At a glance
Bray I round results:
Sara Rubio, Senior Ladies Recurve, 275 (1st)
Rachael Smith, Senior Ladies Recurve, 244 (18th)
Kathryn Holyland, Senior Ladies Recurve, 231 (20th)
Stuart MacFarquhar, Senior Gents Recurve, 233 (45th)
Nick Wilson, Senior Gents Recurve, 228 (50th)
Harry Moncrieff Macmillan, Novice Gents Recurve, 215 (6th)
Soton A: Sara, Kathryn, Stuart, 739 (Seeded 17th, finished 11th)
Soton B: Rachael, Nick, Harry, 687, (Seeded 24th, finished 21st)
Another year, another British Uni Team Champs. The weekend got off to an auspicious start with Sara, Matt S and David going to pick up the U Drive 9 person minibus in Shirley, as David had forgotten to tell Matt to bring two forms of identity/address (other than his driver’s licence) with him to prove he was who he said he was. Luckily, he managed to log onto his energy supplier’s app, found one, and then discovered that Southern Water send him emails but claim that his email in unregistered. He managed to find another form of address that was accepted despite the fact it only had half his address on it. We got a lovely 9-seater minibus that was only 6 months old and had boot space. This meant David could bring his bow along “just in case”.
David then went home and had a short nap that turned into a longer nap that turned into a “Oh dear, I have lots to pack and only half an hour to do it in” nap. Meanwhile, Stuart and Nick had decided that this year’s BUTC required a unicorn head mask, but sadly the first shop they went to had already sold their last unicorn mask and so they ran around town trying to find one, but had to settle for a horse mask. Were they happy about this? Neigh.
As everyone was meeting at Sara’s house to drop everything off, David was the last (bar Kathryn who was working on campus) to get in the bus. Sara had somehow managed to tetris pack the minibus in only five minutes. Unknown to David, the others had been plotting different ways of killing Nick, but Rachael decided due to bloodstains on clothes that it was more hassle than it was worth.
We picked up Kathryn and then set off for Lancaster. At this point, Nick started what was to be a banquet of food that he would eat on the journey to Lancaster. This included some very cheesey cheese and onion crisps, which smelled very much like bad feet. Being SUAC, this naturally led onto a discussion about Nick’s foot fetish which spiralled very quickly out of control. Trench foot was mentioned, I can’t say the rest.
David, being team captain and cheerleader for the weekend set about trying to get the team questionnaire out, only to find he had printed the entry form without the questionnaire attached. This meant phoning Dom in London/Surrey’s minibus to find out what the questions were. These questions included: What bow do you shoot, what animal are you best at imitating and a weird fact/strange hobby about everyone. The answers included: Harry not knowing what bow he shot, Nick’s impression being Brain Blessed and the weirdest fact/hobby was Kathryn’s ability to work at 5am on a Sunday morning.
Rachael and Stuart appeared to be asleep in the back seats, and so photos of them were taken and duly posted to Facebook, upon which other clubs started posting similar pictures. We discovered that Harry’s mother’s maiden name is “Potter” and David took a pen to his forehead (it was purple) and drew a lightning scar. This prompted changing Harry’s secret hobby to “Being a wizard” on the questionnaire. We stopped at Warwick services, at which point Nick continued eating, acquiring the Great Northern dish of “Chips’nt’Gravy’ while Harry was directed towards Harry Ramsden’s fish and chip shop with a cry of “You’re a chippy Harry!”.
After leaving the services, Harry and David started playing Pokemon and discussing what was the best team, much to the incredulity of everyone else on the minibus except for Nick who was still enjoying his gravy. David then went on about someone he didn’t like for a while, then realised he had 2 missed phone calls from Dom and much to the amusement of all, David called the person one further name before greeting Dom with a cheery “Hello!”. After informing Dom we weren’t more than an hour away from Lancaster, Nick and David had a discussion about David’s PhD, which everyone on the minibus seemed to enjoy and seemed to distract everyone from the rain that was hammering down outside.
