Namoi Valley Archers was represented by a very strong 18 member team at the Northern NSW Branch 3D Championships held on the Central Coast over the weekend and after an outstanding performance the team returned with 8 gold, 6 silver and 3 bronze medals. The tournament was very well supported with 118 competitors in attendance and with only one twenty target range in operation shoot groups were extended to 6 competitors per target which resulted in relatively long rounds over the two days. The format for the event featured a 3 arrow round ( first scoring arrow to count) on Saturday morning followed by a 1 arrow round in the afternoon and a 2 arrow round (both arrows to score) on Sunday morning. The newly adopted scoring system proved very popular with competitors and the range designers drew high praise for their testing but very fair courses set out over the weekend.
Ben Ireland scored a great win in Freestyle Unlimited, after holding a narrow 2 point lead overnight from fellow club member John Clark, Ireland scorched around the course on Sunday dropping just 4 points out of a possible 800 to score an impressive 28 point win from Clark who turned in a steady round to retain second place. Steve Jaeger and David Buckingham gave the club another one-two finish after fighting out the Freestyle Limited division with Jaeger finishing strongly on the Sunday to score the win. Darrell Hudson and Michael Patrick also grabbed a quinella for the club after a see sawing battle in Mens Recurve with the pair holding off a strong group of recurve archers to finish the weekend on top after turning in very impressive performances over the three rounds. Stuart Dolbel scored a great win in Bowhunter Limited Flight 2 and must be knocking on the door of a well earned promotion into the top flight. Cassie Neuendorf was thrilled with her win in Bowhunter Unlimited after a very determined performance showing great character over the weekend’s competition. Karen Hudson was the surprise performer after deciding at the last minute to compete in her first away tournament Hudson showed plenty of ability to grab a well earned silver medal in Womens Compound turning in three impressive rounds and Lisa Buckingham confirmed her potential with a bronze medal in a very competitive Womens Bowhunter Limited division.
The club’s junior members were right in the thick of the action with Jodi Buckingham and Keegan Patrick finishing with gold medals in their respective Junior Compound D grade divisions and Jackelyn Patrick grabbed gold in Cub Recurve with a very encouraging performance. Wade Hudson finished in second place in Junior Compound Advanced and Cameron Hill grabbed second place in Junior Bowhunter Limited while Josh Dolbel finished with the bronze medal in a very hot Junior Freestyle Unlimited division and Christopher Patrick rounded out the medal count with a well earned bronze in Cub Compound.
The remaining Moontera course was a real challenge for anyone who hadn't done a lot of rainforest or hilly shooting, some of the shots were brilliant as the 3D animals were placed through the forest terrain, in creek beds, at the bottom of steep gully's, the course made use of the abundance of dead ground to try and trick the archer when estimating distances.
The deer shot through a huge split tree was a favorite, until day 2 when they replaced the elk with a much smaller doe.
It was also pleasant to see everyone was happy to get their photo taken, everyone except Bob that is.