Thursday, October 27, 2016

Malacca Barebow Open

Staying in focus...

We have another seven or eight months to train for the 2017 Thailand Princess Cup archery tournament in Bangkok.
And one of the best way to "stay on edge", is to participate in local tournaments. It surely helps to calm the nerves while shooting with a crowd and since the Simpang Pulai event in September, there has been a steady string of events for barebow archers.


One of our guys has gone into "semi-retirement". So, out of the lot, only three people are left in the team.
I was pretty keen on to carry on with the local meet and when an opportunity came, I grabbed it without hesitation.
The event was held in Malacca in conjunction with the National Sports Day. It was a 15-meter shoot at a local hypermarket in Ayer Keroh.

With one of the regular Barebow archer at the shooting line

That "moment"

Taking aim

Beating the competition...

Among the group, there was a really good archer from Cheras who shot his way to the top spot in Simpang Pulai.
He was also pretty humble and easy to get along with. Encik Khairulnizam from Sabil Archery team shot 224 points to win the Barebow event.
Spare the agonizing wait, the six-arrow, five-end shootout ended in a flash. I had a few misses on the 20cm target face and managed to score 144 points.
I tied with an Austrian dude with the same score and came in at 10th place. Poor indoor lighting made it hard to zero-in on the target and I guess this is something that I had to address, especially when it comes to local tournaments.
The next shoot is in December and I will have plenty of time to train for this...

The crash

That dreadful phone call...

I was about to fix myself breakfast and a cup of coffee when my cellphone rang. "Sam, please hurry, Michelle is hurt!"
There was a panic-stricken voice at the end of the line. By the time the call was made, my wife was already in the hospital.
Some good samaritan took her to the emergency room after she crashed her bike during a leisure ride.

The cracked helmet...
Head protection, why it's important

I never ride without head protection. I don't preach about this, it's just pure common sense. There are folks who don't care about head protection and I am not going to go into that... Michelle had a bad fall, the right side of her face was scarred and she suffered a concussion. Her helmet saved her from a severe head injury.
Upon closer inspection, I found a crack on the right side of the helmet. The plastic cover on the side was delaminated.
Clearly, the head protection has done its job. Similarly, I had a bad accident more than 12 years ago. My Shoei full-face helmet saved my head.

A costly affair

Five days and four nights in the emergency room, treatment, a cat scan, X-ray and all that private hospital mumbo-jumbo costs nearly RM15K.
Thankfully, she had insurance that covered the huge sum. Apart from a laceration on her right knee, there were no serious injuries. 
But a follow-up MRI scan did yield good results. She suffered spinal injuries from the crash.

The road to recovery...

It's been more than three weeks since the crash. Michelle is recovering well. She is now able to walk without assistance. The rest of the months to come will be focused on physical rehab.

A cautionary tale...

Nothing prepares you for an accident. But when you take the necessary precautions, the risks of heavy injuries will be lessened. And as a rule of thumb, I don't cycle with people who want to go further, be the fastest or simply out there to prove a point. They either get hurt of put other people in harm's way.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Malaysia Cup Archery - Round 1

Malaysia "indoor" Archery Tournament...

Fooling around before the shootout...
We came to know about a local indoor archery tournament taking place in Perak. The gang and I have been training our shot placement and agreed to take part.
This is also in preparation for the 2017 Princess Cup Archery tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tournament day

I made arrangements to round up the Subang Barebow Archers team and shoot straight off to Simpang Pulai in Perak on Sept 24.
The plan was to leave at 04:30am and arrive just in time for registration and get along with the day's program.
Traditional archery was first on the list and there were at least 132 people taking part in the event.
Our buddy Mr Lau was first to go as he was prepped with the first group.

Lau, sleep-walking to the field.. Hahah!

Michelle setting up her bow
Listening to the briefing

Lau, at the shooting line
Something we didn't quite expect...

The "indoor" tournament had turned out to be an outdoor event. The shooting line was set at 18-meters with 10 shooting lanes.
We didn't expect the organization to be so bad, that the shoot actually started an hour late. Four groups were queued for the event. 
It was bad enough that most of us had grumbled about the repetition of the traditional archery event.
Instead of the usual one-round, archers were given two. 
Such, said the organizer, was done to give "satisfaction" to those who came from afar.
It was an agony to wait till our turn was up, nine hours later!

The advantage of training and mental conditioning

Taking my shot

Michelle in the second group

Taking scores

Michelle in action

My spotter...
Towards the last stage of our shot placement training in Subang Jaya, we took our shots mostly on a 40cm, 10-ring target face.
This helped us to hone our grouping and shot placements. 
When we got called to the shooting line, we did exactly what we had trained for.
I took my time, much to the frustration of other archers in the group. We were given 1 minutes 30 seconds to empty our quiver.
On the average, I took about 20 seconds to nock, aim and shoot.
My arrows landed mostly in the blue, red and yellow. 
In the first round, I scored 165 points and on the second-round, my scores improved at 186. I was a bit nervous during the first few ends, but having the advantage of shooting at the Princess Cup in Thailand had taught me to take my time. Pace each shot and try to make as few mistakes as possible. 
We were tested under rain and shine and I must say that Michelle did extremely well by scoring 168 points in the first round and getting 177 points in the second.
By the time she was done, it was way past 7:30pm. It got dark and we were done. We weren't bothered to go into the quarter-finals. 


Out of 54 archers in the barebow category, we came in at 10 and 11 respectively. We qualified for the next round, but were too beat to carry on. We have a two-hour drive to get back to Subang Jaya. That said, we had to forgo the shootout. 

The good...

Well, I have to say that the fellowship of archers was the main draw for this tournament. There were a lot of nice folks at the event ground. I met some familiar faces and some folks from the Monster Chill tournament in Malacca last year.

The bad...

Bad organization really marred the reputation of the tournament managers. The event went on until midnight. Many of those who qualified did a walk-over. 

The ugly...

I have to say that safety was the major issue here. While some folks were taking their practise shots, people can be seen walking in the background. And some idiots were smoking on the shooting line, this is a no-no in terms of sporting ethics.