FIELD ARCHER Magazine
The following articles are examples of content you can expect to find in The Field Archer Magazine.
Field Archer October 2015 Article
The ‘Waltons’ visit Sweden
A short story of a 10 day visit to Sweden for EFAC 2015 with Dee, Jo, Katie, Dave & Stu, aka the Waltons (just look at the picture of the house to see why) but we will let you decide who was which character but I accept as the oldest of the group to be known as Zeb (Grandpa Walton).
This was a pretty easy and pain free journey with the five of us meeting at Heathrow very early Friday morning. All arriving through security within a few minutes of each other and having plenty of time for a full breakfast before the flight to Gothenburg, with a scheduled flight time of two hours being achieved in 1 hour 40 minutes. Collecting two hire cars at the airport was also a simple process, although my first time of having to drive on the right (I got used to it by day 9 and don’t think I worried Dave too much). Our first meal on the journey from Gothenburg to Amal along the E45 was a visit to Burger King, trust me there really isn’t much choice on the Swedish roadside for much else. Roads are exceptionally good to drive on and very empty of traffic, so I assume food and drink places would not survive due to the lack of customers.
The 5 of us had rented a house for the duration of our stay and we knew in advance that it was remote and in the middle of the forest (there’s plenty of that). With this in mind the house owners had very kindly agreed to meet us in Amal, so we could follow them back to the house. Well, this was the start of our adventures and after some miles on tarmac we turned onto a gravel track, 6 kilometers later the house was in view and we were shown around.
There was a bedroom from the kitchen and too further bedrooms up some very steep steps which were entered by coming back out onto the veranda and unlocking another door. It was comfortable and after some cleaning of tables, cutlery & crockery all was good. Each evening on return from the competition and finding some-where to eat we had drinks and snacks on the midge screened veranda, with all of us having fun with the supplied electric bug bat (by the way we all purchased bug bats to take back home to play with). After only a day we all settled down and found the house good fun and comfortable.
Topics of laughter included the use of the bug bat, seeing a local guy riding a kids tricycle wearing a blond wig and dress, while drinking a can. The Walton’s buying up most of the stock in the local off licence, on more than one occasion (OK I’m probably exaggerating this a little!!). The refusal from some of us to ever go into another Burger King. Luckily Karlstad proved a good town to visit for a meal or two and for the girls to do some shopping while Dave & I sat having a coffee and a chat. Team England all met for a pizza/pasta meal organised by Ash on the Tuesday night where there was also plenty of laughs and chat. We had plenty of fun playing card games most nights and having to reset the fuse switch if we tried to boil the kettle while having the veranda heater on.
The Competition Days Each day we had the usual conversations and comparisons of targets, courses, how we all shot and how the group positions changed, with some days for some of us proving a little stressful. Katie was with us every day, despite a 5am start as our friendly and always happy support manager, greeting us all every day, with ‘how are you doing’ and encouragement for the afternoon at the food station between the two courses. Katie spent time with Steve & Mike selling IFAA badges etc and chatting to other archers from around Europe. We were very lucky with the weather each day, no rain to really speak of but quite chilly when starting each day but taking layers off by mid-morning when the humidity levels and heat increased. The two courses were well laid out and clearly set at a major championship level. We each shot each course either twice or three times but only ever once with the same type of tar-get faces. The Swedish Association published the daily results and the next day’s target positions on the web early evening, which was appreciated by all. Each of us shot with great archers all week and made some new friends, while competing in the sport we all love so much.
Well what more can I say, a huge achievement by us all with Jo, Dee and Dave winning Gold in their styles and me with a bronze. The ‘Waltons’ were also members of the England Team together with James, Charlie and Steve and very pleased to get Silver for the Team of Nations. James, Lisa, Ash, Lesley, Natasha, Dave, Karen, Charlie & Nick all won individual medals in their styles. Thank you to Ash as the England Team Manager and looking after us all for the week so well.
