EBHC 2018 VIDEO: A collection of photos from the tournament have been complied by James Moloney and and set to music to make this a video capturing the event.
EBHC 2018 was based in Oberwiesenthal, a small village on the German-Czech board, 140 km from Dresden. Due to the size of this years’ EBHC – over 2000 competitors! – additional ranges were set-up in Bozi Dar, in the Czech Republic, approximately 4 km away.
This year saw great interest in the event by IFAF members with 36 archers competing at EBHC.
The travelling party was supplemented with family members; parents, partners and siblings, making a grand total of 46 people from Ireland in attendance.
All IFAA Championships are opened with a ‘Parade of Nations’ whereby all competitors march through the host town to cheers and warm welcomes from the local residents. Ireland’s green really stood out amongst the other nations and we generated a lot of interest – and considerable envy – in our new ‘light weight’ shirts (many shirt-swaps were conducted at the end of the week).
The Parade terminated at the EBHC venue, a marque in this case, and that is where the opening ceremony commenced. Speeches and welcomes from local and national dignitaries along with representatives of the hosting IFAA organization (DFVB) and the IFAA Executive Committee.
Once the event was officially declared “Open” by the Vice President of the IFAA, Steve Kendrick, everyone relaxed into party-mode, and soaked up the energetic atmosphere that was a combination of anticipation about the week ahead, reconnecting with friends from past bow-hunter events, making new acquaintances and generally enjoying the craic with ‘Team IFAF’.
The first day of the competition brought bright blue skies and temperatures akin to what we had left at home (a first time for everything!). With the practice range opening from 6am there’s no lie-in for the determined archer… or for those catching the transfer bus to Bozi Dar, with buses leaving from 7am each morning!
However, for some members of IFAF there was time for a moment of rest and reflection in preparation for the day ahead.
A few minutes spent ‘chawing the rag’ and watching the world go by does wonders for clearing the mind ready for shooting, apparently.
It seemed to work well for these two archers who know about these kind of things…
The call to muster sees archers line-up behind their range placard and wait for their turn to be lead-out to a bus, or cable car, which transfers them to (and from) their course. This is the moment when the tournament really begins; it’s game on!
For four out of the five days of EBHC everyone made those early starts – some earlier than others – and slogged it out on the course for long days – some longer than others! Those competing did their best and battled not just with archers in their division but also the terrain and the heat until the final day when mountainous German weather (horizontal rain, sleet and/or drizzle) arrived.
After the final day of shooting was complete, people could take stock of their week in Germany. Team IFAF came together for a dinner at a local hotel called ‘Schwarzes Ross’ where the landlord, Mike, the chef and the bar-lady made us welcome and looked after our group fabulously.
The night was very special. It was filled with camaraderie, conversation and craic. The IFAA speaks of ‘The Family of Archers’ and that night we were the embodiment of that ethos.
Our ‘family’ ranged from youngsters, those too young to shoot [EBHC!], to grandparents competing in the Veteran category, through to non-archers attending as part of a family holiday.
There is a saying that ‘Everyone loves the Irish’ and it was certainly true at EBHC 2018.
Team IFAF did themselves proud at the tournament. Everybody represented themselves and their country extremely well. Those competing showed determination and strength of character in their shooting. Archers exemplified good sportsmanship to their counterparts in their shooting groups. Medalists demonstrated that a champion archer is serious about their sport but is fun to be with and shoot alongside. Congratulations to the six medalists! They have set a new benchmark for IFAF and shown all nations present what talent we have in our ranks!
This year, because there was such a large contingent, IFAF were able to enter five Style Teams. A style team comprises of three archers, plus one reserve archer if available, shooting Adult distances (Young Adult, Adult and/or Veteran). Style Teams can be single gender/age category or mixed gender and/or age divisions. These are the teams and their final position: