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That's me that isOne of the nicest open shoots of the year I know is held next door to Kew Gardens by Royal Richmond Archery Club.  It happened last weekend and, although I shot a below par round and didn’t near the medals, it was a great day out.

Various participants (including me) were filmed on flip cams by some roving reporters – it was a bit spur of the moment and made me realise how ‘being on the spot’ and still being able talk coherently was quite a skill.  I now appreciate even more the feelings of some of my past internal work video ‘victims’ – who still delivered some great snippets.

If you shoot flipcam interviews – you should try and spend time on the other side as well!

Learn more about my day at Winkball’s report (my bit has the same photo as the link).

On Saturday we were shooting at 50yds when one I saw one of my arrows hit, but also something flew past the target?

When we went up to collect the arrows at the end of that set we could see I had hit the nock of  an arrow already in the target and split it in half – with a splinter of shaft flying off with it.  Luckily it was one of mine as well!  Both arrows scored (nice) and I should be pleased with the grouping 🙂

It makes me think that it would be very hard to actually get one arrow to stick into another with modern plastic nocks.

Arrow splitting a nock.

Almost a Robin Hood

Since taking up Longbow archery a few years ago I have been fascinated by the variety of bows available. Choosing one above another is difficult.  It is not easy to try them out; friends at clubs may be OK with you having a go with their bow for a few ends, but it takes time to get to know what is working for you.

So, I started out with a bow made by club resident guild member, Paul Reed, who had made bows for many members and others.  I acquired a triple laminate bow (42 pound pull at 28 inches). This served me very well, even taking the Surrey Longbow championship one year, and still continues to be a reliable companion.

Next, on a trip to Washington State,  I came across Curt Brisky who fulfilled my next desire with a truly traditional lovely and sinuous pure Yew bow (50 pounds pull). This was a new experience and a new love. Faster and light in the hand 80 and 100 yards became more realistic distances to shoot, albeit with new arrows (arrows are a story for another day!), and a bit of adjustment.

Then I read a review of a Adrian Hayes bow on the Archers Review blog. I was impressed, even excited by what I read. If a bow was really that good I had to take notice. Yes I know it is only one part of the equation in the bow/arrows/archer mix, but I was struggling to find form with my current mix of arrows and bows and I was ready to take a chance.

I phoned Adie and had a good chat; a few weeks later my new bamboo backed bow (52 pounds @ 28″) arrived.

First impressions were good. Very good. The extra pounds felt OK, the bow was responsive and light in the hand. Arrows shot true and suddenly I started to realise where my weaknesses were. Yes, I need to improve my aiming. Yes I need to match my arrows better to the bow(s).  But now I have a bow that in  some unspoken way reveals that to me.

It will still be a while before I understand this and start to find the right combinations of bow & arrow at the different distances. But that journey has now started. Thank you Adrian, Curt and Paul.

On the book pile…

Nova Swing: John M Harrison.

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