The annual Thailand Princess Cup Archery Competition has become an event that we look forward to very much. There were more than 470 participants this year and it is probably a record for the organisers. Originally, fifteen Eagles had registered and were fully committed to go but this was reduced to 13 due to unforseen circumstances. We still had lots of fun as you can see, even though we did miss the company of some of our buddies.
This year, we saw participants from 16 territories/countries. Eagles arrived a day earlier and made a recce trip to the venue. The lighting had been upgraded to more intense LED fittings and it did appear a bit brighter than previous years. However, it wasn’t enough to compensate for some of our aging eyes 😛
The opening ceremony was well attended. The organisers did things a bit differently this year and invited representatives of participating groups to sit with the Guest of Honour… a very nice touch!
As a group, TBAC Eagles did reasonably. Our archers were ranked from 1st – 64th :). Eventually, 1 archer made it to the finals; 1 to 1/8th; 3 to 1/16th; 5 to 1/32nd; 2 to 1/64th. We all know that we’ll do better next time! To share some statistics, the Barebow Division Top 20 had: 15 Thais, 4 Singapore TBAC Eagles & 1 Malaysian.
Ex-Machina, our 2016 Barebow Champion was up there to defend his 2 titles e.g. 1st in Qualifying and 1st in IKO. He did well as expected and emerged 1st again in the qualifying round. The IKO went very smoothly for him as he breezed through all his opponents until the Finals where he met a very determined and able 62-year old army colonel, Khun Supin Smitkestrin. This gentleman was obviously tough as nails and it boiled down to a 1 arrow shoot-off between 2 tired but battle hardened archery exponents. Ex-Machina shot first and scored a confident 9. There was a bit of fun drama as Khun Supin asked a friend to select an arrow for him. Archer, bow and arrow were totally unified and delivered a spectacular dead centre bulls-eye to secure the IKO Princess Cup! A exciting duel and as Supoj the MC called it… “A beautiful match!”
Eagles are always hungry and we never forget the great Thai food around us. Needless to say, we dined voraciously as you can see from the following photos.
Overseas competitions are good for sharpening our minds and skills. They also bring the benefit of forging friendships. The Thailand Outdoor Archery Club continues to do a great and admirable job in staging this event year after year. We wish them well for the future and will certainly continue our support! For more news and photos, please visit: Thailand Princess Cup Archery Facebook
I had planned to just take part in competitions in Singapore and West Malaysia this year. I felt that it would be enough to keep this quixotic old archer sufficiently busy. When Coach Ali, our club’s good friend, recently invited me to join his club, Simply Archery, for a competition in Johor State on the 8th of April, at a venue a mere 15 minutes’ drive across the border, I gladly accepted it.
It was jointly (and very well) organized by the Archery Club of the states of Johore and Pahang at a school field near the Johor Zoo. About 10 archers led by Coach Ali went across and all of us took part on the traditional bow category. It was a quite a big event with about 200 archers taking part, divided approximately equally between the traditional and modern barebow categories. There were many local barebow clubs taking part. From the different club T shirts worn, I think there were maybe as many as 15 clubs.
The number of targets, a mix of 2D and 3D targets was also quite large, 22 in all. Participants had to do one round of 4 arrows at each station/target. The novelty targets were interesting and we could borrow some of the ideas. For example, there was a station where the targets were hung empty plastic bottles which unless they were hit squarely, the arrow will not pierce and will just glance off. Few archers managed to register a hit. I was one of the lucky ones at that station. There were also swinging plastic foam balls at another station.
I thought that I had a chance to get a top 10 to 15 placing as I had done well at local competitions, having received prizes at the very first two attempts at traditional bow competitions in Singapore. However, the Malaysians were very good traditional archers and I ended up number 48 out of about 90 competitors in the category. It turned out that I was only a mere kampong (village) champion.
But I had a lot of fun, with lots of opportunities to chat with the Malaysian archers because many wanted to know who this old Chinese man that Coach Ali had brought along was.
The 2nd Sembawang Archery 3D Open 2017 was held on 9th April. What a lot of fun! This year the format was slightly different and we had 9 x 3D Targets and 1 x 2D Novelty Target. The targets were arranged along routes of 5 targets each and archers were divided into details comprising 4 to 5 archers.
