Nanaimo Fish and Game St. Paddys’ 3D shoot
The buzz around the clubhouse Sunday morning was absolutely infectious, the smiles, laughter and friendly ribbing made everyone feel welcome and happy to be out enjoying the camaraderie. Standing amongst this jubilant crowd one could not imagine anything but a picture perfect day, blue sky, sunshine and warm breezes. The strength and future of Archery in our communities was clearly evident in the number and breakdown of the shooters in attendance. Women, men, seniors and youths, individual attending their first 3d shoot, groups of friends gathering together and entire families all coming together to test their skills in friendly competition. The turnout was more than a pleasant surprise with the final tally coming in at 114 shooters, an impressive number on its own but when you factor in the 14 cubs and 11 juniors it speaks volumes to the health of the archery programs in our communities.
There was a short but informative safety meeting at 9 AM with all being very attentive. The course lay out was explained and the groups were given time to gather their gear and head for their appropriate station for the start. It was at this time that reality set in; it became clear the dress for the day was not going to be sun glasses and coconut tanning oil but rather rubber boots and Gore-Tex. The really chic came in their finest formal attire, a souwester and the ever reliable Black Diamond Tofino Tuxedos. As all headed out the inclement weather did not dampen the mood as all were still expressing their unfaltering optimism for an exceptional days shooting.
Obviously archers are a hardy bunch as demonstrated. To see the contestants arrive in the clubhouse after the first round it was more of the same mood as expressed at the morning registration. Stories of wet feet, water proof hats that are not living up to their billing, cold hands, wet fletching, foggy glasses, water filled peep sights, rumours of flying fish… in no way deterred these hardy outdoorsmen ( women, men or the youth alike).
The afternoon round was lighter in numbers than the morning with an unusually high number of requests for assistance and over looked errands that sadly needed immediate attention. The number of requests for hot tub testers, hot shower inspectors, and dry clothing models were over whelming and took its toll on the afternoon numbers. Archers being a very selfless group by nature many reluctantly withdrew from what was sure to be an enjoyable afternoon to help those in need and fill the voids. We applaud you all for your selfless acts of kindness.
Puddles on the clubhouse floor from dripping clothing and gear emphasized just how wet and dreary the conditions on the trails were the entire day. This was in sharp contrast to the jubilant mood and high spirits of the shooters who fought through the conditions and completed the competition. A constant thread in the conversation amongst the contestant was the praise for a great event and a well laid out course.
A huge THANK YOU goes out to all those that came out and supported the efforts of all those that helped stage this event. It is only through the dedication of the volunteers which give freely of their time that is it possible to put on a competitions such as this. The course designers, trail cleaners, registration personnel, kitchen help, clean up helpers and many more need to be acknowledged and thanked.
Nanaimo Fish and Games next 3D Shoot will be the SUMMER CLASSIC June 11 and 12 2016 and this year will be bigger, better and MUCH DRIER…….. Hope to see you there.