getting double vision and aiming out of the wrong part of his eye. His first scoring end wasn’t great as he was still sighting in but managed to sort it out well enough to get some valuable points at 90m.
Towards the end of the first distance, Sergiu’s limbs decided to join in the arrow flinging action and decided to launch themselves down the range further than the arrow he was trying to shoot. We were not sure what had caused it but the limbs seemed fine so he carried on (after retrieving the limbs and re-stringing his bow).
After the first distance, Sara was pretty happy, whilst David was pushing the top archers and was possibly in second place overall with 230. Nick and Stuart were a bit further behind but both over 200 for the distance. Ziheng had shot 270 despite his difficult start and the novices seemed to be getting on ok too, with Callum coming over to the WA1440 to give regular updates.
At the start of 70m, Nick had a bit of a brain fart, as he adjusted his sight incorrectly and only worked this out after shooting 4 arrows. This meant there were our misses at the start of his 70m allowing Stuart to close in on him, but he pulled through once sighted in and was only a few points behind Stuart for the distance come lunchtime. The wind had picked up and a lot of archers were commenting that their second distance was fairly tricky for them, including Sara and David who had shot ok but were not particularly happy with their scores.
After an hour lunch break where SUAC got to have a proper chat with Sussex and relax, Callum was confident that he could just about qualify for BUCS if he shot the same score for his last two distance as the other day. Kathryn hadn’t added up her scores and was worried she may not qualify but she was happy to keep hitting the target regularly.
After a few arrows at 50m, Nick came out of the blocks flying and was getting annoyed that Sam Baldwin was beating him by 1 point every end. Nick was shooting so well that Sam managed to take the ink off one of Nick’s arrow shafts where his initials were, without taking the fletching off. He was very upset. Diddums. David started poorly but came back, while Ziheng managed to hit not one, but two arrows, destroying both nocks with only one of his own arrows. He sheared off the back end of the nock of one of his own arrows completely after smacking another archers arrows and chipping the pin nock. We at this point found out that Ziheng had glued his nocks in and then suggested that he cuts the arrow slightly shorter so he can shoot it again. Sara picked up where she left off, ie smashing loads of arrows in the centre, while Callum carried on his measured shooting despite getting several misses and was still on for the qualifying score come 30m.
For 30m, David closed the gap on the leaders, having dropped back slightly at the other distances. Nick got very happy when he beat Sam for one end, but then Sam decided to show him his place for the rest of 30m. Sara was the first to hit the qualifying score, and David followed suit soon after getting it with 18 arrows remaining. Ziheng was surprised when he was told he was close to qualifying with a dozen left, with Nick, Ziheng and Stuart all qualifying in the last dozen with at least half a dozen arrows left. Callum was the last to know he had qualified for certain as he just edged over the qualifying line in the last end.
Only after adding everything up and thinking she had not qualified all day, Kathryn was shocked and amazed to be told that she had indeed qualified, and by some way too, making 7 qualifiers on the day for SUAC. Sergiu and Elena had tried hard, but were both around 100 points off qualifying in the end, but shot well given it was both their first outdoor competitions and were both shooting with new pieces of equipment.
Sara had marched away with the win from all the other women, whilst David realised he must have just been pipped to the podium when third place was called. SUAC were to also be pipped to the team prize, by only 3 points by the AC Delco team, which is incredible considering that over 500 arrows, only 3 points separated the two teams! The pub quiz team were later named “Next year we will beat Delco by…” to remember this.
All in all it was a great day of archery and it was the first time in memory that the Easter FITA hadn’t been plagued by gales and hammering rain. Despite being tired (and Ziheng getting incredibly burnt despite turning down offers of sun cream), we all went back to Soton happy with our day’s shooting.
Signing off for the final time as your competitions officer,