Safety was well considered and only 1 detail was allowed onto each route at any one time. All was orderly and the organisers handled the whole event very well. This was a One Arrow per Target Event and it meant that archers only discharged a total of 10 arrows in the range. You can see how the course was laid out below:
The most interesting target was at Route 1 No. 5. Archers had to stand on large tyre and shoot at a 40cm 6-ring target, while ensuring that their arrow passed through a suspended tyre! No one scored any points! :p
This year, there were about 50 participants (7 Eagles) in 3 classes of competition i.e. Compound, Barebow and Traditional. Our Eagles did well and made a clean sweep of in the Barebow category. Congratulations and well done to Falcon, Venator and Dark Knight who secured 1st, 2nd and 3rd places respectively. You can see the happy smiling faces below.
We thank Sembawang Archery Club, our supporters and friends for making the 3D Open such an enjoyable experience. See you again at the SAC 3D Open 2018!
The 11th edition of the Thailand Princess Cup Archery Competition is on! This year, we are looking forward to a much bigger turnout for the meet. For the record, the tournament hosted about 450 participants last year! However, due to space limitations, the organisers have decided to scrap the team competitions this year, in the interest of accommodating more archers at this iconic regional archery event. We hope that the team events will be reinstated some time in the near future as it’s good for promoting team spirit and really exciting to watch.
15 Eagles have committed and registered their participation this year. It’s our biggest group yet! 🙂 They are: Artist, Black Wolf, Dark Knight, Decrepit, Ex-Machina (2016 Barebow Champ!), Falcon, Good Boy, Ham, Kai, Kat, Mads, Pochahontas, Randy, Red Dragon & Tyger. We look forward to renewing our ties with all the wonderful organisers, friends and participants.
The Phuket Archery Club is located off Thanon Ong Sim Phai, in a quiet part of Old Phuket Town and just a stone’s throw from the popular Robinson Department Store. Santi Tantangtrong manages the Club, whom we got acquainted with at the Thailand Princess Cup Archery Competition 2016. One of our archers was in Phuket recently and decided to pop over to say hello.
The club is open to the public, is well equipped and archers can easily shoot up to 45m at this range. Fees (based on our information) are very reasonable at THB50/hr and equipment rental is THB200/basic recurve bow, including finger tab, arm-guard and arrows.
In Phuket and missing archery? You can pay a visit to the Phuket Archery Club and get your archery fix. Santi is a friendly guy and can also get you shooting quickly, if you are a beginner. Hungry? Just pop around the corner to Tubtim Restaurant for Thai Chinese style braised pork knuckle, duck and chicken rice. It’s popular with locals and well worth the visit.
There’s an article by the Phuket Observer on Santi and the club and you can check it out HERE. You can also connect with the Phuket Archery Club on Facebook through this LINK. Happy Shooting in Phuket!
Eagles celebrated the new year by holding a 3D shoot on the 1st Day of 2017 :). Don Quixote volunteered to plan the event and was well assisted by other Eagles, especially Mads and Red Dragon. Our Pochahontas really got into the mood of things and even fitted out our corner in anticipation of the Lunar New Year! There were 3 categories of competition and prizes were award to the top scoring archer in:
WA Barebow Class
Modern Traditional Bow Class
Traditional Bow Class
A special prize was also awarded to the Best Lady Archer. Obviously, Don Quixote is partial to ladies as there was no Best Male Archer prize!
This is the first time that we saw our entire collection of animal targets come out of winter hibernation. We had 6 shooting stations with 2 targets at every station. For the first time, too, we had an elevated shooting position from a slope, which rose about 7m above the target level. It was a nice experience for all and the entire event went on without a hitch.
Eagles also took the opportunity to show our appreciation to the 2 top supporters of our chapter i.e. our Club President, Frankie Yat and Treasurer, Jocelyn Low. We also presented the Simply Archery Challenge Trophy 2016 (recently won by our Eagles Men’s Team) to the Telok Blangah Community Community Club through Frankie, in thanks to the Community Club’s solid support for our archery activities.
Artist was out of action due to an injury but he put his off-day to good use and made a video of our event. You can see Artist’s YouTube production HERE :). You can see that we all had a great time!
I was happily cruising down the road of life satisfyingly comfortable with what I was into back in 2012, happily engrossed in Olympic recurve and compound bow archery, having just convinced my son some months back to try shooting a bow and arrow. He went on to religiously practise for a while, then BANG! he surprised me, asking to shoot a longbow; not just any longbow, but an English longbow!
He went on to show me the result of his information gathering skills by displaying The Longbow Shop website and highlighting the bow he had his eyes on; a 55lb piece.
I was stunned; never in my universe did I ever even considered owning a one-piece bow, let alone one that cost a VERY pretty penny, £372/-. It was also VERY long, 78 inches, which is about almost 2 metres in length for those born after 1990 8-p
The problem was, I couldn’t get him one without having one myself, I have this weakness called Envy! It was already 3 weeks away to Christmas, and this decision created even worse damage to my finance deck, lowering my shields even further to a dangerous 6%.. just a glancing hit with any turbo laser will end my Enterprise.
