Shoot Report – Severn Valley – April 2014

SVYF shoot April

SVYF shoot April

Okay so I’ve been a little slow in getting this posted, sorry all. So a couple of weekends ago we had a very tiring time. Two long days of helping sorting shots and 3Ds but it all proved worthwhile. 
On the Sunday Severn Valley club (or to give it’s full name,  Severn Valley Yeoman Foresters) hosted it’s first open shoot of 2014 so Sharon and I were helping on the run up to the shoot and marshaling on the day. So it was a busy day preparing the course on Saturday daytime.
Saturday night saw us entertaining Paul and Rhian. They were shooting the course on Sunday so were staying over as it saved them a long drive down on Sunday morning. It proved a Great night chatting with take away food and a drop or two of wine.
Sharon Sunday morning

Sharon Sunday morning complete with metal detector

Sunday morning saw great shooting weather, with light wind, bright spring sunshine and not so warm as to wake all the mosquitos from their winter sleep. 

We welcomed 191 archers to the club from 8:30 onwards (200 is our maximum limit so we were nearly full).

Shot on B course

Shot on B course

 There were many familiar faces joining us and It was great to catch up with some friends from Black Arrow and Artemis.

John and Ben Straw of Artemis

John and Ben Straw of Artemis on B course

The course consisted of 40 Mixed 3Ds and Paper Faces ranging in distance from 6 yards to nearing 60.
Archers on A Course

Archers on A Course

There seemed to be a real buzz on the day and not only from all the newly emerging bees but from the archers too who seemed to be enjoying the sun and the day.

Group about to shoot target 38 B Course

Group about to shoot target 38 B Course

I was lucky enough to watch a few groups and take a load of photos. 

Double Deer shot on B course, but only back one scores.

Double Deer shot on B course, but only back one scores.


As always the course was split in two halves A and B.

3D bear on B course

3D bear on B course

A course was set by Steve Colin and Phil,  with Chris and Keith doing B.

Tiger Shot on A course

Tiger Shot on A course

With few hold ups other than archers stopping to enjoy the food at tea stops the day flowed well. 
The only negative thing being an accident which befell one of the archers where her metal riser snapped at full draw. Thankfully she wasn’t seriously injured. (Details can be found here )
Personal congratulations to newbie course layers Keith and Chris Harley.  You set a great course.  Well done. 
Feedback from all attending has been very positive and I’d like to thank all those that either attended as competitors or helpers for giving up their time. 

As always thanks for reading.

Weather battered Britain

Fallen Tree

Fallen Tree

As many of you will know Britain is presently being battered day after day by storm force winds bringing down trees, coastal areas are seeing giant waves destroying sea defences and continual rain which is seeing huge areas of the country water logged with hundreds of homes flooded.
With little rest bite before the next storm hits emergency services are working flat out with the armed forces being deployed in some areas. Can I just say a big thanks to all those helping everyone effected.
The BBC have been showing images of the flooding and devastation. With a live update site here. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26184648)
Archery Club too are seeing their grounds suffering. With some club shoots are already having to be cancelled due to water logged grounds or access roads. The NFAS website has the latest details on shoots here.  This was the view that created us this morning on our range behind our house.
From the other side - the black plastic covers a target

From the other side – the black plastic covers a target

Across the country clubs are seeing damage to their grounds too.
Artemis (one of our old clubs based in Derbyshire) recently posted images of fallen trees and flooded areas.

Artemis damage

Artemis damage

artemis-02
SVYF have seen numerous branches down and some fallen trees blocking the water courses. Fortunately a few of us had spent time dredging the main water ways a few weeks before or things might have been far worse.

Nearly under water

Nearly under water

Please take care if you are traveling. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all those families facing an uncertain future.
Thanks for reading.

Shoot report – Artemis October 2013

Artemis header logo

Artemis header logo

This last weekend did not only have British weathermen warning us of an impending great storm which promised to lay waste to huge areas of the UK along with winter clock changing (back an hour) but it was also to be the Artemis shoot. Busy weekend then.

