At a glance
name – score – student & open
SUAC team – 1962 – 1st & 1st
Liam McDonnell – 353 – 1st
James Nelson – ? – 2nd
Fiona Walsh – 324 – 1st & 2nd
Nat Chavanich – ? – 1st
Andrew Howe – ? – 2nd & 4th
Matt Potticary – ? – ?
John Bowes – ? – ?
Stephen Fawcett – ? – ?
I dunno where these went
The clocks had gone back an hour but that didn’t prevent anyone from arriving on time, though Janna Collier was slightly held up in getting the minibus keys by her bid to get herself a new pink riser. Janna and Stephen Fawcett were then held up by the organisational skills of the reception desk who didn’t have the keys to hand and almost forgot to give the checksheet.
SUAC have visited Surrey University on several occasions, though they have not always found their destination on the first attempt. With that in mind, the skill of two navigators was used to navigate Janna to the Stag Hill Indoor Open (formerly Stag Hill Indoor Tournament… think about it… clue = acronyms). However, Matt Potticary’s printed directions were not the same as those intended by Stephen, as Matt opted to print out the default route of taking the motorway. Janna, who was lumped with driving the minibus as Stephen hadn’t realised that Matt could drive at the time, went with Stephen’s route. This would mean avoiding the motorway in a vehicle that was speed limited anyway (and she could happily blame Stephen if it all went horribly wrong, as per usual for drivers).
The initial setup of the minibus wasn’t fantastic, as Janna couldn’t reach the wheel and there was litter left behind, though this included a box of generic cider that may have been consumed after the competition. As the minibus was leaving campus, it also became apparent that the rear wiper was still on, which prompted the pressing of all of the buttons in order to try to switch it off. Of course this meant switching on the front wipers and all sorts of things happening before finally everything was sorted out. The speed limitations of the minibus brought out a little bit of ‘Janna Rage’ as it got stuck in the slow lane, being not quite fast enough to overtake some of the slow traffic in front.
Stephen was phoned at the start of the trip by James Donovan of Surrey, who informed the team that the star prize of the raffle would be a NERF gun, which got several of the squad suitably excited. The trip proceeded with no further hiccups and no getting lost, the main topic of discussion being about the characters of ‘Heroes’ and the relative quality of their superpowers, and of other American series that got cancelled or have ended. The team arrived in Guildford just as it was about to start to rain, though there was a momentary pause as it seemed like nobody was willing to shut the door of the bus, instead being content to just stand outside looking at it and leave it open.
Stephen used his prior experience of visiting the sports park to casually walk past reception and navigate the squad through the crowds that appeared to be watching squash matches to the hall where the shoot was taking place. Despite being told that the start of the shoot would be moved back by half an hour since there was plenty of time, the shoot actually started on time which meant that not everyone had finished their lunch by the start of the shoot. There was a cake stand during the shoot though, which seemed to be frequently visited by various members of SUAC over the course of the afternoon.
Matt insisted that as this was the start of a new season, there would be no more equipment failures. At least there would be no repeat of last season when a broken arrow created problems for him, as there were no novices entered this year and everyone had sufficient arrows. One of Liam McDonnell’s feathers did look rather dubiously fletched however. For a FITA 18 target, Stephen and Liam were surprisingly only able to hit Xs rather than mere 10s for most of the shoot, though Stephen’s groups were generally annoyingly to the left of the centre of the target.
Everyone was struggling with the stifling stuffy conditions of the hall, which made it harder to shoot. Even the judge was struggling, as she looked like she was going to fall asleep, which delayed the collecting of arrows. Fiona Walsh was on Stephen’s boss, though she didn’t bring her misery shooting to her boss as she seemed generally content with things; there were some very good arrows interspersed with a few misses. Liam managed to do something similar by having a half dozen that featured two 10s and two misses.
John Bowes claimed that he was having a bad shoot, though a cursory glance at his scoresheet showed that he actually hadn’t hit anything outside of the red at the time. Stephen went to talk to the rest of the team to check that at least the rest of the squad were shooting well as he wasn’t, and he left with the simple pep talk of ‘shoot better’ in his mind as he went up to collect his arrows. It turned out that he had managed a miss, which caused Janna to feel bad for joking about the shooting, though it wasn’t her fault. What was definitely Stephen’s fault though was failing to realise he’d had an equipment failure, which didn’t helped an already bad score. His sight block had come loose causing the entire sight arm to drop, so in the next end he shot his best group of the day, all in a perfect line, but all high at 12.00 to get a score of 1, M, M to cap off a disappointing day. Scarlett had a similar experience during the day, not because of equipment falling apart, but she was getting some really tight groups, unfortunately for her off the target.
Fortunately, the rest of the team did well for themselves. Before the results were announced, there was the customary raffle, in which SUAC didn’t dominate like last year. There was the bizarre event of a ticket falling out of the hat, being put back in the hat, and then being subsequently picked out straight away despite the best attempts to mix the tickets thoroughly. John got his money’s worth in winning some chocolate and a bottle of wine at the end. John doesn’t drink wine, so Janna was more than willing to be able to take it off his hands. It did leave her with suspiciously garlic smelling hands, which she spent a lot of the results ceremony trying to determine. The best conclusion was that the bottle must have been left in a cupboard with garlic nearby.
The results ceremony followed, featuring the utmost professionalism from Dono who was already losing his voice by this stage. Unfortunately there is no film evidence but it was hilarious. The barebow results were announced first, as Liam won and James Nelson came second, while Fiona won the student category but got second ‘space’ (sic) in the open category. Liam’s medal looked dubiously mouldy compared to everyone else’s but he managed to swap it out with the organisers. Andrew Howe came agonisingly close in the ‘Gents Style Recurve Student’ (sic), coming second by virtue of scoring two fewer golds than the winner. There was then a mistake with the compound scores that led to the medals having to be redistributed, followed by a delay as the team scores had to be checked several times. In the meantime the longbow scores were quickly presented by the Lady Paramount in an efficient way, mainly because the winners were all from the host team.
The recurve team results were finally announced, with the surprising result that the student teams had beaten all the other teams to also achieve the same order in the Open category, and by quite some margin. Southampton’s team of Andrew, John, Janna and Matt put together a high score of to walk away with both the Student and Open cups, last won by SUAC in 2009, though they bemoaned the lack of an accompanying medal to go with the trophies. They are currently being stored in Stephen’s house, despite him having nothing to do with winning them, as they are awaiting engraving.
Matt drove back on the way home, which meant Janna was in charge of the radio. The team discovered that you can listen to whatever song you want as long as it is the same one, as flicking through in order to escape finding out in the chart countdown what the fox says ended up with Jason Derulo being played elsewhere on three different stations simultaneously. Oddly, it seemed to be the same part of the song too, unless the whole song sounds the same.