Outdoor Archer’s Cup: A lesson in patience
After a fairly smoothly run warmup last weekend, I decided to compete in Ace Archer’s annual Outdoor Archer’s Cup since I knew this would be my one and only chance, as a compound shooter, to shoot multiple distances in a tournament before I went to Nationals in July.
Saturday was long distance day, meaning R would shoot 90 and 70M and I would shoot 70 and 60M. I have shot a lot of 70M in the yard lately with R, but basically the only 60 I’ve shot was to get sight marks (you only get practice at the longest distance of the day, so you need to know where your sight should be moved to BEFORE getting to the tournament). Practice was to begin at 8, with the actual scoring starting at 9. To me this meant get there around 7:30 to set up, so I would be ready to start shooting at 8am.
Apparently not everyone had the same view, as practice didn’t end up starting until about 8:45, so they pushed the start time back to 9:35. I was frustrated by this, as my #1 pet peeve is not following the posted schedule/rules of your own event! Ohh well, I just tried to go with the flow and was happy when they announced that due to the storms that were expected to be rolling in tomorrow, they would be starting promptly at 8am for warmup, so scoring could start on time (9am).
First up was 70M for me. I struggled all through the practice and most of the 6 ends of scoring. I kept feeling like my draw length had suddenly shrunk because everything on my bow felt too long. I wasn’t able to anchor properly, and my scores were showing it. With basically one end to go, I had a revelation…my stance had been more open than normal, because of how I setup my spotting scope, which was causing me to not be able to twist as much at the hips and get my full draw length. Once I closed back up my stance to normal, I felt much better, imagine that!
Now it was time for 60M, and I was just hoping my sight mark from the yard would be accurate. Lucky for me it was and I only had to make very minor adjustments. Overall, I struggled at 60, feeling like I was making ok shots, but my hold wasn’t great, and the increased target size in my scope was actually throwing me off I think. In the end, I finished only 1 point higher than my 70M score, even though we were using the same target 10M closer…at least I learned which distance needs the most work before nationals in a month.
And now it was Sunday, and I was ready to kick series butt, now that I would get to shoot my usual 50M (and 30). Of course, I quickly lost all my excitement when their was a huge controversy over target size, and the tournament director was an arrogant, jerk who proceeded to argue with the judges, even after multiple people showed him the rules and proved he was wrong. I was very disappointed in him and the way he handed things, and I can honestly say if I was a parent of a child there, the incident would have guaranteed my child would never be participating in one of their club’s events in the future.
Luckily, the judges were fair and stood up for the archers, ultimately allowing individuals to shoot their proper target faces…bad news was, this had caused an almost hour-long delay, meaning once again we didn’t get to start on time. After a quick vote, we all agreed to shorten practice to the standard 2 ends, so we could get started scoring as soon as possible.
I felt great at 50, but I made some poor shots (especially my last one at before moving to 30!) and I had some shots that didn’t go where I expected them too. Overall, I ended with a 333, which although I was disappointed with, I knew was a solid score for me.
Next up was 30M, and this is when I really got scared for correct sight marks. Because the same target is used at 30M as 50M, I knew I couldn’t drop very many points, so a bad sight mark could throw the entire end. On my first shot, I drew back and felt like I was shaking like crazy from the nerves. I tried to remain calm and just told myself to shoot a strong shot. That way if my sight was off, I would know the correct direction to move it.
First shot was an X! I was relieved, but now the nerves were coming from knowing I needed to keep hitting 10s. I finished that end with a perfect 60, though only 2 Xs. I dropped some points in the next two ends that I wasn’t happy about, but I ended up finishing with a 351, meaning I had only nine 9s for the entire 36 arrows. Obviously there is room for improvement here, but I felt like it was a good starting baseline score for my first time. More importantly, my hold had felt pretty good and overall, I felt like I was making good, strong shots.
That wrapped up the tournament, and place wise it was a success for R and I with both of us taking wins in our category for the second week in a row. For me, I am glad I did this event so I could get the experience of shooting distances in a tournament before nationals. And as always, I feel like I walked away from this event knowing what I need to work on, but also feeling like there were areas that I had made improvements. Next stop, SoCal Showdown this weekend in Chula Vista, CA!