Goodbye Old Friend

Friday the 24th September saw the departure from Glasgow Archers of an old friend. He had been with the club for 30 years or so. Been there for the club through the best of times and the worst of times. Always supportive. Never unavailable but now it was time to move on. Our day to day container had to be replaced.

IMG_1143 Truly a multiskilled and multifaceted feature of the club. Not just a storage container but a shelter from the weather, a workshop, a range for bow tuning, a rendezvous, reading room and our editors summer home.

 

IMG_1144Not dissimilar to Doctor Who’s TARDIS where the inside is more capacious than the physical external dimensions would indicate. Its truly amazing what fitted inside.

Unpacking done, the field party relaxed … aka the sun patio at an old folks home and soup kitchen for archers down on their luck/classifications!

Then it was sadly time to say good-bye… but also the time for “Hello and welcome to Glasgow Archers. ps: Sorry about the Scottish climate!” 

Wet Weather? No Problem!

happ3Glasgow archers are about to do something we haven’t done in 18 months … we’re going indoors. We have a hall and by jiminy we are going to shoot in the warm and the dry! Indoors, where its a shorter walk to collect your arrows, its never soggy underfoot and there’s even MOAR BADGES to be won! (There can also be chocolate in the Chocolate Challenge competition .. where the rules change faster than our vice chair can shoot 3 arrows!!!!)

Indoor times:                        Saturdays 1 – 3 pm                   Wednesdays 7 – 9 pm

Indoors however brings a few issues. We need to follow indoor protocols such as being masked when not shooting. We need to be aware our newer archers have never shot indoors before. And we are going to need to be aware that our storage situation is at the moment not good. (This will hopefully be addressed soon)

happ4So on Wednesdays/Saturdays please come a little early to help get set up and stay a little later to help clear up. Please don’t flee the hall at the end of the evening like a foiled bank robber OR arrive late/leave early to avoid helping set/clear up because you will be noted. Remember to book your session! And wearing Indoor non marking footwear like trainers or squash shoes would be a good move. Here are a few other thoughts about shooting indoors. Sunday mornings will remain outdoors for the hardy, the stoic and the 252 badge obsessed.

Below is the current guidance from the SAA and we will no doubt get further guidance from H@PP so lets all be relaxed about the indoor rules we need to follow and have a good indoor season!

beyond level zero

Fair Weather Archer Award

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Might give shooting a miss … weather looks iffy!

For too long there has been a style of archer in our midst who has no classification badge to strive for. No way to measure their participation or degree of their commitment! We’re talking about the Fair Weather Archer (FWA).
We all know them. The mysterious call offs, the no shows, the vague illnesses, the emergencies … always when the weather turns a little less clement than perfect. 

So it is that we at GA humbly make this proposal to AGB/World Archery. An award for all archers indicating just how insane or timid they may be in the face of our ancient enemy … weather! A classification which even Fair Weather Archers can wear proudly … those days they actually turn up. And to be fair, we’ll mock the All Weather Archer as well!

FWA AWARDS

To qualify for an award: you have to attend at least 3 sessions during a season, be noted as present by either judges or the clubs committee and shoot at least 1 dozen arrows at each …….. (at each session, not at the judges or committee! :o)

weather aA – Fair Friday Archer:   Here the archer faces all weathers with a stiff upper lip (probably frozen), flooded quiver and numb extremities. Two feet of snow, cloudburst, Texas trailer-park totalling tornado … nothing phases this archer. Likely to have extremely waterproofed boots, milspec scope and a complete change of clothing including underwear in their pack. Does not own waterproofs or warm weather clothing except where skin-tight so they don’t interfere with their shot cycles. Otherwise does not bother with such contrivances. Combination of polar bear and duck with the stoicism of granite.  

weather bB – Inclement Archer:   When the Judges call Inclement weather and most archers flee to their tents, this archer remains on the line like a soggy Greek god. Likely to argue rounds cannot be concluded early due to weather because of Record Status. Openly mocks those who race from tent to line, shoot quickly then back to the dry. Only carries an umbrella because papier-mâché score sheets are irritating to write on. Owns the best waterproofs available as the cost will be spread over SO MANY days shooting in a year. Has never had a cold or damp related ailment in their lives. 

