June 05, 2022

UK Masters 2022: challenges and triumphs!

Good old British summer weather - it was determined to challenge Jubilee celebrations and archery competitions. Archers carried on regardless and finished the event with some fantastic scores.

The two-day UK Masters held at Lilleshall, Shropshire commenced under difficult conditions: strong winds sent chairs flying, never mind arrows, while Sunday had a very soggy, cold start with heavy rain that eased, then returned. Waterproofs, woolly hats and puffer jackets were the order of the day.

Despite the conditions (including some rogue lacrosse balls that landed on the field of play from a neighbouring event), archers persevered across the bowstyles. The challenges only added to the sense of satisfaction when it was time to claim victory.

The UK Masters is a prestigious event for experienced archers who have achieved Master Bowman and Grand Master Bowman from 2021 and newly qualified by 29 May 2022. It attracts the UK's top 30 ranked recurve and compound archers, and top 10 longbow and barebow archers.

Saturday 4 June

Saturday kicked off with WRS 1440 rounds: Men 90, 70, 50, 30m and Women 70, 60, 50, 30m.

Recurve

Top scorers by the end of the first day were Ryan Pinder on 1232, and Yulia Larkins with 1231.

Yulia also won a handful of awards for shooting the highest scores for 60m (316/1) and 50m (307/1). She said: "I have a good bow and if I manage to keep the correct technique, and am stable enough, the arrow usually flies where it's supposed to. I've recently changed my draw technique so I'm still getting used to it, but it's working better for me. For the rest of the year, I'm looking forward to doing the National Tour stages - this year is all about building up my strength and technique.”

[caption id="attachment_32020" align="alignnone" width="225"] Yulia Larkins with her awards from Saturday's shoot at UK Masters 2022[/caption]

Yulia has reached heady heights in archery after only six years of shooting regularly.  She said: "Conscious practice is important - perfecting different aspects of your technique to make sure everything works well. I'm not sure how much of it is natural talent - it's more about being determined, training a lot, and not giving up. As a beginner I was the worst! I was just very persistent, focusing on improving my scores at 30m first, and taking it step by step. I love archery - it's just you and the bow and nothing else exists at that moment.”

Compound

The highest ranking man was Matthew Wong on 1308, and Layla Annison on 1361.

Barebow

Of the seven barebow entrants, Steve Fowler ranked highest on 992, while Sarah Hubbard had a score of 1015.

Longbow

Cliff Gadd, who happens to run a business as a longbow arrow maker, topped the leaderboard on 766 points, while Sheila Hudson, ranked highest with a total of 777. Despite the achievement, Sheila was unimpressed with her score, saying it was nowhere near her PB!

Sunday 5 June

Sunday saw WRS 70m and 50m; recurve and longbow 70m; and compound and barebow 50m, followed by head to head elimination matches.

Recurve

Ryan Holden took on Michael Judd in the head to heads, ending with success for Holden on 6-5. Ryan Pinder claimed third place with a 6-0 win over Cameron Donaldson. For the women, Yulia Larkins confidently shot her way to a 6-2 win over Hannah Burnage. Sophie Meering, Archery GB's Digital Marketing Editor, took third over Megan Costal, 6-0.

Compound

It was a very close finish between Mike Parvess and Callum Platt, with Platt just clinching the win 142-141. James Cornford took third place from Luke Frearson, with 140 (X). Meanwhile, Chloe A'Bear was victorious against Layla Annison, 141-137. Elizabeth Foster came third with 141 to Grace Chappell's 139.

Chloe said: "I am really pleased with how the weekend went, especially Day 2. It was challenging in the wind and rain, but I am happy with how I shot. Taking the win for Day 2 and placing third overall for the weekend was amazing, as it is the highest I have placed in a national senior competition.”

Barebow

The barebow men saw Steve Fowler take on Richard Heathcote, with Fowler winning 6-2. Antony Gedalovitch clinched third over Tony Fry, 6-0. For the women, Sarah Hubbard beat Helen Brown 6-0.

Longbow

It was a good day for the Twigg family. Husband and wife, Rob and Sophie, both won their categories. Rob Twigg beat Cliff Gadd 6-0, while Antony Aplin came in third against Martin Bale, 6-0.

For the women, Sophie Twigg and Sheila Hudson battled it out, ending on Sophie taking the match 7-3, while Sharon Lawrence took third place over Emma Martyn, 6-4.

[caption id="attachment_32021" align="alignnone" width="225"] Dressed for success: (L-R) Katrina Horton, Sheila Hudson, Sophie Twigg[/caption]

Sophie Twigg, and fellow longbow archers Sheila Hudson and Katrina Horton, shared their tips for battling difficult weather conditions. Sophie said: "You have to take into account that when feather fletchings get wet, you have to aim a little higher, and when it's windy, you have to carefully judge your aim as wooden arrows are affected by any breeze. You also have to be confident to quickly change the sight marker as necessary, and be ready to make other adjustments.”

Sheila added: "But we don't always get it right - when we collected our arrows earlier, there were no golds, no reds, one blue and just about everything else was in the ground - and that's from the top two women longbowers in the country! You might set up a good shot but you've no control on what the wind wants to do with it. It's par for the course - our bows are slower and our arrows are lighter, and we use feathers. And this will be true for all archers - you have to stay warm or your shot will suffer, which is why we're all dressed for winter!”

See the full results of the UK Masters 2022 on Ianseo for Day 1 and Day 2

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