Greeba was cold, wet and windy on Sunday but with archers due to travel to competitions in England in the coming weeks it was decided that the shoot would go ahead. The round of the day was a WA 1440, that is three dozen arrows at each of four distances – 90/70/50/30m for the Gents and 70/60/50/30m for the Ladies, with the children shooting an equivalent round appropriate to their age group.
The range had been too soggy to permit shooting at any distance longer than 70m, so it was the Gents first chance to test themselves at 90m and they had mixed results. Lone Compound archer Rhys Moore got into his stride quickly at his least favourite distance, the gusting wind giving him little trouble. The same could not be said of Recurver Dave Berry, who had five misses at 90 and did not score heavily with the arrows that did find the target. Danny Cowin, shooting on the same boss, had one miss in the first dozen arrows but otherwise dealt with the conditions well enough to finish 55 points ahead of Dave at the end of the first distance.
With the temperature dropping and intermittent rain showers turning the scoresheets to pulp, the field was hastily reset for the second distance. The 70m proved easier for all three men, with their distance total being higher. By the halfway stage Danny had opened up a 63 point lead over Dave.
Unable to make the 90m distance, Peter Howland tackled a Metric 1 which is identical to the Ladies WA 1440. To that end he joined Jane Berry and Barbara Harris on their boss. Both Peter and Jane were shooting the round for the first time. Jane did well at the 70, a handful of misses were mainly due to the wind rather that a lack of form. Peter, with a lighter poundage on his bow, found his arrows to be more affected by the wind but he did manage to break the hundred barrier. Barbara, with the benefit of years of experience, put in a reasonable round and had a 96 point lead by the end of the first distance.
Unfortunately the 60m distance puts the boss exactly at the point in the field where there is a break in the trees which meant the archers had to pick the moment to loose very carefully. Jane lost a few more arrows to the increasingly difficult conditions but generally did well. For Peter however, it was nightmare. Struggling to find a sight mark he only managed to get a third of his arrows on target and scored less than half the points he had managed at 70m. In spite of recording a miss, Barbara put in a good round to extend her lead to 190 points. By the lunch break conditions had deteriorated to the point that it was obvious any juniors or first timers likely to turn up in the afternoon would be unable to cope with the high winds. The decision was taken to cancel the afternoon session, shorten lunch to 15 minutes and finish off the round as quickly as possible in the hopes of avoiding the heavy rain forecast for late afternoon.
The masochists who remained got steadily colder as they were buffeted by the increasingly erratic wind which made the 50m distance even harder to shoot. Peter Howland bounced back strongly after his disappointment at 60m, though only Rhys Moore and Danny Cowin managed to make all their arrows count. It was a relief for everyone to reach the final distance. Danny was the only Recurver to make the 300 barrier as he cantered to victory 112 points ahead of Dave Berry. Barbara Harris began to look as though she could shoot, Jane Berry posted a score that knocked a chunk off her handicap rating and Rhys Moore easily broke 1300 for the round.
Everyone made a huge effort to get the score sheets right, so it was ironic that the only person who got it wrong was the Records Officer.
Juniors archers Tilly Ashton and Lily Priestnal also toughed out the whole day. Lily kept all of her arrows on target to record a Junior Master Bowman equivalent score for the Metric V (30/20/15/10m) at her first attempt. Tilly had one miss but also recorded a JMB equivalent for the Metric IV (40/30/20/10m). Both girls have been entered to shoot in the Junior National Outdoor Championships in England later this year.
Also in action was Ralf Mitchell, who shot a Short Metric (50/30m) round to count towards his outdoor handicap.
Results – WA 1440 -Gents Compound – R. Moore 144/1321/62/14. Gents Recurve – 1.D. Cowin 142/1039/12/2, 2.D.Berry 136/927/13/4. Ladies Recurve – 1.B.Harris 138/1032/7/5, 2.J.Berry 130/738/3/2pb. Metric 1- P.Howland – 99/544/2/0pb. Metric IV – T.Ashton 143/1162/22/5. Metric V – L.Priestnal 144/1150/21/8pb. Short Metric – R.Mitchell 71/512/6/2pb.