Championship Meeting Results & Report

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Results Sheets for both days are now available – Click Here
And there are some pictures taken on the Championship Day – Click Here

2012 may be turn out to be another Year With No Summer, when Inclement Weather was always declared and Club Colours hardly ever appeared from under the Waterproofs. But while the reservoirs were steadily refilling, some hardy Archers looked the Storm in the Eye and managed to complete both days of the County Championships, in spite of coming quite close to abandoning the shoot on Sunday.

Like many other shoots this year the number of entrants to the 2012 Sussex County Championships Meeting was quite small, although there was a minimal increase on 2011 but with a smaller proportion of the Sussex County membership entered. Maybe this was due to the cost of entry and travel, and maybe the long period of bad weather and fewer opportunities for practice took its toll too.

There was a time when almost as many visitors from adjoining counties as local archers entered this Championships, but in recent years their numbers compared to Sussex County archers has been small, only 23 out 139 entrants last year. This year the visitor numbers bounced back, almost doubling to 43. Unfortunately this increase of 20 was almost matched by a drop of 15 Sussex entrants.

Numbers entering was one thing, the number shooting the round was something else. The unremitting wet weather meant there was a fair number of no-shows; and each day the number who completed the round was smaller than the number that started, particularly on the Championships day.

Right from the start, in fact from before the start, the rain threw up problems – the Canadian-made target faces turned out to be no better than Kleenex in the wet. Almost half had to be replaced before an arrow had been shot as they sagged and tore. Fortunately it was possible to get hold of replacement faces that were more weather-resistant (but whatever happened to those wonderful monsoon-proof Tyvek faces they used to make?) although a few heroic targets managed to nurse a Canadian face through the two long FITA distances.

The number of visitors was largest on the FITA Day, when 38% of the entry was from outside the County. Most of the Gents’ line had Foam target bosses, and in spite of fears about the water acting as a lubricant and reducing the stopping effect, they did in fact seem to work well, apart from a certain fatal attraction towards the wooden edgings for some of the arrows. But it was a slightly different story on the ladies line where the problem, especially for some of the compounds, was more a matter of getting the arrows back out of the straw, caused as much as anything by the difficulty getting a good grip on the wet arrowshafts. Unfortunately the extra time spent pulling arrows meant that some of the target groups found they had little time for scoring and getting ready to shoot the following end.

After a wet start to the day, much of Saturday morning was reasonably dry, even quite bright at times, but humid with quite a stiff wind, and some further light rain in the afternoon. The majority of those who started carried on to the end, and it was dry when the awards were handed out.

Sunday was rather different. The rain was heavy and persistent, the ground became water-logged and muddy, and the Archers were called together after 2 dozen to say whether they wanted to abandon the shoot, or to shorten the round to a National, or to shoot the full round. The majority wanted to carry on until 4 dozen to review the situation. During the 3rd dozen the rain got worse still and a noticeable number of archers decided to stop and retire, but then the rain started to ease, and by the time 4 dozen had been shot the majority of the remaining archers wanted to complete the round, which turned out to be a good decision as the weather then improved significantly. Improved enough in fact for Chris Keate of Hellingly to make a Six-Gold-End at 100 yards.
One good thing about the weather on Sunday was that the wind had dropped – which was the main reason why the rain took so long to pass over – and several archers managed to keep on top through the atrocious rain during the first three dozen, and were then able to capitalise on the calm conditions when the rain cleared, and put together some astonishingly good scores.

The shoot ended in weak sunshine, more or less on time. At mid-morning it had looked like it would end hours behind schedule and be a washout, but somehow, imperceptibly, it all came good. The weather was awful at times, but the archers stuck it out and both days ended on a positive note. Respect to everyone who saw it through! And one lucky person went home each day with a £50 Voucher won in the Raffle.

Likewise, at the start of each day the prospects for the field party looked pretty grim, but in fact the field and equipment held up well under the circumstances. The shoot was supported by a number of members from three of the five ‘Helper Clubs’. Apart from a solitary entrant who helped at the target moves, there were no helpers from the other two clubs, and one of the first three provided no-one to help with the heavy work, which at times meant the helpers who were on the field had their hands very full – although to their credit, and thanks to the archers who put in extra effort to shift the targets, all the target and face changes were completed in good time.

Thanks to: Worthing Archery Club for the use of the two Gazebo Shelters – without which, dread to think… – The Ladies Paramount: Adele McPeake and Linda Palmer – Roger MacMullan for Judging – Terry Maskell for Organising the accreditation and the venue details and set-up, and Daniel Bridge for acting as Secretary and  dealing with Results Processing and Target Lists, etc – Philip Van Buren – Bob Darling, Peter Parker and Debbie Pierce – Brenda New, Jenna Parfoot, Daniel Allen, and Mandy Linn – Gary Lloyd, Rod Brown, Stephen Curtis and Jenny Francis – Iorwouth Evans – Doreen Cannon and Christine Riseborough – Bob Darling – Paul King – Terry and June Schollar, and Chris Ellis. And everyone else who helped in some way.

Results and Pictures and Target Lists etc can be found from the 2012 Championships Web-page

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