Tuesday, 01 October 2013 00:32

Albion Against Chichester Bowmen

Sunday 29th September saw us shooting against Chichester Bowmen at our home ground.

The day started overcast with a few showers in the early morning and by the time everyone arrived at the field to set-up there was a cool nip in the air and the sky was full of grey clouds. Fortunately this did not last and it wasn't long before the sky was blue and the temperature increased making it a very pleasant days shoot. Assembly took place at 10:30am where Isla, our club secretary, explained the order of the day and read out the target list. Two rounds were being shot, an Albion and for those not yet ready to shoot at 80 yards, a short Windsor. Shooting the Albion for Worthing were Terry Kennard, Paul Kennard, Deb Pasley, Gavin Sutherland and David Philips.  Worthing archers shooting the Short Windsor were Vernon Hawkes, Stuart Judd, Oliver Johnson, Isla Bezencon, Karolina Wakulinska, Callum Day & Richard Day.

After the first 3 dozen arrows at 80 yards, thanks to the sterling work of Julian Apperley with assistance from Andy Hunt who we greatly thank, a barbeque was held with enough food to ensure that even the hungriest of archers would be satisfied. After this break, shooting continued at the remaining two distances.

In the end Chichester secured victory with a score of 3412 over our score of 3219 but our very own Gavin Sutherland had the highest individual score of the day with 926. Dave Wakeford of Chichester Bowmen scored 101 golds on his way to scoring 858 overall. In the short Windsor, Karolina Wakulinska took first place and a new PB with a score of 798, Isla Bezencon came second, also setting a new PB, with a score of 789, whilst Oliver Johnson came third with a score of 770.

Whilst the scores were being checked everyone enjoyed lots of tea and delicious cakes that had been very generously provided by several members. After the scores had been read out a potential invite from Chichester was offered in the form of a friendly Frostbite round to be held at their ground. If this goes ahead we will be sure to let you all know and hopefully we might be able to even the scores.

We would like to thank everyone who not only shot on the day but everyone behind the scenes who helped set-up the field, made cakes, made our guests feel welcome and most of all made the day such a success and very enjoyable for all. Without the hard work of you all it would not have been possible and we would like to also thank Gary Kinghorn, Frank Hollis, Gail Johnson, Karolina Wakulinska, Rose Potter & Graham Whittington.

Photos from the day can be viewed below.

Wednesday, 06 November 2013 16:17

A Successful Year For Gavin Sutherland

Our own Gavin Sutherland has had a very full and successful season so far this year.

Most of you will have met and know Gavin as he is frequently at the field not only practising but spending a lot of time helping and advising fellow club members. Whilst Gavin doesn't like to shout about all that he is up to we think many of our members would be interested and inspired to hear about the what he has achieved in the 2012/2013 season.

In September 2012 Gavin battled with the elements at the Sussex County Field Championships and after enduring heavy rain became Sussex Field Champion beating Ken Burge of Hellingly with our own Tony Zottola coming in 3rd place.

After being selected as a member of the Sussex Team, on Sunday 3rd March Gavin was crowned both Sussex Indoor Champion and Southern County Indoor Champion after scoring 589 in a Portsmouth round beating Gergo Deak of County Oak by 7 points.

At the UK Masters in June, Gavin reaached the quarter finals coming 7th overall with a score of 579 shooting in a FITA 70M

Also in June and July Gavin shot in the National Series scoring 26 in Stage 1, 32 in Stage 2 and 32 in Stage 3 (not shooting in stages 4 & 5) with an overal score of 90 bringing Gavin 12th place

Then in July Gavin was crowned Sussex Outdoor Champion after coming 1st on the first day in a Mens FITA with a score of 1193 (again beating County Oak's Gergo Deak, this time by 41 points) and coming 1st on the 2nd day with a score of 1057 in a York round yet again beating Gergo Deak.

Also in July Gavin came 4th at the Commonwealth Championships for Europe with a score of 1239 in a mens FITA.

To round things off Gavin was selected to shoot for England with the Engliash Archery Federation.

So after such a busy and successful year, what does Gavin want to achieve in 2014?

Tuesday, 05 November 2013 22:32

Indoor Venue For Winter Shooting

We are delighted to announce that we have managed to secure an indoor venue for the winter season.

Whilst the field will remain open all year round for members to shoot whenever they wish, we now have a warmer alternative for those who don't relish the idea of standing out in the cold. Our new indoor venue will be in St. Peters Church Hall in Sompting on Bowness Avenue, a map to which can be found below. The hall not only has heating and a car park but kitchen facilities and toilets too.