People gathering for start

People gathering for start

Artemis archers only host one nfas shoot a year as they are reliant on the good nature of neighbouring farmer to allow access to their field for their parking. For the last two years we’ve marshalled the event so shooting it would be a new experience. You can read past shoot reports here. 2012 and 2011

Their shooting grounds are on a wooded hillside not far from Belper in Derbyshire. This allows them to put on a mix of up and down hill shots which is not common in many club grounds and a lot of walking.

The course was to be of 36 targets mixed 3d, paper and a few exceptionally well painted hessian faces.this was Split into two large loops of 18 targets each side of the woodland with a food stop between targets 36&1 and 18&19.

The day started in bright sunshine but with a cooling wind reminding you it was autumn with November just round the corner.

As I said earlier over the years I’ve marshalled the artemis shoot twice but never shot the course. Even when i was a member i only managed to shoot part of the course so it would be interesting to see it from other side of the fence so to speak. Or should that be the other end of the bow?

The bad weather that was forecast fortunately stayed away with us having brief heavy showers and strong gusts but not the monsoon predicted. Speaking with the organisers i understand a number of trees had come down in the previous few weeks and organiser stated that if any more came down on the day they would stop the shoot on safety grounds. Fortunately the gusts promised didn’t materialise and we were able to shoot the entire day.

Artemis administration limited the numbers on the pegs to four which made for a quick day which was good considering weather. And change of clocks made sunset that little closer.

There were some long shots and one very interesting one on a boss half way up the wall which you had to shoot at 45 degrees.

Interesting new faces from France (http://normandie-archerie.com/ )which caught a lot of archers out especially the thinking gorilla. Pigmy hippo and small wolf caught me out. As a side note Not sure if I’m a big fan of faces that aren’t life size.

The thinking gorilla

The thinking gorilla

I’d not shot for nearly 4 weeks and it showed in my distance judgement which was out and my fingers were feeling the strain.

One of few decent shots of day

One of few decent shots of day

Came in with 600 not too bad I guess but still not great but that’s what happens when I don’t get to practice.

Sharon did well winning in the ladies barebow class and a clean sweep in gents bare bow as severn Valley got first second and third. Well done guys.

Full results for the shoot are available here.

This will be my last shoot report for a while. I’m not booked on anything for several months and I’m trying to get my head back into archery following various things recently.

As always thanks for taking the time reading this. I hope you found it useful and interesting.

http://normandie-archerie.com/

Shoot report – Long Eaton Summer Solstice

Well it was billed as the LEFA Summer Solstice Shoot,note the summer part, it didn’t feel like summer. Windy with some very heavy showers it felt very autumnal as we arrived.

This weather made the shoot very challenging to say the least as the ground became very slippery under foot with myself and fellow archer John both falling. Fortunately neither of us sustained any real damage other than a a few thorns, though at one stage we wondered whether John had strained his hand.
For the day we were joined by father and son double act John and Ben Straw. Not sure what they are feeding Ben but I’m sure he’s grown again.

Ben and John Straw

Ben and John Straw

The course was a full 40 target 3d one with mixed sizes of targets and distances, with the normal break for lunch for an hour. LEFA had over 200 archers attend and devour the food off the lunch menu. Fortunately the heaviest showers weren’t during the lunch break or I think we might have been even wetter. I know a few people retired at lunch, due to weather I think.
As I said the poor weather made the ground slippery but also had the effect of lowering the tree canopy making some of the longer targets very difficult for lower poundage bows or for longbows that have a long cast. It also meant arrows would catch the canopy and skip off into the undergrowth. Resulting in time lost  searching for arrows, John lost 3 this way.
LEFA have come under criticism for the shoot being too hard and not up to their usual standard. I think this is a little unfair. The shoot was challenging with some targets being further than normal but not all and I have been to other shoots that have been far worse.
The weather played a major part in the problems on the day and I’ve tried to summarise the issues here.

