About fifty throwers descended on Woodend Farm Complex between Sheffield and Nottingham last week, for the first-ever UK National Championships. I was there, representing SKATTA. A great time was had by all.
There were the usual events:
Knives, at 3m, 5m and 7m. Seven lots of three throws, scoring 0-5 per knife, for a maximum total of 3 x 5 x 7 = 105 points.
Hawks at 4m, 5m and 7m. Again, 3 x 7 throws, for 105 points max.
Long distance knife, throwing from the 4-7m range, and then moving back 3m at a time, until all three throws at that distance fail to stick in the 1m-diametre target.
Long distance hawk, with the same rules and distances.
Speed throw: sticking the most knives from 3m in a 20-secon period.
Duel: knock-out rounds, where two throwers try to stick a knife at 3m before the other.
There were also:
Snife, KATTA’s throwing variant on snooker, throwing at a target with red, yellow, green, brown, blue, pink and black, with higher points and a smaller target, according to the difficulty.
Silhou-axe, a variant on the usual silhouette game, where you aim at a sequence of small circles, while avoiding hitting the central larger circle.
Double-bit, throwing a two-headed axe at a target from 6.1m.
No-spin, throwing 3m, 4m, 5m and 6m.
The weather was glorious on Friday evening for registration and practice, but there was steady, insistent low-level rain all through Saturday morning, which turned all the target/throwing line positions into muddy marshes, which no-doubt affected everyone’s knife scores, as everyone struggled to keep their knives clean and dry. The rest of the weekend was overcast, but muggily warm, and the ground recovered.
I had lots of fun, and did surprisingly well, coming 22nd. I was surprising successful at the 5m hawks, where I usually fail to stick much at all, so I think that helped quite a bit. I didn’t take part in the no-spin competition, having neither the right knives nor any skill in that area yet. I was grateful for those who’d brought some spare two-headed axes, which allowed those of us without them to give it a go (I was terrible, sticking only 6 out of 15 throws).
No-spin’s definitely on the rise, with a number of throwers taking part in the competition, and several attempting the long-distance knife with no-spin, too. Must get some knives and figure that out, soon!
Next competition is hosted by the Essex Backyard Throwers, 23-34 September!
Dan “the Man” Mosley has hosted a “Spring Fling” at the Huthwaite site for a few years now, but this year, it’s a bigger event: a UK national championship competition. It’s also moved slightly later in the year, from May to June.
So, this year, June 9-11, I plan to be representing SKATTA and Scotland, throwing against the best of the UK throwers, and getting thoroughly trounced in the process. But in a highly enjoyable way.
It’s an international event, in that non-UK throwers are also welcome to compete, though the UK championship rankings will be based only on UK throwers’ scores, in keeping with how other national championship competitions are run.
Details are on Facebook, on the main KATTA page, should you feel inclined to take part.
This year, my main goal – apart from sticking the blades – will be to not get so much sunburn than it takes more than a year to fade, as happened at the World Championships, last time I was at Huthwaite…
Sping is definitely here, and it’s gloriously sunny as I write this. With luck, that weather will hold for our new throwing sessions for April, May and June – see the Upcoming Dates page for details. Hope to see you there!
As of the start of 2017, the cost of throwing sessions is rising from £5 per session to £10. This is as a result of the Scouts having to increase their own hourly rental rate thanks to a change in their insurance provider.
I’ve been hoping to increase attendees rather than costs, but my overheads per session have increased by 600% – this will offset some of that.