We arrived in Lancaster at the Premier Inn in a record time of 5 hours and found Dom from London, dropped all our stuff off and then Stuart got in bed with Horsey McHorseface (as he had since been dubbed). We collected as much of SEAL as we could, broke into Julie from London’s room, upon which Dom drank her tea and nicked her Oreo’s without her ever realising! Sara jumped on the bed with Katya from Surrey and newly acquired minion toy. Before long though, we all headed off to the pub to have a drink and get some food.
Scared of trying out the local cuisine which had caused so many problems for SUAC 4 years prior (I would link the match report, but that report dates back to when 90% of the match reports were about archery), London, Surrey and Soton went to the pub next to the Premier Inn. Somehow, all 20 of us managed to get in the way of all the staff at one point or another, with Aylish (ex London Arts) having stolen Dom’s phone and was duly obliging in taking photos of as much pointless stuff as possible.
Upon sitting down for dinner, Sara and Kathryn acquired London’s mascot Fenton Foxington. London’s blazé attitude to defending the rights of their own mascot pails in comparison to the 100m sprint that Gary put in at BUCS Indoors (See that match report by guest editor Lukas here). We took photos of Stuart and Nick looking a beautiful couple with love heart hands; we have some very cute pictures of the pair of them. We also started writing a slashfic for Dom and Surrey’s Matt Sharpe, as they were sharing that evening. Plans were made to put Horsey McHorseface in Matt’s bed whilst he slept, but alas, the plan was given away before it could be enacted. David took the questionable decision amongst 20 students to put his card down as a tab and then we all got busy grazing and chomping.
As it was Dom’s birthday, Aylish had baked a cake for him (to go with a fetching hat that London had bought him). Dom massacred said cake trying to cut it up, but everyone (except Kathryn “Chocolate Cake Hater” Holyland) gladly accepted and ate! There was a massive queue to pay, despite David telling everyone to pay one by one. Luckily, everyone paid – although Dom did need reminding – so that David didn’t have a huge bill on his hands. After that everyone was utterly knackered from a long trip “up north” – I should point out the exact definition of what “up north” means was debated at several points during the weekend – and went off to bed. Sara however, had run off with David’s key, leading to him just standing and staring at his door, which London found incredibly creepy. Everyone enjoyed the purple mood lighting in their rooms, especially Stuart and his new lover Horsey McHorseface. Harry and Stuart however were disappointed that the others wanted to sleep and not play cards.
Harry, Nick, Stuart, Rachael and Matt all made it down to breakfast, however, this was after Nick sent a strange message in reply to Rachael asking if he was coming which said: “I need to c hanged properly and stuffs”. Rachael was starting her sugar high by digging into 4 mini blue muffins, a pancake with strawberry compote and 2 glasses of apple and cranberry juice. Rachael was disgusted with Nick and his pancakes coated with loads of butter, which was dubbed as butter with pancakes. David was a late-comer but decided he wasn’t that hungry and wasn’t happy with paying £7 for some coco pops, which Stuart has duly noted for future competitions. David had some cinnamon swirls in his room that he was looking forward to but found out later that they had been squished. London and Surrey turned up a bit later to have something to eat although Richard from London turned up in a fox onesie… as you do.
We got all our stuff from the room, but Matt and Nick were the last to come downstairs whilst Kathryn and Rachael attempted to plait Stuart’s hair. This led to insinuations of what they were getting up to. At point of writing this Matt has just said “we wanted to cuddle, you guys kept ringing us and spoiled the mood” (under the purple lights). Post-cuddling, Matt came down with the keys with a fairly rough looking Nick, we all bundled onto the minibus, carefully positioning London’s mascot out of sight and got on our way.
On our way to the sports hall, David needed to take a picture of some of the information for Reading so they knew where to park, however he couldn’t stop moving due to being in the minibus. He called several times for Matt to stop so that he could take a photo, but luckily managed to do it when they slowed down enough.