We will be running indoor shooting twice a week, Wednesday night 8-10pm and Sunday afternoon 2pm-5pm. The cost for Wednesday is just £2 per person whilst Sunday's is £3 per person but this can include some coaching towards the end of the session. Please note that this is only open to members of Worthing Archery Club. The first indoor session of 2014 will be Sunday 5th January @ 2pm.

Saturday, 16 November 2013 22:40

October 2013 Beginners Course

On October 26th and 27th we held our latest Beginners Course at our field for seven budding and eager archers.

The weather was not kind to us but the rain did not dampen anyone's spirits even if it did turn the field into a bit of a swamp. With Gary, Gavin, Isla and Oliver lending a helping hand it wasn't long before our guests were hitting gold and starting to pick up the basics. More photos from the course can be seen below. We are pleased to say that a number of the people on this course have now joined our club and we are sure that everyone will give them a very warm welcome. Due to the interest we have received not only in this course but in running future beginners courses next year we are looking into purchasing new practice bows and arrows and hope to be able to make a further announcement on this in the next couple of weeks.

For anyone interested in joining our next beginners course please contact our club secretary to register your interest.

Monday, 10 February 2014 10:36

European Archery Festival 2014 Report

The European Archery Festival was held in Telford on January 24th to 26th 2014 and our Records Officer, Frank Hollis, was lucky enough to get tickets and was also kind enough to write the report below on his experience and the success of our club members.

The European Archery Festival - Telford - Jan 24th to 26th 2014

This was too good an opportunity to be missed; some of the top archers in the world, and some more familiar faces, all on show at the biggest UK indoor archery event - ever. I decided to skip the Friday session as this was just the qualifying rounds and I felt pretty sure the people I wanted to watch would have no problems with qualification. Sure enough Gavin Sutherland managed a score of 290, which was fairly certain of getting in the top 32 (for a little while he was neck and neck with Brady Ellison).


Early on the Saturday morning I set off on the 200-mile journey to Telford. The International Centre is a bit like The Excel Centre in London, but about 1/4 the size and without Excel's large selection of places trying to sell you food and drink. The selection at the International Centre was pretty poor, so I nipped over to one of the adjacent hotels for lunch, after having watched Bryony Pitman start her qualifying round. While there I missed one moment of unexpected excitement as a thunderstorm struck, with hail that was powerful enough to get into the arena and onto the shooting ranges! When the storm finished I went back to the ranges and watched Bryony finish off with a score of 271, enough for 3rd place.

While waiting for the knock-out competition to start I decided to check out the Expo - a huge selection of stands from various companies, all trying to sell you archery-related goodies. It was a little overwhelming at first, but I had emptied my piggy-bank and Ernie and given me a couple of wins, so I had cash burning a hole in my pocket. But I was determined to hang on, so I went round every stand, twice, checking out everything on offer and chatting with people getting them to explain to me why I should give my money to them.

But their time was up - the knock-outs were about to start. This was where it gets serious, by the end of the day Everybody would be knocked out bar the 4 semi-finalists in each category. For those that haven't watched modern competitive archery the knock-outs are decided by a series of Sets. Each person shoots three arrows, the highest score wins the set and that archer is awarded 2 points. A tied score means each archer get 1 point. The first archer to get to 6 points wins. If the score reached 5-5 then a single-arrow decider is shot. Closest to the X wins.

First up were the Juniors. Bryony's first two opponents were fellow Brits and were both beaten 6-0. Her next opponent was a Swiss archer who had looked good in her knock-out rounds. This match was the first where I really began to feel the tension - especially when the score was 5-3. If Bryony lost this set then it would all fall to that one-arrow decider. However, she seems to feed off the pressure and won the set to take the match 7-3. She would be shooting on Sunday morning in the semi-finals.

Next was the Senior knock-outs. While waiting I met Stuart Judd and found out that he'd actually shot the previous morning, having turned up to spectate and being told there was a place going. However, he didn't make the top 32. Gavin's first two rounds were a little closer than the scores (7-3 and 6-2) would suggest and the tension was building. Still, he was in the quarter-finals and had just one more match that day. But his opponent Sjef van den Berg had been looking good in his games and, despite Gavin's best efforts, the Nederlander prevailed 6-2. The last Brit?! (as the commentator kept reminding us) was out of the competition.

