Monday, July 17, 2017

Hoyt Tiburon

*A video review of the Hoyt Tiburon takedown recurve bow on my YouTube channel

A bow for the serious trad shooter...

The Hoyt Tiburon was Hoyt's fourth hunting recurve bow constructed with high-tech components while maintaining a traditional "feel".
It came after the Buffalo, Game Master II and Dorado and was discontinued this year to make way for the new Hoyt Satori.
I was lucky enough to procure it last year from Mr Tan Peng Loon who was then attached to Elite Sports Archery (technically, Lion Archery Sports).
The bow has a 21" riser which can be configured to be shot off a hunting arrow rest or off the shelf.
It was sold as a complete kit. You decide if you want to shoot it at 60" AMO (extra short), 62" (short) or 64" (medium).
In the box, you'll get the bow packed neatly in a rollaway carrying case, a set of hexagon wrench for tiller adjustment, a flemish twist string, a shelf rug and a leather side plate. And as an appreciation token for the serious Hoyt customer, a car sticker and a landyard was also thrown in the package.

The lowdown...

Similarly, like the Game Master and Game Master II, the Tiburon is built with a bridged riser. There isn't much hunting recurve bows with such a configuration with the exception of the economical Martin Panther. Basically, bridged risers are "stiff" and some archers say it feels "dead" on the hand. Well, that's other people's opinion. Having shot a Martin Panther, the next progression would be a similar bow with the same setup. Bridged risers are generally "heavy" and "clunkier" than normal takedown recurve risers. Compared to the Game Master and Game Master II, the Tiburon is the only bridged riser that is allowed at Barebow tournaments. It's the only hunting recurve bow that is able to pass through the 12.2cm calliper during bow inspections.

The Tiburon draws pretty smooth

It's an excellent bow for hunting, field and 3D shoots

There's literally no bow shock after releasing a shot from this riser
Stiffness aside, the Tiburon is a very attractive bow. It has an International Limb Fitting (ILF) system which allows you to switch length and poundage but since Hoyt utilises its own Formula limb system, choices are few from other limb manufacturers. Even the limbs are available in a few finish ranging from camouflage, maple wood and complete blackout. My choice was the nicely finished blacked limbs. When it was first introduced, the Tiburon limbs can be identified by its model decal. Later, this was standardised with the words "Hoyt Traditional" embossed on the limbs.

The original Tiburon with a silver riser and blackout limbs
The bow is pretty easy to set up and thanks to the ILF system, it's very flexible. You can rig the bow for a hunt with the lowest poundage at #35 right up to #60 with a 5-pound increment. 
I chose #35 as it is pretty forgiving and accurate at distances up to 20 feet. With a draw length of 29", I set up the bow's brace height at 7.5", which is ideal. But looks itself can be deceiving. Seems that most people would think that my brace height is screwed-up. Now, what also sets the bow apart from the rest, is the adjustable tillers. You can rig it up with a slightly higher poundage on the top or lower tiller to suit your desired shooting style. My setting is "neutral" based on my split-finger shooting preference.
Hoyt's Formula limbs are proven in the field and I really don't have much to complain about it. For fun, I would swap the Tiburon's #35lb limbs with my heavier Buffalo (#50lbs) for some fun shoot at the range.
With an arrow nocked on a full draw, the Tiburon is smooth. There's hardly any hand shock after release.
My shooting preference, is, of course, the traditional style. With a rug on the rest, the Tiburon shoots rather accurately.
But such a shooting style would require some experience, so, if you are new to instinctive shooting, I wouldn't recommend it.
With over a year of use, I have nothing but good things to say about this bow. It actually gave me some good results at local barebow tournaments as well as training gigs at the range.
Sadly, the Tiburon has been discontinued by Hoyt. It has been replaced by the Hoyt Satori which is the present hunting recurve bow in Hoyt's 2017 line-up...

Sunday, July 16, 2017

2017 Thailand Princess Cup - Part 4

The quarter-finals at 2017 Thailand Princess Cup
The push....

It's Sunday, our last night in Bangkok. I woke up at 4 am in the morning. Couldn't sleep and it felt like the weight of the world was on my chest.
Michelle, coach Lau and I made it to the 1/32 elimination round. Our match was scheduled at 9 am. Still, with hours to burn, all I had in mind was pushing the limits. We trained like hell and came this far. There's really no letting down. Even with the qualifier points on hand, I was not disappointed. 

Enjoying a local breakfast before heading off to the tournament venue...
We met up at the hotel lobby, jumped into a cab and made our way to the Fashion Island Mall. it's the second day and we are still in business. The norm was to hang around and wait for the barebow finals, where we watched from the audience stand. This year round, it's different. We collected our second-day pass and went to set up at the archer's ready room. Michelle, coach Lau and I had a chance to warm-up by letting a few arrows fly. The atmosphere was rather relaxed as there are fewer archers around.

1/32 elimination...