Stuart, upon arrival at Lancaster’s sports centre, took Horsey McHorseface and put it on his long rod that was sticking out of his bag. Horsey McHorseface then attacked Stuart on his way into the venue. Matt and David parked the car, nearly running over Birmingham’s A team and came to help out putting the bows together. Matt took over the mantle (and persona) of Horsey McHorseface and was photographed reading a book through the horse mask. Nick, being his usual self, managed to break Harry’s allen keys when he was putting David’s sight on his bow, meaning that most of his bow was owned by David. He only had to do this as on Friday night he was having to aim off because his sight was buckled and sight pin bent which was making hitting the discs quite hard. Rachael cracked open her first of a few Lucozades continuing the sugar high.
It was also at this point that Sara stole Portsmouth’s flag from Dom and hid it somewhere. Horsey McHorseface suddenly found himself sponsored by Clickers archery after we found out that one of their staff had bet on SUAC A on winning. We told them that they had bet on the wrong horse. Tom at this point turned up to support, having spent the weekend in Liverpool with his grandparents.
The runners and riders were announced and Soton A were on target 5 with Central Lancashire and Soton B were on target 2 with Loughborough A. This meant supporting them was much easier for David and Horsey McHorseface/Matt. As we got going, Kathryn had an equipment failure in sighters, shooting a single arrow into Sara’s target face, at which point Sara realised that Kathryn’s top limb (more on that later) was not seated in the pocket properly. This meant the pair of them came off the line to sort out Kathryn’s bow. Stuart was left to finish sighters on his own on target 5. Meanwhile, on target 2, Nick, having not adjusted David’s sight for height (we had used a bracing height gauge to sort his windage out), subsequently hoofed his first arrow of sighters a few hands over the target. Then, Stuart broke physics in his last end of sighters as his group went high, moved his sight up and subsequently shot 5 5 5 on the left hand side of the target, maintaining the same vertical position as the end before.
During the first dozen, the B team shot ok but not brilliantly. Rachael tried to spur both Harry and Nick along. Nick carried on using his scoring arrows as sighters, although at least he was hitting the target face by this point. SUAC A were announced on the tannoy and Stuart was reared in joy to hear his name pronounced correctly at first time of asking, making it the 7th person ever to do this. David disappeared to chat to people he knew, whilst Rachael kept telling Nick to shoot properly. The A team were having an ok time too, although part way through, Matthew Wellman commented on the livestream saying “Stuart MacFarquhar, what was that loose?”, Stuart still remembers what shot that was.
At about the half way point, Kathryn, whilst staring at ex-London archer Sherman’s bow, realised he was using the same limbs as her and worked out that they were upside down to the ones she had put into her riser. Kathryn then started to worry that her limbs were in the wrong way around. Sara came and inspected them and started giggling, telling Kathryn “don’t worry, it’s all fine”. David also inspected them as they were going to collect and informed everyone else around that they were in fact upside down. Upon returning Kathryn was still worried, but then David said to her: “Are they grouping? Are they going in the middle? If so, then there is nothing to worry about.” This cheered Kathryn up greatly and she carried on shooting good groups after this.
Sara realised she was shooting fairly well after this, beating Dom at the time and most of the rest of the men’s field even. Approaching the final few ends, Sara had a point advantage and was in fifth overall. Although she had a poor couple of ends she still beat Dom and was the top ranked woman on the field and the top ranked SEAL archer shooting. This meant that Southampton A would seed 17th and go up against London A in the first round. Southampton B finished in 24th flirting with Reading A in 25th for a large amount of the shoot and would face Nottingham A in the first round who qualified 9th.
