(Short passage on WRT at Wexford Archery, 19/12/2021)
By Marcin Malek
On days like this, we usually prefer to stay in bed, get some sleep, or yet in jammies with a morning coffee, watch something festive flickering on TV. Nevertheless, I do not regret early awakening, although the morning was cold and foggy. The journey to Woodville House itself provided enough excitement and on arrival, it only got better. On the way somewhere past Kilkenny, the fog thickened dramatically, reducing visibility and beyond Inistioge the world turned blindingly white. Imagine driving a car, a slight rise with woodland looming before your eyes with a barely discernible line. In the foreground, creeping up to the foot of the hill, stretches a field shrouded in a fog so dense it can be sliced with a knife. Over the field, like the spectres of a fatamorgane, two or three trees peek out as if looked upon through a cotton-white fabric. From behind this hill, the sun rises, spilling its reds, oranges and yellows onto the snow-white world, offering the viewer a unique spectacle of the triumph of nature over the ingenuity of man. What kind of vibe can you get seeing such a thing in the morning?
Woodville House in this backlit and sun-coloured haze looked like a living postcard. We hurriedly unpacked the equipment and headed towards the field, where, as usual, in an old barn waited smiling Eddie accompanied by a few (no less amused) early arrivals. After completing the necessary formalities we had a coffee, a mince pie and Eddie stuffed our pockets with chocolates – so we were ready to hit the range. As always at Wexford Archery, the course was well-prepared. The paths were well-marked, and the route well-thought-out. Approaches to shooting stand cleared and safe. As for the setting, each archer probably has his own opinion, but one thing is clear, Eddie does not like it to be easy:) Anyway, I remember as if it was yesterday when, back in the summer of 2018, to my grumbling that I had lost quite a few arrows and was worried that if it went on like this I wouldn’t have anything to shoot he replied to me manfully: “cut the drama, in fairness you only need one. That’s Eddie’s whole philosophy in a nutshell. So to those who have never visited him before, I say, rectify your mistake! Wexford Archery is one of the best ranges in the country, and probably far beyond its borders.
The first 14 targets were the standard round, the fun only kicked in during the second half as we had a chance to learn in practice what it was like to follow Eddie’s philosophy of having only one arrow to go. Oh, I tell you it was sore. It really hurt our eyes to see how far our scores had fallen. You don’t realize how bad it is until you see it on paper:) Yet, the atmosphere was great. Within the groups in front of us and behind we could hear the excitement, cheering and cries of joy as well as petty curses – damn one arrow! My colleagues proved to be excellent companions and gentlemen in every respect, for which I would like to thank them very much – everyone seemed to enjoy it very much, both from an organizational and companionship standpoint. For a pilot event that no one has yet organized, Eddie and the Wexford Archery team did better than well. After all, no wonder, it’s in their blood, it also lies within us, we all have it, otherwise, we wouldn’t be here, we wouldn’t be doing what we do, we wouldn’t be who we are.