A Cool American…


A few RTAC archers enjoyed an ace afternoon at Raydon Hall’s Indoor American shoot, brilliantly organised by Richard Pilkington and his team at the Wix Equestrian Center.

Shooting at 60, 50 and 40yds on 122cm target faces, we had to be careful with sightmarks: not only was the ceiling a potential hazard for the lower poundages, behind the backstops nets were a couple of 8x4ft mirrors just waiting for errant arrows to miss the targets, get through the nets and a protective panel of wood. Indeed, one compounder managed to get the point of one of his arrows within a hairs breadth of them…!

The arena was COLD! It was truly warmer outside than in, and the small adjoining cafe a welcome respite with its lovely food and hot tea.

Chris Clayton and Tim were supposed to be shooting in the morning but car trouble prevented Tim from making the early start. Chris, however, managed to bag a third-place medal (despite shooting ‘too many sevens!’).

With fresh wheels, Tim was there for the afternoon, along with the Rowberry Boys Alex and Phil.

Alex was shooting above his age group at the 60yd max distance and ended with a total score of 583 with dad Phil battling a cold to score a great 649 (especially after making some major form changes only yesterday)!

Men’s recurve was won by (who other?) Michael Judd with an awesome 802 out of max 810! Congrats also to our pal Paul Ramos with his third place behind another AGB international Brad Denning.

All in all a great shoot: highly recommended for next year – although I might be wearing at least one extra layer!

Brrr! Frostbite 2015!

Ten hardy individuals braved the weather to attend the first outdoor shoot of the year at Runwell for the annual Frostbite

Donning warm and wet weather gear the brave hearts began the 3 dozen arrow at 30m shoot at 11.00.

Among the 10 was only one junior, Lyndsey Hall. Full marks to her as she had not shot this far before.

Scores as follows:

Andy Reeves (rec): 305

Ian Bushell (rec): 291

Paul West (rec): 288

Graeme Ross (comp): 281

Geri Reeves (rec): 252

Brian Henning (rec): 251

Phil Lees (rec): 237

Lyndsey Hall (rec): 70


New Records!

Club Records Officer Andy R has pulled together all the scores from 2014 so far and compiled a new set of Club Records!

Find the list and details over on the Club Records page.

After a fantastic summer of shooting at Runwell and further afield, many of the long standing records were smashed. For example:

Marie M broke the Ladies Metric III *Barebow with a great 522

Joshua B, Charlie D and Alex R, too, bested a bunch of indoor and outdoor rounds!

In the Gents U16 category, Jason T‘s name appears against all the records! Well done Jason!

Lauren B and Alison B made their marks on many of the outdoor rounds in the Ladies U14  (Lauren was particularly successful in 2014!)

Great to see Grace T claiming Bristol IV, and Helena M beside both the Junior Western  and WA18 Triple records.

Lenni C also claims a load of records in Ladies U18 compound after a very successful outdoor season.

Of the adults, Iain M dusted off his longbow to claim a new scalp in the Short Warwick back in April, and stuck with his recurve to take the Long Metric I later in June!

Phil R got his name beside the Metric I while Jackie H topped the National, Hereford, Albion, WA1440 and Western – wow!

So all in all a fabulous year for record-breaking. Well done to everyone on the list – I wonder how long those records will stand?

Josh tries Field and 3D


RTAC member Josh B recently ventured to the wilds of Galleywood and Braintree to try out a bit of Field and 3D archery.

Dad Lance reports:

Josh first took part in Panther Bowhunters’ Record Status FITA24 in October, and although didn’t place in the results thoroughly enjoyed the days shoot in the woods.




Braintree Bowmen’s 3D Animal Shoot was next – 22 targets in and around the woods but this time the targets were models animals rather than paper targets…the day was spent shooting deer, boars, turkeys, rabbits, a lion, an alligator, lynx, an owl perched in a tree and a large bear. Just to add to the interest, all the distances were un-marked, leading us to try and guess sightmarks.




Despite the  chilly start and the muddy conditions it was an excellent day, topped off by Josh getting silver in the under 16 section.


We would recommend all members trying a field shoot, especially a 3D one. Each target is different and having to stand on logs or lean around trees certainly adds some spice to each shot.



Well done Josh – looks like they were cracking shoots!

RTAC has some very keen Field/3D shooters – some venturing onto the continent to shoot those extreme angles and environments! Get in touch with the coaching team if you fancy trying it out!

Sam the man!


Young Sam B is quickly making a big name for himself by shooting huge scores after only a few months in the sport.

