At a glance
David Williams – 991 & 1026 – 11th
Stephen Fawcett – 876
Matthew Potticary – 734
Liam McDonnell – 529
Janna Collier – 916
Scarlet Theron Rush – 400
The day started off a bit chilly at 6am for all two members of SUAC shooting on Day One of the double FITA, David ‘Boris’ Williams and Scarlett Theron Rush. Both recurve archers got to Southampton Archery Club’s ground in plenty of time and Boris noted that they were shooting in the opposite direction to the one they had shot at for the Head2Head there a few months earlier. This meant that they would be shooting ever so slightly downhill.
After meeting SUAC Alumni Charlotte and Gina Whitlock, Boris met someone from St. Dunstans and had a lovely chat with him for a good 15 minutes before they took their places on the line and started to get going for their respective longest distances. This was not before a few mentions from the field party that someone had lost the keys to the container storing the electronics and for everyone to look for them somewhere on the field, however it soon became clear that someone had found a long extension lead and all was fixed by the end of sighters. Scarlett had a few problems finding her sight at 70m to begin with but found her stride soon enough. As soon as sighters finished, the wind started blowing from behind, which pushed Boris’ arrows high even though he had already moved his sight up due to shooting downhill. Also at his longest distance, one of Boris’ fellow compounders that he had shot with previously from another club remarked about him shooting recurve this time!
Scarlett and Boris at this point were both refusing to look at their scores in case they got worried about how they were shooting, though Scarlett shot a 9, 8, 8 with consecutive arrows at 60m, which she was over the moon with. Gina had started to take a lead against Boris, and so the two started to get competitive, but Boris fell further behind at his second longest distance of 70m. It was also at this point that Boris discovered that Scarlett had managed to procure several bags of Haribo from the girl on her target because she had too many. Scarlett was most pleased by this. The twins’ parents arrived with Baileys mini muffins that were delightful and by this point 70m was mostly over.
All four sat down for lunch and Scarlett kept looking enviously over at the muffins before asking for one, which she also found delightful. By this point Gina and Boris were comparing distance scores and Gina had pulled out a 27-point lead by the half way stage after a poor 70m for Boris. After lunch, 50m started for all archers. Charlotte was having problems shooting as she hadn’t shot much recently, and after a few messy ends Boris finally got going, closing the gap on Gina to 19 points. At this point, someone remarked that Boris was cutting his chin without him noticing it, so he now needs to rejoin the glamorous ‘plaster-on-face club’.
It was at this stage that the archers discovered the lines had been painted wrong for 30m, so a member of the shooting party had to run along the field with a rope to show everyone where it actually was. After a bit of larking around, 30m was sorted out. Boris had a few dodgy ends at the start and went over to congratulate Gina on their rivalry, however he turned a corner and by the end of the second dozen he had caught up to just 11 points behind her. At this point, both Gina and Boris put their concentration caps on and tried their best to beat each other, whilst Scarlett was still happily chatting away to the archers on her target as her score started to fade. Unfortunately for Gina, a couple of 5s meant Boris clawed his way back to beat her by 4 points on the day. Scarlett was happy with her score of 400 and so too was Boris despite his 991 just missing out on a FITA star badge for recurve. All in all it was a very enjoyable day for all involved with Gina, Charlotte and Boris all looking forward (but at the same time dreading) the prospect of a second FITA on Sunday! Scarlett went on to shoot a Portsmouth at the range later in the evening.
Day 2 saw the SUAC cavalry charge as the recurve forces of Stephen Fawcett, Janna Collier and Matt Potticary arrived to join with Boris and form a solid formation for the team competition in the Championship event. Liam McDonnell also represented SUAC by coming to provide some barebow support. Due to the confusing way in which the target list was organised, it transpired that Janna would be on the other side of the field from the guys, further away than initially thought, so she would be content to shoot with her own group of ladies and her frog-themed chair for company.
The group received their good luck message in person from Fiona Walsh, though Stephen almost never made that far as he suffered a puncture en route that almost caused him to fall off his bike. Fortunately he was able to nurse it to the meeting point at McDonalds. Boris had been standing outside for 15 minutes waiting for the others, before realising that Janna and Matt were waiting inside, munching on hash browns and drinking coffee. The quintet set off with Boris mentioning the previous days’ events with the 30m line and the slightly downhill shooting line. They arrived in plenty of time and met up once again with Gina and Charlotte, where Gina and Boris resolved to continue their rivalry once more. One of the archers on Boris’ target though that the team was mad for walking all the way to and from the competition.
At the first distance Stephen and Matt were struggling to shoot as consistently as they had hoped. Boris got a great start shooting a personal best at 90m by nearly 30 points but was just 2 points behind Gina after the first distance; a maths error meant that Boris thought he was leading by 8 points. Janna at this point noted to Stephen that she also had a lead on 31 points on him and so another rivalry began between the pair of them! Liam, shooting his new limbs, shot better than he did at BUCS for 90m and was satisfied with his score. As it turned out, no one other than Boris had had to move their sight marks for the longer distances on the field, so his insider knowledge of the downslope hadn’t been of much help at all!
After a short break the FITA resumed for the second distance. There was a short delay in the shoot as one of the archers lost their tab. He went back down to the 70m target by himself with no luck, and came back disconsolate, only to be pointed out by someone else on his target that it had since been found – he had left it on his longrod. Stephen pulled back a lot points on Janna at this distance – outshooting Boris as well – and the pair were level at halfway on 407 points apiece, which beat Scarlett’s final score the day before. Gina had extended her lead to over 30 points by this stage too, so it looked like it might be a reversal of the previous days fortunes for the pair. Matt and Liam both shot better at their second distance but were still disappointed at their scores. An hour long lunch break ensued and the group got together to discuss how the day had gone up until that point.
About halfway through her third distance of 50m, Janna’s nocking point came off. She came over to Boris after finishing her end, but didn’t call an equipment failure in the subsequent end as her scores started to rocket as she found a small indent in her string to tell her where to put arrows. Content, she continued to press home her advantage against Stephen. By the end of 50m, Janna had reasserted her advantage over Stephen (who by his own admission had had a bad 50m) to nearly 30 points and Boris was catching Gina, reducing her lead to just 7 points! Matt was having trouble with his front shoulder hurting at this distance and considered stopping, but he was encouraged on to try to make the BUCS qualifying score by the rest of the team. At this point Luis Felipe Paulinyi turned up with his brother to say hello to everyone (and goodbye) as he was leaving for Stonehenge that day before returning to Brazil later in the week.
The fun continued from the previous day when the targets had to be moved to 30m as the rope hadn’t been left out the night before. Once the targets were secured though, thoughts moved to the final distance of the day. Boris was curiously feeling ok at this point despite having shot the day prior and Matt’s shoulder seemed to not be aching so much. Stephen tried to catch Janna up but couldn’t quite reach the score needed to beat her at 30m as she in fact extended her lead over him. Boris, just as in the previous day, managed to catch up with Gina and pass her to beat her by 10 points, but both received FITA Stars for their efforts, as well as both shooting over 2000 for a double FITA! Liam was slightly disappointed in his score, but on reflection decided it was better than his BUCS score so he was satisfied with it. Matt also qualified for BUCS with a good final distance score, posting his first ever 2nd class score!
Fiona joined the group for the prize giving, and whilst no one had won any medals (or raffle prizes), everyone agreed that it had been a successful day of shooting for SUAC. Now everyone faced the prospect of walking home which after such a long weekend seemed not particularly inviting!
– David ‘Boris’ Williams