October 3rd saw the Essex and Open Field Championships for this year, at its regular venue of Panthers Ground in Galleywood.
With some 92 archers scheduled to arrive it promised to be a great day. Sadly it appears that the weather the previous day might have put some people off, especially with the memory of the appalling weather two years ago, and so we had a number of people not show up on the day. It was however, their loss, as the shoot was brilliant this year!
After having introduced our Lady Paramount Jane Clark the seventy-odd archers who did come were distributed around the field course and shooting started well, albeit a little later than planned.
I have the good fortune not only to act as organiser of this event but also to shoot it, so after having sent the groups out to the course, I gathered up my gear and went to catch up with my group to shoot for the day. My group comprised Steve Glass from Malgrave and Sam Yeates from Mayflower, the fourth designated person sadly having had to withdraw the night before through ill health.
The shooting went especially smoothly, and perhaps because the course was not crowded there were very few bunchings or hold-ups. As a result, groups of archers started returning have shot the full 24 target course not long after 1.15pm
The weather held up, apart from a brief shower at about midday, which didn’t really affect the shooting at all. Archers had been provided with plastic bags to keep their scorecards dry and prevent them from becoming the papier mache they were two years ago, but in truth the rain was so slight this wasn’t necessary.
The course was challenging and used the Panther ground well and Rochford Archery were in attendance with their mobile shop.
Catering this year was provided by members of Mayflower and CTR and kept us well fed all day. In my case my second breakfast was extremely welcome, and the third breakfast came just before my lunch, so I did well!
Thanks must go to the team who made the shoot work; to the team who turned up on Saturday to lay the course with Robin, to Danielle, Carron and Jane for stepping into the breach at the last moment around catering, to Claire Stanford sorted out all the trophies before she went on a well-earned holiday, to Kath Miller who did the entries and the scores at the end of the shoot, and of course to our Judges Andrea Hammond, Tony Ikel, Robin Frost, Derrick Lovell and Dave Wallace, to Annette Salmons of Rochford Archery for sponsoring the shoot and of course to the archers, who made it all worthwhile.