Nonetheless, my personal shields were no match for the power of the ELB’s charm; I fired £744/- for one 55lb for my son with a shorter draw, and a 50lb for me.
After an uneasy beginning, four years on, my bow and I finally came to like one another, thus the objective of this article.
Firstly, this 50lb bow has Hickory for its back, with a Lemonwood belly, sandwiching a Purpleheart and Greenheart core. A horn arrow plate is embedded into the handle, just above the leather wrapped grip.
The grip is fairly large, reasonable small hands might find this grip not to their liking. As it is a “traditional” grip, low wrist archers will be more at home with this bow; using the “pistol grip” style a la Olympic recurve will certainly increase the hand shock feel. For those thinking of owning and shooting this type of grip/handle, try keeping the base of the index finger knuckle level with the arrow rest part of the hand, as the arrow shaft will deflect off the arrow plate in the Archer’s Paradox process, hitting the knuckle. Some archers I noticed use a bow hand glove; it may or may not help..
This particular 50 pounder is 74 inches long (1.88m), tipped with horn tips and comes with a Flemish twist Fast Flight string.
Rules of engagement
Being made of wood, such bows are considerably fragile, not forgiving of abuse. Manufacturer’s instructions on the setting up and use made me tiptoe around this bow; it must not be shot immediately, must allow about 10 minutes after bracing it, gently flexing it by drawing partially, slowly repeating some 10 repetitions or more to make it comply to it’s new shape, gently increasing to full draw and letting down, then shooting it partially drawn, increasing the draw length one arrow after another until full draw is reached, ensuring that arrows must not be lighter than 9 grains per pound of draw weight.
It was a nightmare searching for the right arrow to match these requirements. However, this was solved with Gold Tip carbon arrows configured to meet the specs stated above. The reason I mentioned Gold Tip is because my experience with other carbon arrows cause the arrows to recover from bending much quicker, as a result, causing the arrow to strike the strike plate with a loud snap. I was not able to reduce this cause no matter what I tried.
Notice the dent caused by high modulus or very responsive carbon shafted arrows
Fearing that the bow may not tolerate a sudden whack of the shaft, and fracturing the bow in the strike plate area in the process, I initially shot wood arrows, but was not enamoured of the inconsistency of the wood shafts.
As with any biological product, breaking in is a must for comfort; after some 400 or so arrows, the bow begins to “sweeten” in feel, drawing, loosing, with a noticeable loss in handshock. I don’t know if my hand got used to the shock, or the bow mellowed, but it became much more delightful to shoot. I may yet weigh it one day to find out if draw weight has also decreased; it feels so, so… sensuously pleasing when loosing, and drawing the bow feels like a caress.
During the Eagles 3D shoot event on new year’s day, I really did so enjoy the shooting of this bow with 30″ Gold Tip Hunter XT 500 spine arrows tipped with 175gr field points and 5″ feather fletching. It is even more awesome when shooting 31″ 11/32 Cedar wood arrows tipped with 120gr field points and 4″ feather fletching. Like any good relationship, investment in time and effort to develop a bond with the bow will pay off in a tool of endearment which will not end up gracing the wall only.
I plan to try building one with a lighter draw weight this year and see if it really does require the bonding process between man and bow a it was with this Bickerstaffe.
Pros: Simple, fuss -free maintenance, very addictive
Cons: Pricey, LONG, made of wood :-p, arrow matching for other than wood arrows
Simply Archery hosted it’s first Traditional and Modern Traditional Invitational Competition and the Punggol Ranch on 19th November 2016. Turnout was a healthy 70+ archers from Singapore and Malaysia, which made Coach Ali Awang a justifiably happy man. 11 Eagles flew up to take part in the competition which was set in seaside Punggol, the furthermost point of Northeast Singapore. We were also treated to support by TBAC members Bob, Liu Ming and Michael :). Hats off to all at Simply Archery for a very well organised and fun filled shoot. The was a large contingent of archers from the Malay community, who came dressed in their traditional attire. This added a lovely cultural flavour to the ongoings and even the Press turned up to have a look. The event was given a 2-minute feature on Suria TV Berita Sukan. 🙂
Eagles did well at the competition and secured the following prizes:
Modern Traditional (Men) – 1st : Falcon; 3rd : Ex-Machina
Modern Traditional (Women) – 1st : Pocahontas; 2nd : Kat
Men’s Challenge Trophy (Modern Traditional) Champion Team : Ex-Machina, Falcon and Tyger
Don Quixote was the only Traditional Archer from TBAC Eagles. He joined the Mujahidin Mosque Team and helped to win the Men’s Traditional Challenge Trophy…. great effort!
