The outdoor season is almost here, and as from the beginning of April we can look forward to the feel of the grass under our feet, the warm sun and gentle breeze on our faces, and the distant thwack of arrows hitting the gold. Well, sometimes it might be mud, rain and gales, and arrows in the grass, but we usually do OK. There has been a question mark for some time over our use of our original ground at Hayle Football Club, because they wanted to sell their larger field to a housing developer to raise funds to improve the club. Between us we have looked at ways we might be able to fit in on the main pitch, but it is a smaller field and there isn’t room for the safety areas required by ArcheryGB rules. We have shot on the short practice pitch regularly, but at restricted distance and without being able to allow compound bows to be used as they require the full overshoot distance regardless of target distance.
So, we started looking for other possible sites. This isn’t easy as finding a level field that is large enough and has parking space, toilets etc. is quite difficult in this part of the world. Thankfully, Hayle Rugby Club have a nice big field and were happy for us to move there. This will only be a temporary solution, as Hayle RFC themselves are planning to move to a new site up the road, but we are optimistic that enough space can be found for us. Thanks to all at Hayle RFC for being so accommodating, and we look forward to a good partnership with them.
Thanks must go to the football club at this point as they have provided us with an outdoor home since the club was formed in 2000, and we wish them well with their development plans.
Full details of our outdoor schedule can be found here.
We are sad to announce that Tony Farrell passed away in his sleep on Monday night this week. Tony has been involved in archery for about 25 years, and was a founder member of this club. I have known Tony for most of that time, and first met him, I think, at a local field archery club, Muscovy Archers. Tony had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, where the immune system attacks the insulation around nerve fibres, leading to loss of sensation and muscle control. It was the initial diagnosis that led him into archery, as I believe a doctor encouraged him to go out and do some sort of coordinated physical activity as he thought it might help slow down the progression of the illness. When I first met Tony he was noticeably a bit wobbly on his feet, and over the years I have seen him progress to occasionally needing a wheelchair, to being confined to the chair, to needing a powered chair, to being left with only the use of his right arm and having difficulty speaking. MS can be very variable in its effect on people, and Tony was particularly hard hit.
It is no exaggeration to say that archery was Tony’s life. He put a lot into it, always keen to experiment with different bits and bobs for his compound bow, and joining in with many local competitions. He trained as a coach some years ago, and has given a lot to the club while he could, especially having a rapport with the juniors. We did our best to help Tony to keep him involved in the archery that he loved, from a sponsored 24-hour shoot in the early days to raise money for a car with hand controls, to more recent devices clamped onto his wheelchair to support his arm. Huge recognition has to go to Paul Phillips in particular as he has gone above and beyond to help with driving him around, sorting out carers and other domestic issues and even physically helping him shoot.
Throughout all his Tony never once complained, and maintained his sharp sense of humour and his determination to keep as active as he could, despite what must have been great discomfort and frustration at not being able to do what he used to. His condition had noticeably deteriorated in recent months, but it is still a shock to hear of his passing.
Hot on the heels of Newquay’s Double Portsmouth we held our own annual two-round shoot on Sunday 12th February. This was a Worcester round in the morning followed by a Vegas in the afternoon.
We normally set up into the evening on the day before. As there was no shooting session on Saturday we were able to get set up that bit earlier, which made everything a bit more civilised. First was trip to the field to pick up the trailer and load up with all the bosses, stands, nets and other paraphernalia. We had to contend with a seized wheel on the trailer, and by the time we sorted that out the rest of the gang were already at Pool Academy and making a start. We were also faced with an emergency repair to a broken stand for one of the foam bosses, but we got all the bosses set up along with the nets, chairs and Bob’s impeccable range markings. First thing Sunday morning saw us back at the school putting the faces up for the Worcester, and we were ready in plenty of time.
Although we try to make our shoots friendly and fairly informal, Worcester and Vegas rounds are not easy, particularly the Vegas as each target face is so small, and you have to get each arrow in order in the correct face. It is a brave longbow or barebow archer that takes them on.
Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable day, and three of the gold medals went to club members – well done Paul, Dave and Ashley! Here is the results list.
