Olympic Challenge at SEAL Leg 2!


At a glance

Portsmouth round results:
Sara Rubio, Experienced Ladies Recurve, 548
Stuart MacFarquhar, Experienced Gents Recurve, 535
Georgios Pnevmatikakis, Experienced Gents Recurve, 532
David Williams, Experienced Gents Recurve, 518
Rob Webster, Novice Gents Recurve, 446
Sergiu Rusu, Novice Gents Recurve, 419
Hamish Woodland, Novice Gents Recurve, 407
Becky Wood, Novice Ladies Recurve, 384
Katie Norris, Novice Ladies Recurve, 184

Team Results:
Sara, Stuart, Georgios, David, 2133 (2nd in the league match)
Rob, Sergiu, Hamish, 1272 (4th in league match)

Match report

The second SEAL match of the year included a trip to our great rivals London Uni and a surprise in the form of an Olympic archer.

More SEAL shenanigans this time required a trip to London, where we would also be shooting with Anglia Ruskin as they made their debut in SEAL. This match included a brand new novice team and only one of the same members of the SEAL Leg 1 team in Sara.

The problems started several days prior, with Sara having a crash in her car, Zazzles. Naturally, she did not want to drive it all the way to London and back, meaning we would need another driver. David informed the traitor (and London captain) Dom of this and we asked some people who had previously offered to drive to the shoot, namely Tom Reed and Nick Wilson. Nick, who henceforth shall be known as “Super Nick” offered to drive all the way down from Shropshire on the Saturday night after work so that he would be around on the Sunday to drive up to London and back, before going home on the Sunday night. Tom’s cars were out of action and so Super Nick’s offer was taken up.

On the day of the shoot, Sam Baldwin and David were late picking up Sara, but all the novices and other seniors were on time in the range. We sorted everyone into cars, leaving a bemused Stuart in the back seat of Super Nick’s car, with very little leg room, as Sergiu had a GPS and Stuart didn’t. After Tom tested Super Nick’s suspension (by leaning on it), SUAC were off, only Sam had left something at home, and so in fact Katie and Nick drove their cars north while we struggled through Southampton traffic back to Shirley and was nearly in three car accidents along the way.

Back on the road, when phoned to ask where they were, Stuart replied to Sara’s messages with “O’, which when she told David, sounded like “gnome”, confusing David greatly. When Georgios was phoned, he was so confused by the concept of junctions that he passed the phone to Abbie Hall (who had squeezed into the middle seat of Katie’s car to support) who then explained everything succinctly to everyone. At this point, David decided not to trust Georgios or Stuart with directions again, although this was slightly unfair, considering his confusion.

Part way through the journey, David phoned Dom to tell him we were running late and had all the wooden bows in Sam’s car. His response was as succinct as it was casual: ‘That’s fine, just get here when you can, oh, and by the way, I might have mentioned to Patrick Huston the other day that we were having a shoot and invited him along, so he’s coming tonight” [blatantly paraphrased]. David, seeing his opportunity to brown everyone’s pants with excitement, phoned both cars, got them to put him on speaker, told them the news and promptly hung up.

Up the motorway we went, and everyone got stuck on the North Circular (of course) as a car had broken down on it. Katie and Nick, upon arrival realised that the postcode was right, but they had no clue where they were meant to go, leading to frantic phoning of David 30 mins behind. It turned out ok, and everyont arrived close to one another at around 4pm, so just enough time to get set up.

There was some confusion to begin with of who was shooting where, a problem compounded by the lack of space behind the shooting line which basically led to everyone stepping on one another. David announced the target list, meanwhile Dom forgot his log in password for TamlynScore and eventually we got shooting, however it was clear that if we didn’t shoot quickly we would run out of time.

Shooting did, unfortunately, take it’s time. The hall was warm and we moved to rolling details to speed things up, fell further behind and eventually stopped filling out the running slips and by the end were sprinting to and from the targets to get finished on time. The last dozen was shot in less than 20 minutes, which is quite a feet given everything.

In terms of shooting, Sara and Stuart started off well, as did Rob. David shot two misses in the third dozen leading to Southampton falling behind London’s seniors as they got stronger and stronger. Sergiu and Becky shot consistently throughout the shoot but Hamish was disappointed to only just hit 400. Georgios however was pleased with his score as it’s the first competition he’s done in a while.

Afterwards, we all had to rush outside and scoffed pizza as we packed down. London ushered us towards a pub where the manager got annoyed that not everyone had bought drinks while Dom gave out prizes. When the prize giving was done, Anglia Ruskin and Southampton had to head off, not before dropping the bombshell to the owners that there had been an Olympian in their pub the whole time and they hadn’t even noticed!

We all set off for home after a final chat with Patrick Huston who signed cards for everyone as for most people it’s a one off opportunity to meet and chat with an Olympian. After Sara cheekily slapped David’s bottom, David did it back, forgetting that Sara had bruised her side a few days earlier from ice skating. Sara started a laugh/high-pitched-scream, confusing Patrick, until Sara explained and showed him the head sized bruise on her leg, something he wasn’t expecting to see that evening…

Although tired, everyone made it home safely, with Super Nick winning the award of MVP for driving everyone up and down again before heading home to Shropshire on the same night. Looking at the tables the next day, the novices came 4th, meaning that they moved up one place to third, as did the seniors who came second overall in the match with all the other unis, moving up to 3rd.

Full results can be found here and updated SEAL tables can be found here.

[EXPAND P.S. it continues…]

Two days later, whilst waiting for a seminar on galaxy evolution to start, something that is quite close to David’s heart, he cast a gaze back to the SEAL match. He recollected that he had taken his Beiter button out of his bow during the pack down at the end of the night. It had not occurred to him at the time that his bow was tuned in with his gold Shibuya button for his aluminium arrows… it did now.