The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for February, 2019

My First Target Tournament

Posted by Exile on February 4, 2019

I would have written this up yesterday but I was worn out after a long day. I’ve been to 3D tournaments before but never a target tournament. Shooting at the big round things has never really been my preferred form of archery. I’m better at objects. Well, I used to think I was. That may have to change…

I never expect to win anything. I turn up, do my best and enjoy the experience for what it is. Meet people. It’s as much social as it is competitive. It’s a fun thing.
Yesterday, at the Frederiksborg Cup meeting, I didn’t quite know what to expect. One thinks that all the best of the best will be there and my expectations of achieving anything even mildly spectacular were not exactly high. There were many classes, ladies, men, youngsters, Subdivided by bow types, longbow, recurve, barebow and compound, subdivided again by classes, masters and seniors. I was in gents longbow, masters.

frpokThe whole shooting match gets underway with what is known as ‘qualification’. Two rounds of thirty arrows to make the best score you can. If it’s high enough, one goes through to the finals. There were a lot of archers on the ranges. It took time to get through that bit. Too long. Lunch was reduced to ten minutes. I managed to go and pee, smoke a cigarette, eat a big ham and cheese bun and drink a cup of tea in the time allowed. Amazing what one can do when under pressure. I thank my old army experience for this sense of urgency and the handling of it. Others were not so fortunate.

The qualification continued and I learned that the scoring system, run by an app (it had to be an app didn’t it..) and a wi-fi link, had failed miserably (predictably?) during the proceedings. We were now reduced to good old pen and paper. Thank heavens for scorecards. This brought the time frame crashing down and the day began to drag out. Progress was now painfully slow as the judges were also reduced to paperwork and somehow had to keep track of who scored what and where did that put them in the current rankings. So why had we needed to rush lunch? I don’t know.

I’ve been to Africa and had the chance to see a cattle market in Kenya. 2,000 animals, hundreds of people, noise, heat, dust and endless confusion. Looking back, it seemed more organised than what I was presently experiencing…

Qualification over, we took a well earned break and I discovered, to my amazement, that I had qualified and was now in the finals. 32 archers remaining and I was among them. So, now it’s knock-out time.

The masters and seniors in the longbow section had now been thrown together as a result of the failed scoring system.
We were now known as ‘gents, longbow, 18 metres’. This was annoying to me, because at that point I was in second place in my class and had a good chance of winning the damn thing. My blood was up. I smelled victory. The red mist descending…

Now, suddenly, I was up against a whole different field of combatants. Younger, fitter, better eyesight. The list is endless. Still, no excuses.
Disappointment is one thing, but being deprived of my chance at glory through no fault of my own is another. Oh well….
Luckily, one of the ladies from our club had made cakes. I fortified myself for the coming challenge. Tea and cake. A godsend in these difficult moments.

Knock-out is a simple procedure. Two archers face off over the best of 5 rounds of three arrows. If you win three of those rounds, you proceed. Otherwise, it’s goodbye and thanks for the match. Obviously, that continues until there are only two left. One wins, the other doesn’t.
I made it to the quarter finals. Eight of us left. And then I got my arse kicked. I didn’t make it easy for him though, I took it to all five rounds…

So, what did I achieve? The experience, I suppose. I was doing well amongst my peers in the master class until the judges couldn’t keep track of it any longer. I was one of the final eight gentlemen longbow archers out of all those that took part and there had been many at the start of the day.
Perhaps I should be happy with that.
I think I am.
I sent others, more experienced than I, out of the competition. Not bad for a newbie.

Will I do it again? I don’t know. It was a long and sometimes confusing day. My back ached from all the standing about. But it was a bit of fun and a day well used.

Can one ask for more?


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