weather cC – Scotch Mist Archer:   Precipitation falls from the skies yet this archer shoots on. Prepared with brolly, waterproofs, handwarmers and tent, they always pack a towel to dry their bow.  Unhappy their archery is affected by weather but willing to soldier on in the conditions. They shoot till their tab is soggy and their grip slippery before calling it a day. Less concerned about the discomfort till it starts to interfere with their form. Likely to be a veteran archer who really doesn’t feel the need to prove themselves anymore. Note: The bow will get use of any tent – the archer stands in the rain.

weather dD – Cloudy Archer:   No level of cloud puts this archer off. White and puffy or grey and overcast. As long as all their weather apps report the chance of rain is <10%, they will be down the field decrying the faint of heart. Slightest spot of rain will trigger a panic with weather apps consulted after each end. Messages will be regularly checked in case an “emergency” has developed at home necessitating they pack up. Should rain suddenly fall they will teleport instantly into their own or whoever’s tent/gazebo is closest and gossip/drink caf till the rain stops or the sessions ends. Skittishly, always has one eye on the heavens.  

weather2.jpgE – Taps Aff Archer:   The appearance of this archer heralds a perfect day’s shooting. They bring low winds, dry warm weather and a degree of sun that mandates sunhats and shades. This is known in Glasgow as “Taps Aff” weather. Seeing their name on a COVID track and trace booking list generates feelings not unlike seeing the first Swallow of Summer. However, should they suddenly call off, it’s likely their preferred weather apps have recently updated in a less that positive way. Never had to dry their bow and don’t own waterproofs other than a cheap collapsible brolly. If caught in the rain on the field, the meltdown would make our editor look well balanced.

weather fF – Scorchio Archer:   The ultimate Fair Weather Archer appears on the field only a few times a year. Owns a UV protective umbrella that wouldn’t last 10 seconds in Glasgow rain. Their gazebo exists simply to shield them from the sun and has all the durability of a dandelion in a hurricane. Shooting attire is sunhat, shorts and tee-shirt with designer label trainers for footwear. Owns no other shooting clothing. On the grounds of comfort, decries rule 307(b) outlawing flipflops but possible arrow in the foot? Nary a concern! Pack contains complete set of top of the range sun screen but no waterproofs. Increased attendance in any year used by scientists to track climate change. These archers melt if they get wet.

No specific archer is being mocked or outed by this article. Any resemblance to actual archers dripping on the line, sheltering under their brolly or hiding in their tent is entirely coincidental. If you see yourself in the above …..  ;o)

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Sun image by Ana_J from Pixabay

The Rise, Fall and Rise of SF

sf logoIf you were starting your archery journey in late naughties/early-mid teens, its likely Sebastian Flute (SF) risers/limbs would have been recommended to you. An entry to intermediate level brand from Win&Win, its quality and price were fantastic. There were SF fan bois, new kit was hotly anticipated and easily half the bows on any line would be SF. Then in 2017 the brand ended! So let me tell you the tale …

Frenchman Sébastien Flute won Olympic gold in the Men’s Individual competition at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. On his way to the medal he defeated three South Korean archers. Three! .. South Korean! .. Archers! Well … damn!
He retired from International competition after the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

SF Forged

Our Editors first bow – the two-tone SF Forged.

Now around 2005-ish Korean bow maker Win&Win saw an opportunity. In partnership with Seb, over the next 10 years or so, they created the SF range of archery kit specifically targeting the entry/intermediate level. FABtastic value, the brand was a great success. Everything from risers to chest guards. Limbs to buttons although that button was a travesty! So good was some of this kit that by 2016, the top riser and limbs were arguably better than some W&W kit and far better priced.

