News Flash

Over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th May 2015 the British Archery Field Championship was held at Head Down, Petersfield, Hampshire, right in the middle of the South Downs national park.  4 members of the recently formed Kent Archery Field association, which included 3 members of Ashford Archers, booked in and took part.  For Chris Horan, a member of Ashford Archers, this was nothing new, a veteran of many major field championships from one end of the country to the other.  For Hannah Brown, an International Archery judge, and not a member of Ashford Archers but likes the shooting shirt, this too was nothing new.  But for the president and chairman of Ashford Archers, Bob Beaney and Tony Harris, this was our first real experience of a field championship under such testing circumstances, and most definitely our first experience of an unmarked round, both of us had only ever shot field rounds where you knew the distance to the target from the shooting position, we had taken the plunge and entered at the top field tournament in the country, in for a penny in for a pound. 

Pictures from a camera phone I am afraid do not do justice to the steepness of some of the up and down hill shots over which some of the targets were arranged.  The one below hopefully gives you a hint, observe the spotters in the background and note the angle of the binoculars!

Bob Beaney, in the green, shooting at the British Field Champs 2015

One target that springs to minds is a 45 meter long shot on a 60cm face, for those of you used to shooting indoors that’s a Portsmouth face at very nearly 2 and half times the distance, where the target was a good 30 meters above your ground level up a slope of approximately 45 degrees. On top of this you were stood on uneven ground that sloped upwards and away from you.  After shooting your 3 arrows you then had to scale those heights to score and retrieve your arrows.  This may sound easy, but believe me, you try it carrying your bow, arrows and the rest of your equipment, my legs felt like lead when I reached the top.  On more than one occasion this was followed by another uphill shot.  It was always a relief when you turned the corner and headed back downhill, only to find that when you reached the bottom the course turned back uphill again!  I would say that from the lowest to the highest point on the course must have been approaching 80 meters and on day 1 we did that climb 3 times, on day 2 we did it 4 times, if you know me you know how much of a challenge this was. 

Will we do this again? Yes most defiantly, next year this shoot will not be the British Field Championship, that is to be held in Belfast, but we will be back to this and a few other field venues in the south of England.  We hope you will consider joining us and giving field archery a go.