Irish Open Field Championships 2016

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In the year Ireland hosts the World Archery Field Championships the big news from the Irish Open Field Championships was that Spring had arrived and the venue was looking extremely scenic. Many trees were just coming into leaf and the different foliage colours in addition to the blooms on the cherry trees and ramsons were…….

Well, no, actually. The big news this year was that, in preparation for October, Wicklow Archers were hosting Ireland’s first three day field shoot that would culminate in Elimination and Final rounds. The May Bank Holiday weekend facilitated this three day archery-fest.
Along with our travelling friends from Ulster, there were guests present from the IFAF and Christoph and Karin from Austria. Sixty one archers shot the Qualification rounds on the first two days.

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Along with the official field divisions of recurve, compound and barebow there were also longbow and compound barebow archers.
A 24 target unmarked round is rare these days so the first day was a treat and it was followed by a marked round on day two.
Weather threatened to mar the event but for the first two days early morning rain stopped in time not to spoil the shooting so there was no repeat of last years sodden conditions.
Scores in the barebow class were up reflecting interest in qualifying for the Irish team and many archers present were chasing qualifying scores.
The course was a standard Wicklow Archers affair. Tough. Challenging.

Organisation was top notch from the multiple recycling bins and organised parking to the tape that ensured safety zones were observed and the arrows that guided us. Ropes and steps cut into the banks ensured easy and safe progress.
The rules about electronic devices on a course with an unmarked component meant that pictures from the first day were limited but with a full marked course on day two pictures could be taken.

The closer shots allow for short sharp slopes to be utilised to create merry havoc with footing, balance, form and cut calculations.

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The sloping blue peg 15m bunny was particularly cruel and the Wicklow Folly took no prisoners either.

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The Club house shot was absent from the qualification rounds but the Cliff shot was back, with no less than three butts… so shoot the correct colour coded one!

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Long shots need no added difficulty to be tough.

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The World Championships consist of two days of qualifying rounds, 24 targets, unmarked distance the first day, marked the second. The top 16 combined scores in each category continue into the First Elimination Round and scores are zeroed. After 12 targets are shot, the top eight in each category will continue to the eight targets of the Second Elimination Round to be reduced to four archers to shoot four targets in the finals.
On this occasion, there was no category that had enough participants to require the First Elimination Round as not enough people were staying over for a second night.
So a wet morning, yet again, heralded showers and the first, err, Second Elimination round in Irish history for official field categories. Other categories had had their medal ceremony at the end of day two.

 

 

 

After a short eight target round, of all novel targets, four archers were ‘left standing’ in each category. These would be paired high-low for the head-to-head Semi-Final round which would decide which two archers fought it out for gold and silver and which two shot it out for the last bronze medal in the Medals Finals.
Again, eight new targets were used, four for the semi-finals and four for the medals final. Some of these were quite novel. The Folly was reversed, the Club house shot was used and a target was shot from the top of a container.

 

 

By the time the last arrow was shot a few things had happened.

Potential World Championship archers had had a schooling in how it’s done, they had been put in a pressure cooker and had seen how the placings after the qualification round really don’t matter when it comes to medals.

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All in all, a very useful and successful trial for archers, ground crew and officials, which will stand them in good stead for later this year. Well done all!

 

Congratulations also to Garrett Byrne and Jane Langley on their silver medals.

 

 

Oh, the scenery was pretty good too!

 

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Full scoring details can be found here.

 

Photos of the Elimination and Finals rounds courtesy of Smiler O’ Rocker. Many thanks.

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