Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2017 Thailand Princess Cup - Part 1

Training at the home range with the Hoyt Satori takedown recurve bow

Here we go again... 

We love the Thailand Princess Cup Archery tournament for many reasons. Among the highlights is the camaraderie among archers, good organisation of the event and shooting among the best Barebow archers in the region.
Last year was our first time at the tournament and we got thrashed. The remaining months of 2016, I started formulating a training program to improve my score for this year's event. 
We stayed in the game by improving our shot placement and form training. Apart from that, we also participated in local barebow tournaments around Peninsular Malaysia.
As the months drew closer towards the event in Bangkok, training became even more intensive. I trained at our home range almost every day before leaving for Bangkok... Michelle, my wife, on the other hand, is recovering from a spinal surgery after sustaining a bad injury last year. She is shooting in Bangkok for the first time. After all the exposure and training, we do stand a good chance to advance to the subsequent rounds after the qualifiers.

 The preparation...

Our new kit for 2017

The round-neck version of our 2017 kit

We had a year to improve and there's no excuse to shoot badly in Bangkok. Our teammates joined us at the home range every weekend. As for me, I dedicated almost every day in my working schedule to shoot at least four rounds, which is roughly about 120 arrows per set. To goal is to achieve a good shot placement on all the target faces on the target bud. For Barebow, we are given a 10-ring 40cm face which is divided into four in each target bud on the shooting line. Fresh from the Barebow tournament in Kelantan sometime in March, I realised that my from wasn't really up to the mark. Although consistent, I still lacked the finesse.
So, as the months drew closer towards the Bangkok tournament, I began to overhaul my form. The first thing I did, was to improve my draw, anchor, release and follow-through. It was not an easy task as I needed to develop muscle memory. With tournament stress on hand, I should be able to release my arrow without being conscious about the follow-through. 

Michelle taking aim with her #35ln Samick Sage takedown recurve bow. 
We spent a lot of time at the range practising to get it right. From an average score of 170/300, I was able to amp it up to as high as 243/300. That was my best score ever at the home range. At the tournament, this is expected to dip as much as 30% from the training score pattern.

Jeff and coach Lau during practice session at the home range

Taking aim with my new Easton Axis Traditional carbon arrows..
In Bangkok, I anticipated a long day at the shooting line. So, I took the "body, mind and soul" approach as part of my training regime.
For 60 days, I did 60 push-ups to build my upper body strength. This also helped in maintaining my weight and stamina.
This year, I am packing my new bow, the Hoyt Satori takedown recurve with two pairs of limbs. Noteworthy is the Hoyt Carbon X-tour trad limbs. Man, they are totally awesome! I also built a new set of tournament arrows for Bangkok. My Easton Axis Traditional carbon shafts have been really seasoned. After a year of using the carbon shafts, I am pretty pleased with what it can yield.
To transport the bows, we had the Plano parallel limb bow cases. For Michelle, I bought her a new case for the event. This year round we are mentally and physically prepared for the main event in Bangkok...

Part 2 - Destination: Bangkok...

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