I was happy to follow the invitation of our Bearpaw distributor in Russia, Victor Tarasov, to Moscow. The traditional market there is just about to get started. Products Bearpaw happily supports the traditional scene in Russia in word and deed, and even on site. Upon approaching Moscow airport, the beautiful Russian countryside with its wide green spaces, moors and forests already became obvious. Even the 350 km journey to the hinterland was very entertaining and showed a lot of Russian culture, landscape and people.
On the second day I was given the chance to take part in a Russian tournament round (Elimination Round) with Fita rules. The organizers wanted me to give the “person of Henry Bodnik” the chance to socialize with the Russian traditional archery scene. I started with my Raven longbow and wooden arrows made of high quality pine from Bearpaw’s wooden arrows production line. At a maximum distance of 35 meters, 2 scoring arrows per target were shot. Each arrow in the super kill counted 12 rings, 10 rings for inside kill, 8 rings for outer kill and 5 rings for body shots. I personally felt this kind of competition very pleasant to shoot, because it was a challenge that demanded a lot of precision and concentration.
Also very pleasant to me was the harmony and blending within each group between compound and traditional archers. Again, the beautiful Russian countryside with its hills, forests and green spaces deeply impressed me. The only downside on this day were countless mosquitoes and heavy rain that set in just before the end of the first competition day. Completely soaked wet, I went back to the hotel, from which – after dinner – we went to the next race. In this part of the tournament, a longbow archer, an instinctive shooter and a compound archer formed a team and completed another 8 shooting positions.
At the hotel I talked shop until late into the night with Russian archers. Thank God, there was always one who could translate from English to Russian. T third round of the tournament started at midnight, I pulled out however, feeling tired from the arrival and the day of the competition, so I retired to my hotel room. Just before that, I was satisfied to see the results of the elimination round, having shot the highest daily score in the longbow class. Victor told me that he would like to see me take up the qualifying round the following day as well which was necessary in order to qualify for the final round including a duel.
I had not expected so much competition pressure, especially since my last tournament lay back almost 2 years. All eyes were on “the archer and coach from Germany,” who also represented the Bearpaw brand and very much stood in the limelight. Satisfied, I closed my eyes that evening, but not without having posted a few pictures in our Facebook account for our loyal fans.
A report on the 2nd day of the competition and the final round will follow.