It was around 7am of Saturday when people began to show up.
The scene had already been laid down under the capable and experienced direction of our senior coach, Pete Pendrey.
The hut opened (Corus Deeside Archery Club summer location) and the ‘angels’ began to run the restoration point, delivering fabulous running breakfast baps.
Like Mark said,
“bacon and egg baps are one of the pleasures of life”
The previous night had seen a little shower and targets were humid. Luckily, we didn’t have to change faces and judges had been clement on us.
My eyes had never seen an archery competition before, and that looked like the perfect quartet of Judges.
Mrs Brenda precise and smiling, Mr Ian, fair and reassuring, Mr Colin enthusiastic and attentive and Mr Jason mindful and knowledgeable. Rich of words and advice for everyone.
Typical tournament days began after registration with equipment inspection, assembly, practice, and then the proper competition.
Explanations and instructions were given by the judges in a simple and clear manner.
It was cool in the morning and the sky was cloudy, but all seemed to call for the perfect weekend.
Archers, well behaved, organised at the equipment line and respected their well practiced shooting routines.
We had lights to time every end of arrows, as stipulated under world record status tournament rules.
Lights, controlled from the judges tent in the middle of the tent line, displayed your turn.
Archer A and B, followed by C and D.
And so, rounds played out.
When targets had to be moved, all archers helped.
That task was made easier by foam bosses, which made the moving a lot less stressful than with heavier straw bosses.
WA 1440 rounds saw gentlemen shooting at 90, 70, 50 and 30 metres and ladies respectively at 70,60,50 and 30 metres.
Clearly, at 30 we had to reinforce some bosses as the powerful compound bows were shooting straight through some of them.
Compound, recurve, longbow and barebow lovers attended the tournament.
And although not all arrows ended up on the targets, we saw some real promising stars of the world of archery. Young shooters that didn’t miss to carve black holes in the gold. Group so consistent that we had to change the face time and time again.
Our chairman Gareth had me notice the elegance of the longbows.
I experienced the sense of peace you get when drawing a bow, but seeing the flight of wooden arrows was another enchantment I had to experience.
Some excellent archers showed up last weekend and the overall ecstatic feeling spread in the joyful conversation that happened between shooting neighbours, where you just exchange the happiness you get in shooting arrows.
The cherry on top of the cake was the celebration of the 50th year in archery of our senior coach, Pete Pendrey.
Not everyone can claim a career like his. He’s shot at many competitions and represented Wales even in Italy. He has received rewards as both archer and coach and for his contribution to this wonderful sport.
He’s done so much, and he’s got so much dedication and passion for it that we (the club) made a special effort to celebrate this occurrence along with the tournament.
Thank you Pete for your continuous dedication!