Mere Archers' shoot at Compton Pauncefoot delivered stunning weather to compliment a splendid Gerald Farrell course. After flogging through weeks of howling gales and rain, the good weather was back and Ballands GNAS members were out in force. Jane, Andrew and Louise represented the Rees family, together with Jennie, Colin and Huw V-J, Caroline, Sonya, Chris, Mel and Evie, plus Robyn and Pauline on their first FITA Field shoot. However, we missed Lizzy (in Barcelona) and Penny, who was due to shoot her first FITA Field in many years, but instead spent the weekend on the sofa nursing a broken ankle; we wish her well!
The splendid setting boasted honey coloured Hamstone buildings, an exquisite medieval church, a lake, an orchard and flower meadows teeming with Meadow Brown and Marbled White butterflies. Only the noise from the A303 encroached on a true rural idyll.
An apparently simple unmarked course on Saturday morphed into a tricky marked course on Sunday. Many expectations of colossal scores were cut down to size as heat and added distance complicated targets which had seemed simple the day before. Fevered brows were soothed by constant supplies of tea, coffee, soft drinks, food and ices supplied by our hosts, with profits going to the local church, which repaid the favour by allowing Gerald to put target 16 in the graveyard. Gary Cole and Greg Hill were probably not the only archers to be disconcerted by scoring 666 on hallowed ground.
Wins and placings for Ballands archers were abundant, with Evie shooting British Record scores from the junior peg on both days, and Huw (292) and Andrew (344) shooting personal bests on the unmarked round.