Forest host national competition

LONG SHOT: The archers target can be seen through the trees in the Compound Freestyle
LONG SHOT: The archers target can be seen through the trees in the Compound Freestyle
Have your say

THE UK and Ireland Field Archery Championships were held at the weekend, hosted by local club Kings Forest Bowmen.

The odd shower did not daunt the 176 hardy archers who took part, which was the biggest turnout for many years. Twenty six had travelled over from Ireland to take part, with others coming from Scotland and Wales.

The archers had to shoot a different round and course each day, consisting of 28 targets with four arrows shot at each one. Distances ranged from 11 to 80 yards.

The maximum score each day was 560. The highest score of the tournament came from Geraint Thomas, from Wales, in the AM Freestyle Unlimited, scoring 1094 from 1120.

The 11 different bow styles are divided into Veteran, Adult Junior and Cub. Not all the divisions were contested and, of those that were, England took first place in 21 of the divisions, some with only one point to decide the outcome.

Local archers included Andrew Hood, in his first major tournament, who took gold in the AM Barebow Recurve, beating opposition from Wales and Ireland and setting two UK records.

Karen, Charlie and Natasja Pinches all took gold in the Barebow Compound division, each with two UK records.

Alec James attained gold in the VM Barebow Compound, again with two records along with Stan Wilding in the VM Bowhunter Unlimited.

Richard Brown claimed gold and two records in the VM Longbow with fellow club mate, Phil Smith, in second place.

Claire Bonney AF Barebow Recurve, Ron Potter AM Bowhunter Unlimited and Tony Smith VM Bowhunter Recurve claimed a bronze medal, with Adam Smith AM Freestyle Compound and Dan Rae AM Freestyle Unlimited taking a B Class award each.

England came out top in the battle of the team event, narrowly beating the Scottish team by two points over the two days, followed by Wales and Ireland.

Each team consisted of six archers of matching styles. Gary Harvey and Tony Smith, from Kings Forest, were two of the team.

Four members were also presented with medals they had won in the World Indoor Mail Match, held over the winter months indoors, and the results were sent to be collated in Australia.

Rosie Potter VF Bowhunter Limited and Alec James VM Barebow Compound both received gold while Claire Bonney AF Barebow Recurve and Ron Potter VM Bowhunter Unlimited took silver.

Full results can be found at