With a slight creek and groan from my faithful old arm chair as I settle in with the surround sound turned up and the first Pro Skins match to be shot at the new Dan Y Darren Pro archery range in Wales on the big screen (this has to be the life for any armchair archer). As this shoot was held to tryout the ranges for the Pro shoots who better to do the test than a couple of archers who are normally behind the scenes at the Pro shoots.
Of the four archers chosen to test out the ranges Alistair Whittingham would be the best known to the thousands who watch the Euro Pro shoots as it is Alistair,s commentary that we have come to recognise from the Pro shoot video feeds. Tapani Kalmaru, Alex Bridgman and Tim Keppie are the other three shooters competing for this purse. Tim Keppie is another member of the Pro shoot production team, he can also be seen showing his prowess on this most demanding of all courses with cut angles that would send your range finder into shock.
This is no course for the faint hearted with having to shoot at an uphill target perched on the top of a mountain with the clouds streaming by behind as a backdrop being the easy shot. Then being asked to stand on the very verge of a sheer cliff face while trying to settle your pin on that 80 yard extreme downhill target while a roaring cross wind threatens to blow the archers off the cliff to the rocks below would make that 13cm spot look almost impossible.
With 2000 pounds as prize money for the skins, it is enough to keep the four archers on their game as well as giving us a chance to see the possibilities for this style of archery. Just imagine the Doinker Welsh Masters shoot being held there next year with the excitement of dozens of archers shooting up and down these very impressive cliffs well you won’t have to long to weight as The Doinker Welsh Masters will be held here on the 14th and 15th of September 2013 so don’t miss it. Of course there is a lot more to be done to this range before it could hold such a major Pro tournament but it is doable, and the end result should give us some magnificent viewing.
This range naturally lends itself to video production allowing us to view this field archery spectacular from totally new angles without the interference of trees and undergrowth. With the ability to give the audience a side view of the shoot line we will be able to truly see the angle of shot as this is something that is difficult to grasp from the shooters position on the TV screen. The ten target course is set in and around an old limestone quarry in the Brecon National Park with another 48 acres of usable shoot range this will be one of the best and most trying ranges on earth when completed.
As the top archers of the world compete on a range that will truly challenge their skills I am sure we are about to see a massive change in the way pro archery is presented to the world.
Don’t forget that the videos of the Skins shoot are still online free to view at www.alternative2tv.com so have a look for yourself I am sure that you will love it unless vertigo is a problem, but then we are quite safe and comfortable in our armchairs looking at our new internet capable TV,s.
On to Miramar for the WFAC
For those of us getting ready for the World Field Archery Championships in October at Miramar Argentina it is all getting very close now and about time to pull out those sports psychology recordings and write down all your bow specs and spare sight tapes. And get everything ready for the shoot of your life as this is Argentina the land of fine wines, Lomo (Beef), Tango and don’t forget the people of Argentina who will make you feel like an old friend. Your evening meal starts at around 10 at night and can go on for hours so allow a little time to have a good time, you guys will just have to get used to getting many big hugs and the occasional kiss on the cheek as this is Argentina and the men will all give you a hug.
On a more serious note this is the 2012 WFAC (world Field Archery Championship) and as such at each WFAC the IFAA holds its biannual world Council meeting. This is where the delegates of the IFAA Nations decide on changes to the rules of shoot, IFAA constitution and everything to do with the IFAA is governed by this meeting, as such it is vitally important to all IFAA archers.
I implore all IFAA archers who love this your game to visit the IFAA web site at www.ifaa-archery.org to read through the proposed changes to our game as there are many proposed legislative changes that can totally change the way out game is run, scored, what we shoot at, what we shoot with and the divisions we will shoot in. remember this is basically a democratic organisation so you get to have your say through your IFAA nations representative.
We the members of the IFAA compete and love this unique and challenging style of archery, be it the Indoor round, Flint round, 3D, Bowhunter shoots, International round or the more commonly shot marked Field shoot. These are all competitions shot in the IFAA and unique to the IFAA, so I can see no benefit to us becoming a pale imitation of these other archery competitions, we are not inferior to these sports we are being asked to emulate, we are the International Field Archery Association. This is an internationally recognised organisation conducted under its unique rules not a pale imitation of others, just take a look at the number of member nations belonging to the IFAA, and this number is climbing every year. The design of targets and the way they are to be shot is integral to this game, demanding skill, concentration and a bit more thought as a simple mistake on a bunny can cost you dearly I know as I have made all those mistakes but then that is the IFAA game it is designed to trip you up and make you think.
I have been asked by other international IFAA archers to explain how some of these proposed changes would work if implemented, but for many of the changes I am at a loss to understand how they could work or why we need to make many of these proposed changes in the first place. As just one example our Bare Bow compound division will be impossible to shoot under the proposed changes in this I speak from experience having shot the Pan Pac Masters Games with a 60# compound bow without a Stabilizer under the FITA rules I won but it was not Pretty to see as the modern compound bow is designed to be shot with a stabiliser for balance and for many designs for shock absorbing.
Many thanks for the decision to post these proposed changes on the IFAA web site. However I believe they should be available for much longer prior to any decision being made as there is insufficient time for archers to be aware of their posting, then take in the information and make their feelings known to their National governing body prior to the vote.
Last and far from least I would like to thank our sponsors who help me to assist others in this wonderful sport, Vortex Optics, Ontarget2 Software for archers, Shibuya sights, Tru Ball releases, Trophy Taker rests, Twister Bowstrings and the US Archer magazine for publishing my ramblings.
Peter Bourke Archery Consultant for www.archeryfix.com