Earlier in the Men's Recurve knock-outs I'd watched an archer that may be familiar to some of you - Gergo Deak, better known as Gerry, who shoots for County Oak. He won his first knock-out match but his second was against Brady Ellison. Gerry did well to get one point as Brady's scores were 10,10,10 - 10,10,10 - 10,10,10 - 10,10,10! Later he said that Brady was a really nice guy, chatting away and trying to put his, justifiably nervous, opponent at ease. It's great when you encounter true sportsmen like that.

The following morning it was time for the Junior finals and the Senior semi-finals in the smaller hall while those seniors who hadn't qualified could take part in a 'Second Chance' competition (although I think the 07:30 start may have put a few off). Bryony's semi-final was against the Belgian, Sophie Smets, who had qualified one point ahead to take second place. In her previous matches the Belgian had dropped just one point and was looking good. However, she didn't seem to handle the pressure as well as Bryony, who won a very tense match 6-4 to get a place in the final.

Only then did I realise just how crowded with spectators this area was. So I was glad I had a great seat, because the Senior semi-finals took place - and I had a great view. The Korean recurve women have always given me the impression of loving their sport and being keen on having a good time, almost as much as winning. They did nothing to disabuse me of that impression, putting on a great display of high-class shooting, despite some oddities (more later).

The last events in this arena were the Junior Finals. Briony was facing the Italian Irati Zurbano who had been a shooting machine during her early matches. Surely Bryony couldn't beat her. No, despite a mid-match comeback, the form-book held and the Italian won 7-3. Silver me Italian won 7-3. Silver medal for Ms Pitman, which is an excellent result.

Bryony Pitman

So that was it apart from the Senior Finals. The main hall was closed while they installed TVs, electronic scoreboards, fireworks, lasers, cheerleaders, acrobats, celebrities, smoke machines, a full symphony orchestra etc. (I may be mistaken about some of that list). It was at this point that I went off to finally spend my money. After a lot of discussion on the pros and cons of some top level sights (Shibuya vs Sure-Loc) my money and I went our separate ways. By this time the hoardes waiting to get into the finals hall had swelled beyond imagination - and there was still almost an hour before they started. I was too tired to wait, so I went back to my hotel, got a large gin and tonic and lay on my bed to watch it live on YouTube on my iPad.

Overall I am immensly glad that I went. Being able to cheer on WAC members, being able to watch some of the world's top archers from a few feet away, being able to try out some neat archery products (and decide I didn't like them) all were great.

But perhaps the best thing was seeing how many different ways there are of shooting well. Watching Kim Yu Mi (winner of the Women's Recurve) I was amazed to see her bow was at least 15º from the vertical and she wore something like a golf glove on her bow hand. One of the Frenchmen in the Recurve final held his bow so that his middle finger was higher than his index finger. One of the German recurve semi-finalists has side-rods that pointed straight down vertically!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 11:19

Sunburn League

Many club members have said that they wished that there was an equivalent of the Frostbite League that runs over the summer months.

Well we are delighted to say that we will be running such a league every month between May and September and which we are calling The Sunburn League.

Unlike most other tournaments the Sunburn League will be based on the handicap system. This means that all members regardless of bow type, gender, age or experience can compete against each other on equal terms. What’s more these tournaments will also allow members to achieve classifications up to Bowmen and maintain or improve their handicaps too.

How Does It Work?

Each month we will run three separate ‘leagues’ each shooting at the same time and shooting a variation of the National round so as to be suitable for all members. The various National rounds all consist of 6 dozen arrows of which 4 dozen are shot at the longer distance and 2 dozen at the shorter. The Leagues will be as follows:

League 1: Long National (80 & 60 yards)
League 2: National (60 & 50 yards)
League 3: Junior National (40 & 30 yards)

Anyone can shoot in any league at any time you don’t have to stick to the same League throughout the summer. You also don’t have to shoot in every round as only your top 3 highest scores will count towards determining an overall Grand Winner at the end of the outdoor season. Please note that all Senior members can shoot in League 3 even though it’s a ‘Junior’ round and your scores will count towards both your handicap and the tournament. However please note this round will only allow Senior Ladies the chance to achieve 3rd Class classification. Juniors can shoot and achieve handicap and classifications in all leagues.

For those who are unfamiliar with the handicap system it works like this.  Each time you shoot a round in accordance with the Rules of Shooting you can submit your scoresheet to our records officer and when you have submitted three scores the records officer can then calculate what your handicap is. Each round also has a handicap allowance associated with it and the combination of the archers handicap and the rounds allowance determines how many points are added to your score producing what is known as the Adjusted Score. For example here we have 4 archers, two (A & C) with a handicap of 50 and two (B & D) with a handicap of 30. On paper archers B & D are the better archers and so in a standard tournament based purely on the highest score shot, should beat archers A & C. The table below shows how the handicap system alters the scores.

