Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Little History, Part 8: Tournament #1: The L.A. Indoor

As the calendar turned from 2005 to 2006, Lloyd told us about an upcoming tournament that we should consider entering. The 2006 Los Angeles City Indoor Archery Championship would be held on Saturday, March 4, 2006, at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, put on by one of Lloyd's other student groups, the UCLA Archery Club. Elisa and I worked constantly, including learning to really use sights and running our first serious scoring rounds, in preparation for the tournament. Lloyd refletched a set of arrows for each of us, and we were ready to head up to Los Angeles with a pair of German study abroad students who had joined the class that quarter.

The day before the tournament, I was biking from my apartment to campus when I got a call from Lloyd that our arrows were ready, and asking me to come pick them up. Elisa and I had already packed our bows and other equipment for the trip up the coast, but the arrows had taken a few extra days. So I met Lloyd at the range, put a quiver with two sets of arrows into my backpack, and rode the rest of the way into campus. Then I spent the next few hours walking around campus with a bunch of arrows sticking out of my backpack. Needless to say, I got a lot of strange looks, not to mention a bunch of questions from my friends. Eventually, I got Elisa on the phone (she had been in class), and she took the arrows and put them in her car until Saturday.

Saturday morning I got up bright and early. The Germans met me at my apartment, and we drove up to Elisa's house in north county, San Diego. The four of us then hit the road for UCLA. Arriving at Pauley Pavilion, we checked in, put our bows together, and marveled at our first archery competition. Across the long axis of the basketball court, a line of target butts had been set up with two 40 cm target faces each. Behind the line was a curtain, meant to protect the seats behind from wayward arrows. Elisa and I had been placed, with a few UCLA club archers, on the far side of the line.

Poor Elisa. In the early going, she could not seem to catch a break. On the first practice arrow of the day, a loud bang echoed throughout the gym. The curtain had not quite been long enough to reach all of the targets, and Elisa had missed the target butt and slammed her arrow into the wall. From that point on, the arrow, which also had the knock blown off and the point sheared, was known as the "dogleg arrow" for the distinct bend that it displayed about two thirds of the way up the shaft. It was later used as a bowstand, but its shooting days were over. Once the scoring ends started, things did not get any better, as Elisa's arrow rest fell off her bow on the first competition shot. Declaring an equipment failure, Lloyd secured her a working rest, she was able to make up the shot, and things started to go relatively smoothly after that.

Archery idioms learned at the tournament:

  • Porno shot: Putting all three arrows in the center of the target (XXX).
  • German virgin: Putting all three arrows in the nine ring ("Nein, nein, nein").

    As for me, my goal had been to put all 60 arrows in the 10 scoring rings of the target. I came close to missing an arrow in the late going, but in the end I accomplished my goal. I finished 12 out of 16 in the NAA/FITA Recurve College Men's division, good enough to be the lead scorer on the newly founded (and extremely unofficial) UCSD Archery Team.

    When everything was said and done, we got back in the car and drove back down to San Diego. With as early as I had gotten up that morning, coupled with how late I ended up staying up with some friends, my first archery tournament ended up being part of about a 22 hour day. Not a bad way to spend all that time, if I do say so myself.

    Score: 194 + 175 = 369.
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