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Monday, September 12th 2011

Program in Montevarchi

09:30 - 12:30 Accreditation 

09:30 - 15:00 Officical practice

10:00 - 14:00 Equipment inspection

14:00 - 15:00 Team Captain's meeting

17:30 Opening Ceremony

EC Italy LogoImpression of the day:

The program stated the official training and equipment inspection for today. The day started with some clouds, so we had a reasonable temperature for the first part of the day. Since we had a full house, everybody today experienced the nature of the buttresses here. They are tough. And as I said yesterday, compound archers have a hard time retrieving their arrows. And if you retrieve your arrow, you must double check if the target was also friendly enough to give you back the point of the arrow. The archers lost points, and not in the competition, but quite literally. So at various occasions, expert-point-digger Giorgio Botto (the coach from Italy) was helping out with treasure hunting for points in the depths of the straw. And if those were X-10 points, those are indeed treasures. Archers that shot full carbon also had a problem. The full carbon arrows flexes less, so there is a reasonable chance the arrow breaks on impact. Nice.

The equipment inspection was quite uneventful. A couple of archers still had a 'strip' with target archery sight settings in combination with field archery settings, where only one sight strip is allowed. Furthermore, the judges were picky about dots on the riser part that faces the barebow archer. I think all archers had such a mishap: right before you nock your arrow you accidentally stick the point against the riser, leaving a mark. I wouldn't have a clue how that would help an archer estimating the distance to the target (it is more likely one is annoyed at oneself for  scratching the bow) but the judges wanted to have those markings taped. Another thing that was new to me were binoculars with a zoom option. The judges were okay with it, as long as the zoom option was without a scale, and without markings alongside the zoom-slide.

For the opening ceremony the archers assembled on a Piazza in Montevarchi. A band marched before the troops, with flags acrobatics, and the teams marched right through town to another square. All traffic was stopped, traffic lights were manually overridden, and I think I never saw that many different police officials in one place. In any case, the march was organized like clockwork (pico bello) and the archers were seated at the square in town where we had the official opening. Some more flag acrobatics, speeches from the mayors of the involved towns (Montevarchi and Cavriglia), the provincial official, the president of the Italian archery federation and the chair of the organizing committee, Paolo Frontani, who concluded his speech with an emotional note this tournament was dedicated to two Italian archers and good friends that have left us unfortunately too early.

Tomorrow we set up shop on top of the hills south of Montegonzi. The archers are ready for it, and so are we. We hope all the archers are wearing long pants. If it is not for protection against the indigenous horseflies (they are happy to provide you with a painful itchy 'medaglia rosso'), it also helps against the thorny bushes in the red course (and maybe the blue course as well).




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