Archer Handicap League
Allowance Adjusted
A 50 National 420 1004 1424
B 30 National 570 845 1415
C 50 Long National 260 1110 1370
D 30 Long National 430 887 1317

As you can see in the National, archer B shot a higher score but their handicap was lower meaning their allowance was less and so Archer A won. So if you are a beginner and shoot a score as high or better than your handicap predicts you should, you could beat an archer who is more experienced but perhaps doesn’t shoot as well as their handicap predicts that they should.


 We will be awarding medals and trophies for each round, high scores, league winners, most improved handicap and Grand Winner which are detailed below.

•    Every round will have 3 winners, 1 per league with the winner being determined by the highest adjusted score and who each receive a medal.

After all 5 rounds have been shot the following awards will be given out.

•    A medal will be awarded to the archer who achieves the greatest improvement to their handicap.

•    A medal will be awarded in all three leagues to the archers who achieve the highest single round score.

•    A League Winner for each of the three leagues will be determined by the highest combined score in a single league and each winner will receive a trophy.

•    Finally everyone’s 3 highest scores across all leagues will be totaled together and the person with the highest overall score will be crowned our Grand Winner and receive a trophy.


The dates for each round will be as follows:

Round 1         Sunday 18th May              Assembly 09:30am Shoot 10:00am
Round 2         Sunday 22nd June            Assembly 09:30am Shoot 10:00am
Round 3         Sunday 20th July               Assembly 09:30am Shoot 10:00am
Round 4         Sunday 17th August          Assembly 09:30am Shoot 10:00am
Round 5         Sunday 21st September    Assembly 09:30am Shoot 10:00am

Any member that doesn’t yet have an outdoor handicap, please check our Club Records page (you need to be logged in to see it), we will be holding a ‘practice’ round after the Maintenance Day on April 6th. Your scores from this will then be added towards your handicap. If you require more than one outdoor score we will look at holding other practice rounds on subsequent weekends in April depending on demand and availability. Alternatively a temporary handicap can be worked out from the score of your first two dozen arrows from either a practice day or the first round of the tournament you shoot in.

If you have any questions please contact Oliver Johnson (Treasurer) or Frank Hollis (Records Officer) and Lloyd Mitchell who have kindly agreed to help run it.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:59

First April Beginners Course

April 12th & 13th saw the first of our beginners courses this year and what great weather we had.

We would like to thank everyone who not only gave up their time to help set-up the bosses and run the course, everyone who so kindly made cakes but also to everyone who made all our guests feel so welcome. We received nothing but compliments from everyone who attended the course and we are delighted to say that many have now joined our club.

This course was also the first course where we used our new Training Bows which we bought earlier in the year to replace the much used and very worn bows we used to have. The new bows went down a storm with our guests and it wasn't long before many of them were getting very nice groups and scores.

Photos from the weekend can be viewed below.

Our next beginners course is in just a weeks time and is already full and we also have a large waiting list for yet another course which we hope to run very soon. If you are interested in taking up archery we strongly suggest putting your name on the waiting list as soon as possible as places are filling up very rapidly. Please contact our secretary to register your interest.

Thursday, 09 February 2017 12:50

Your First Tournament

Whether you are competitive or just shoot for pleasure, shooting in a tournament is a great experience and can be a lot of fun, but it can seem a daunting prospect at first. This guide to what to expect at your first tournament will hopefully help to dispell any fears you may have. The vast majority of tournaments are pretty relaxed events where beginners are very welcome. The only tournaments that are a little bit more formal are ones that have UK or World Record Status and even in these tournaments you will find a mix of elite, intermediate and beginners. All are welcome.

Why Should You Do It?

Firstly it’s good fun.  You get to meet other archers and see different styles & equipment.  There are always beginners at comps so you will not be the only one there.  You can get a score which can count towards your classification and handicap and then try to improve on it the next time – so it is a great way to see your progress.

Where/When Should You Go?

Our calendar has dates of lots of local and national tournaments and we often email about local tournaments. Arundown runs several annual tournaments and they are only a few miles away in Angmering.  We also hold friendly tournaments within the club.

Arrive at least 30 mins early so you have time to set up your bow.

Who Should You Go With?

