The 10th of November marked the start of the regional BUTTS league. 18 of our archers travelled to Nottingham, pairing up with Oxford University to shoot a Portsmouth round in the second half of the day. Having reached in good time, we took the opportunity to explore the sports complex and have lunch at the cafe, keeping us all in solid mental form for the competition (a fantastic excuse to snack on biscuits to our hearts' content.)
Many individual medals were won across both novice and experienced shooters: Jack Atkinson won gold in Compound, Kimberley Callaghan won gold in Barebow, and Thomas Burridge and Sam Day won gold and silver respectively in Novice Gent Recurve.
These individual performances translated into very strong team scores: Cambridge Novices topping the novice scoreboard with a total score of 1723, almost 100 points above Nottingham Uni who placed second. The experienced team placed a respectable third place in their scoreboard with a total score of 2040.
The competition itself was a lovely day out. This was the novice team's first ever archery competition, and for a lot of us, our very first sports competition (unless of course you count the primary and secondary school sports days!). Emotions were mixed during the previous night's training session as uncertainty about what to expect crept in, but during the day spirits were high and good times were had. The atmosphere was an incredibly friendly one and made it much easier to keep a very positive attitude throughout the competition, despite any ups and downs whilst shooting.
After the results were announced, a few of us stayed behind to participate in the true test of skill that is the boat race and for dinner with the other teams. It was really nice having such a relaxed environment with everyone putting aside the competition and having a great time. The dinner was a great way to meet archers at other clubs and was the cherry on top of what had been a fab day. I'm absolutely looking forward to the next competition!
On Saturday the 27th of October nine of our archers attended the BUTTS Field Championships. This was the first student archery competition of the new academic year before we begin the regular BUTTS and BUCS legs of the indoor season. Field archery, often referred to as 'archery golf' sees archers walking round a course, usually in woodlands, shooting at a variety of targets of different sizes at varying angles and at distances up to 60m away. This event was a mixed round where archers shoot 12 targets in the morning not knowing what the distance is and relying on their own skills and intuition, followed by 12 targets in the afternoon where the distances are known.
A bright but cold start, with frost on the ground, turned quickly to cloud and drizzle by lunch, and then in to rain and briefly snow for the rest of the afternoon with temperatures reaching a high of 4 degrees celsius. Our archers persisted with the course nonetheless, eventually coming home with some glory. Cassandra Lim took gold in ladies' recurve in her first competition for CUB whilst Jack and Liam narrowly missed out to come away with silver in the compound and barebow categories respectively. Together these three made up the Cambridge team which came second, missing out on the BUTTS Field shield to Warwick. Jack and Cass also set new club and county records for their categories. We hope to keep this success up as we head in to the busy indoor competition season.
It was an enjoyable experience making new friends, with many hoping to do more field archery later in the year, perhaps in warmer and drier conditions. Congratulations to all of our members who took part and thanks to Long Buckby Archery Club for hosting us. Special mention should also be given to our members from warmer climes who persevered through the tough day with minimal complaints. Full results can be found here.
As the outdoor season draws to a close our archers had one last competition in their schedule. On Sunday the 16th of September Jack and Liam shot at the Autumn York and Hereford Rounds hosted by Jolly Archers in Huntingdon. Though there was (almost) no rain it was a very breezy day making it challenging to both aim, and also to hit where you aimed - especially at 100 yards!
Despite this both archers shot well to take bronze medals in their categories (Gent's Compound for Jack, and Gent's Barebow for Liam) with Jack setting a new club record, but just missing out on a 1200 Rose. Full results are available on the Jolly Archers' website. We now move our equipment this weekend ready for the start of a new academic year and the indoor season.
On Saturday 18th August 2018, the annual Alumni Event was held. With overcast clouds looming and some rays of sunshine seeping through, 9 alumni members and 6 students took to the fields of Churchill College to compete in the alumni vs student shoot with a National round. The alumni members were composed of seasoned archers and those who had not touched a bow in years, while the students were shooting a range of bow styles, from longbow to compound.
After many arrows were shot (mostly) towards the targets, an abundance of snacks and plentiful socialising and reminiscing, the alumni team proved they still had what it takes to win, beating the student team by a whopping 706 points!
The day continued on with drinks and chats at St. John's College Bar, where we were graced by the presence of the club accounts dating back to 1962 brought there by our Senior Treasurer (and alumni) Professor Lindsay Greer. After pouring over the books and seeing the club grow over the years, we headed to Browns Cambridge for a lovely meal, where more alumni joined us. As the evening came to an end, we parted ways looking forward to the next event.