Due to adverse weather conditions there was no archery on the island on Sunday, but a small group of archers had travelled to England to take part in the Double WA 1440 World Record Status Competition hosted by Meriden Archery Club. The event was held over two days and Club Members Jane Berry, Barbara Harris, Billy Lightfoot and Rhys and David Moore tried to keep their cool in the sweltering Midlands heat.
Despite catching the 6:30 Mannanin sailing on Friday morning, the squad arrived too late at Meriden get any practice arrows in. This was unfortunate since bad weather and road closures on the Isle of Man had prevented the archers from training for almost two weeks and they were going into the competition cold.
Jane Berry was at an even greater disadvantage, not only was this her first international tournament, but a family holiday meant that she hadn’t shot for three weeks. Understandably nervous at first, Jane settled quickly and was absolutely dialled in by the time she reached the 30m distance. Her first day total of 959 was a little short of her best but was a great effort in the circumstances. Unused to shooting back to back competitions and struggling with both higher temperatures and a jaw problem on the second day of the shoot Jane’s total was lower than Saturday’s. Her combined total of 1831 was nevertheless a pb and she finished in 17th place. On an adjacent boss Barbara Harris continued to struggle with her form. As a left hander the sun was directly in her face at the furthest distance and she had spots in front of her eyes by the time she reached the second dozen. Barbara’s distance total at 60 was average and, having badly misjudged her water intake, she was hit with fatigue at 50m. A halfway decent 30m allowed her to break the thousand barrier but she was on a mission to do better. Feeling unwell from the effects of the sun forced Barbara to concentrate on the following day and her shooting was much improved. While it was still short of her best single score the combined total of 2076 was not only a pb but also a new IoM Club Record. Barbara ended up in 14th place.
In the Compound division David Moore was feeling the effects of a week spent re-roofing both the hen and calf sheds and was nowhere near his best. He did improve his score on the second day to finish 18th but it was left to the youngest and the oldest of the squad to uphold the Club’s honour. Young Rhys Moore put in a fine round to beat his personal best for the single round and break the Club record into the bargain. Rhys continued his run on the second day to break his pb and the Club record again. The combined total of the two days also smashed his own Club record for the Double by 36 points. Rhys finished in 7th place. Silver surfer tech wizard Billy Lightfoot displayed his legendary athletic prowess to set a new pb for the round on the first day but target panic at 30m cost him valuable points. Determined to do better on the Sunday, Billy marshalled all the strength a man of his advanced age has at his disposal and knocked out another pb which gave him his first ever Master Bowman score. His combined total of 2638 saw him add an impressive 69 points to his pb and put him in 11th place.
The squad would like to thank Dave ‘Bionic’ Berry for acting as water bearer, snack bringer and general dogsbody to everyone all weekend.
Scores Meriden Double WA 1440 – Gents Compound: R.Moore 1333/65/29 + 1341/70/51 =2674/135/80pb,NCR, B.Lightfoot 1309/47/7 + 1329/65/25 =2638/112/32pb, D.Moore 1241/31/8 + 1278/50/22 =2519/81/30. Ladies Recurve: B.Harris 1014/4/1 + 1062/13/2 = 2076/17/3pb,NCR, J.Berry 959/15/6 + 872/7/2 = 1831/22/8pb.