State champs hit Gisborne

Ken Smith (Dad), Charlie Smith (Son) (Ljubica Vrankovic)

The annual Victorian two day Australian Bowhunters Association state title was held at the Bacchus Marsh Bowmen grounds in Gisborne across October 21 and 22, the first time it has been in the area for about five years.

While they are called the Bacchus Marsh Bowmen, the club is situated in Gisborne following a change of location decades ago.

Archers from all over Victoria descended on the Gisborne based club to test their archery skills against four tough courses. The Bacchus Marsh course is renowned for its hilly terrain with four courses set in ravines and hills incorporating, even, downward and elevated shooting.

Judging distances in this terrain is said to be even harder to accurately accomplish, attested to by many who had not shot here before. Having four courses means a different course for each round, removing target and target distance recall for the afternoon one arrow round. After two days of shooting across the four courses there were many leg weary archers happy to sit and take a load off.

Secretary of the Bacchus Marsh Bowmen Geoff Owen said the weekend was a fantastic success.

“We had good weather, perfect archery weather,” he said.

“We had really positive feedback from all the archers from all over Victoria and different archery clubs and independent archers as well.”

Throughout the weekend there were 114 competitors, with 29 competitors coming from the Bacchus Marsh Bowmen across cub (under 13), junior (13-16) and senior (over 17) classes.

The club had 13 first place getters, seven second place getters and four third place getters.

The recipients of the senior first place awards from the club included Monika Haller in the women’s historical bow, Allan Driver for the men’s B grade longbow traditional, Sarah White women’s C grade bowhunter recurve, David Kent men’s B grade bowhunter recurve, Breanna Taylor women’s C grade bowhunter unlimited and Peter Summers men’s C grade bowhunter unlimited.

The club said it is exceptionally happy with the success obtained by the club and junior members.

“We had a really good turnout, one of the strongest turnouts,” Owen said.

“Over the weekend we had four state champions announced.

To be awarded as a state champion you must win your class and achieve an ‘A’ grade score for that class.”

Alongside the competing the archers were able to camp on site which was a highlight of the proceedings.

“A lot of people camped over at our campgrounds for the night,” Owen said.

“We provided all the catering for it and a three- course meal for the people staying.

“Campfire, camaraderie, friendships, swapping stories, archery knowledge and archery experience.”

Anyone interested in starting archery can contact the club email or view the website

The club runs monthly introductory courses for new archers and holds an inter-club competition on the first Sunday of every month except December and January.