FOOD TIME! We all wandered up the hill to find food. We had been informed that London had forgotten to sign their score sheets and told them when we saw them, but not before running after Surrey who were a couple hundred metres up the hill from us. Nick and Harry opted for Greggs, but the others disappeared confusing David, who subsequently found them in a Subway. After waiting for over 10 minutes, David wasn’t impressed as the chap serving him disappeared for 10 minutes and proceeded to faff, this was after they had to redo the customer in front’s sandwich three times! By the time David got his food, the team wanted to go back to the hall to make sure that they didn’t miss the demonstration of Hit Miss. David ate his food on the floor in the hall, while the others pottered about until the demo started.
The demo, while explaining the rules, also included the organisers shooting other people’s bows, because, again, they hadn’t brought their own ones. Unfortunately for one person that lent them a bow for the demo, it got dry fired as one of the organisers messed up his shot, the arrow fell off the rest and skittered across the floor. After all that, the teams found out where they would be shooting. Luckily for Tom, Matt and David, supporting would be easy as Soton A were on target 3, and Soton B were on target 6. David took the A team, while Matt and Tom supported the B team.
All teams got sighters on the hit miss discs. Stuart and Sara both hit although Stuart had a fletch come off. Nick somehow managed a hit in sighters. Yes people, Nick managed to hit one of the discs! He was chomping at the bit after this for more. Going into the first end, Soton A were taking on London A and Stuart led off with a hit, followed by a hit for Kathryn, and Sara took 2 hits on the final two arrows. Rachael also managed two on the first end, but they went behind to Nottingham A 4 -2, whereas Soton A were 4 – 3 up against Dom, Richard and Julie of London A. David started his “I Love It” squeal at this point whenever SUAC got a hit, much to the annoyance of all the teams around and to great joy of all the archers not shooting who couldn’t believe how high pitched he was getting at times.
In the second end, Soton B didn’t get any hits, while Nottingham got a further 2. Soton A carried on with another 4 hits, splitting them in the same way again. Upon hitting with his arrow, Stuart realised his fletch had ripped off again as it had skidded along the floor, much to his anger (and giggles from other clubs seeing this anger) as he had now lost 3 arrows in the match – two to fletchings coming off and one he had realised he’d broken a nock for. However, this pushed Soton A a further point ahead of London. For the third end Sara got one hit, and Stuart got two, whilst Harry, Nick and Rachael got a hit apiece. Yes people, Nick got another hit, after putting the blinkers on! This was after trying to do the same things that got him his first hit, failing miserably, giving up, going “lol whatever” and then hitting.
For the final end Soton A were well ahead of London A, but Nottingham A were a similar margin ahead of Soton B. Soton A finished well with a further 4 hits, coming from Kathryn and Sara, while Nick managed to gallop away with 2 more hits with his new ‘whatever lol’ technique in the final end with Harry picking up one, leaving the team on 8 hits, but sadly succumbing to Nottingham A. However, in the all SEAL match, Soton A had side-stepped past London A with the second highest score of all the matches in that round, winning 15 – 10 and forcing Dom out of BUTC in the first round on his birthday.
While everyone moved their bows away, we found out that Surrey A and Reading A had also gone out in the first round, meaning UEA A and Surrey B were the last ones standing for SEAL other than Soton A who were into the second round. As the second load of 1st round matches started, SEAL gathered around Surrey B to cheer them on as UEA A asked for us not to as we were being very loud. Meanwhile, due to his efforts in de-fletching so many of his arrows, on a spur of the moment decision, Stuart trotted off to get his glue out to stick his fletches back down. This led to Stuart being more of a silly mare as he couldn’t quite work out that there were locking holes on the fletching jig he was using. Interrupting David, who was discussing with his Berkshire team mate about how much fun they were going to have at National Intercounties later in the year, he pulled him over, only for David to turn it around and immediately click the fletching jig into place. David promptly went back to his conversation.
Upon Surrey B hitting, we, as SEAL, decided to start making SEAL “Arping” sounds, much to the annoyance of Birmingham’s A team who were confused and amused in equal measure. As they hadn’t brought a cheer squad this year, SEAL managed to out-support even the usually vocal Brummies, despite Surrey B going down quite heavily in defeat. There were many SEAL puns to be had, not to mention the new motto for the SEAL league (subject to Grand Overseer of SEAL, His Royal Highness and Lord Doctor, Stephen Fawcett of Tap’s Taps, Tapsworth): “We arp as one”, which translates into Latin as: “Arp sicut et nos unum”.
