NFAS Nationals September 2008 Shoot Review

Heart Of EnglandThe NFAS 2008 Nationals were held at the Heart of England Conference and Events Centre taking advantage of the large woods surrounding the centre. Having experience the rest of the English summer I was anticipating two days being soaked to the skin and sinking to my knees in mud. But for the weekend of the 20th and 21st of September summer finally arrived and we basked in the glorious rays of an English Summer; you just can't beat that feeling.

As normal with the  NFAS Nationals their were four courses A & B for the real traditional archers and the X & Y for those with the fiddly sight things. As you may have guessed I shoot in the traditional style and so I can only review the A & B course from the point of view of a Longbow archer. On the Saturday we all gathered around the marque to be informed of the rules and the ready to go.

LongbowThe Longbow archers were to shoot on the A course on Saturday and the B course on the Sunday. So off we went finally meeting our shooting partners at our first target and after the obligatory exchange of names and scoring cards we were ready to go. The klaxon sounded and off we went spending an excellent 5 hours wandering through the woods. I had told that the Nationals were notoriously difficult, this being my first, and true to form the course was up to expectations. Although many of the shots looked short and at first glance easy to kill that was not the case because a small Squirrel paper face does not have a large wound area so the theme for the day was shoot three arrows regardless because you never know with a paper face. The moving through the day we transversed the woods normally occupied by the Paint ballers and off-road courses passing the wreaked Landrover and helicopter on on into the heart of the Paint ball arena being presented with a very interesting and deceptive long shot through the partially open doors of one of the paint ball bases. The day proceeded well with some very interesting and challenging shots especially when the sun and shadows started playing tricks on the eyes.

The Duck

Sunday was yet another glorious day, slightly chillier than Saturday but still a great morning, and we were due to shot the B course. We were all expecting a similar round to the Saturday with the hope of improving our scores from the day before. Little did we know, at the time, that the B course was somewhat more challenging that the A course and the course layers had a penchant for small fury animals or not quite as small but at a long distance. In fact B course made the A course look like a walk in the park and simply step the level up a notch or five. Again the course layers had taken advantage of the natural terrain and put in some rather deceptive shots with anything bigger than a raccoon being a long way away (although I must admit my best shot of the day was the 24 on the puma which at a guess was a 40 m shot). The B course layers also seem to have a thing for raccoons and turkeys with many of popping up on the course liberally interspersed with the squirrels (I hate squirrels) and prairie dogs but given all of that and the fact that this was, what I and the majority of people I spoke too thought, was a hard course I think it was also a more enjoyable day.

Raccoon

So having completed the 36 faces by 14:30 we only had to wait for the sighted archers to finish before prize giving a 18:00 and then heading home. The net result for Westcott was a Silver Medal for Mark in the Compound Limited and a Bronze for John in the Junior Longbow.

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