Then on 1st April 2017 Win&Win announced that the SF brand would be renamed WNS and their relationship with Seb had run its course. Initially thought to be an April Fool joke, this was surprising because at the time the SF range had never been wider or more loved. Its been speculated that W&W wanted a more integrated product range with WNS and W&W kit each occupying their own niche. There was a lot of duplication between SF and W&W items where SF often undercut the equivalent W&W product. Also it was a long time since Barcelona and some felt Seb’s name recognition had fallen … ignoring the fact that “Sebastian Flute” had become a mainstream archery brand in its own right. Thus SF kit like the SF Forged Plus riser slipped from the catalogues and onto ebay where they became one of those items where bidding gets “frisky”.
Thus SF is no more? Well yes ……. but no!

To very little fanfare, in late June 2021, a phoenix has risen and gently slipped onto archery store webpages. A range of limbs and risers under the brand name Sebastian Flute has appeared. The SF brand and logo (see top image) is probably still owned by W&W but you can’t trademark someone’s name. To date there is not a lot of information out there but our editors fav archery store, Alternative Sports, are carrying this range and Alternative like to provide the better end of kit to customers. Pictures are few and protected by death, damnation and copyright but the link on each riser name will take you to Alternatives website where there are images to dribble over. So lets take a look.

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NEO Riser : Seb’s entry level riser limited to 44lbs draw weight or less. Its a 25″ riser weighing in at a reasonable 1200g making it a lighter option preferred by ladies or juniors. A fairly attractive, slightly more curvy riser than the others painted in standard colours. Its nothing ground breaking but looks to be a good first bow where cost or weight might be important. Approximately £100 which is a fair price for quite a lot of bow. There is a reveal video to be found here

EVO Riser : The more intermediate, “first bow” suitable riser in the range, the EVO has quite striking angular looks with some subtle anodized colours to chose from. Again a 1200g riser putting it on the lighter end of 25″. Likely to be the riser that stands a good chance to be the spiritual successor to the much loved SF Forged plus.  Well priced for an intermediate riser at around £185. Alternative seem to selling quite a few of them if their email newsletter is to be believed.

ISO PRO Riser : More towards the top end for an intermediate riser, the ISO PRO is marketed as a stable riser with vibration dampening built into the limb pockets. Touts an easy adjustment system for the limbs. A definite step up from the EVO it appears with these innovative limb pockets. Slightly softer looking design than the EVO, again weighing in at 1200g with an anodized coat. There is very little superfluous metal apparent in the design. A more expensive intermediate “first bow” or upgrade riser coming in around £280. 

ASCENT Riser : The flagship riser for Seb is the Ascent. Quite a striking riser harking back to the more angular design of the EVO. A little more heavily built at 1320g for stability, the riser comes with top, bottom and handle rod positions and a classy wooden handle. The limb pockets, similar to those on the ISO Pro are said to be quite innovative and easy to adjust. Definitively not a first riser and aimed at the more serious archer. Should be on your radar when thinking to upgrade your kit to a more experienced level. Its angular anodized good looks will catch the eye on the equipment line so expect a few questions about it if you splash out the required £500.

GK archeryThere are no independent reviews of these risers or the performance of the associated limbs at present so the above is based on their looks and some basic information currently available. Seb’s partner is GK Archery from Korea and there will be a range of ‘innovative’ accessories coming soon. There is some info floating about that 15 Korean international prospects have been using the kit but as yet no real confirmation. Check out the bow porn pics on Alternative in the links above or this link for Quicks and see what you think. 

All in all its good to see the Sebastian Flute brand back on the market and our kit obsessed editor is looking forward to setting up one for any club member who turns up with an untuned, still in the box one. However, we’ll leave the final word to the man himself … Seb Flute introduces his new range of bows.

GK Archery Facebook page with some information and pictures on the new Sebastian Flute brand.

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All images used for the purposes of review and reporting. Ownership remains with the copyright holder.

Olympic Archery Aftermaths

tokyo2020_pictogram_archery_headerNow that the archery is done for this Olympics, the results are in the books and the celebrations/commiserations are over … what can we takeaway from this showcase of our sport?