On review is a 15-inch Dryad Epic ILF Riser. This was ordered online from www.dryadbows.com
It has been with the reviewer since end 2014, subjected to substantial shooting mileage and has performed well under pressure in competitions.
Here are some of the specs:
Riser Length = 15”
Material = Bocote Hardwood with Phenolic reinforcements/strips
Adjustable Limb Bolts = Yes
Lateral Limb adjustment = Nil
Finish = Appears to be spray-on matt polyurethane
Price = US$385 (excluding shipping of US$60)
Why Was This Riser Bought?
Originally, I had no intention to shoot or own a traditional type of bow but that was before Eagles decided that we’d like to take part in the Thailand Princess Cup 2015. There was no Barebow category in the competition at that time but they did have a Traditional Bow section. However, we noticed that the equipment rules seemed to change a little bit with each edition. We sought to understand the old rules better…. which led us to collectively decide that 1-piece bows or 3-piece wood riser bows would be the safest way for us to approach the games. We were all newbies (except for Lynx).
The Buying Experience
I ordered this bow after trawling the forums for comments and reviews on ILF wood risers. Dryad seemed to stick out as nice things were said about the riser , although it was rather pricey at US$385 (including a wood upgrade). Why a 15” riser? Hmmm, archers can be somewhat romantic and unrealistic……….. I had thought that a 15” would make a good compact bow for hunting but goodness knows when we’ll ever go hunting out of urban Singapore. Hunting doesn’t seem to make sense when we are not in short supply of food and hunting for sport doesn’t quite gel from an ethical standpoint.
I was a bit concerned that you can’t make lateral limb adjustments on this riser. Dryad Bows’ Mike Westvang informed me that the riser would be very straight as they make them to 0.001” tolerance. Ok, so I don’t worry about a twisted riser but I’d still have to worry about compensating for less than straight bow limbs. This concern became a reality after I purchased a pair of Kaya K1 Professional Fibreglass-wood limbs for this riser from a local retailer. The limbs were twisted and had to be returned to the retailer, for a refund. I eventually ordered a pair of long 22# Uukha EX-1 to make for a 60-inch 30lb bow. (All Dryad riser sizes are designed to add 8lbs to the standard limb rating for a 25-inch riser. Therefore, 22lb + 8lb = 30lb)
Mike and I chatted a little bit about the grip too. I was worried that this USA product may not fit my small hands and enquired about customising the grip. Mike felt I should not be concerned as the standard grip was already quite small.
Delivery took longer than expected. I placed the order in late August and was told that my riser would be shipped out by end October. The time neared and there was no update from Dryad. I eventually sent a chaser to the bowyer and riser was finally shipped out in mid-November. This is an area of customer service that Dryad should improve on. I understand that bow-making is largely a cottage industry and one can accept that production times can be a bit elastic in a small shop setup. However, warning about it ahead, rather than have a customer send you a reminder, will give a leg up to customer confidence.
Dryad used US Parcel Service for the delivery. For some strange reason, it took about 3 weeks to arrive. The tracking showed that the riser spent a good period of time being pushed around USA but it did come just adequately protected with bubble wrap in a standard USPS triangular sleeve. It was sleeved in an attractive camouflage printed Dryad riser cover. I do think Dryad could have done better in protective packing, just in case the package suffered impact damage.
The riser had a good heft to it and grain of the Bocote wood looked really tight and dense. I knew (on seeing and then holding it) that I made the right decision in the choice of wood. The grip also felt right and comfortable, even before fitting up. The arrow shelf is nicely radiused as is the sight window wall (which presumably reduces the occurrence of arrow impact against the riser). The finishing was also up to mark and there were no faults whatsoever that I could find.
On the downside, the riser shelf and strike plate had some basic stick-on felt. They looked cheap and were poorly cut. The folks at Dryad must have figured that they will be replaced by finicky archers, anyway. Indeed, the felt pads wore out really fast… after a couple of shooting sessions and had to be replaced. I shaped some scrap leather for both the shelf and strike plate………. These worked much better and they have lasted a long time, needing just a tad of string wax now and then.
One other drawback is the absence of a limb bolt retainer. I think the designers must have decided that most of their customers would keep the bow strung up but then what’s the point of a 3-piece bow? The limb bolt tends to slip after dismounting, which means having to check the tiller each time I mount up. I got around this problem by marking the limb position and wedging a piece of target board foam between the limb bolt and riser. It does the job adequately.
