On Saturday 22nd February 2020, Kent hosted a 4 Way Inter County Competition at Sittingbourne Community College. Archers from Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Essex congregated to undertake a Portsmouth Round, each County fielding a team of 4 archers in each of the bow styles Compound, Recurve, Barebow and Longbow.
Due to clashes with other Archery commitments the Sussex team was missing several of their regular members which meant that there were several new faces on the team. Having been encouraged by their Worthing Club mates to submit their Competition scores to the County Rankings officer, it was with much surprise and trepidation that Jen Diplock and Nicky McDowell accepted their invitations to join the County Team. Together with seasoned County team Pro Gavin Sutherland, Worthing Archery Club was well represented.
At the midway point, the Recurve quartet were placed 4th and the Compounders were placed 2nd, Gavin having obtained the highest individual compound score. The Sussex Longbow archers were 3rd with an individual 2nd place and the Barebow team 4th also with an individual 2nd place, meaning that the whole Sussex team finished in 3rd place overall.
Shooting alongside so many accomplished archers was quite awe inspiring, and maybe a little daunting, which despite their best efforts may have slightly affected Jen and Nicky on their debut performance, but as Jen said afterwards 'I met lots of nice people, got some good advice, and got a nice new Archery Shirt!'
Most of our members will know by now but we are delighted to confirm that our own Gavin Sutherland will be shooting in the Olympic Games in Rio 2016!
Gavin will be shooting for his home country of Zimbabwe and is their first Olympic archer since Wrex Tarr at the 1988 Seoul games in South Korea. Gavin has trained incredibly hard to get to the Olympics and finally won his much deserved spot at the Federation of African Archery (FAA) Championships held in Windhoek, Namibia in January this year. On being selected for the Zimbabwe Olympic team Gavin said, in an interview with NewsDay Sport “I am so super excited as I have been trying my best to get Zimbabwean archery going again and on the world map. I am 100% over the moon and I just want to hold my flag high at the Olympics,”. I'm sure everyone at Worthing Archery Club shares in Gavin's excitement and we are all very proud of what he has achieved, it really couldn't have happened to a nicer or more deserving person.
Gavin will be joined in Rio by Worthing Archery Club and committee member, Gary Kinghorn who is Gavin's coach. Gary is no stranger to the international stage himself being a former World Champion and represented Great Britain.
Bryony Pitman so nearly became our second club member going to the Olympic Games narrowly missing out on a spot for the British Team and is currently the first reserve. Bryony has had an amazing season this year and we are all certain that she will feature in future Olympic games and we wish her every success.
We don't know at the moment which of the archery rounds will be televised at the Rio Olympics. What we do know is that Gavin will first be shooting in the ranking round on Friday 5th August at 1pm. After that the first competition round will be in the first 64 which takes place on Monday 8th August starting at 3:36pm. Once/if we know more accurate time information we will post it in our forum.
Shoot strong Gavin!
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.
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!
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?
My goals for the rest of the season are to see and help my club mates achieve their goals and passion for archery and to see our club grow. On a personal level I am aiming to be in the top 5 of the National Indoor Championships & Back 2 Back shoot off's. For the Indoor European Championships 2014 I want to make the cut off for the shoot off.