Korea’s 4 Gold Haul: In the main this was the An San show. Dominated ranking with a new Olympic record. Disposed of pre-competition favourite Deepika Kumari 6-0 in the quarters. Won a shoot off in the semi’s verses America’s Mackenzie Brown then won another against the Russian Elena Osipova for the Individual ladies gold. In the ladies team event Jang Minhee, Kang Chaeyoung and An San were beyond dominating to take the team gold. Finally, in the mixed team event An San and Kim Je Deok took the gold with some resistance from the rest of the world but gold still went to Korea. An delivered a superlative performance over the entire event. Totally money and unflappable when the chips were down.
In the gents team, Japan gave the Koreans a run for their money but in the end the three Korean men were just too strong collectively where individually they were a little lacking against the best of the rest of the world. Disappointment no doubt it wasn’t 5 golds but the Koreans still go home job well jobbed! Note: Everyone came home with a Gold!  

chinaChina: Pre competition we marvelled at just how much effort the Chinese were putting into selection. 20 days continuous competition to select the team! It was unprecedented. These archers must have ice in their veins and be stoic lumps of granite! But the Chinese seemed to burn out or perhaps wilt under the pressure. Was too much pressure brought to bear in the selection process leaving them mentally exhausted? Hard to say but the Chinese will be extremely disappointed in their performance which may require a major rethink. Something to watch come World Cup time.

Journalists: Pre Olympic hype had Deepika Kumari all but enthroned as the Olympic champion before an arrow was shot. It was the story that journalists wanted to tell – rags to riches, success rising from a chaotic federation, husband and wife Olympians compete together – it looked like Pulitzer Prize winning material. This conflicted rather obviously with the bookmakers odds that had all three Koreans ahead of Kumari. She looked strong early on ranking 9th but lost her quarterfinal match in the women’s individual event to top seed An San 0-6. Lesson we can take away from this … journalists don’t know as much about archery as bookies. (Ed: Am going to head down to BetFred later for some coaching! ;o)

hoytHoyt: After the failure of the bottom limb (perhaps twice) of Finn Antii Vikstrom, Hoyt have a PR situation on their hands. Normally any success in a big competition would be used as part of a major ad campaign … “Hoyt congratulate xxxxx on their medal win using our kit”. However if they try to celebrate their archers successes at the Olympics, the limb failure is going to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind and no doubt raised. That would be uncomfortable. How Hoyt deal with this will be interesting. Open and transparent OR head in sand til incident forgotten? Any analysis of the delaminated limb would be required reading by bowyers. Was it fatigue, external influence like heat/damage or was it design/manufacturing flaw? I doubt we mere peasants will ever see anything of that commercially sensitive information unless it completely vindicates Hoyt!
Update: Hoyt seems (as far as we can see) to have taken the silence route with little advertising out with their usual awareness ads. 

And finally …
agb logoHow does the Olympics affect we archers/members of AGB?: Its going to be all about did the UK do as well as was anticipated? If we did as well as expected or better, future funding to AGB will be either the same as before or higher. If we didn’t make expectations, funding will be cut. That’s the reality of Olympic funding in the UK. Its a harsh but very effective strategy witnessed by our 65 medals at Tokyo (22 golds, 21 silver, 22 bronze). If funding is cut AGB fees will go up to try to cover the short fall. Post Covid this could be a disaster as archer numbers are already falling and raising the price of “admission” to clubs would be suicidal. However the funding for the elite team needs to be found somewhere and public money is tight in our pandemic affected economy. Something for us all to watch and be aware of in the coming months or indeed year.

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Images used for the purpose of reporting. No ownership is implied.

Hoyt Limb fails at Olympics

2020_1 - CopyHoyt Archery: We were deeply saddened as we witnessed Antii Vikstrom’s limb break during his match today. At Hoyt, our mission is to produce the highest quality equipment to match the excellence of the world’s best archers. We sincerely apologize to Antii and Team Finland.

While leading 5-3 in the 5th set of his 1/32 round match against Khairul Anuar Mohamad of Malaysia, Antii Vikstrom of Finland suffered catastrophic failure of his bow’s bottom limb. As you only get 20 seconds for each shot in a head to head round and there are no do overs or make up shots for equipment failure, Antii never had a chance to recover and so lost the set. Likely very shaken, he went on to lose the subsequent shoot off to Mohamad.

Apparently this was the second incident to strike Vikstrom at these Olympics. His lower limb failed during the ranking round according to this horribly translated, we assume by google translate which can be extremely unkind, Finnish news article. “Olympic games (for him) ends in tears” (many thanks to Ose Marviner for correcting the title’s bad translation)

While there are no guarantees against equipment failure, such incidents are in the main rare. Usually they are brushed over as unfortunate flukes and in our editors case (when cracks appeared in his top limb) the dealers replaced the limbs without quibble. However, for a Hoyt limb to let go on the biggest stage of all … and apparently not just once … well that’s embarrassing and questions will no doubt be being asked right now in Hoyt’s Salt Lake City, Utah centre of operations.

Why would this be worrying for them? Given that Hoyt have an extensive Pro-Staff of top archers including recurve archery household names such as Ellison, Deloche, Kaufhold, Oh Jin Hyek,  Loginova, Duenas and Valladont all sponsored to shoot Hoyt kit … any doubt about reliability could cause these archers to consider their positions and that would be terrible PR for Hoyt. Hoyt is a company that has built its reputation on great archers being great using their kit. Its going to be all about Risk Reward … is the risk of limb failure possibly during a competition worth the reward of sponsorship.

Potentially a rough time for Hoyt and one hell of a brutal disappointment for Vikstrom.

Original breaking of the story with pictures and reactions from many archers from around the world are to be found on World Archery’s facebook site

Olympic Pictograms

pictogramsOne of the things that I’ve always liked about the Olympics are the pictograms. A pictogram is a graphic symbol that conveys meaning through its resemblance to a physical object. Traffic symbols involving silhouettes of cars and bikes are good examples. They get information across quickly and you don’t need to under stand the language to get the meaning.

So it is with the Olympics. Need to know where a specific event is but don’t read Japanese very well? Here is a teeny tiny representation of the sport you are looking for…. and its over there!

The archery pictograms have varied considerably over the years. From extremely stylized archer with baggy pants, though fusion of archer and chinese character. From classical iconography to post post modern. From accurate representation of an archer in the act of shooting, to a chap who looks like he’s getting down and funky while holding a bow.

The variety just in the last 9 Olympics (the Korean Years! ;o) has been pretty vast and you can compare and contrast them in the pic to the right. For once we’re not going to critique the form being show by the images, our editors head might explode considering the 2016 icon’s dynamic release/ole gesture.

My personal favourite is the 1992 Barcelona icon with its funky disco dancer closely followed by the Beijing image which just seems so right! Hopefully you’ll have a favourite as well.

Dominating Korean Ladies

Sounds like this website has taken a kinky turn but in Archery, this is less about getting spanked by a leather clad lady you call “Mistress” and more about getting yo ass wupped good on the international archery field!

olympic ladiesThe team competition in Olympic archery was first held in 1988 at the Seoul Olympics. On home soil, the South Korean ladies took gold. This started an unbroken run of gold medals in the team category. That’s 8 consecutive Olympics where the ONLY winner of the Archery Ladies Team Gold Medal from its inception has been South Korea. This is unprecedented in the modern Olympic era and a display of total domination. But is there going to be a change this year?

The Chinese team has prepared like never before with 20 days continuous competition to select the toughest competitors they have. Chinese Taipei have been pretty damn strong during the World Cup and Olympic qualification. India is anchored by Deepika Kumari who is arguably the best woman archer in the world right now …….. yet it doesn’t matter a jot it seems. South Korea is going to take another ladies team gold and there’s no-one who can stop them.

Hang on! That’s a pretty bold statement to make with not a single arrow shot yet. Well, as we are all probably aware bookmakers are not free with their money. Odds are refined to the nth degree and long odds bets are just that ….. loooooooooong. A quick glance at the current odds on the ladies team archery would have other countries just giving up and going home.