  1. Rain made people wet and wet archers get cold and grumpy.  Kids get tired, feather fetchings become useless or at least less effective.  The can’t do much about weather, believe me I think there are many that would love to be able to.
  2. Rain brought tree canopy down making challenging shots, very difficult.  So maybe an inspection on the morning to prune trees would have helped but on the day organisers will be trying to sort parking, booking people in, etc etc
  3. Paths became slippery  due to the rain which slowed movement. Short of laying new paths etc not much can be done. Maybe a few steps or ropes hand rails might have helped but they had tried to cut in steps they just got worn away.

Despite all these problems it was still a good shoot, just not one of their best. So thanks to all the guys at LEFA. Dead ground was used on a number of shots and so was the undergrowth to hide distances.  Though I think shorter archers suffered as the bracken seems to have shot up.
Sharon had an off day, we all have them and when it happens there is little you can do. But it was one of those days for a number of archers and it saw her  not shooting as well as she can. Ben too was having an off day though he has swapped arrows recently, new bow limbs and has not been practicing due to school commitments.
Though I think Sharon had the shot of the day on the goat with a great 24. Well done.

3D goat at LEFA

3D goat at LEFA

One thing LEFA did do is angle some of the 3d targets and this made it harder to judge size and distances. It also resulted in a few glance offs.
The afternoon was slow not due to catching the group in front, more to do with taking our time to navigate the slippery paths, fortunately the weather improved (rain stopped) which is why there are no photos of the morning. My camera was buried under waterproofs.

Sharon in her summer shooting clothing

Sharon in her summer shooting clothing

Will we return ?

I know some people may have been put off returning to LEFA but we will, just not next time as we will be course laying for our shoot. Oh, how did we get on?

Almost forgot. Despite Sharon not shooting well she won gold with 518, Ben won in his class too, John retired as I think weather and his hand was giving him grief. I also won in my class with 618. Not too bad considering I didn’t get any 24s all day. It was only the second time Sharon and I have both placed 1st at a shoot.

LEFA trophy

LEFA trophy

As always thanks for reading.

Shoot Report – 3D National Championships

Morning Sunrise

Misty sunrise over the fields

The weekend of the 25th-26th of May saw the arrival of the annual National Field Archery Society (NFAS) 3D championships.
This 2 day event would see archers from around the country (just under 600 competitors) travelling to Osmaston just outside of Derby. This was the 4th year the event had been hosted there and possibly the last as the contract with the estate is ending this year. Here is a link to last years report.
3D Badge

3D Badge

I will admit to approaching the weekend with a level of apprehension, the week before I had struggled to shoot round our wood on both days, so wondered how my shoulder would cope with 2 days of no doubt challenging courses. Only time would tell.
We’d chosen to camp this year with a group of fellow archers from SVYF and had taken the Friday off work so we could get up early and set up the tent.
3D Champs, Sharon sheltering from the wind

3D Champs, Sharon sheltering from the wind

As it was pitching the tent was a bit of a challenge in winds, gust up to 50mph and showers but we managed it.
Rainbow over campsite

Rainbow over campsite

Format of the weekend

Each class would shoot a different course over the 2 days, A+B course if shooting wooden arrows X+Y course if shooting metal / carbon arrows. The courses had been set by 4 different clubs Artemis Archers, Lyme Valley, Hanson and Duvelle.
Since I was shooting my recurve in the Hunting Tackle class as my shoulder was still not 100% I would shoot course A on Saturday which had been laid by Duvelle archers and Sunday it would be Lyme valleys course (B course). Sharon would be shooting X&Y course (X course Saturday and Y course on Sunday)
The courses were made up of 40 3D targets of various size and distances and I do mean all shapes and sizes. Over the weekend I shot everything from 3D deers, bears, frogs, raccoons to the occasional dinosaur.

