Winter Knockout Championships 2023 Retrospective by Kit Tang

What a session.

Ok, my youngest daughter has passed her Beginners course and is now a member of Bowmen Of Harrow! She was very keen to join ASAP because last night was the first BoH ‘Winter Knockout Social’. 16 of us signed up in total.

The game rules were simple, random draw, knockout tournament. We were shooting 3 arrow ends at a 80cm spot from 15 yds, the first to hit it 3 times (cumulatively) goes through. 15 yds? 80cm spot (16cm)? That’s easy right? Well here’s the twist… a selection of club bows were put up to use ONLY. No personal bows (except for the two juniors). We were allowed to use our own arrows but that was it. This meant that on the whole arrows were all massively stiff… (because the draw weight is really low relatively, I used my 24# (ish?) Horsebow arrows.)

For my first match, I was against James Mooney, who is a Barebower. Now, I put the sight on the bow I was using and realised on the first end… I couldn’t see the sight pin with my right eye, as it was behind the riser! That’s… no good. No hits for either of us. Second end I wound it as far to the left as I could but found I STILL couldn’t see the pin. IIRC James hit 1, but I missed again. And I mean MISSED, I tried aiming with the left eye and wrestling with the bow (all 16# of it) meant I was ALL over the place with the left and right.

Before the third end, I took off that sight and went instinctive… straight away 2 hits to none… meaning we went into the fourth end 2-1 to me. Again I hit it twice (to none) so through I went. I might have some talent at instinctive lol.

Second round… I was up against Sylwia Radomska… uh oh. Now people who know her know she is a really good archer. REALLY good. Easily a top… 20 (?) lady in the country. (I think this past season she ranked 16th? I digress, this post is supposed to be about ME dammit). My youngest was saying ‘Dad is gonna get killed!’

Cheers kid.

Anyway I had my instinctive going so first shot was in the 10 ring. 2nd shot I didn’t take my time and it was a fraction too high and to the right. Literally a couple cm out. So I took my time with the 3rd shot, stared hard at the spot, used the Force (no visual aiming when you go instinctive) and BAM, high, but into the yellow. Sylwia then comes up and BAM, 3 in the 10. Of course. Check out the pic of my final end… crushed like a bug!

To make the final a bit trickier for Sylwia and Ali, we switched the 80cm ring to a 60cm one… In the end Sylwia won the whole thing and got a sweet 3D printed trophy (I should have taken more pics).

Afterward, we had another surprise, SANTA! Yes, our club is so amazing Santa himself showed up to officiate the Secret Santa exchange. A real shame our Social secretary’s Dad Kyriacos John Theodorou missed him. All in all the event took… almost 2 hours? It was a very light-hearted and fun event to close off 2023.

TLDR: last BoH social of the year was a blast! Thanks to our new Social Secretary (our first Junior Committee member!) for organising these fun events!