In 2008 and 2009 Nigel and I met a lovely couple whilst in Norfolk Island. Margaret and Steve were from Melbourne and we heard all about their great club, the Lilydale Bowmen. What really piqued our interest was their description of the LB100. They talked it up so much and with an offer of free accommodation, we decided to go.
The Lilydale Bowmen is a club in the Dandenong National Park on the outskirts of Melbourne. Its grounds are all forest-gum trees as far as the eye can see. The landscape is so flat when compared to the Kiwi landscape.
The LB100 was in its second year. This year it was a 2-day competition, 100 targets in 2 days. So it was broken down to four rounds, 25 targets per round. Not too hard, just an extra five targets per round.
Nigel and I headed to Melbourne a week ahead of the competition, so as to do some traveling and to acclimatise to the summer heat. Two days of the week were rain and very cold. We had to borrow extra clothes, including wooly hats!!
Margaret and Steve lived only 10mins from the Club so we were able to get there a couple of times before the competition for a few practices. The Club has about 200 members and we were very jealous of their set up. They have a huge clubhouse with a giant kitchen and an indoor range. We were told that if we were lucky we would see wallabies, echidnas and goannas on the range. I was ok with this until I saw how big goannas get-they are huge. Thank goodness I was warned because if one has stumbled out of the bush without me knowing what it was I think I may well have swum all the way home!!!!
We were lucky to see some wildlife over the weekend. On the Saturday afternoon after shooting, an extremely large goanna made himself at home on the practice butts. I was reassured he was the small one!! On the Sunday I saw wallabies on the range and in the afternoon another goanna was sunning himself around the range.
The LB100 kicked off on Saturday 23rd January, with muster at 8.30. There were about 130 competitors from all over Australia. Many were camping at the club for the weekend. There was a huge turn out of longbows and recurves, in fact they well and truly outnumbered the compounds. The weather, much to our relief was nice and cool, though the Aussies were all freezing.
We were placed into groups of four or five and these were our groups for the whole weekend. I had a lovely group of gentlemen that I enjoyed shooting with. Nigel was with a group of recurves and longbows. He had Hans in his group. Hans was from Adelaide and he has the quiver I want! It was Nigel’s mission to pinch the quiver but he failed. The quiver was made out of a fox that Hans had shot and it was a beauty.
The competition certainly had its challenges. The crew at Lilydale Bowmen had done a great job on the course. Both courses were very easy walking but some of the shots were deceiving. The rules made things even harder. All rounds were one arrow and the scoring was 10-8-5, but legs didn’t count!!! I will admit to a couple of 0’s because of that rule-grrrrrrr.
There were some fantastic targets that I hadn’t seen before: a couple of t-rex’s, an elk and a bedded elk.
On Saturday night there was a yummy dinner and once it got dark enough, the indoor safari. This consisted of six 3d targets set out at various distances in the indoor range. All the lights were turned out, your arrow was on the string, though not drawn. A spotlight was randomly put onto one of the animals and you had 5 seconds to shoot. This was a great highlight and caused some fireworks as arrows hit the concrete floor. Even though Nigel and I were worried we were going to smash arrows, we both came out with all arrows intact and we found out the next day that we both got second in our divisions: Nigel in the unsighted and myself in the sighted.
Sunday was a little hotter but certainly not enough to be distracting. I managed to better my scores from the previous day so was happy with that.
Shooting 100 targets in 2 days wasn’t too tricky. Having an easy course to get around made it a lot easier and shooting with great people also helped.
Nigel and I didn’t place in the prize giving but we were both very happy with how we did. It was a fantastic weekend and we got to meet a lot of people and even learn a few things. A huge thanks to everyone that helped make our stay such a great one, especially Margaret and Steve and all of the Lilydale Bowmen.