String = BCY 8125, 18 strands
Brace Height = 220mm
Tiller = 0 mm
Limbs = Uukha EX-1, 22lbs (long). Add 8lbs as per Dryad specs for a 30lb bow.
Arrows = PSE X-Weave Hunter 100, 175 grain field points, 31” uncut
5” Gateway parabolic fletches
How Does It Shoot?
Perhaps it’s more appropriate to ask “How does it feel, when shooting?” Risers aren’t the active part of the bow, that’s the province of the limbs and string but it does convey the kinetic energy of a shot to the bow hand/arm.
The riser has a nice, solid and balanced feel to it perhaps partly due to the dense Bocote wood (density = 849kg/m3). As a comparison, East Indian rosewood has a density of 900kg/m3. As I shoot using a “3-under” draw, the bow tends to tilt back after release, using a very loose grip. This is understandable and I have had to use a modified grip with little adjustment to sighting.
Overall, the feeling from pre-draw, draw and release is very comfortable and satisfying. The setup shoots with authority despite the light poundage of 30lbs at my draw. Using a high cheekbone anchor point, I can still manage point on aim at 25m. This is also aided by the sight window that is cut past centre. The point on range is quite remarkable given the heavy tip weight of 175 grains. This a fast bow for it’s poundage.
As for the grip, other archers from big to small handed ones have remarked how natural and comfortable the riser feels in their hands. Dryad’s bowyers must have invested long hours and innumerable attempts before arriving at this “Universal” grip shape.
Great grip shape, surprisingly suitable for small through to large hands
Solid built quality
Great looks in the Bocote version
I don’t need or want another “Traditional” ILF Riser
No lateral limb adjustment. Requires high quality limbs
No limb bolt retainer – limbs run out of position when limbs are dismounted
Supplied with moderate quality arrow shelf and strike plate material
Pricey – At US$385, it’s a $45 more than the 19” Gillo G5 Ghost. Albeit, there is no direct comparison as the G5 is an aluminium riser and is more versatile, with all the modern fitments.
What an event and what an experience! Decrepit, Red Dragon and Tyger managed to survive the TOAC 3D & Field Challenge 2016. The weather was hot, hot, hot and the terrain was really rough. The shooting route was set amidst a valley within the Khoalon Adventure Park with nothing but long grass, hard jagged rock and blazing sun greeting all archers. It was a formidable setting and truly turned out to be Iron-man archery and arrow eating country.
Frankly, we were unprepared for the weather and the terrain. The 3 Uncle Eagles took part in the Bow Hunter Recurve Limited Category and were almost wasted after Day 1 Round 1. We decided to pass Round 2 of the 1st day, in order to conserve our energy for the 2nd day shoot, which was the 3D Round. This proved to be a wise move as it gave our bodies time to recover and get accustomed to the new stresses.
The TOAC used IFAA rules for this event and it was our first time shooting in such a format. Combined with aiming adjustments for uphill and downhill shooting, plus often awkward, cramped and uneven standing positions, it was quite a formidable challenge for all of us. The hard, rocky earth and thick grasses were very unforgiving to missed shots. Misses really meant bent, broken or lost arrows. In fact, some archers ran out of arrows after a while and had to abandon the competition. You can see some of our
Despite the “suffering”, we really enjoyed ourselves and it’s hats off again to TOAC for the immense effort and dedication in planning; and executing such a competition. The logistics involved in pulling this off ……….. Oh, my! Everyone was so hospitable and cooperative. Other than our Singapore contingent, the other foreign participants came from Malaysia, namely compound archers Encik Sham and Encik Zamer. Special thanks go to Khun Apichat for helping out with most of our arrangements. 🙂
The 3D Round for the Bow Hunter Recurve Limited class was convincingly won by Khun Montri but Eagles did not fare too badly. Tyger was fortunate to secure 3rd Place and Red Dragon came in a close 4th. It was a sweet way to end this little adventure for all of us.
What lessons did we learn from this field archery outing?
Get fit! – Cardiovascular fitness, a good degree of flexibility, strong legs and core muscles are a must.
Read up and get tips on uphill and downhill aiming – We discussed this a bit but only found enlightening literature AFTER the event. Never mind, still good for the future.
Bring more arrows and be prepared to lose them – We’ll leave the pricier stuff at home next time. However, well tuned arrows are still required.
Have adequate weather protection – The sun was so strong that it cut through the sunblock. Compression armsleeves could have helped to mitigate skin damage by the sunlight.
Field Archery isn’t for every everyone but Decrepit, Red Dragon and Tyger are certainly bitten now and we hope that more from the TBAC archery community will join in the fun. We really look forward to the next installment of the TOAC 3D and Field Challenge!