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Tuesday, August 18th 2009

Program in Saignes

first qualification round 24 targets - unknown distances

08:15 - 09:00 warming-up

09:15 calling of the groups

10:00 start of the 1st qualification round

16:00 return of groups

EC France LogoImpression of the day:

I have to rectify a quote from yesterday. I wrote the entire Norwegian team was complete but that is not the case. Morten Bøe is not here. He had to stay home with a flu (we don't know which one). We wish him well and are sorry to hear this news. Other sad news is that this tournament has very few juniors in competition. When too little archers are competing in a division, no medal will be awarded for winning that division. Lots of juniors decided therefore to compete in the senior division instead.

Today we shot the unmarked round of the qualification during the European Championships Field Archery in Champagnac, France. It was hot and humid, however in the shade with a bit of a breeze it was kind of okay. And although I wrote in an earlier report part of the course was in the shade, it turned out it was not enough, since being out in the sun was just killing. Being out in the bright sun posed also another problem for German archer Axel Langweige. He told us the bright light gives an odd perspective on the size of the target to him. So he made sure he looked twice before deciding on the face size being either 60 or 80 cm. Not a problem for British archer Chris White, he lugs a 15 times magnifying pair of binoculars with him and he can actually read the face size in the corner of the paper. He was one of many archers that were thrilled about the course. "Worthy of a championship" was the phrase he used. It was quite decent walking and there were lots of angular shots in the courses. Another very enthusiastic archer was the Slovenian Maja Marcen Pavlin (she married two weeks ago and got here after her honeymoon).  She said it was much more extreme than she is used to shoot in Slovenia, but it was a lot of fun to be challenged in this way. The general opinion was a thumbs up as far as the course is concerned.

In the red course we had an 80 cm face steep uphill target and two archers overshot the target. Being steep uphill, the arrows travelled a good 400 meters behind the target into a field close to the recently relocated cows from where our targets are now. And apparently these cows are rather expensive. So, for tomorrow, this target will be equipped with netting behind it, even if the distances are known tomorrow.

The fieldarcher photographers were on a leash today. We were ordered not to go into the field without a judge and that was quite troublesome in terms of being able to decently cover the archers out here. I started on target 1 in the red course, handheld by a judge, shot group 1 at target 1, traveled to target 2, waited for group 2 to arrive and photographed them at target two. So, that meant it would have taken me twice as long as the archers to walk a course. As a matter of fact, I gave up on it and tried to get some pictures from the public roads instead. And that is rather pleasant here: I have never been to a European Championship were you can see that much of a course from the public roads.

Our normal procedure is to walk a course, cover group 1 and overtake them during the scoring of target 1. Then take pictures of group 2 at target 2 or maybe 3, overtake them during scoring and meet up with group 3 etc. In that way we can cover a course typically in just under two hours and see almost everybody out there in the field. The judges were not happy with the situation either, since babysitting the photographers meant they were not able to do their judge-duties as they would like to do: changing faces, helping the archers having a fair competition, retrieving overshot arrows, judging shoot-throughs, dealing with team captains that try to speak with their archers in the middle of an unmarked course. Stuff like that which makes all the difference if performed properly. So we hope they are allowed to loosen the leash tomorrow and we can traverse the course much quicker than we did today.

The archers had problems with the buttresses used here in France. The judges had to assist with more than a few shoot-throughs, even on new targets. The archers using the X-10 arrows especially had problems. Both the shaft and the point is rather heavy compared to other arrows, and has lots of energy to be absorbed by a target. These targets often are just able to stop them, and at times the arrow travels into the target up to the feathers. Or worse. Other arrows, like the ACE with a 90 grains point don't have that much energy and are being stopped okay.

Our internet connection is not that spiffy here in Saignes: it takes about 1 minute to upload a photo at our hotel, and there is no internet on the field available. We tried uploading scores with a mobile phone internet connection, but our prepaid French phone card is still not offering the promised Internet connection, even after the 48 hours they said it would take to activate that option. Grrrr. Luckily the FFTA does a very decent job uploading the scores from the field to the FFTA website. Apparently they do have a mobile phone internet connection that works. So, if you are frequently visiting our photo albums covering the event, what you saw today will probably be the case tomorrow as well: upload a fair amount of material from the morning session at around noon, and complementing the albums from that day after six.




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