The 2014 Scottish 50/50 Championships were held on the 19th and 20th April in Parton, near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway. As always, they were hosted by Auld Kirk Bowmen. What was unusual was that this year would be the last year of the competition.
I’ve only been shooting the Scottish Championships since 2009 but they’ve been going a lot longer. I always look forward to the Easter weekend and the time we spend up in Scotland. Not only for the archery, but also for the time away from home and the relaxing atmosphere in Scotland. There will still be a one day shoot at Auld Kirk on the Easter Sunday but I don’t think Easter will be the same without the full Scottish Champs.
This being the last Scottish Champs, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Talking with some of the other archers before the shoot started on Saturday there were a few theories as to what to expect for the coming two days. My favourite was that the devious little Scotsman would put out all the shots that he wouldn’t dare to put out in the past years, as this was the last one it didn’t matter if he pissed everyone off.
As it turned out, it wasn’t that bad. It turned out to be another pair or fantastic courses. The only slight difference this year was that rather than have one course of 3Ds and one of paper faces, both courses had a mix of both. In my opinion, this made the shooting more difficult. If you know you’re going to be shooting a course of all paper, your mind and focus adjusts to this. On a mixed course, you never quite settle in to a rhythm.
At the end of the first days shooting, I was disappointed with my score. I felt I should’ve done better that the 506 on my scorecard but given that amount of practice I’d put in prior to the competition the score was probably a fair reflection.
On Saturday evening a photographer joined us at our coach house to take some photos of the club practicing. I never realised just how much hard work it was holding my bow at full drawer for so long. Might be time to reduce the poundage a little bit more.
On Sunday morning I bumped in to a few of my competitors and we were discussing the previous days shooting and how we’d all done. It turns out that everyone had found the course difficult and struggled to put in really good scores. It was looking like my score was good enough to have me in second place at the start of the day.
Sunday was a little bit cooler than Saturday, which suited me well. I got off to a good start but had a shaky spell in the middle of the day. Overall I felt I’d shot pretty well despite a couple of brain farts, one of which involved missing a target the size of a rhino! When I got my score at the end of the day I was somewhat surprised. I scored exactly the same as the previous day, which was about fifty points less than I thought I’d scored. Understandably I was a little disappointed.
As it turned out, my performance over the two days was good enough to get me third place. I was over the moon. This was my first top three placing at a national competition! I was that stoked to be up there in third I didn’t realise I’d only been beaten into third by two points until the full results were published.
So, onwards and upwards. Third place is a good start to the year but with two more national competitions this year and a European competition in June I’m hoping for more. I just need to put in the practice time and see what I’m really capable of!