Shoot report – NFAS National Championship 2013

2013 NFAS National Championships

2013 NFAS National Championships

Last weekend (21st-22nd September) saw the annual NFAS National championships, which this year was held just outside of Hemel Hempsted, Hertfordshire a little over a 2 hour drive from home. This was the second time the Gaddesden Estate had hosted the event in the last 3 years, though this time we were only using one area of the woodland.
The estate grounds are a lovely mix of old mix leaf deciduous woodland, crisscrossed with paths and hollows, some of which were used by the course layers exceedingly well.
Unlike other champs we decided not to camp being unsure of the weather and went for a bit of luxury, well sort of limited luxury, as we and a few others booked in at a Premier Inn about 20 minutes drive from the site. It was a novelty being able to have a hot shower, a proper bed and not too bad food from the restaurant next door.  We were joined by a few others from Severn Valley and Paget de Vesey club making it a social evening on both Friday and Saturday night.
2013 NFAS Nationals

2013 NFAS Nationals

The two clubs who put all the effort in to set the courses, clear paths and marshal were Cloth of Gold (Course A) and Westcott Archers (Course B). This would result in 2 very different courses of 40 targets one shot each day over the weekend. With over 400 archers present the courses were packed, with 5-6 on a peg, top marks to Admin though for all their hard work and organising.
Personally I think the society should have gone with 3 courses, as it would have spread the archers out and wouldn’t have resulted in as many hold ups on pegs which was a real problem for us on Sunday.
Delays result in a lack of flow to the day and I suffer from this in the form of a loss of concentration and focus. Combine this with a more challenging course, Sunday would prove to be a tough and long day. With only 2 courses it would see us shooting in mixed groups, which was great as it meant I got to shoot with Sharon on both days.
The first day we would shoot A course with Pug (who we had shot with before at Thornbury and would go on to be placed in compound limited) Robin and Norm with B course on Sunday with Rob Cook, Vickie, Lesley (Rob would go on to win gents bare bow)

Downhill boar

Downhill boar, probably the best shot on A course

Saturday A course

A course was laid by Cloth of Gold and would prove to be the easier of the two and I think this was partly due to them having less woodland. There were a few lovely set targets like the boa in the hollow which you shot from the top of the slope. The thing I liked was that there weren’t many silly long shots.

Only two targets spring to mind and both were small ones. The JVD red squirrel which was just after the food stop and the JVD ermine. The ermine is a small target and doesn’t need to be put on an angled boss. The squirrel was too far and it didn’t help that we had an hour long enforced lunch break just before it due to hold ups with groups in front of us. In contrast on B course the Ermine was set up really well.

Ermine target on B course

Ermine target on B course

In all though the day was okay and made better by the good company.

Sunday Course B

Sunday saw us on B course set by Westcott Archers which was far more challenging and demanding for all.

2013 NFAS Nationals B course sunday first target

2013 NFAS Nationals B course Sunday first target

The problem was this meant archers were taking more arrows and with the number of archers present it slowed down the day especially at the longer shots or those 3d targets with no backstops.

At one target when we arrived there were two groups in front of us still waiting to shoot it. I spoke to a few people who like me thought it  would have been a good idea to station a couple of marshals there during the day to help search for missing arrows.

2013 NFAS Nationals 3d deer

2013 NFAS Nationals 3d deer

This was the first time there had been a mix of 3d and paper faces at the championship. Traditionally it had always been solely paper faces.

2013 NFAS Nationals red squirrel

2013 NFAS Nationals red squirrel on B course

Big thanks to Merlin Archery who donated the paper faces for the event.

Tight shot between trees Nationals B course sunday

Tight shot between trees Nationals B course Sunday

Whilst it was good to shoot a mix of faces I think the lack of back stops on some of the longer distance 3d targets resulted in delays as people searched for missing arrows. Having said that there were some great shots on B course including a very deceptive 3D crocodile which had been hidden in a slight dip, which saw many archers arrows go high.

I would like to say a big thanks to Alex for all her stunning pictures of the weekend some of which she’s kindly allowed me to share on this site. Love this one of Sharon.

2013 NFAS Nationals Sharon

2013 NFAS Nationals Sharon

I manage to get one of Alex, whilst she was getting ready for end of shoot awards.

Alex hiding behind camera

Alex hiding behind camera

Waiting for results

Everyone waiting for results

SVYF came away with team trophies in bare bow, longbow and instinctive along with placing in the individual gents bare bow, crossbow and junior girls hunting tackle.

2013 NFAS Nationals - Barebow team

2013 NFAS Nationals – Barebow team Sharon and Robin, the rest of the team (Ivor & Steve) were a bit camera shy.

Sharon missed out on placing by 20 points coming under 3rd place. As for me I came in 8th, not bad I guess but I dropped 3 places on Sunday, I think due to the delays and waits for shots. Full results are available on the NFAS website, or click here .

Thanks for reading.