Three AoR Juniors and Shane made my proud to be associated with AoR over weekend and then when Mick published the latest club records my proudness (is that really a word?) grew.
The weather over the weekend was changeable, VERY changeable and the weekend started with a huge downpour on Saturday, but with a shoot on the Sunday in which Lauren needed to do well in and with Bradley needing all weather practice for Ireland next weekend, the two battled through the weather and like a couple of drowned rats they kept beating the bosses with arrows and wiping their faces between shots. Even with the horrendous weather, Bradley still managed to make Lauren laugh with his comments beating himself up for missing the odd gold – in those conditions and at that distance, I’d have been happy with blacks inwards!!!
Anyway, dried off and a good nights sleep Lauren was hopeful for better weather and a good performance on the back of two difficult performances largely owing to equipment issues, the main one being picked up by Geoff just last week. Her bow was left strung all night as the string that she shot on the Saturday had a filing serving and the nocking points were moving up and down by about 3-4mm. This resulted in her second new string being hastily nocked the night before and we just hoped that it would shoot well on the Sunday.
So, Sunday for the third Caswell and Esme, Katie and Lauren headed over to Wicken to represent AoR Juniors and they were joined by Shane who would be shooting a Metric 1. The venue was easy to find and the setting was the village cricket ground opposite the church. Parking was a little limited in the ground, but with use of the cricket pavilion and a free draining pitch the day was set to be a good one. The weather was looking good as well, with many people in short sleeves.
Wicken’s ground is slightly up hill and with a light breeze form the rear sheltered by threes behind the tents everyone assembled at 09:15 and a couple of practice ends followed shortly after. I won’t get into the individual performances (the archers are free to send me their reports and I’ll publish them in the blog if they want) but the day was set to be a rewarding and VERY challenging one. No less than twice we all found ourselves on unscheduled breaks whilst thunder and lightning storms passed overhead and the decision to continue or give up was even put to the archers to vote on at one point. The vote was passed to carry on and I think that all concerned were pleased with the decision when the sun came out and the weather for the last part of the shoot was really nice. The second of the two big storms even turned the sky into a beautiful orange glow for a few minutes.
Esme shot very well and posted a 401 for her Short Metric V and took a well-deserved silver medal, Katie posted an impressive 1139 taking gold, just shy of her personal best but showing great consistency across recent Metric shoots. This performance was even more impressive given that she really hates thunder and she was shooting on a boss on her own, so no one at here distance to push her during the day. Lauren also made up for recent difficult shoots to blitz her personal best and post a 904, taking silver with the gold going to Pip who shoots for Archery GB and who will be off to Ireland next week. 60 meters is still proving a tough distance for her draw length and poundage, but her personal aim for the day was to beat the 900 and that is now in the bag – 1000 next time out. Shane also gained a special certificate award for his performance shooting a Metric I, so all of the AoR archers went home with recognition of their great performances during the day.
Then things got even better with the club records, but I’ll keep that for a second blog posting a little later.