Keenly supported by Dad Zep (also a capable shooter), his mum and younger brother, Sam recently competed in the National Barebow Championships (a special tournament which takes place nationally but is shot in various locations around the country – in Essex, this was with Malgrave).

Shooting a WA 18 round (60 shots at 18m on a 40cm face), Sam shot 341 points – a marvellous score – which secured second place in his category at the local competition, and a brilliant 9th in the overall national competition (according to the provisional results).

Congratulations to Sam and support team for this fabulous achievement, so early in his archery ‘career’: we’re looking forward to many more!

More info and results on Archery GB.


In Foreign Fields….

Our intrepid members Andy and Geri Reeves are no strangers to the wilds of European Field Archery tournaments, having competed on the continent for a number of years.

Geri sent us news from their previous campaign in the annual 5 Nations Field Archery competition – and they were out there again in 2014, shooting better than ever and having just as much fun:

These are 2 day competitions, with 24 targets each day, 12 marked distances and 12 unmarked distances on 20cm, 40cm, 60cm and 80 cm faces. Distances from 10m to 60m. You earn points at each competition which accrue over the series.


They are very friendly and relaxed with archers coming not only from the 5 Nations countries but also from America, Finland and Italy.


Steep target at Holland 2014

Steep target at Holland 2014


The courses are tough: steep up and down hill, shooting through tunnels or over the edge of a roof, but we really feel an achievement at shooting them. It is great fun and we have made many friends along the way.


Belgium was technically laid out for professional compounds – I found it a difficult course: two targets in particular. One where I had to stand knee deep in a hole to avoid hitting an overhanging tree, and another where the target was directly above you (as in popinjay archery) – I am too short to get the angle! Andy tripped in the undergrowth, tumbled down a ways and broke 3 arrows.  Ouch!  I was the only Veteran lady there, but unfortunately no prize as there needs to be at least 3 competitors in each category. The pleasure is in shooting in and around a First World War fort, brilliant!

Geri and Andy at Vertus

Geri and Andy at Vertus

Vertus is the easiest course of all, with fantastic views as you are shooting around an ancient mount and monastery site: the champagne fields go on forever. It’s the only venue where you have Champagne instead of tea half way round!


Targets can be 40m uphill on a rock face (fearsome!) or in the champagne field amongst the grapes, It is really spectacular. I come 3rd  in my class of Veteran recurve. (Hic!)



Trier sadly I missed due to Leyton Orient making the playoff final at Wembley, this is usually my favourite and we are determined not to miss it in 2015.  Obviously it’s the German beer on tap that keeps us going. Usually quite challenging and wet! If we haven’t slipped down and gotten muddy we are disappointed.


Cadier en Keer is shot in an ancient quarry, which is physically the most demanding. I lost an arrow here, which a kind Belgium archer retrieved and gave to me at the next round in Esch. There is no veteran class at Cadier, so shot in the Ladies Recurve class and came 8th.  We met 2 other English archers from Malgrave, the same gentlemen that introduced us to the European 5 Nations some years ago.


Esch is the final competition, shot in and around hilly woods which surround their clubhouse. It is quite challenging, up and down hill, this is where the final results are worked out, and prizes given out. Having missed one competition, I finished 3rd overall across all 5 competitions, not bad for an old gal!.

Esch 2014

Our wish is that more archers from Britain compete: despite the expense such as travel, accommodation, food  it they are very special events: in terms of sport and the social atmosphere. You don’t have to enter all 5,  just one will get you hooked – we can’t wait for next year!


Have a look at the European 5 Nations Website for more information.


Junior Rankings 2014!

Congratulations to the RTAC Juniors on their placings in the 2014 Junior Rankings!

The Girlz:
Lauren B = 14th Recurve
Alison B = 55th
Helena M = 59th
Grace T = 73rd

Lenni C = 19th Compound

The Boyz:
Charlie D = 46th Recurve
Ryan H = 64th
Daniel A = 67th
James C = 68th
James A = 72nd
Ben G = 77th
George N = 78th
Zach W = 80th

Jason T = 13th Compound
Alex R = 19th

Here’s looking forward to an even better 2015!

Full details here: http://www.archerygb.org/news/5911.php#.VFzOq76I3Qd

RTAC at Braintree’s Portsmouth

Rayleigh Town fielded a small group of archers at the 2014 Braintree Bowmen Portsmouth, taking place on 2nd November: and everyone came away with a medal!