Another long and tiring day with a mid-morning start for the drive back to Gothenburg, this time finding a nice small cafe rather than a Burger King. While there Charlie, Karen & Natasha arrived and joined us for coffee. We then all drove to Vanersborg for the eight of us to have lunch together and a stroll along the lake. We did drop off the hire cars and arrive at the airport rather early finding a 3 hour wait for the bag drop desks to open. Flight back to Heathrow took the full 2 hours this time, it must be uphill on the way back.
I only have the one disappointment to report and that is spending 10 days in Sweden and not seeing even one Moose.
I would like to thank the other ‘Waltons’ for their friendship, fun and support all week, we all got on so well and I can’t wait for the next trip.
Field Archer Focus October 2015 Article
Born and bred in Worcester. Had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school but initially I worked as a computer operator at my Local Authority then trained as a PE Teacher, Teacher of the Deaf & finally as an Educational Audiologist. Retired 2 years ago. Married to Frances for 19 years - she is a committed non-archer. We’re in a Community Choir but it would be stretching it to suggest I sing in it but it’s a great thing to be a part of. Always a keen sportsman (to the detriment of my school education I’m afraid) and I played County and area league squash for many years till a back injury forced me to quit. Now in my second spell in Archery.
Barebow Recurve (one of the few). When I started shooting again in 1994 I remember Steve Kendrick saying that he thought more archers would now start shooting this style again! I’m still waiting - hope it isn’t personal.
How dare you! 62 if you must know.
Retired - previously an Educational Audiologist.
Hoyt Formula Rx + Hoyt Quattro or F3 limbs. Quite light in draw weight these days but starting to feel I’m getting some control back at last.
Well I need reading glasses (or, before someone says it, a monocle). I often wonder if my scores would go up if I shot with a sight but I’m not willing to fork out £200 to find out.
None but could do with one.
Having shrunk to a weedy 11 stone and living in constant fear of beach bullies kicking sand in my face, I embarked on the Charles Atlas “Dynamic Tension” method (this certainly shows my age). Seriously, my consequent loss of strength meant I couldn’t draw my bow & I was desperate to shoot again. With visits to a Personal Trainer and the gym and a lot of weight-based training (though I’m sure this isn’t immediately apparent), I’m pretty much archery fit again - but still 11 stone. This sort of training isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but - I would definitely recommend it.
How often do you practice?
4 times a week. Easier to fit it in now I’m retired.
Do you do your own repairs etc.
Yes if I possibly can.
Do you have a coach?
As a stringwalker, I think many people think I practice some dark art and are therefore reluctant to venture any comment but I’d welcome some input if there was someone around with the appropriate knowledge and skills. I do welcome advice / comments from anyone watching me shoot so don’t be shy. As has been mentioned before in this “Focus” section, Coach’s Eye is a great app - cheap to buy and very revealing.
What started you in field archery?
As a youth I started, but never finished, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme which required those taking part to take up a hobby or interest. Someone I knew had a fibreglass bow they were selling and that was it - I was hooked. Initially I was a member of Worcester Company of Archers (target archery) but a club member, who was also a member of Severn Valley Yeoman Foresters field club at Ombersley, offered to take me along to shoot at the field course and that was it - I didn’t go back to target again. Having said that, I regularly shoot at Royal Leamington Spa Archery Society nowadays. In 1971 I gave up archery and squash took over until 1993 but I picked up the bow again (and yes, it was the same bow) and became as keen as I ever had been.
Most memorable archery experience?
Breaking Brad Marshall’s EFAA Hunter Round record which had stood for 20 years. I understand that he had shot this, and the Field Round record, with his Mum’s old bow! If it wasn’t for the fact that he is a top shot and a true sportsman and gentleman, I’d have to hate him. I can also just about remember becoming Worcestershire Junior Target Champion in 1960 something which got me and my parents pretty excited.
Goals for the future
To break Brad Marshall’s Field Round record!
What do you enjoy about archery?
In all seriousness I frequently ask myself this as archery is a demand-ing and frequently frustrating sport. Locally, I have some good friends in archery and we have a lot of laughs and good banter and this, together with my desire to improve, keeps me enthusiastic. Oh, and of course, I’ve met some good people out on the EFAA ranges and have rarely had a day that I haven’t enjoyed.
What piece of advice would you give to a new archer?
CORRECT practice makes perfect - so get a good coach.