I was paired with a barebow archer who was ranked 17th in the tournament. We shot at lane number 5. The guy was very decent. "Hello, I'm Montri," he introduced himself. The Thais are extremely polite people with excellent sportsmanship, well, at least most of them are... Hahah! Montri said he felt hot and was actually sweating. The air-conditioning in the Fashion Island Mall didn't really kick-in. It can get really cold in full-blast. My opponent was using a vintage takedown recurve bow. I think he did really well the year before and it was really an honour to shoot along with such a classy archer. "It's not easy shooting a hunting bow like yours," he said. That's a little mind game going on, but I didn't let it bother me. All I had in mind, was beating myself.
"Did you know, you will be meeting the guy next to you if you win this match," he added. Montri was referring to Khun Yuttana, who won the Pre-Princess Cup barebow match a week earlier. Yuttana was ranked 17th during the qualifiers.
In the best of five during the Olympic Round, Montri took the first end. The second-end belonged to me and subsequently, after leading 4-2, my friendly opponent began to falter. He made a couple of mistakes. It was costly. 

Getting ready for action!
At end number five, I knew that I am going to take the match. Put a couple of arrows in the red and yellow, it was over. A year of hard work, commitment saw me through the 1/32 rounds. Michelle got pounded by rank number 2 Colonel Supin Smitskerin during her elimination match. Coach Lau also conceded to an archer from the AF Archery Club. He got thrashed six to nothing.

With Jeffery Pang from Penang and last year's champion Ang See Chuan

The confident Yuttana (left) is a strong contender
Doing my part at the 1/16 rounds
A good fight: at the end of the 1/16 match with Khun Yuttana
1/16 - The last man standing...

After slugging it out with Montri, it was time to meet Yuttana, he was the champion barebow archer at the Pre-Princess Cup tournament.
We had at least 30-minutes of rest and I took the time off to reflect. This is as far as I have pushed my Hoyt Satori takedown recurve bow. Most of the trad shooters at this point has been eliminated by the barebow archers.
I had a little bit of time to put a few arrows on the practice target bud before heading onto the shooting line to meet Yuttana. On qualification day, I was actually introduced to him by my lane mate. 
Yuttana shot with a Gillo G-1 barebow riser. Every archer's bow tells a story, and this one is really illuminating. 
In the first end, Yuttana took the match, earning two points. I was down to zero. 
When the buzzer rang, that two minutes felt like an eternity.
I had the jitters, I waited for Yuttana to make his first shot. In the second end, I landed an arrow on the innermost ring. Two others landed next to it. I couldn't believe it! Two "9s" and a "10".
When we picked up the arrow to score our points, I could see Yuttana's disbelief. We were even.
He took the third end with one extra point. It was close. Being a better archer, Yuttana won the 1/16 round by 6-2. Clearly, he was dominant. In the 1/8 round, Yuttana lost to last year's champion Ang See Chuan 6-0.

With Tuan Suhairi representing Malaysia Cup

Rewarding ourselves with an awesome lunch

Barbeque!

I went back to the archer's ready room to pack up. Michelle gave me a pat on my shoulder. "You did well!" she said. I guess the Thais were surprised that some Malaysian dude had given them a run for their money. This year round, I must say the standards have gone up. There were more archers shooting beyond 200 points during qualification rounds. And the Thais are really good. After a good day shooting, we stepped out to the Promenade mall which is located nearby for a good lunch. We had a lot to celebrate. Moving up three or four notches was not entirely impossible. Our training regime had worked.

Michelle with Col Supin flanked by Jeff

Ang, the reigning barebow champ sharing a light moment with Malaysian archers
Ang (second from left) met Supin (centre) during the finals

The regular singing dude

With Khun Tatrawee (second from left) at the end of the event
Barebow finals: Singapore vs Thailand...

I overheard some gossip at the ready room that goes: "If Singapore finishes 1-2 during the barebow finals, there will be a big party..."
It was amazing. The Singaporeans came prepared. They have been at it since 2014 and really have no reasons to falter. The best archer among the lot is Ang See Chuan. He had literally bulldozed his way through the tournament. Singapore's other hope was Chan Tat Kin (ranked 11th). He was knocked out during the quarter-finals. It was up to Ang to lift the spirits of his comrades.
Col Supin, who was ranked 2nd at the tournament, met with Ang (ranked 1st) at the finals. It was a close and tight match. Ang was confident and calm throughout the match. Supin, on the other hand, did show that he was shaken.
As the match drew to a draw at the end of five ends, the judge called for a one arrow shoot-off.
Compared to the previous year finals, this year's match was really exciting. Both men were equally matched. Ang shot first and landed his arrow on a "9". Right before he placed his arrow on the bow, Supin asked a guy in the crowd (entertainer Apisit "Joeyboy" Opasaimlimkit) to pick an arrow. As soon as it was nocked and drawn, Supit shot a perfect "10", the arrow was dead-centre. And the day belonged to Thailand. Ang, a true gentleman, shoot Supin's hand. For us, it was all over. Time to head back to our range, train harder for next year.
The event ended with a prize presentation and a "thank you" party by the organiser. We headed back to our hotel later and treated ourselves to an awesome dinner. To me, it was money well-spent. We shot our way to the 1/16 elimination rounds. This gave us motivation to do even better next year.
As soon as the dust settled, it was time to head back to Kuala Lumpur and deal with reality. Its back to the crunch and lesser range time. The next big thing is in October at the UPM open tournament. Barebow is being introduced for the first time. On the sidelines, there are smaller "kampung" tournaments for us to take part. Michelle and I are mulling the IBC tournament in December where barebow matches are a regular fixture. Till then, its time to improve on our form and cosistency...




Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 Thailand Princess Cup - Part 3

Our team at Fashion Island Mall on day 1 of the tournament
Manager's briefing and qualifiers...

We had an extra day before the qualifiers. So, Friday, we took it rather easy. No more archery, just chilling out and wait for the manager's briefing at Synisiri Resort, which is located new Fashion Island Mall where the Thailand Princess Cup archery tournament is held. 

Scoping out the event hall before tournament day

Setting up the participant's tag

Michelle with her shooter's tag and lane number
We decided to have lunch at Fashion Island Mall. Ended up at a steamboat restaurant. Spent half the day chilling out there before we took a walk to Syinsiri which is nearby. That was also the hotel where most of the archers are staying.
There, we met a group of archers from Malaysia. Notable was En Suhairi who won the Kelantan open tournament earlier in March. Together with him were three other winners of the Malaysia Cup tournament. We sat in for the briefing and was surprised to learn that there will be two rounds for the first day of the barebow shoot. First, the qualifiers and then, the elimination round.
Later in the day, we caught up with coach Lau, our fourth team member and had a rather late dinner before calling it a day...

Arriving at the scene on the first day of the tournament...
The archer's prep room, already packed to the brim

Archers at the qualifiers for the recurve event
 Enduring the heebeejeebies and a long day... 

The next morning, we headed out to the junction of Khu Bon Road to have our local breakfast. After a good fill, the guys went back to take a dump. Its ritual.
Later, we boarded the taxis that took us to Fashion Island Mall which is nearby. After getting our gear out, we headed to the event hall and made our way to the archer's prep room. Since we are shooting in the afternoon, coach Lau suggested an early lunch. Everyone had their fill and was happy!

Equipment inspection

Local media at the scene

The trophies!
After a good fill, it was back to the event hall, there, we had a chance to warm-up. As usual, I did my push-ups, stretching and by the time our group was called, it's a quick march to the shooting line.

Warm-up session

Thai archers tallying the scores
Jeff, Lau and I shot on the same shooting line. We were in group A, while Michelle worked her way to the far end of the hall to shoot with the ladies.
My shooting mate was a tall Thai archer using a spigarelli barebow riser. He took target bud A while I shot the B side. Prior to this, we were assigned our target face and knew that the best way to beat anxiety is to train hard on our designated face.
It really helped a lot! After 10 ends and 30 arrows, I had two misses. The arrows landed outside the target face. For my effort, I scored 198/300. I beat my previous year score of 113/300. The highest scoring archer was from the Thailand Outdoor Archery Club. He ranked at 4th place with an impressive score of 237/300. Second highest was my lane mate who shot 216/300 while the guy on target face C shot at 205/300. 
My group was very evenly matched as most of them were excellent archers. Coach Lau came in at 186 ranked 58th while Michelle scored 174 and ranked 66th. Jeff, the weakest of the lot came in at 78 points ranked 105. Despite that, we made it to the elimination round that same day.

With our ranking tags for round 2

Michelle, squaring off with a Singaporean archer
The culling begins...

I was quite pleased with the results. Despite two misses, I managed to pull myself together and connected with my target face. We went off for some snacks, chilled out before the elimination round commenced that evening.
I was in group A and was paired with a young archer ranked at 81. In this round, it was a best of 5 that decides who wins. If you shoot and score 6 points without any opposition, you own the match.
I have shot Olympic Round (as this is called) in Kelantan earlier this year. We also trained for the OR format before heading to Thailand.
The young man who shot next to me was rather nervous. His first end was a disaster and when he couldn't connect on the subsequent ends, I went in for the kill. The resuts: 6-0. I made it through the 1/64 elimination match and progressed to the 1/32 OR match on the next day...

Celebrating with a chilled one over dinner!
Michelle was in group B and I had the chance to be her spotter. 
She shot with a Singaporean archer from the Teluk Blangah Archery Club. These guys are good and has been regulars at the Princess Cup Tournament since 2014 in the barebow category. 
Her opponent is an experienced archer. The guy took the first round by scoring 2-0. On the second end, Michelle equalized and with our encouragement and moral support, she took the third end by leading at 4-2. The befuddled Singaporean guy had his fate sealed when he shot poorly. Michelle took the match by 6-2 after five ends. Coach Lau also did very well and managed to move on to round 3. Jeff, on the other hand, gave his opponent a good fight. We left the scene late at night and celebrated by having beers and a late dinner....

Part 4: The push...