This year’s UK and Ireland Field Archery Championship ( UKIFAC 13) was held in Scotland, hosted by Forest Spirit Archers on the 3rd and 4th August.
This was my first time attending this event as I had only joined the Welsh Field Archery Association (IFAA) a couple of months before, to attend their Welsh Champs. I had won Gold at the Champs shooting my Redman using carbon Timber Sticks in the Bowhunter Recurve class and was asked if I would consider joining the Welsh Team to compete in the UKIFAC13. All exciting stuff.
A couple of weeks later I had received my new custom Bodnik Big Bear and had settled in nicely with it, so decided this was my bow of choice for the shoot.
Unfortunately, all but a few minutes before the shoot was to start I was advised that the team category had a unique requirement…. I must use wooden arrows…??
Ordinarily Bowhunter Recurve allows for the use of any arrow type and I had tuned the Big Bear and myself to using my Timber Sticks… Hmm…. What to do?? I could shoot for myself and the championship title with the Timber Sticks or use wooden arrows and shoot for my country!!!! Well, I decided to dig out my spruce arrows which I had not used with the Big Bear and go for it.
The first days shooting, was unfortunately all over the place and I came back with a far lower score than I would ordinarily. But I still came in at Bronze position. I think the change had thrown me a little more than I expected. However, the second day was to be a different story. I had got my head around the wooden arrows and had tuned the Big Bear a little and I came in with the highest score of the day in the Bowhunter Recurve class. Beating the Irish Champ and his teammate, who had never been beaten with wooden arrows.
Once all the scores were in it was a nervous wait to hear the team results. I already knew where I sat in my class as I hadn’t made up enough on the scores to win and was still in 3rd place for the Bronze medal. The question was, had it paid off, changing my kit at the last moment for the team scores? The last result of the day was the team scores…. England 3rd…….. Scotland 2nd…….and 1st…………………………………….WALES…………….. YES! Winning Gold for the first time in over 20 years!
A great result, from a really fun weekend shooting my Custom Bodnik Big Bear.
One thing that really surprised me, was that Henry Bodnik heard about the results on the weekend and took time to give me a personal call to congratulate myself and the team on the Gold medal result. I also have to thank Henry and his master bowyer Christoph for taking the time to listen to customer requirements and making them happen.
Big congratulation to Wolfie and the whole Team from Bearpaw Products!