Shoot report – Long Eaton Field Archers – 5th May 2013

It was bank holiday Monday (a public holiday in Britain) when I started writing this and for a change it was bright, sunny and warm. It normally rains in Britain on a bank holiday, just one of those things.
The only down side to the day was I ached lots. My shoulder had tightened up loads but I managed to shoot round the course on Sunday, so was worth it.
Big thanks
Before I go any further I would like to thank my shooting group, Andy from Artemis, Len from Hanson and of course Sharon. They were very supportive especially in the second half of the day, when my shoulder began to ache and lock up. Thanks guys.
Shooting group - Andy, Len and Sharon

Shooting group – Andy, Len and Sharon

So on to the shoot report. LEFA is one of our favourite shoots and we do our best to get there whenever possible. (last shoot report can be seen here if you are interested)  Though this time I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it, as the trapped nerve in the shoulder had meant no shooting for several weeks.

On Saturday I had managed to get round 20 targets at our wood and that had been a challenge, so a full 40 course might be too much. Was I nervous, oh yes!!
Added to this is that this shoot is only a few weeks before the national 3D champs many archers will use it in good preparation for the 2 day championships and I really want to be fit for that, so no pressure!!

This course had been very carefully laid, with 2 distinct sections. One section being very technical with the course layers using the limited ground cover and tree avenues really well. It was a really good pre championship course, well done guys.

Lunch break verses shoot through… old debate
My only criticism of the day is the lunch break. LEFA stop the shoot at 12:30 and restart it at 1:30 to allow archers to come off the course and grab some food. Other clubs run a shoot through, which means the course is designed so as you pass the food stops once or twice, where you stop for 15-20 minutes to grab something to eat. The advantage to this method over stopping for lunch is it means you have a steady stream across catering and through the course, rather than a mad rush of 180 people wanting food at once.
The reasoning behind the stop is they say they can’t design the course to allow people to shot through, which is a real shame as you result in stopping for an hour and lose the flow.

Also after lunch the shoot slowed a lot. In the morning we had done 17-18 targets before lunch (about an hour and a half) After lunch we had only done 9 targets in the same amount of time as we were always catching the group in front , who had been catching the group in front of them and so on and so on. In fairness LEFA do provide a good lunch menu with some great desserts for those with a sweet tooth.
Anyway back to the course. It was a full 40 target course mad up of all 3D targets of varying size and shapes, with 4-5 people  a peg there were about 180 archers making for a very full car park.
Start was delayed slightly due to some late arrivals, but we got out on course at about 10:30. Our first target was a small 3d rabbit at about 15 yards. Great I thought a small target to start on doesn’t build confidence,especially with my first arrow skimming its back, second arrow hit though.

As I said the course had a good mix of small to large 3ds with a couple of the new 2D/3D targets. These skins as they are sometimes called have a 3d relief and can work well where a full 3d can’t be used due to space or safety concerns.
Long Eaton ground is a mix of established  broad-leaf woodland and more open younger areas. Mostly flat it does have a number of what can best be described as scrapes or shell holes.

LEFA grounds

LEFA grounds

The site had I think had been an old open coal pit with a small coal seem a few feet underground which has long since been mined but had left these depressions. These holes were used a number of times by the course layers,  resulting in us having to shoot into, across or sometimes out of them along the ground.  Very hard to judge distance when you are at ground level.
Lack of photosYou might notice there aren’t as many photos in this shoot report, this is due to changes in the rules in the NFAS. Archers are no longer allowed to take photographs before they shoot, so sorry there aren’t many target shots in this shoot report. I also didn’t want to delay my group and groups behind.

Sharon at LEFA

Sharon at LEFA

The reason for the change is that some people were using the camera as a targeting aid, to judge distances etc. I’m not a fan of the rule change but have to obey it.

So how did I get on?
Well despite Sharon feeling she didn’t shoot well she came away with gold, though I think she has plans to increase her practice time.
As for me well I managed to get round the entire course with only one blank, though too many 3rd arrows which I think aggravated the shoulder. I dropped 70 points in the last quarter of the course.I did come home with  second place, missing out on first place by 6 points. Not bad I suppose, considering I wasn’t sure I would make it all the way round at times.
In all our club came away with 9 medals in different classes, so was a good day for all. Full shoot results can be found here.

As ever thanks for reading.

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