I was joined by Charlie D in the morning session, Charlie shooting for a new PB which he narrowly missed out on but finished with a decent 495 and a gold medal for his category! Well done sir! I shot my way to a session gold too, with a score of 583, but was booked for the entire day – two more sessions to go!

Rowberrys Phil and Alex arrived to shoot in Sessions B and C, with Alex quickly staking his claim on category gold – another well done to Alex who scored 554 in the second stint for a new PB. Phil was shooting with new form and suffered slightly in the first session but he quickly recovered in the final round with an excellent 526.

Finally, Alex, Phil and I were joined in the last session by the amazing newcomers Zep and son Sam. Zep shot a marvellous 541 to finish 17th overall while young Sam outdid not only those in his category (under 12 Barebow) but also most of the adults too, scoring an incredible 453 points to earn gold and claim a new County record! Brilliant stuff, Sam!

Here’s Sam getting in the zone:

There were other awards on offer, too: Alex and Phil claimed silver in the Family category while together Phil, Zep, Charlie and I were narrowly pipped to bronze in the team event by Braintree themselves – its only fair: they put on a great competition (well done you lot)!

Full results available here

Braintree are staging a Worcester competition in February 2014 at their new ‘indoor home’: not to be missed! More information on their website, or contact Phil R for more details.



Summer Weekend Roundup 6/7 September

Our archers were in action at home and away this weekend, one of the last in the summer outdoor season.

The weather was pretty kind to us: mild and overcast on Saturday with sunny spells and late-summer warmth on Sunday. Perfect weather for some great shooting.

A few of our juniors were called up for County duty at the annual SCAS Intercounty tournament taking place down in Kingston on Sunday – both Alex R and Jason T making their debuts in the junior compound team and Lauren B a firm fixture in the junior girls recurve. And what a contribution they (along with club ‘favourite friends’ Rebecca Griffin) all made! Both compound and recurve teams taking gold! Marvellous stuff and a great way to cap a superb outdoor season this year – congratulations to all.

Lauren, Alex and Jason in the Essex team lineup for the SCAS Intercounty

Meanwhile, the club Chairman’s Cup (incorporating the famed Roast Dinner Shoot this year) was in full swing over at Runwell on Sunday. Some excellent performances put in for all categories.

There was another mighty gents compound ding-dong between Vic and George in the Long National with George edging to victory by 2 points!

Gents recurve saw Team Captain Ian assert dominance over teammates Grant and Jim with a fine score of 533 but novice Zep Birdsall scored an excellent 562 in the Junior National to win the Gents novice trophy: well done Zep!

Jacqui Hanan would have challenged Ian over the Long National with a fabulous score of 510 and winning the Ladies Trophy – well done Jacqui (again!)

Some great shooting in the boys sections with Charlie D and Daniel fighting it out for Gold, Charlie just edging with 535 to Daniel’s 520.

Alison B beat Mia in the girls’ recurve category, but not by much, to take the Gold, but Mia shot the day’s Best Gold in recurve to claim her prize (when it gets returned by Tim….!)

Graeme Ross slammed in the best compound gold and Sam B won the same for bare bow.

Brian Henning didn’t go home empty handed, though, claiming the day’s Worst White.

Well done to everyone for taking part!

Lastly, up at the fantastic shooting field of Meriden Archers, Tim was competing in the big Double FITA Star Weekend: two WA 1440 rounds on two consecutive days.

Saturday started very well with 301/360 on the 90m distance, followed by 306/360 at 70m put him in second place at the lunchtime break. As the last two distances (50m and 30m) closed, he was chasing his second GMB score (1259 the requirement): as a direct consequence of score-watching, he missed out by 3 points with a final score of 1256!

Sunday started in strong, low sunlight shining directly into the eyes – everyone having trouble seeing the targets which were in deep shade below the trees. Most archers reported lower scores at the longer metric and Tim’s chances of reaching that elusive second GMB were somewhat dashed by scoring only 272/360 at 90m. 70m improved with a new PB of 313/360, as did both 50m with 320/360 and 30m with 342/360 – not enough, however, with an overall score of 1247. Still, a wonderful weekend in great company at a beautiful spot.

There are only a few more outdoor shoots available now so thoughts are turning to the upcoming indoor season. It would be great to see you joining the competing archers at the local events such as Racketts (Portsmouth, 20yds), Mayflower (WA 18m) etc. They are great fun, regardless of ability – if you can reach 20yds you can enjoy friendly competition, a little bit of drama perhaps but lots of fun and laughter too.  Most of the local shoots are publicised on the county website (http://www.ecaa.org) but Competitions and Events Manager Phil Rowberry can give you more info.