Aurora New Year Shoot 2018
by Queen Bee
KLFA Roving Reporter and Crossbow Queen
Having been poorly since before New Year and house-bound for more than two weeks I was becoming stir-crazy. So, not quite empty of nasal juice and leaving a huge strip of thumb skin on the hot oven door I set off in my camper for Aurora on a dull, dreary, dim, dismal, damp day.
The flat land of Cambridgeshire is often used as the emergency overflow from numerous rivers – mostly with the name Ouse in their title. Part of my journey took me through Welney, a well-known area of overflow flooding which was quite often blocked this time of year with water diverted from Bedfordshire. I hadn’t checked local information but just headed in that direction, desperate to stretch my eyeballs on anything other than the house walls. About a mile east of Welney I came across the first huge yellow sign telling me that the ‘road ahead was closed due to flooding.’ However, not being one to give up without making an effort I braced my shoulders and carried on.
The road I was on was very narrow, barely room for two cars, and I could see acres of shiny water on either side, dotted with the tops of occasional drenched trees, as far as the eye could see. There must have been a slight downward slope to the road because very soon the water was lapping over the edge, shimmering threateningly as though waiting to surge across in front of me. I didn’t hesitate and kept my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t meet anyone coming the other way because if I left the road in my campervan I would never get back on.
Round a sharp bend I came across a white car on the left almost under water – just the bonnet and a bit of the driver’s door showing above the surface. Fortunately it was swathed in blue and white Police tape and I was relieved to know that I didn’t have to rescue anyone. A little further on a car neatly on its side in a ditch – no water – greeted me and I began to wonder if I’d survive the journey. Luckily the way was clear and I set off briskly for higher ground. When I arrived at Aurora I discovered that I was the only archer silly enough to camp but I enjoyed a totally silent, bonfire-free evening – magic.
With a 9.30am start 120 eager archers turned up the following day to shoot this most popular ground. It’s always a challenge but fair, and today was no exception with great target variety over the ditched and pond-riddled woodland. Their 3 day shoot last year was superb and if they do the same this year it is one not to miss. A few months ago someone asked me which was my favourite shoot and without hesitation I’d said Aurora. I asked an archer in our group the same question. She had no idea that I was from KLFA but she said, also without hesitation, our little club in the Quarry!!!
It was a maximum 2 arrow double 20 shoot with two red pegs on all but two targets, and both arrows (if the first one missed) were shot from the red peg. The targets ranged from a lizard in a ditch beneath your feet to a huge stag at about 45 yards. Although there were six archers to each peg there were no holdups and for most of the day our group were not aware of any other archers nearby. The weather was chilly but windless – perfect shooting weather. We’d been instructed to vacate the woodland by 3pm and we shot our last target at ten to.
There was an excellent turn-out from KLFA, some of whom had not shot there before. Rick and Bridgette, Ian and Nicky, Andy and Amanda, Nicky and Ro, Paul, and yours truly. During the results Martin said he’d had to check a BB archer’s score because it was well in excess of 800! What a day for that archer.
More than half our troop went home with bling. Rick was 3rd Gents’ AFB, Bridgette 2nd Ladies’ AFB, Nicky D 2nd Ladies BB, Nicky N 2nd Ladies’ Primitive, and yours truly – although a one-arrow round had still been out of reach – finished with a PB of 804. At last I’d crawled out of the 700’s – where to go next?
Now, now – do I hear some of you crying, “down”? Tut, tut.
But you may be right!!!