Rankings and session scores from both days of the tournament can be downloaded by clicking here.

Tournament report follows below.

The Shooting Line during Session B of the 4th Brighton Bowmen FITA 18 Tournament

The shooting line in session B (photo: Rod Woodhatch)

A short while before last weekend’s tournament, someone posed the obvious question: why was an archery club from Brighton hosting a tournament in Horsham?

If you were wondering the same but weren’t quite bold enough to ask, it boiled down to the fact that the closure of St Aubyns in July this year left Brighton Bowmen without an indoor range. Old, often cold and always rickety in the winds that blow off the seafront it may have been, but the school gym had been an ideal venue for archery during the autumn and winter months. It’s sadly missed but these things happen, so the club upped sticks and moved north for the weekend.

The Holbrook Club

Moving to a new venue is always accompanied by a few worries, but The Holbrook Club proved to be a step up from our old home. This was due in no small part to the efforts of its management and staff. Many thanks to Tim Turner, Paul Felgate and especially Paul Harding for their help in putting on the shoot. If anyone is looking for a venue for an event, archery or otherwise, in the Horsham area, we can’t recommend The Holbrook Club too highly.

There was one problem: the lighting over targets 1 and 9 wasn’t the best. Apologies to those who were subjected to this. It couldn’t be fixed during the weekend, but the Holbrook management are aware of the problem and will give it their attention before February’s tournament.

“February?” you ask. You’ll have to read on for more about that.

Big thanks also go to the members of Holbrook Archers. Some of us had concerns that the use of their facilities by a bunch of upstarts from Brighton might understandably cause some friction, but the outcome was quite the opposite. As ever, the members were good natured, supportive and more helpful than could have been hoped for. Karina Wiles and Steve Lancaster entered the tournament and helped break down the range on Sunday evening, while Peter Probert came in on both days to lend a pair of strong hands. Cheers, folks.

Lastly, but never least, Rod Woodhatch was involved in the organisation of the tournament in one way or another from start to finish. It was impossible to keep count of the number of times Rod popped into the sports hall over the weekend, but as ever he kept the Tournament Organiser on his toes and ensured that the hall was neat and tidy at the finish of proceedings. Thanks, Rod.

The Archers

Clubs from Berkshire, Essex, Hampshire, Kent, London, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex, the Eastern region of Scotland and Wales were represented at the tournament. That gave us a full entry for the first time, which made the Treasurer happy and kept the judges and field crew busy.

The shoot’s new location made a difference, as did our tournament diary. The latter received numerous compliments over the weekend, so take a bow Michaela Lake. The effort she puts into the diary can’t be overstated.

It was good to see many people who had attended our previous tournaments turn up again and just as good to greet many new faces. Among the latter were several members of Crawley AC and Worthing AC taking part in a competition for the first time. We hope to see all of you again in February.

The Scores

There were no UK records this time around, but congratulations must go to Huw Jones of St Kingsmark Bowmen for yet another Welsh record and also to Hope Greenwood of Edinburgh University AC. Her scores of 569 and 576 are enough for her to claim a place in the selection shoot for the GB team at the Indoor World Championships at Nimes in February.

There were also some decent returns from the usual suspects chasing selection for the Indoor Home Nations match at Coventry in December. Of those, Stuart Barby, Pip Tucknott and Chris Woodgate fell just short of the scores required for Nimes, but with a couple of months left before the qualifying period closes it wouldn’t be surprising to see one or more of them make it to the selection shoot.

The Judges and Field Crew

Despite the Secretary’s initial concerns about holding the tournament, the Chairman and the Treasurer of the club were of a different mind and insisted that it should go ahead. Blame them (the Secretary does) or thank them (if you were at the tournament, you should), Roger McMullan and Roger Wolff were instrumental in ensuring that last weekend’s shoot happened.

The Chairman shared the judging duties with Paul Clark on Saturday. Paul’s recent elevation to County Judge is well-deserved and his ongoing support for our tournaments is much appreciated. The same goes for Tony Ikel, who joined us for the first time on Sunday. Thank you, gentlemen.

Registration and adminstration at the shoot was handled in the efficient manner that we’ve come to expect and appreciate by Zillah McMullan and Joan Ikel. Thank you, ladies.

Nick Cole assisted the judges throughout the weekend as Field Captain. It was a sterling effort from one of the unheralded archery parents who keep the sport running at its grass roots. Thanks once again, Nick.

Pip Tucknott‘s weekend began at 12 noon on Friday when the target equipment was transported to Holbrook. It ended a little after 9 pm on the Sunday evening with its return to Rottingdean. In between those times he helped set up the range on both days, took part in and finished all eight sessions and somehow found the time and patience to explain the finer points of Plato’s Symposium to his father (it’s about love). Cheers, big fella.

Gerry Deak helped out with returning the target equipment to St Aubyns, worked as a member of the field crew throughout the weekend and put together four nice scores. A big effort from a good bloke. Köszönöm, Gerry.

Additional muscle for setting up the range on both days was provided by Gavin “Haircut 101” Sutherland, Iain Charlesworth, Steve Allen and Sam Baldwin. A fine effort, chaps, especially with the safety net.

On the subject of the net, close to the eleventh hour the Tournament Organiser was struck by the realisation that something had been overlooked. A near-perfect fit for the gym at St Aubyns, the club’s safety net came up five metres short for the Holbrook sports hall. The problem was solved without further ado when Phil van Buren offered use of the old Falcon Bowmen net. Thanks to him and to Peter Damon, Terry Maskell and Bob Darling from the Sussex CAA for their combined effort in organising its collection (three people to organise the collection of a net? Look, it’s a big net, OK!?).

And finally, the second day of the shoot was made a bit special by a visit from Alan and Jean Ruby, former President and Vice-President of the Sussex CAA and members of Holbrook Archers. Although they haven’t enjoyed the best of health recently, both Alan and Jean retain a strong interest in the sport to which they have contributed so much over many decades. We’ll see you and Jean at February’s tournament, Mr President.


Ah! So what’s this about February?

The 5th Brighton Bowmen FITA 18 will take place at The Holbrook Club on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd February, 2014. Entries are now being accepted, using either the Word entry form or the pdf version.

Look forward to seeing you there.