January 20th saw the eagerly-awaited Cambridge BUTTS leg. After
enduring several competitions with early starts and hours of
travelling, finally we were at home! For those of you new to the world
of student archery, you may be unaware of the history of our leg. The
fabled Outdoor Portsmouth of the early 2000s was followed by many
years of gleefully welcoming external visitors to the Rifle Range,
often in the snow. Our home advantage isn't quite as strong in the
comfortable surroundings of the Sports Centre, but we still had a
range of interesting company throughout the day - netballers,
gymnasts, and trampoline-folk took their turns to fill the other side
of the hall.
On to the archery, and it was an impressive day for Sam Day. A score
of 534 saw him lead both the novice and experience teams to third
place finishes, while also winning a gold medal in the gents novice
category. Kimberley Callaghan's score of 493 was enough to place her
on the experienced recurve team and also achieve a barebow gold. Chris
Guerin won the battle of the Cambridge compounds to secure gold with a
score of 569 (Jack Atkinson's 561 was the second-highest score of the
event), while Demelza Wright (445, novice ladies bronze) and Fraser
Waters (419, barebow bronze) completed our group of medallists for the
Although Oxford might have won both the experienced and novice team
categories this weekend, we've still got a lot of competing to go. One
more BUTTS leg, BUCS Qualifiers, BUTTS Champs, BUCS Finals, and BUTC
are all on the horizon, so I'm sure the Cambridge successes will
Editor's note: CUB would like to thank Clickers Archery for supplying the faces for the event.
Rain and a potentially optimistic meet-up time began the morning of December 1st where four CUB novices were chaperoned by Fraser to the Warwick Open Novice Tournament. Smooth driving and flawless GPS navigation marked the first success of the day and the team made it to Warwick with plenty of time to spare.
A large contingent from Nottingham joined Cambridge, as well as archers from Birmingham, Warwick and some open entries. Luckily, many of these were familiar faces and there was a relaxed atmosphere at this competition. All archers achieved great scores with Demelza Wright narrowly missing a medal position and Thomas Burridge giving an excellent performance to achieve a silver medal in the gent's recurve.
The competition ran slightly differently than the novices had seen before, whereby the details did not switch shooting order, and the second detail joined the line as soon as there was space on their target. Despite temporary confusion amongst all archers and chaperones, the Cambridge archers passed this test of mental agility with flying colours.
Without team scoring, there was a very non-competitive atmosphere and all archers enjoyed socialising with other novices behind the line. In particular it was nice to see a few who had not yet joined a competition find their feet. We hope to see them in future! Thanks should be given to Warwick for providing this atmosphere in a very well organised and inclusive competition.
On the 25th of November CUB sent 20 archers to Birmingham for the second BUTTS leg of the year. Competing against Birmingham, Loughborough, and Nottingham Trent, we came home with 5 medals: Christopher Guerin and Jack Atkinson won the gold and silver medals respectively in the compound category; Kimberley Callaghan won the silver medal in the barebow category, with Fraser Waters winning the bronze medal; and Demelza Wright won the silver medal in novice ladies recurve.
The novices in particular scored very highly, finishing the day with a total of 1926, second only to Birmingham among the novice teams, and more than 250 points above Nottingham Trent, the third place contenders.
The competition was overall enjoyed, despite the usual mixed emotions and ups-and-downs of shooting, as well as a distinct lack of space in which to stand behind the safety line, amongst everyone's equipment. After results were announced almost all of us from CUB remained for the social and some excellent food.
We look onwards and upwards eagerly with Cambridge's own BUTTS leg to follow soon, when it kicks off the next term's indoor shooting!
Six of our archers participated in the BUTTS non-recurve champs on the 17th of November. Archers can shoot in either of three categories: compound, barebow and longbow. Unlike normal BUTTS legs, the event consists of a Portsmouth (seeding) round followed by head to heads, of which the latter's less predictable nature adds to the thrill of the competition.
The day ended with a "handful" of medals. Jack Atkinson and Kimberley Callaghan clinched the gold medal for the compound and barebow Portsmouth round respectively, while Andrew Browne and Cassandra Lim obtained the bronze medal for the longbow category. On to the head to heads, Liam Pattinson (barebow) and Jack won the silver medal with Kimberley and Cass getting the bronze following a few misplaced shots. The combined team score consisting of a longbow, barebow and compound managed to place us in third place, narrowly missing out in silver to Warwick by a few dozen points.
Following the results, we headed to the Warwick union bar for drinks and and some killer burgers before hitting the road. The non-recurve champs was a nice change of pace, and allowed our non recurve archers a day in the limelight. It's a great place to try out that alternative bowstyle you have been secretly practising in a bid to master all bows.
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!