Try archery this weekend

Along with many other archery clubs around the country, Archers of the West is joining in with ArcheryGB’s Big Weekend, where clubs are open to anyone to come and meet us and have a go. On Friday 15th we shall be at our ground at Hayle Rugby Club from 4pm until 8pm, and on Saturday from 10 am until 2pm.

All the equipment you need will be provided by the club, and our coaches and other experienced members will be on hand show you what do do. You will also be able to see examples of different equipment as well from modern and hi-tech to classic longbows.

Summer Clouts

For may years we have done a series of clout shoots through the summer season. They are only at 100yards rather than the usual maximum of 180yards. This is all we can fit in our field, but it is a nice way to spend an evening as an alternative to the standard targets. The relatively short distance put it within reach of everyone, regardless of bow weight.

So, what’s a ‘clout’, anyway? The term comes from an old variant of the word “cloth”, and refers to a small flag which is placed in the ground. We aim to land our arrows in the ground as close to the flag as possible, and scores are awarded accordingly. A whole round is three dozen arrows, shot in ends of six.

This summer, weather permitting, we shall hold a clout on a Tuesday once a month at Hayle Rugby Club, on the following dates:

24th April
22nd May
26th June *edit: changed from the 19th as a few people are away at Dunster Week*
24th July
21st August
18th September

We aim to start at 5:30pm and will do a double round if the light holds out long enough.

Archers from other clubs are very welcome to come and join us for these events. Please note, though, that because this is a shared sports field we don’t allow all-carbon arrows to be used, for the simple reason they are hard to find with a metal detector. Wooden arrows are OK, mainly because they fly slower so tend to stick up in the ground and are easier to find.

Beginners course starts 16th April

We will be starting our next beginners’ course on Monday 16th April. The course is four sessions, once each week, starting at 6:30pm and finishing at 8:30pm. It will be held at our outdoor venue at Hayle Rugby Club.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in archery to try it out properly before having to commit to joining the club or buying equipment. We provide all the kit you need to get started, and will show you how to shoot safely and with good technique. We will also introduce you to scoring, competitions and show you the different types of bow that might tempt you when you are ready to find your own equipment. Our courses are run by qualified and experienced coaches. We are an inclusive club and welcome anyone from the age of 8 upwards regardless of background. If you have a disability you are just as welcome, please let us know if you have any questions or particular needs.

To book your place and for more information, go to our Starting Archery page which has a link to our online booking system.

Grant from Hayle Town Council

In our news a while ago we reported that we had been awarded a grant from Sport England to cover the cost of replacing large amount of ageing equipment. As is usually the case with grant applications, we didn’t get the full amount we applied for. Hayle Town Council has a certain amount of funds available for community projects, and they generously decided to grant us £500.

This will help greatly towards buying some of the equipment we need, and we are grateful to the council for the support.

Valentine’s shoot

Thank you to all the archers who attended our shoot on Sunday 11th February, to the club members who helped and to John Nunn for doing his usual sterling job as judge. A Worcester and Vegas are not the easiest of rounds. The Vegas targets in particular are rather unforgiving – they are very small, anything less than a 6 scores nothing, and you have to remember to shoot your numbered arrows in the right order. It is even harder for juniors and longbows! Despite that, we were all in it together, everyone had a good go at it and everyone enjoyed themselves. Thanks to the generosity of club members and a couple of local businesses we also had a bumper stock of raffle prizes.

Jimmy and Sally Sandoe were there as usual with their shop stall as well. So, if you don’t win a medal with the shooting, at least everyone had a good chance of taking something home, one way or another.

A full results list is available to download here. Congratulations to everyone who won a trophy or a medal.

Valentine Shoot Entry Form

On Sunday 11th February we will be hosting our second competition shoot of the indoor season, a mixed round of a Worcester in the morning followed by a Vegas after lunch. As usual it will be held at Pool Academy Sports Hall. Download your entry form here. Please try to get your entries to us in good time. Any remaining spaces after the closing date (3rd Feb) may be given to our club members.

The Worcester face
The Worcester face
The Vegas face
The Vegas face

Do bear in mind that these are smaller targets than the usual Portsmouth face, so it is that bit harder to hit the middle. The Worcester is a special black target face with a white centre and scoring 1 to 5. The Vegas is a triple face with the centre of a 40cm face, so you can only score 6-10.

Despite the focus of the small targets we try to keep all our tournaments friendly, and newer archers will be made just as welcome as the champions.

We need your help!

Following the great news of our grant from Sport England, we have been looking sources of top-up funding and have applied to the Aviva Community Fund. This relies on voting from the public, so please vote for us, and get your friends and family to do so as well! Here is a link to the page on Aviva’s website,

You need to register on the site, but this is easy and needs only minimal information. You get 10 votes, which you can use all on one project or spread them out. Clearly we would like all of them! The closing date for voting is 21st November. This might seem a way off, but it isn’t, so vote now! 🙂

No shooting on Saturday 18th November

The annual chicken show at Ludgvan Community Centre takes place on Saturday 18th November, so we won’t be able to shoot. I doubt the organisers will be impressed by a bunch of people turning up with bows.

Have the afternoon off, or even better, maybe spend some time practising some exercises and drills at home!

Portsmouth Competition 26th November

As usual we will be hosting our Open Handicap Portsmouth at Pool Academy. This year it is on Sunday 26th November. We will use the same format as has proved popular in previous years, where archers shoot half a Portsmouth round in the morning. Over a leisurely lunch break we calculate handicap allowances for everyone based on their score in the morning round. After lunch everyone shoots a whole Portsmouth round. A Portsmouth is 5 dozen arrows shot at 20 yards at a 60cm target face.

The allowances are then added to everyone’s scores to work out the final positions. The lower your score in the morning round, the higher your handicap number and the higher the allowance that is added later. The idea is that if everyone shoots to exactly the same standard in both rounds then everyone will lend up with the same score. The handicap system rewards those who do better in the second round, rather than those with the overall highest score.

So what’s to stop people deliberately shooting worse in the morning? There will be awards for the highest combined scores as well as the handicaps. Also, anyone who deliberately shoots badly in the morning is unlikely to shoot well in the afternoon. If you practise bad technique then it tends to stick, and it is hard to undo that later!

Download the entry form. This shoot is usually fully subscribed, so please get your entries to us early. The closing date is 19th November.

Summer Warwick Competition

To mark the end of the outdoor season we normally do a short competition of some sort. This year we decided to do a Warwick based on the system we use in our Open Handicap Portsmouth, where archers shoot half a round, we work out handicap allowances from those scores, then everyone shoots a whole round and we add the allowances. Prizes go to the people who improve the most, and not necessarily to the person with the highest score.

We have done pretty well with the weather this summer, but our luck ran out on Saturday! It was drizzling as we put the targets up, then it started coming at us sideways from the targets straight into our faces. Despite this, twelve hardy souls kept going and shot through the rain. We even had a barbecue in the middle, huddled under a gazebo between two containers!

Hardy though we are, we did decide that a whole Warwick after the food was a bit much, so did 1 dozen arrows at each distance instead. Our little event was won by our youngest member, Charlotte Badcock, who gets herself a shield trophy to take home.

A lot of us found it instructive, e.g. “if you can shoot in that you can shoot in anything”, “we must be all mad”, “I need new waterproofs”…