On Sunday 5th February Newquay Bowmen hosted their Double Portsmouth competition at Newquay Sports Centre, and five of us went along to have a go. A few days before they found out the road to the sports centre was being closed for a running event at 9am, so we all had to be there an hour early, but, hey, who doesn’t want to get up early on a Sunday morning? 🙂
I went having not shot much over the winter due to having damaged something in my shoulder (was it through archery? no idea!) so wasn’t convinced I would be able to complete two Portsmouth rounds in a row. For Gina and Andy it was their first competition shoot. Despite that, we actually did quite well. Paul won a silver medal in the Gents Longbow, Gina and Andy both shot personal bests and even I managed a silver!
Thanks to all at Newquay Bowmen for making it an enjoyable event.
On Sunday 12th 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 get your entries to us in good time, as we generally fill all the places so if you book late you might be disappointed.
These rounds are a nice change from the usual Portsmouth. They are both smaller targets, which focusses the attention somewhat. 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 half only of a 40cm face, so you 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. Even they were new archers when they started…
When we feel thirsty, we drink something, that’s how it works, isn’t it? Actually a small drop in water levels in your body can have a big effect. We take in water through drinks and also contained in most of the food we eat. We lose it in more ways: in urine, through breathing and perspiration. Physical activity makes you lose more water, because as you get warmer you sweat more.
The surprising bit is just how much difference small water loss can make to athletic performance. A 3% loss of water leads to up to a 19% loss in muscle strength. You generally don’t feel thirsty until you get to about a 5% loss, and by that time you could be 30% down on strength. The solution is not to wait until you feel thirsty, and not even to rely on having a cuppa halfway through the round, but to have regular mouthfuls all the way through, say after every couple of ends. Try it and see what difference it makes.
What to drink? Well, water, but a small amount of carbohydrate and salt will help top you up. This is what isotonic sports drinks are all about – they have the same concentration of salt and glucose that is normally found in your body. So use them if you like. They can be expensive, though, and it is easy to make your own. A mix of half fruit juice and half water, with a pinch of salt per litre of drink will do the job. There are plenty more recipes for home-made isotonic drinks on the web as well.
Newquay Bowmen hosted their Double Worcester competition on Sunday 13th November. We had a good attendance from our club, and did rather well.
Paul Phillips has broken a club record that has been held by Dennis Gibson since 2005. Shooting his longbow, Paul broke club and DCAS Masters records as well as picking up the gold medal. His score for the single Worcester was 225 and for the double 413. Paul also received certificates for DCAS Masters longbow records he set earlier in the year. These were for a score of 299 St George shot at Redruth in September and at Lizard Peninsula in August for 366 for a single York and 598 for the double.
At the Newquay Worcester competition Stephen Badcock secured a bronze medal for shooting recurve against strong opposition. Susan Mackenzie won the barebow gold. To secure the medal she broke the DCAS County record for a double Worcester set by Lucy Nicholas two years ago at the same competition. Susan scored 191 in the morning followed by 201 in the afternoon. So the total for the double was 392, beating the previous record by 8 points.
All our members enjoyed the day thoroughly and would like to thank Newquay Bowmen for staging the event.
We normally shoot at Ludgvan Community Centre on a Saturday afternoon through the winter season. However, there is also normally an annual chicken show booked for one Saturday. This year it is on Saturday 3rd December, so in the interests of not shooting any of the competitors there will be no archery session that day.
The Handicap Portsmouth will take place at Pool Academy on Sunday 27th* November. As usual we will be shooting half a Portsmouth round in the morning (that is, 2 1/2 dozen arrows at 20 yards) and a full Portsmouth after lunch. The scores from the morning round are used to calculate a handicap rating. We then add an allowance onto your score for the afternoon round. So, if you shoot well in the morning you get a low handicap and a low extra. A beginner might get a higher handicap and a higher allowance. The idea is that the people who better than they normally do are most likely to win, rather than the one with the highest score.
If that sounds complicated, don’t worry, we do the sums and there are awards for the highest overall scores as well.
It is a popular shoot and great for beginners, so pop over to the Events page for more details and to download a copy of the entry form.
*It really is the 27th, not the 12th as I originally put in the title 🙂
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