At this point we discovered that UEA A were going into a single arrow shoot off, and planned to “Arp” them into the next round should they win, but we were good and were quiet while they were shooting. Unfortunately they lost their shoot off leaving Soton A as the only SEAL team to get into the second round of BUTC this year.
Onto that second round, because we had beaten the 16th seeds, it meant we came up against the 1st seeds in round 2, which were Warwick A. They were equally confused and amused by the seal noises, which were now coming in droves by all of the SEAL archers now who were getting hoarse from the noises. In the first end, Warwick got the maximum hits, while Sara got 2 and Stuart 1. Stuart trotted off to the loo before he started a fight with someone else who claimed he was stamping his feet too much in the box, despite all of SEAL basically starting a stampede behind the shooting line.
For the second end Stuart started aiming for the two top targets as he was getting consistent hits there, but this confused Kathryn who had been doing the right top and bottom targets up until this point. Kathryn noted this and shot the bottom two targets. However, she didn’t end up with any hits, for which Stuart offers his apologies, Stuart got 1 hit and Sara got 1 also. However, Warwick got 5 hits and were 11 – 5 up. This did not stop the barmy SEAL army from “Arping” on every hit.
Reigning champions Warwick carried on dominating the proceedings in the third end with a further four hits whilst Sara got the solitary hit. Unfortunately, this meant it was impossible for SUAC A to carry on into the next round however well they shot in the final end. Warwick cantered to the victory with a further five hits to another two from Sara, leaving the final score at 20 – 8, equalling the existing match record for number of hits.
After horsing around for a while, we managed to get a photo of all the SEAL teams that were still there said our goodbyes, but not before Rachael managed a dig at Lancaster’s vice captain who had lost to his own B team. She insinuated (totally accidentally) that Lancaster students don’t know the order of the alphabet, to which another Lancaster archer in the B team agreed. We packed the minibus carefully making sure that all the mascots and flags that we had stolen were safely secured in bags.
We left Lancaster in high spirits but not before mounting Horsey McHorseface onto the middle headrest of the back seats so that it could join in our discussions on the drive back. We also left Nick to his own devices as he joined Tom in his car. However, it was only after they had left that Rachael realised that they had been left unsupervised and given free reign of the M6. Harry continued with his Pokemon adventure, having already gotten through half way through the game since the previous day. Stuart and Rachael promptly put their headphones on and zoned out.
The adventure of Lymm services…
After being on the road for a while and getting to about Liverpool, those in the minibus decided to go for a toilet break at a little known place called Lymm services. What ensued in the short 10 minutes we were in the services shall never be forgotten by any of those that were there. At time of writing, Matt says “I can still smell it”.
We pulled into the car park, unaware of what was about to occur, and went to find the toilets. What we found were 5 wooden cowboys stood in an open court yard in the middle of what looked like an open air outlet store. Rachael, upon going to the loo, walked in, opened the door and found a shower. Confused, she about turned and looked around again and found the toilets around the corner. Meanwhile in the gents, all four of Harry, David, Stuart and Matt independently discovered the efforts of a determined 38 year old who had provided a phone number in every cubicle for anyone who wanted him to and quote “come and watch you and your missus”. This discovery was discussed upon egress from the toilets.
David decided he needed something to drink and eat and so went into the Greggs. In there, he found 3 semi-mad Greggs staff who were joking at the inability of David to catch things despite not throwing anything at him in the first place. The three of them were very weird and offered David some doughnuts for free, but due to their weirdness David thought they were having him on. Upon paying for his snacks, they shouted at him and threw said doughnuts which he caught one-handed at a stretch, much to the further amusement and amazement of the Greggs staff who had up to this point thought that David could not catch anything despite evidence to the contrary. They commented on this as he walked out and joined everyone else, who weirded out by everything at Lymm services promptly scarpered back to the minibus. Harry, being Harry, then knocked David’s crisps everywhere which he then ate off the floor while Matt checked the tyres after a tyre pressure warning light came up which worried us that our tyres had been slashed in the car park.
