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…
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 🙂
Fiona Pine has been shooting with a longbow for a few years, and last Sunday went to her first competition, Redruth Archers’ Longbow Day, where she won a silver medal not only in the two-way Western in the morning but in the clout in the afternoon as well! This is a fantastic achievement, and we look forward to seeing your name in more medals lists to come.
At the time of writing the results haven’t been published yet, but they will appear on Redruth Archers’ website in due course.
It just shows that competitions are genuinely open and friendly events, and any member of an ArcheryGB club will be made welcome, regardless of how good you are.
The Devon and Cornwall Clout Championships were held on Sunday 20th March, hosted by Newquay Bowmen at Tretherras School. Two of our archers came away with medals. Marcus Hayward won comfortably at the Gents Recurve 165m distance. Considering that Marcus has been shooting less than a year this is a great achievement! Paul Phillips did well with a longbow at the same distance, and came home with a silver medal.
Clout shoots are long distance and aimed at a small flag placed in the ground. Archers shoot six arrows at a time and score according to how close their arrows land to the flag. Bows have to be aimed higher than usual to reach the distance, so it is harder to aim precisely and there is more chance of arrows being affected by the wind on the way down, so it is not an easy round to shoot.
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