It is almost always more fun to go with other members of the club – if you are entering a tournament put a message on the forum so other likeminded archers can go with you.  You could even share lifts to keep the costs down.

What Do You Need To Take?

Some places are more relaxed than others, but there are a few rules and helpful tips.  You can check out the full dress code rules here – but mainly you can’t wear blue denim, olive drab or camouflage clothes or ripped clothes and they shouldn’t have slogans on them.

  • You must bring your Archery GB card (or receipt) to show you have paid your membership.
  • Most venues have a snack stall but it’s always a good idea to take food & drink.
  • A pen to write your scores with!
  • If it’s outdoor, then often a chair and maybe an umbrella or suncream!
  • Your bow & arrows etc and spare equipment in case of damage.

What Happens On The Day?

field layoutOn arrival you must register with the organiser who will then tell you which boss you are on. You should then locate that boss and set-up your bow.

You will notice that often there will be three lines on the ground. The first line is the Shooting Line. You may only be on this line when it is your turn to shoot. The second line is the Waiting Line. All archers when not on the shooting line must wait behind this line. No equipment other than the equipment you are shooting with can be placed in front of the waiting line. The third line is the Equipment line. All other equipment, bags, cases, coats etc must be stored behind this line.

After you have set up and before the tournament starts there will be an Assembly where the judges will tell you the rules and explain the order of events.

When the tournament starts there will be one whistle to announce that archers may approach the shooting line. This will be followed shortly by a second whistle to announce that you can start shooting. When everyone has shot (or after 2 minutes if it is a timed round) there will be three whistles to denote that you can score and collect arrows.


All arrows must be scored before any arrow is pulled. Do not touch the arrows but instead point to them when calling the scores. Always start at the highest score and work your way out calling them in sets of 3 e.g. “9,7,7” and then “7,5,5”. If the tournament has Record Status or if the judges have told you to do so, mark the arrows on the target face with two short lines either side of the shaft and then pull them out. This is so that if an arrow bounces out the judges can tell where it hit by finding the unmarked hole. If you make a mistake when scoring, simply raise your arm and a judge will come over and make the correction. Do not make the correction yourself.

Shooting In Details

Often there will be so many archers in a tournament that you will need to shoot in details. Typically there would be 4 archers on a boss. Detail A would be archers 1 & 2 and Detail B would be archers 3 & 4. On the first end Detail A would shoot first followed by Detail B and then both details score and collect. On the next end Detail B would shoot first followed by Detail A and so on. Swapping the shooting order means that everyone gets the chance to shoot at a clean target face.

Rebounding Arrows & Hangers

If you shoot an arrow and it bounces out of the boss you should continue to shoot your remaining arrows. Then take two steps back and raise your bow above your head to signal the judge who will then tell you what to do. If you or anyone else on your boss shoot an arrow that then falls so that it is hanging in the target face all archers must stop shooting immediately and raise your hand to signal the judge who will then tell you what to do.

Sunday, 27 April 2014 23:13

Second April Beginner Course

The weekend of the 26th and 27th April saw our second Beginners Course of the year and the second this month.

Once again we welcomed many eager beginners all looking to see what our sport has to offer. Whilst the weather forecast had threatened all week we were very fortunate that we only suffered one short downpour on the first day and enjoyed sunshine the rest of the time.

As ever we would like to thank everyone who gave up their weekend to help run the course and who made our guests so welcome and offered them guidance and advice. Like at the first beginners course our new bows were a great success and everyone ended up getting high scores and very nice groups. Many congratulations to all who took part, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did and look forward to seeing you again at our club in the near future.

We have been inundated this year from people interested in taking a beginners course so much so that even after running 2 course this month we already have over 20 people on our waiting list for another one. We do not yet have a date set for our next beginners course but we hope to be able to run one very shortly. If you are interested in joining our beginners course please contact the club secretary ASAP as places are filling up rapidly.

Photos from the weekend can be viewed below.

Friday, 02 May 2014 00:29

Our Club Is Growing

In April we ran two beginners courses and as a direct result we are delighted to welcome over 20 new members!

We would like to thank again everyone who gave up their free time to not only make everyone so welcome but who also made the courses so enjoyable for all.

You will all no doubt get to meet our new members over the coming weeks so if you see a new face at the field, please do go over and introduce yourselves and make them feel welcome and if they need any help setting up a boss it would be great if you could give them a hand. I'm sure they will return the favour.

The feedback we have received from the courses has been universally positive and we like to share some of the comments with you all.

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