Strong winds test archers

WILD WEATHER: It may been extremely windy on Sunday, but Ben Kilsby still managed to score 59/60 twice during the day.

SEVERE winds with a bitter chill tested the mettle of the Blue Lake Archers as they competed in Sunday’s outdoor event.

The forecasts of cold and rough conditions proved to be accurate and the number of competitors was at a bare minimum, but a consistent performance from Graham Lock saw him claim the honours for the event.

With just three archers taking to the 50-metre competition round, numbers on the practice range bettered those on the course.

On the practice range Bec Manser toned up to defend her national and state indoor bare bow recurve championship win from 2016.

She was joined by Len Bayley who worked up toward his first tilt at the indoor championships which will be held next Sunday.

On the main range, Lock was joined by Garry Jacques and Ben Kilsby and the trio found it tough going, but were still able to put up the occasional impressive score for an end of six arrows.

The archers had difficulty in keeping their arrows from being blown off their arrow rests, which would result in greatly inaccurate shots.

Perseverance is often a key attribute for archers and, after a discussion on whether the conditions were too extreme to continue, the trio decided to press on.

Sunday’s conditions were not the worst they could recall and if nothing else it was excellent physical and mental preparation for the indoor championships.

A maximum of 60 points can be scored in an end and Kilsby defied the gusts with a stunning effort to score 59 points not just once, but twice during the day.

Jacques carded a remarkably consistent score in the early part of the day, but the effort of trying to hold aim in the bitter crosswind showed in the final ends as several of his arrows landed in the lower scoring sections of the target face.

Lock was the most consistent of the trio and eventually earned the bragging rights to the highest off the bow score.

When handicap margins were added in to find the day’s winner, Lock had that base covered as well, defeating Jacques by 23 points.

Melbourne outdoor round, handicap scored, benchmark 900 points: Graham Lock 834 (794 off-the-bow) 1; Garry Jacques 811 (704) 2; Ben Kilsby 805 (783) 3.