I had been invited to the Kapiti Classic tournament in July 2018, just north of Wellington. As the only participant from the South Island I felt a bit nervous but was greeted by a very friendly bunch of people. The club is associated with New Zealand Field Archery, but the Kapiti Classic tournament is open to all archers.
I participated in both days of the 2 day tournament. Day 1 looked like it would be a rainy day. After registration and a brief welcome we started with round 1 – a mandatory 2 arrow round. In a 2 arrow round you must shoot both arrows and both are counted towards your total score.
Luckily the weather improved quickly, I wish I could have said the same about my results. Being back in tournament mode took its toll on my mental focus.
In my group on day 1, I had one of the very few historical longbow archers and a novice compound archer. We had a great time together. A total of 50 archers participated in the tournament. One of the most memorable shots was the one out of a dinghy on a fish.
Lunch was organised by the local scouts, and what a lunch it was. Thank you guys!
With a full belly we started round 2 – a classic hunter round. You have one arrow – so make it count. My scoring improved, but I still hadn’t found my game (pun intended!).
The 3D archery range was beautifully set. A great variety of 20 3D targets was placed very nicely in a mixture of pine forestation and open land. I always wanted to shoot at a Rinehart Dinosaur target and at Kapiti they had 3.
Archers left home exhausted from a hard day at work at the end of day 1. But the Kapiti guys stayed and re-arranged the 3D archery targets overnight for the 2nd day. And they added another 8 targets for a classic 28 target – 3 arrow round. Great effort guys!
On the morning of day 2 I realized that I was competing against the standing silver and also the standing bronze medal holders of the international field archery longbow category. It was an honor to spend this second day shooting with them in a group. Their dedication to daily training is exceptional. And after I totally screwed up my first 3 targets, my mojo finally came back!
From here on it was a blast! The three of us raced through the 3D range, shooting hearts and lungs consistently with our first arrow. We didn’t even put them back in our quivers. A longbow archer is usually faster than an olympic or compound archer who needs to set and check their pins before every shot, but our speed was way above average.
I finished the 2nd day round with only 60 points behind my new friends and achieved overall 3rd place in the longbow class.
Suffice to say, I will come back next year. And thanks to everyone at Kapiti for the friendly welcome and great tournament.
P.S.: My special thanks go to my friend Nick. Who not only let me crash at his place, but decided to come along and to drive us both days. He only got his first bow a few months before and due to a renovation project had no time to shoot it. So his only practice was a late night session on Friday night with me, just before the tournament. What a spirit!