We are AWESOME – Noak Hill conquered!

The summer season is barely a couple of weeks old but Rayleigh Juniors (and Seniors, including our favourite judge, and not forgetting coaches and parents!) are making their mark on it with some style1

On Saturday 6th June, a rowdy band of Red Ants travelled west to Noak Hill for the annual Essex County Junior Championships, contesting the various Bristol rounds in both recurve and compound categories and practically filling the line with our new shirts!


The Red Ants put on their game faces…

Full results to follow soon, but as evidenced by the trophy in the photo, we brought home the bling! Everyone was impressed by our achievements, turnout and demeanour – well done to all the Juniors, parents and coaches for a great day of archery.

On Sunday 7th, the seniors pitched up to contest their own annual championships. Paul and Tim took to the line in the gent’s recurve York, Chris Clayton in compound York, Marie M in ladies bare bow Western (the only entrant!) and Carmella – our Visually Impaired (VI) champion – in the ladies recurve.

Again, full results will follow but as with the juniors the day before, we acquitted ourselves admirably: Paul hammered home Bronze medal in the Gent’s Recurve, Marie won her category and Carmella also medalled (* sorry, can’t recall the result but will fix when they are released!).

All in all a fantastic weekend of fair weather (if a little blowy up there on the hill) and wonderful results for the club!


Rayleigh Rock ‘The Worcester’

Braintree's New Gaff


On a cold, sleety February morning nothing warms the toes more than some serious competition amongst good friends – except maybe underfloor heating…!

So it was that a few of the RTAC massive ventured Braintree-ward to take part in their 2015 Worcester shoot.

As always, the Bowmen made everyone very welcome with warm smiles and limitless free tea and biscuits – their new ‘home’, the light, bright sports hall of a large school was fantastic: evenly lit and spacious, archers had plenty of room to spread out and relax.

Three sessions today: Tim shooting all three to be joined later by Phil R, Paul W, Lauren B and, on her debut appearance in club colours, Lilly in Session B and finally, in Session C by two more juniors Joshua and Mia, along with the Birdsall Boys: young Sam and dad Zep. Quite a team!

Tim shot well enough in the first session to claim 1st place – holding it together for a very welcome cup of tea and bourbon biscuit at the end. The session had passed quickly – plenty of time to relax before Session B: some good chat with super-organiser Paul Ramos and his working party while the next contingent of shooters slowly gathered.

Paul, Phil, Lauren and Lilly took up position as Session B began. Although Tim was tiring, Lilly soon got the hang of this most esoteric of indoor rounds – a couple of misses aside she shot very well indeed – and more importantly thoroughly enjoyed herself! Lauren was a little disappointed with her final score, but Paul was always going to hit his PB! and Phil also shot well after making serious changes to form. Our host Paul Ramos was trialling his brand new toy: a lovely silver Hoy Prodigy setup which, despite being only a couple of days old helped him secure 1st place for gents recurve in this session – well done lad!

Team RTAC also won medals in this session: Lauren taking gold for Ladies U16, Mia taking gold and Lilly, on her debut don’t forget, taking home a bronze medal! Wonderful stuff.

There was more to come in the last Session: Josh arrived with his dad, as did Sam who both shot superb scores (Josh, again, in his debut competition). Phil and Paul carried on along with Tim (very tired now!) and Zep who suffered a little but still enjoyed the day.

In the end, RTAC made a huge impression on the scoresheet: loads of golds for both session and overall, a clutch of silvers including Team Medal and a bunch of bronzes.

Well done to everyone for making the trip and performing so well. It was, as always, a fantastic event – brilliantly organised by Paul and his crew. I think we’re already looking forwards to next years!

Full results available here: Braintree Worcester 2015 Final Result

PS: we’ve got to start getting photos of the team at these events!


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?

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.


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.



Racketts 2014 Portsmouth

RTAC made an impressive turnout at last weekend’s Portsmouth competition hosted by Racketts Archery Club (the unofficial ‘official’ start to the Essex indoor calendar)

Over 20 of our archers took up position against big teams from around the county and beyond. A new hall, good lighting, actually WARM for once and a great atmosphere amongst all the clubs.

In the early session Mia C was shooting well on Target 1, next to me on T3 and Charlie D on T4, with Chris Clayton at the other side of the room alongside Paul West – making his competition comeback (so we can forgive his ‘walking off the line’ faux pas, even if Debbie won’t!). The opposition comprised almost entirely of Raydon Hall, Braintree Bowmen and West Essex: serious stuff.

The midday stint saw fantastic Carmel set up her shooting stand flanked by newcomers Zep and son Sam in their first competition. While Sam coolly assessed the field of play, Zep admitted to some anxiousness – not helped by my complete brain-freeze when asked to explain the line position markers: I still can’t work them out.

Further down the line we had Grace, Helena, Masters D and J Ashenden, Jason and Ali B, topped off by Lenni on T16. Not much room for anyone else, but the teams of Ardleigh, Darentford, Fox and Abbey, along with Noak Hill again fielded some strong shooters.

Finally in the afternoon session, Mr and Mrs Martin pitched in, backed up by father and son archery super team Phil and Alex R amid the throng from Pilgrim, the Suffolk contingent Blue Arrows and formidable Grays.

With the results now published, its clear that we had some awesome performances across all three stints: multiple gold and silver session medals along with overall silver for club team and at least 3 PBs…Ian and Carol narrowly missed out on 3rd place for married couple, too!

Special mentions to the Birdsalls and Mia C for their first competition and some great scores – well done!