Isle of Man Archery Club Junior Championships 2020

With the morning session a washout, it looked as though the Junior Championships scheduled for the afternoon might be cancelled. A field inspection by the Records Officer at noon found that although the rain had stopped and the skies had brightened, there was a stiff westerly wind blowing head on into the shooting line. This would present the juniors with a problem, but since the end of the season was rapidly approaching and the Records Officer was under pressure to complete the Trophy shoots remaining on the calendar the decision was taken to go ahead. The Juniors were divided by age and the round of the day was the Short Metric appropriate to their age category. Timekeeper and guest Judge for the Championships was Dave Berry.

By the time the first whistle blew to bring the archers to the shooting line, conditions had improved. The wind had died down a little and was gusty instead of constant. This was tricky in its own way but nothing the children had not dealt with before. The u18’s had a field of three: James Hill, Toby Young and Tilly Ashton, with James and Toby shooting the boys distances of 50 and 30m and Tilly shooting the girls distances of 40 and 30m. Toby, who had spent the season ironing out some problems picked up during lockdown was shooting competitively for the first time this year. Tilly had managed only one appearance at a Sunday shoot. James was the ‘in form’ archer but had missed two weeks while he was doing a lifeguard course. Moreover, James had increased the poundage of his bow without getting a chance to get new sight marks. Essentially the u18’s Trophy was up for grabs. James first six arrows were solid if unspectacular, but his following six were poor. Toby found his arrows were being pushed over to the right by the wind. An adjustment to the sight’s windage and the binning of a rogue arrow brought Toby’s scores up dramatically and by the end of the second dozen he was only 1 point behind James. Tilly seemed to be having a bad day at the office as she put another one wide and found herself 25 points off the pace. It looked as though it was going to go right down to wire between James and Toby, but it was not to be. Out of nowhere Toby had back to back misses and went from being 1 point behind James to being only 1 point ahead of Tilly. James was guilty of over aiming at the beginning of the 30m but a quick reminder from Barbara Harris saw him relax and he dropped only two points with his next six arrows. As his confidence grew so did his scores and James romped to victory by a clear 55 points. Tilly never quite caught fire at 30m but did enough to just sneak ahead of Toby to take second place.

The u16’s (40 & 30m) was a straight head to head between Jacob Brookes and Nathan Kinrade. Nathan had gone off the boil in recent weeks, but he was back on form on Sunday. He adjusted quickly to the windy conditions and had a lead of 56 points going into the second distance. Jacob carried on in his trademark laid back style, but he could not find anything to counter his opponent’s heavy scoring and Nathan claimed victory by a margin of 130 points.

The only entrant in the u14’s (20 & 10m) category was Ollie Blockley. It is often difficult to focus without any opposition, but Ollie is not lacking in self-motivation. Every dozen total was better than the one before and Ollie added 13 point to her pb to lift the trophy at her first Club Championships.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to Dave Berry for his timekeeping and the field party of Rhys Moore, Joy Gough, Pete Mumford and Barbara Harris for their muscle.

Results: IoMAC Junior Championships- u18’s Recurve- 1.J.Hill 72/546/13/5pb, 2.T.Ashton 70/491/7/4, 3.T.Young 70/489/6/2. U16’s Recurve- 1.N.Kinrade 72/573/12/2, 2.J.Brookes 72/443/1/0. U14’s – O.Blockley 72/612/17/5pb.