Eastern Champions shoot at poachers Wednesday in the Pennsic Champions’ Shoot.
Photo by Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton
Pennsic Archery Champions Shoot
By THL Christophe of Grey
The Pennsic Champions’ Shoot was held Wednesday with mustering at 9 am on the archery range. The archers were challenged with ten shooting stations this year. Station 1 featured attackers, with archers getting six shafts to stop the attackers with the objective to hit their sword (about the same size as an SCA legal sword) held either crosswise, vertical or angled across their body. Station 2 was Shoot the Guppie, a moving fish going horizontal across the shooting line. This was a timed shoot with 30 seconds to get off as many shafts as possible. Station 3 was the proverbial hanging apple, another timed station (30 seconds). Scoring on this station was decrimental; that is if you hit the apple on your first shot your score was 6, second shaft, 5 and so on. The apple was at about 35 yards, a difficult shot!
Station 4 was Shoot the Rats, another very difficult station as the rats were close to real size. Not those oversized ROUS from Princess Bride! Again this was a 30 second shot. Station 5 was Shoot the Poachers, again 30 second timed. Various scoring on the poachers depending upon their distance from the shooter.
Station 6 was a friend/foe type station in that archers were tasked to protect the King’s Deer from a marauding bear. If an archer hit the deer mistakenly their shooting was stopped. Station 7 was a Bunny Knockdown. Archers got two arrows to knock the bunny off a hay bale. Station 8 was my personal favorite, Shoot the Pies. Seems pies were left on a window sill for cooling and the object was to “claim” the pie by hitting it. This station was sweetened by the marshals handing out cookies!
Station nine was Shoot the Candle Out. Archers got six shafts to hit five candles. Station ten was Kill the Fox Raiding the Lambs. The object was to hit the “O” in fox without hitting the lamb.
Teams of the East and Middle were made up of 40 archers each plus 4 alternates, some from each kingdom and some allies. Tryouts were held on three previous days and archers vying to be on a team had to attend the tryouts. The day started with teams from both sides being divided into sub teams of 4 archers each. These sub teams shot each of the ten stations. The total score after this first round was 4371 for the East and 3489 for the Mid.
An amazing lunch was provided for the archers at the conclusion of the station shoot by House Gamel Got. Delightful ham, jerky, melon, olives, cheese, dates, apricots, just like home……….maybe. During the lunch break the King and Queen of Atlantia, Amos and Ysabella, opened court and awarded Grim of Atlantia his Yewbow, an Atlantian order of high merit for archery.
After lunch the archers finished the day with two additional shots, friend/foe and a walk up. The friend foe station featured a target showing Merida with her curly hair from behind. In her hair were will-‘o-wisps. Points were gained for hits on wisps and subtracted for hits on Merida. The score was East 82 with 11 minuses, Middle 54 with eighteen minuses.
The walk-up started at the clout range at about 125 yards, then moved up to additional stations at about 10 – 15 yard intervals until a total of 12 shafts were shot. At each distance three shafts were loosed. Points were awarded one point for being inside the “castle” and two points for hitting an attacker within the walls. The East scored 421 and Mid 328 on this station.
Before all the shooting started the King and Queen of both the East and Mid addressed their respective archers. The King and Queen of the East gave each archer on their team a beautiful tabard to wear for the day’s shooting. The King and Queen of the Middle gave tokens/favors to their archers. The King of the East asked the assembled Eastern team and allies if they would permit him to shoot with them on the day. He also said that he and the King of the Middle had decided prior to Pennsic that the Archery Champion Shoot would be held on Wednesday and be the only War Point activity of the day so archery would get is due recognition. The Prince and Princess of the East also shot alongside the East Champions’ team.
All in all it was a great day of shooting and camaraderie as usually found on the archery range. The East was the victor in all three shoots, thus taking the War Point.