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.
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”…
Archery clubs need a lot of equipment to function, and whilst any individual item isn’t that expensive it all adds up. There are bosses, stands, bows and arrows for beginners in a range of different sizes amongst many other bits and bobs. A fair bit of our current stock is wearing out and is due for replacement. We have heard that we have been successful in applying for two grants.
ArcheryGB have given us a sum to pay for video equipment and a laptop to make it easier for us to offer video feedback in coaching. This is a really useful tool, because whilst a coach can suggest ways to improve your form, there is nothing like seeing it for yourself. With the new equipment we will be able to do live feedback as well as after the shot.
We have also been offered a large grant from Sport England towards new bows and a long list of other kit. Sport England said the fund was oversubscribed by nearly five times, so huge thanks have to go to Marcus and his partner for compiling a good bid.
The Scott May Daredevil Stunt Show is on at the rugby club over the holiday weekend, including a performance from 3pm on Monday. This means we will not be shooting on Monday. This is swiftly followed by a circus from Wednesday through to Saturday. They will be setting up on Tuesday, so we will not be able to shoot on Tuesday or Thursday, either.
We will be back to normal on Monday 4th September.
Along with many other archery clubs around the country, we are offering everyone the chance to try it out in June. Even if you have never picked up a bow before, this is a great opportunity to try out a new sport and make some new friends. Archery is a great sport for anyone from the age of 8 upwards.
We will provide all the equipment you need, and there will be plenty of club members to hand to show you how it works and talk about the whole experience of archery.
Come and meet us at Hayle Rugby Club. There are three sessions you can join in with:
Friday 16th June from 5pm to 8pm
Saturday 17th June from 10 am to midday and 1pm to 3pm.
Have a quick go for 50p for 12 arrows, or spend half and hour with a coach for £3 for some more detailed instruction.
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…
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