Elevation versus windage are two dials not to physically reverse. In other words, don’t mistakenly dial windage when you intend to dial elevation. This was a lesson I learned first hand.
The Virginia Indoor Championships was one of my early attempts at serious competitive tournaments, and, needless to say, my nerves were in full swing. After our short warm up prior to the event I needed to move my elevation up a tad. Recently training at 17 yards and now needing to adjust my elevation to shoot at 20 yards. Clicking away, the needle pointing at the elevation scale on the sight was not moving. It became all to obvious, I had been dialing away at my windage. The warm-up was now history. The next shots were for scores. It is at this point, I thought to myself: Oh crap, Oh crap, Oh crap! The tournament became a test of how many arrows it was going to take to bring my Axcel Achieve CX sight back to the center of the target. It took about 18 arrows. Lots of 5, 6, 7 and 8 scores as my arrows moved from the left of center back to center. My second 30 arrows where significantly better than the first 30 arrows. Archery lesson #1: windage and elevation not interchangeable
Tonight we shoot at Cypress Creek Archery. This is the third week of an indoor league. Last week, 295 and ten X’s. Shot with my ZXT (for the first time in competition). My Apex 7 was getting a new XFire String on March 11th.
On this night, John S shot a 300 with 29 X’s. Impressive shooting. His was not the only 300, however with 29 X’s an impressive round of shooting. I shot a 296 with 13 X’s. The scoring is 10 for center (white) and 9 for blue on the target. In other competition the scoring is 5 for a center (white) shot and 4 for a blue ring. In this league, the score is doubled and we shot 30 arrows rather than 60 for a maximum of 300 points. (30 times 10 = 300 instead of 60 times 5 = 300. I include this for folks that don’t enjoy math.)
Picked up my bow from XFire Strings in Denton, MD. Bart Shortall, champion archer, outdoor writer and master string builder spent several hours with me putting the final touches to my new bow string. A “Paper Test” revealed a perfect cut.
Shooting in an archery competition, well that should be easy. During practice, shooting for a maximum of 300, I had an average of 293 with a range of 278 to 298. Shooting is a calm sport, so I thought. When I compare it to racing a kilometer on a Velodrome, competing in an Ironman, or running marathon archery was going to be a breeze.
As I took my place in my “box” on the line, there is no sweat from my warm up. There is no wetsuit squeezing me (and my bladder), no worry about getting kicked, pushed, crashing my bike, breaking a bone, or in some manner ending up in an emergency room.
I felt confident, relaxed, easy and somewhat certain in my preparation. The folks around me were not shaped like my frequent competition. For the most part they are not the lean whippet shapes of triathlon, marathons, and cycling event. Strikingly, archery is a quiet. Triathlons are not quiet. Marathons are not quiet. Prior to these races there are loud bands, someone blasting over a PA system. Friends and family are laughing, yelling, ringing bells, and blowing horns. Archers are quiet. Archery spectators speak low and whisper. I began to get nervous and there was no outlet.
My final score: 270. I could not get away from that range fast enough. I’d been smacked hard. There was a lot to learn. I was quiet.