SUAC Novices Turn Left To Get to Warwick


At a glance

Portsmouth round results:
Lukas Bastow, Novice Gents Recurve, 467, 1st
Harry Moncrieff Macmillan, Novice Gents Recurve, 464, 2nd
Jiazheng Sun, Open Novice Ladies Recurve, 446, 3rd
Barnie Sagoo, Novice Gents Barebow, 387, 5th
Callum Anderson, Novice Gents Recurve, 419, 7th
Madeleine Ramsey, Novice Ladies Recurve, 344, 10th
Joshua Wright, Novice Gents Recurve, 393, 13th
Farzana Yeasmin, Novice Ladies Recurve, 228, 13th
Maria Bailey, Novice Ladies Recurve, 41, 14th
Sören Lürig, Novice Gents Recurve, 374, 19th
Enrique Muñoz, Novice Gents Recurve, 353, 22nd
Lizhong Wang, Novice Gents Recurve, 323, 26th

Match report

This year, David ‘Boris’ Williams and James ‘Frodo’ Strudwick thought it would be a good idea to take some novices up north to shoot at the Warwick Open Novice Tournament. It was a good idea, the hilarity the ensued ensured that SUAC will likely do it again in the future…

After a week of organising who was shooting what bow and sorting out spare arrows for everyone, thankfully, everyone arrived (more-or-less) on time. Boris and Frodo collected the keys with Lukas and Harry and jumped in the minibus. Boris ran into work to get something, only to realise he had left his keys outside by the minibus. When Frodo got to the lights and the left filter light came on, Boris shouted for Frodo to turn left (we needed to go right), leading to much arguing and confusion between Boris and Frodo, much to the amusement of Harry and Lukas. Frodo then did his best impression of an air steward, so that he could practice for when everyone got in the minibus later.

At the range, most people were on time, except Farzana, but she wasn’t anywhere near as late as people have been in previous years. Those with metal bows got them out, then a bow was given to each other novice in turn, before we had to find enough quivers and stands for everyone (a tougher feat than one might expect). We scrabbled around for the bow stand legs and just about got enough for everyone. Meanwhile, Frodo was busy loading novices onto the minibus as there were 15 seats with 14 people going (and all the equipment). It was at the point Boris pointed out that the arrows hadn’t been sorted to make sure everyone had enough. Everyone had to get back off the minibus carefully avoiding all the bows now on the floor of the minibus.

Once arrows were sorted, everyone got back on. Boris accidentally crushed Maria’s foot when he tried to shove a bow underneath one of the chairs (I am so sorry!) but everyone else piled in without incident. Frodo tried (three times) to recite his air steward speech while Boris had the arrows in the front with him so that he could fletch them on the way to Warwick (don’t fletch and drive kids), which led to Lukas and Joshua worried about them getting impaled when we got moving. Frodo got out to drop the keys off for the range at SUSU and then we got going properly. It was at this point when we got to the lights that the call of “TURN LEFT” came again from Boris. The whole “TURN LEFT” incident from earlier was explained, at which point, Joshua, Harry, Lukas and Maddy joined in with the calls.

The drive up to Warwick took longer than expected. Despite leaving 3 hours to get there, it would take us 2 hours and 45 minutes because of one idiot driver on the A34, who decided to drive at 55mph for the entire length of the road, and would only speed up when we tried to pass. It added 30 minutes to our journey. This gave us more time to sing Disney songs from Frodo’s iPod. Several sing-a-longs from the front couple of rows surely annoyed the back couple, although Farzana and Leo took the time to have a nap, so we couldn’t have been that loud/bad.

As we were running late, Boris did the team talk on the minibus, whilst his phone was dying (he was navigating). However, his phone lasted just until they got to the sports centre in Warwick. Everyone piled out, grabbed all the things, and set up in the hall. After archers started shooting, Frodo took food orders and popped down to the shops to get lunch for everyone. Meanwhile, Sören, who had up to this point been quite quiet started getting the attention of everyone else. He forgot to wear his finger sling in the first end, and subsequently sent his bow flying down range, so he had to wait to pick it up and shoot on his own. He then did it again 2 ends later, leading to Boris getting a talking to by the judge so Boris made sure that he put the finger sling on after that. Sören then lost his tab, meaning that Boris had to give him his tab to use, and subsequently found it again a couple of ends later. After a few ends of mishaps, Sören got into it, only for the judge to notice that one of his arrows was bent… Frodo soon returned with food and everyone started munching on lunch.

After the mishaps of the early part of the round, most people took to the shooting like a duck to water. People started tiring at the end, although Lukas and Harry were having a right old ding dong battle at the top of the leaderboard. It would turn out that both would shoot new personal bests, with Lukas pipping Harry by 3 points! Jiazheng shot well to get a bronze medal too, while Barnie was really close and just 3 points off a medall too! After taking photos of the whole team (after finding Leo who had disappeared and with some naughty Warwick and Loughborough archers trying to join us), we said thank you to the organisers for a wonderful shoot and started piling back into the minibus.

The drive back was more interesting (and a lot quicker) than the drive up. This time, Callum jumped in the front with Frodo, leading to confusing in the rest of the minibus for a minute or two. More show tunes were put on the radio and at some point, Callum said something that Maddy took offence to, so she challenged him to a fight. Lukas, from the back of the bus, said that if Callum didn’t fight Maddy then he would have to shave off his eyebrows. This discussion about whether Callum should fight Maddy or not, and what constituted a fight continued until Cherwell Valley services, where Frodo and Boris had promised the novices that a SUAC tradition would continue (but hadn’t actually told them what it was). People grabbed food, Boris bought Krispy Kreme doughnuts for everyone, and to the disappointment of Frodo, the kids play pen at Cherwell Valley was being used by actual children! This led to a very disappointed Frodo, but we shall make sure that the Cherwell Valley play pen novice picture gets taken at some point this year!

Back on the bus, Lukas clambered in the front, leading to more confusion, and more show tunes, until he got bored, and put on driving songs, much to the annoyance of Maddy and Boris, who decided to sing Hamilton songs over the top of it. Josh showed everyone a rather embarrassing photo of himself, and generally everyone had a good time on the way back either sleeping, listening to their own music, or joining in with the rabble at the front of the bus.

We got back to the range tired but happy despite how cold it was, got all the equipment out of the bus and everyone went their own ways home.

Full results can be found here.