Taking one on-line betting website as representative, it has the Korean ladies favourites at 1.84. That means if you put on a bet of £100, you would get your money back plus £84. That’s pretty much a bookies sure thing, a dead cert, guaran-damn-teed!
In second place Chinese Taipei at 4.11 – a bet of £100 gets your money back plus £311.
In third place India at 4.69 – a bet of £100 gets your money back plus £369.
After that its simply giving your money to the bookies with little chance of getting anything back :-
Best of the rest Russia and Germany are at 10.46 – a bet of £100 gets your money back plus £946. (Hmmm, the club does need a few things … worth a punt I wonder?)

So its the less than favourite Taipei or India otherwise South Korea rolls relentlessly on to a ninth consecutive gold …….. at least according to the bookies! So bet the mortgage** and fill yer boots! You can trust me guv’n’r … or me names not ‘onest ‘arry the bookie.

** That’s a joke. Seriously don’t bet the mortgage. Even our editor who is a huge korean lady archer fanboi wouldn’t do that!

Edited to Add: (5 days after I wrote the above article I checked the odds again. The Koreans had shortened to 1.546, but Taipei were now 4.88, India 5.71 and the best of the rest to 12.6. The bookies seem to think that sure thing is getting surer all the time!)

2021 ladiesPost Olympic Edit: Those pesky bookies had it right all along!

Latest Covid Level as of 19th July …

there-is-now-a-level-0

… Just not sure I want to go back to sharing a target or being near other archers though!

More seriously, below is the Level Zero advisory from the SAA.

Please remember …
If you are an active member of GA, you know to book your slot at glasgow.archers.booking@gmail.com
If you would like to shoot with us and are an AGB member OR a returning GA archer but haven’t yet shot with us during COVID, please contact us at the following address: glasgow.archers.membership@gmail.com just to get the details sorted out.

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The Most Valuable Shot

What’s the most valuable shot you can make in archery?

Well, the perfect spider killer in a head to head shoot-off would be top of the list. Right up there would be the confidence building gold from the first arrow of any round. How about pulling out that unlikely last second high scoring shot that you need to pick up a medal or a badge so giving a warm glow. There’s even the opponent crushing indoor 12 point dot! However all of these and probably all the situations you thought of involve scoring lots of points. I have another suggestion. The humble Line Cutter One.

On the face of it, the line cutter one does not seem like a success. It looks like a total and complete klutz of a shot hanging onto the edge of the face by the grace of a waft from the air conditioning or deflection off airborne pollen. Its damn near a miss and is guaranteed to crush an archers spirit and confidence. But should it?

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Known as a “Strang” at GA – usually appears when PBs are in the offing. 

Lets look at this hypothetical arrow. That ’10 points’ you just lost is in fact only 9. So its not as bad as it looked when it left the bow. Additionally you picked up that point through line cutting making that point even more cherishable – line cutters always feel like a stolen point. It might even have been a gift from a judge and outside of Judge Frank Schallmoser and his boundless sweetie sharing, you know how rare they can be!

These are all valid thoughts but the key here is in the phrase “damn near a miss”. It isn’t a miss, its a scoring arrow. Rule 306(s) Resolution of Ties in the Archery GB Rules of Shooting states that the premiere tiebreaker in an Imperial round is the number of hits. This is a scoring arrow, therefore a hit and is counted as such. You may have just dropped 9 points but there’s no guaranteed loss in a tie breaker situation looming over you. Your opponent might also have a klutz moment but NOT get a scoring arrow! Your line cutter one would give you the advantage in a tie and your hit streak continues.  Also take a moment to feel warm and fuzzy that you won’t lose to an arbitrary ruling defined in the Rules of Shooting and thus give no joy or succour to AGB’s evil apostles on earth … aka Judges** who live for these moments!

So cherish that line cutter one … it not as bad as you thought and could have been worse! We could be looking at your arrow in the wood or even somewhere in the grass!

Important: During some shoots, chocolate is handed out on selected ends for furthest from the gold. Deliberately trade points for chocolate? … unethical, unsportsmanlike but so tempting and yummy!

** It should be noted that there are nice judges in Scottish Archery with a list available from our editor. However, as a long time competitive archer, his willingness to bear a grudge and a huge number of line cutters unawarded have combined to make his list shrink to impressively minute dimensions. ;o)