Having checked the tyres (the warning light never did get off), Stuart and Rachael joined in with David and Harry in writing the match report, yes this 4000 word epic that you’ve just read. If you’d like a recap of any of the events, click here for a wild ride…
We had a phone call from Gary on the way back after he missed several of David’s phone calls, and he congratulated the team on a good weekend. Several people cut up the minibus because they couldn’t drive on a Sunday night. We reminisced while writing this match report before getting a message from Tom saying that they had just arrived at “Chernobyl services” (well done auto correct) while we passed a guy who was sat at a round about with his hazards on (more on that later).
Upon arrival at the newly named “Chernobyl services”, just outside Warwick, we reconvened with Tom and Nick and showed them the report and told them about the adventure of Lymm services. Tom and Nick told us they had also stopped somewhere because Tom was worried that his car was buzzing which he thought was the mud flaps on the car on the wheels/rims. They were impressed with themselves that they’d managed a reasonably long journey together with only minor car problems. Tom and Nick were also very proud of the chairs that they had assembled in the time they were waiting for the minibus to arrive into a small kingdom for the rest of SUAC to sit down in, only for no one on the minibus to notice let alone compliment them on their chair arranging abilities. In situ discussion from Harry: “Wait, they arranged that?”.
Tom and Nick both then mentioned that they had passed a car earlier on in their journey at the roundabout that we had passed and seen a the same man cracking open a bottle of vodka. Shortly afterwards, Tom went to go out to get something from his car only to discover the same man pulling up next to his car with an open bottle of Stella. Rachael hoped that he was calling a taxi, but given his past track record, we thought this unlikely.
Harry managed to complete his Pokemon game in “Chernobyl services” while Rachael got disgusted with David for mixing ketchup and mayonnaise together to make a de facto 1000 island sauce. Tom, oblivious to this conversation despite sitting next to David, later asked whether David had got a 1000 island sauce. At this point we decided to fill out the match report for a bit before heading back to the minibus and car. However, Matt and Sara went out the wrong way and ended up hurdling the barrier to get out. Stuart and David followed them as did Nick and Tom, but Kathryn and Rachael were sensible and took the front door.
We got back in the car and minibus and headed off. After a short time, Rachael informed everyone that she had run out of Lucozade and had to resort to the water she had also brought along. She mentioned that she may have been slightly insane all weekend at which point Stuart and Harry retorted “SLIGHTLY?!”. This cued a discussion about what had been eaten across the weekend to keep Rachael on her sugar high and Rachael threatened to projectile vomit at the thought of his butter pancakes from earlier that day. Stuart mentioned that he had a coke habit and the innuendos came thick and fast for the rest of the journey back.
Meanwhile, Rachael received a message from Nick saying: “Tom has just elected to casually inform me that one of the two bolts that holds his door attached has actually departed from the vehicle. Hope everything is alright on the bus?”. Clearly, it had bolted. Also, they informed us that their soldering job of the antenna on Tom’s car has gone “fantastically”. They had the choice between BBC Berkshire, Classic FM or The Great Escape, with no other options.
After accidentally finding ourselves in a military convoy between anti-aircraft cannons, we arrived back at in Southampton around 11pm, dropped everyone off and went to bed. All in all, BUTC this year has been a wild ride, days like these can really stirrup the emotions.
Note on behalf of the editor: This match report was a team effort. Although written mane-ly by David, with contributions from all of those on the minibus. We hope you’ve enjoyed this heavily dressaged up tail. It truly is the Grand National of match reports and I believe it deserves a ribbon at least.
I LOVE IT!
Full results can be found here.