On the 12th of May, we travelled to Oxford for the 70th annual Varsity match against the Oxford University Company of Archers (OUCofA). The match took place at the Merton field right next to the famous Christ Church in Oxford. After a whole day of lovely sunshine and shooting, our bowmen achieved many great results!
Our experienced team scored a total of 3076, with Eleanor Brug (906 Windsor), Cassandra Lim (766 Windsor), Yang Pei (745 Albion), and Robert Spencer (659 Albion). Unfortunately, we lost to the OUCofA archers by 277 points. However, a massive congratulations to Eleanor Brug, who was not only the highest scoring archer in the whole recurve category, but also raised the club record by 8 points!
For the novices, our team made an excellent performance in their first outdoor season with a total score of 2462. The team consists of Yang Pei (745 Albion), Thomas Burridge (611 Albion), Siling Zhang (566 Windsor), and Lukas Cincikas (540 Albion). Despite their amazing effort, we still did not match the 2628 made by the OUCofA novices.
Two other club records were set by Jack Atkinson (compound) and Kimberley Callaghan (barebow) in their respective categories. A big congratulation to both of them! Also, an honourable mention to our captain, Andrew Browne, who was just 5 points away from winning the longbow challenge! Finally, congratulations to everyone who made the teams and qualified for BUCS Outdoors!
As my second Archery competition ever, I had an amazing time with both the Oxford archers and our Cambridge bowmen! A big thank you to the OUCofA for hosting this year's annual Varsity match, and I hope to see everyone again in Cambridge next year!
On the 23rd of February, the Cambridge team headed down to Crawley for the BUCS Indoor Southern Qualifiers. While the novices were competing for medals on the day, the experienced shooters had coveted spots at the BUCS Indoor Final in their sights. The competition procedure was a lot more rigorous this time around, with identification checks, equipment checks, and, most importantly, establishing that no one dared to wear sinister blue denim. Eventually the day of shooting began, and with almost 40 universities all competing over the course of the day, and 32 bosses lined up across an enormous sports hall, it was hard not to be a little impressed by the scale of the event.
The day saw success with Christopher Guerin, Kimberley Callaghan, and Fraser Waters all succeeding in securing spots at the finals after strong performances. Meanwhile the novices also did very well, with Demelza Wright, Sam Day, and Thomas Burridge securing the silver medal in the team novice recurve category, and Demelza additionally getting the bronze medal for ladies novice recurve.
Overall the competition was a great experience (if just to hear 64 archers all shoot at once). Now we look forward to the 16th of March, which will see our qualifying archers heading to Leeds for the finals. We wish them the best of luck!
Our novices, once again excelled, taking top place at Derby by a convincing 164
points. Thomas Burridge, Sam Day, Demelza Writght and Mansur Pasha made up the
team, with Thomas and Sam both scoring an impressive 518 (although Thomas edged
in one more gold than Sam to win the novice gents recurve gold and silvers
resepectively) and Demelza 515 (which won her the novice ladies recurve gold).
These excellent scores meant that most of our novice team was our experienced
team too, along with Robert Spencer taking up the fourth place at 511.
Unfortunately our experienced team came in bottom of the pile that day. On the
compound, Chris Guerin won gold with a total of 572, beating the contestants
from Nottingham and Loughborough.
The last leg of the BUTTS indoor league for 2018/2019 kicks off in a few
weekends (also at Derby). The novice team is only two points below first place
and we are looking forward to the shoot!
On Sunday the 3rd of February, following the grudge match on Saturday, I attended an open shoot in Bedfordshire; Kestrels' UK Record Status Worcester. On arrival it turned out that the venue was perhaps even colder than the grudge match, but being indoors there was much less trouble with the sunshine.
The Worcester round is unusual in a couple of ways. Firstly, rather than the colourful archery targets we are all familiar with we instead shoot at a single white spot on a black background. Secondly, whereas most competitions indoors are shot in sets of three arrows at a time, the Worcester is shot in fives which becomes particularly punishing towards the end.
After setting up and meeting my target companions we got underway. An excellent start to the first round saw me on 150/150 for the first half, neck and neck with my target companion. At this point we swapped targets - another nuance of the Worcester round I forgot to mention! Though I remembered to shoot the correct target, the change in angle took some adjusting to and the perfect score went out of reach. Trying not to be phased we continued and I finished strong with a final score of 298/300.
Already feeling tired, having entered a double round I was only halfway through! The shooting got tough towards the end, having shot (and pulled) 130 arrows in the space of 4.5 hours, but I made it through to win the Gent's Compound Trophy for the single round, and the gold medal (by 1 point!!) for the double. Results here soon. A successful day out, and a good boost before the Cambridgeshire County Championships next weekend.
On the 27th January three of our archers ventured out to the local club that houses Peacock archers of our coaches Philip and Mary. There they competed in the annual WA18 world record status competition. Jack Atkinson and Kimberley Callaghan completed a gruelling double WA18 in the second and third sessions but were not quite crazy enough to complete the full triple. Andrew Browne completed a single WA18 in the third session, after enjoying the free tea and coffee offered by Peacock as he watched over the second session.
It was a great day for our archers, with Kimberley claiming first place in the lady barebow category, breaking the Cambridgeshire county record and our own club record. Andrew also placed first in the gents longbow category. Unfortunately, despite some fantastic shooting from Jack he came fourth, being a single point away from the bronze medal and only four points off the gold in the gents compound! He still broke our club record and got a PB though, which isn't bad. The team didn't quite place on the podium against the recurves, but put in a fantastic effort nonetheless.
Needless to say, the day and the competition were amazing. Our thanks to Peacock Archers and their tournaments team for putting on a fantastic day, we look forward to joining you next year to do it all again!