On 19th September 2021 four CCB archers made the trip up to Huntingdon to shoot the Jolly Archers’ Open Western Competition.
Whilst Richard, Jack, and Lydia have all shot competitions before, for Nick Tiley it was his first experience. Read on to hear about how he, and the rest of the team, got on.
The Novice and the Tournament
If you take up archery, surely you want to go to a tournament? After a few rather on-off seasons, I took the plunge and signed up for the Jolly Archers’ Tournament this year. With a name like that, wasn’t I sure of a great day out?
I arrived far too early at a field near Huntingdon and waited around, chatting to archers of all ages. The field looked very impressive and the weather looked OK. The arrangements were clearly explained, and they had people on hand to pick up arrows that missed the target as well as a special tool for removing arrows from the wooden frames. So as not to appear rude, I availed myself of both these services early on.
With four people to each boss, we shot in pairs, so I had three people to “work with”. The five-zone scoring was straightforward (our arrows were well differentiated in colour) and taking a turn at arrow pulling gave me a chance to help the group. The compounds tend to score all 9s and 7s, so they tended to say “all in”, or “one out” as shorthand for 999999 or 999997. I used more of the target than the others, enjoying all the space on offer. For my rounds, the scorer actually had to add numbers rather than start with 54 and deduct multiples of 2. It was hard not to be intimidated by high scoring going on around me, but I think we were all pleased (relieved?) when I managed 3 golds on one end.
At the half way point (after 8 dozen arrows at 60yds) we stopped for lunch. We resumed at a new shooting line for 8 dozen at 50yds. I was planning to demonstrate my prowess at this shorter distance, but didn’t manage to shoot as well as I had in practice at Downing Field, and sadly scored roughly the same as I had managed at the longer distance. It drizzled twice during the day, but didn’t dampen my enthusiasm for trying.
After we finished there was a prize giving, which mainly involved giving prizes to Jack, Lydia and people from my target. (Special mention for Lydia – overall winner and County record score). There was no booby prize, so alas I came home empty handed.
I was struck by how friendly the other archers were, and they didn’t mind my novice-level performance – in fact they were quite encouraging. I am now enthused to practice and try another tournament – how fortunate that the Town and Gown is coming up soon. Next time I will take more clothing to keep dry / warm!
Lydia won the ladies’ compound with 860/864, setting a new county record in the process with the highest score of the day. Jack came third in gent’s compound with 856, just one 7 behind tied first place. Their combined score led to them also taking the compound team trophy by a clear 48 points, ending a 5 year streak for the home club.
The full results are available online.