Saturday Morning

Saturday Morning – archers gathering

You register between 8:30-9:30 and go through arrow check, this is where a marshal will check your arrows to ensure they are marked with your name, and shooting order. (this is a requirement for both the rules and insurance)
Announcements started at 10 and we were sent off onto our respective courses on the walk out, which can take up to 15-20 minutes itself before you even get to your course and then have your course briefing and escorted to your starting peg. Roughly by 11am you should have started shooting.

Saturday

Saturday dawned with a clear bright sky, thankfully the wind from Friday had gone too. having made up a few new arrows I thought I’de try them out on the practise targets before they got too busy.
The day didn’t start too well with breaking 2 arrows on the first 6 targets, one of which hit the target but broke on the leg after hitting the leg support. By the end of the day I had smashed one into pieces and had to re-pile 2 others.
My only criticism of this course would be that within the first 16 targets we shot,there were a number of the same targets, we had 3 of the same bedded panthers and 2 Velociraptor. This isn’t the clubs fault as they are given the 3D targets, but I think it would have been better to spread them out a bit more.
Having said that the targets weren’t stretched for their size or distance. I think a few more signs informing archers to shout clear when they had left the target they had shot, so the following group knew they were clear and could start shooting would have been good. There were a number of large bushes that blocked vision so at times it was hard to tell if people had cleared the area.
As for shooting, well I didn’t blank any targets so wasn’t too bad a day, though my shoulder was beginning to ache. Here’s hoping for a decent nights sleep.
We had finished by 4 pm and I was back at the tent shortly afterwards, A course being the closest to the campsite.
As the evening approached we gathered round the camp fire, lit the barbecues and sat chatting about the days successes and failures over some hot food and a few drinks. Good social end to the day.

Sunday

Sunday was another bright and clear day, a complete difference to last year when it was continual rain all day.
The one downside was I hadn’t slept well and my shoulder was stiff and painful, add to that my stomach wasn’t feeling 100% (guess that was the Barbecue I thought). The organisers had posted the first day results on the net late Saturday night and a copy at Administration so there were people massing round comparing notes and scores.
This days course had been set by Lyme Valley archers. Lyme Valley’s home ground is in a valley outside Stoke on Trent and they make great use of up and downhill shots. They had obviously taken this skill set to the course and applied it very well.
There were a number of deceptive shots making use of the height and dead ground.
I’m sorry but I didn’t take any photos of the course, but I’ve included a couple of photos from the course Sharon shot on Sunday.
upsidedown Baboon Y course - thanks to Sharon

upsidedown Baboon Y course – thanks to Sharon

Including an interesting upside down baboon.

Photo from Y course - thanks to Sharon

Photo from Y course – thanks to Sharon

I didn’t shoot as well on this course as Saturday, partly down to it being a more testing course and partly due to my shoulder beginning to cause me grief. Despite blanking several targets I came in with 30 points less than Saturday, just under 600 points.
Hanson were doing the catering for Lyme Valley and they always do a great spread, sadly my stomach was not feeling right so I only snacked.
It transpired that I had a better day than Sharon who was shooting on Y course (Artemis), she had had the misfortune of being held up on most targets which interrupted her flow and concentration.
Sharon on Y course

Sharon on Y course

So how did we get on? Well Sharon came away in third for ladies Barebow (despite shooting badly on Sunday) As for me well I came in 15th, not bad for feeling off and having a bad shoulder. You can see the full results here.
We got home on Monday after a fun weekend, the only down side was I came down with a very unpleasant stomach bug which saw me not venturing far from the toilet for 3 days. The doctors think it was gastroenteritis.
So despite falling ill after the event, it was a great weekend. What is more it has made me realise that despite having a bad shoulder I can shoot and do well. Big thanks to all those archers and friends out there who have been so supportive, especially a certain lady called Sharon. Thank you.
As always, thanks for reading