Friday, December 29, 2017

2017 - The year in perspective...


Oh, what a year!

Only two days left before we cross into 2018 and I must say that the last 12 months have been really interesting...
Nearly every quarter, we stayed in the game in terms of our archery pursuit and the range time that I had with my bow and arrow bore the fruits of my labour.

Archery, archery, archery...


I'd say that throughout the year, I have been spending much time in the range with my trad bows. 
In the earlier quarter, I competed in the Kelantan Indoor Open with my Hoyt Tiburon. It's a trad bow and I love how it performed. Later in March, I acquired the Hoyt Satori and the game was about to change. For three months solid, I trained with the new Hoyt Traditional bow and I must say that the results were amazing. I improved my scores at the Thailand Princess Cup barebow competition. Managed to compete in the 1/16 elimination rounds. After coming back from Thailand, I transited to shooting with a barebow riser. 

Sharing a light moment with a fellow Thai archer at the Princess Cup

With Tatrawee Harikul, the main man behind the Princess Cup tournament

The Spigarelli, an awesome riser at the right price

Sending an arrow downrange with the Spiga
There was enough time to train and break-in the bow for the UPM indoor open back in October. The Spiga needs plenty of work to get it competition ready and once its teething problems are taken care of, it performs. 
The UPM event is another notch on our local tournament rankings as Michelle and I did pretty okay. We made to the 1/8 elimination rounds and also improved our scores.

At the indoor archery world cup in Bangkok
The icing on the cake is, of course, December's Indoor Archery World Cup. It was held in Bangkok and we had a swell time shooting with some of the best archers from Asia. Once again, we met our counterparts from Thailand and stood at the shooting line with them. Other highlights including organizing our club's Invitational event and two smaller shoots for our club members.

The Malaysia Day tournament

The 2017 Invitational
 We lost our boy...

Sir Naughty 2004 - 2017
Our dog of 13 years passed away on Dec 22. It was a great loss to us because he was such an awesome companion. Sir Naughty kept our home safe and our hearts warm. Its always been great coming home to a furkid wagging his tail and he did that all through the years and right until the end.

Demobilizing

After 10 years in the Star Media Group, it's time to move on...

My workplace announced that they had to cull 500 people to save 800 jobs. I knew it was time to hit the road and I was happy to do so after being offered a redundancy package. To me, after weighing the pros and cons, it was the right thing to do. My time was over and there's nothing wrong in stepping aside to allow others to progress. From reporter to producer, I have come a long way after nearly three decades on the job. I don't feel at a loss or remorseful stepping out. The real challenge is out there and 2018 has a couple of gigs to offer. 




Friday, December 22, 2017

Sir Clifford McNaughty 2004 - 2017


A day in living memory...

IT was a dreadful moment when I had to make the call to euthanize my 13-year-old male Siberian Husky.
We had Sir Naughty in our home since 2004 and I will never forget that fateful day when I picked him up as a pup from my mom in-law's home in Petaling Jaya.
Naughty lived with us for a year before we welcomed another Siberian Husky Dame Queenie. Both as been partners for as long as I can recall. 

Sir Naughty and his faithful partner Dame Queenie
My boy's health has deteriorated through the years and lately, he lost a lot of weight. We introduced two more dogs to the house and that's where things went South for our old boy. Two weeks ago, he was injured in the face after fighting with Bandit, our new dog. Naughty went into a recluse and develope maggot wound infection. 
His condition worsened and it came to a point where he couldn't walk anymore. It was a devastating sight to see a healthy dog deteriorate right before your eyes...

The mischievous pup

Sir Naughty, as I would remember him the best
Towards the end of his lifespan, Naughty was in constant pain. He peed and pooped all over himself. I knew I had to make a decision to ease his suffering with a trip to the vet today.
I put him on the inspection table, the veterinarian gave her prognosis. I told her that I don't want him to suffer anymore.
While giving him a pat on the head, I said: "Thank you boy, for all the great years, you don't have to suffer anymore. Goodbye boy..."
I can sense that he was calm before going to sleep. I have even prepared to bury him at my neighbor's orchard. I asked Mr. Huang if I could lay him to rest near his fruit trees. The man agreed. 
I signed a consent form for the euthanization and picked up his body from the consultation room. We headed back to one last ride home. I placed his body respectfully into his grave, buried him and said a prayer.
Sir Naughty is one-of-a-kind. I don't think I could find another pooch that has his feistiness, on top of being a loving and faithful companion. After his passing, all I have with me are the good memories. Travel well my beloved pooch, and thank you for being such a loyal companion. Love you always...

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017 Indoor Barebow Championship - Part 3


The main event...

We got up at 4:45am and prepared ourselves for the journey to the convention centre. The plan was to pack our lunch.
I brought a cooler bag and three food containers for our lunch at the event venue. We have been warned about the lack of food outlets in the area, so we came prepared.
At 6:00am, we were still waiting at the lobby for the cafe to be opened. The Thais are very direct about this.
And to top it all up, we have to queue up with a bus load of Chinese tourists to get our meals. The day before, I told the hotel people that we are packing our breakfast. They agreed. What I found annoying was the fact that the tourists were rushing to get their meals. This is an issue around the globe concerning holiday makers from Mainland China.

Michelle didn't looked pleased about the meal-packing prospect...

On our way to the convention hall...
Once we had the foodstuff all settled, we hailed a cab that took us to Srinagarinda Road where the convention hall is located. We didn't really got caught in the Bangkok traffic and was early enough to reach the hall.
There, we met our Thai friends who also left their home early in order to beat the peak hour traffic.

With Apisit "Joeyboy" Opasiamlikit at the hall

The chief judge breifiing the participants

Samo and his lane mates Yuttana and Watchara
Michelle and I had set up our bows, we waited for further instructions before the qualifiers. At the shooting line, we were allowed two ends of practice before scoring.
I must say that I was very impressed with the "live" scores input with a smartphone. On each dedicated shooting lane, a scorepad was placed together with a smartphone. One guy keyed-in the scores that goes live on the internet while the other scribbles down the paper score sheet. The guys at home would get a live-feed on what went down at the tournament.
As soon as the buzzer was hit, we went to the waiting line, then the moment came when we have two minutes to empty our quivers.
For the qualifying rounds, we had to send 60 arrows downrange. Our total scores will be tabulated at the end to determine the best 16 archers for the elimination rounds.

A worthwhile experience...

During the first round, I engaged and connected with my first end. Down to the third end, I started to faulter. Sending an arrow to the blue, black and white. This was costly and it really hurt my overall score on the first round. From end number four onwards, I rebounded with my best shot at end number eight with two bullseye and an inner red, bringing the score to 28 points. The total score on round 1 was 206 points.

Getting ready to engage and connect
The second round is a "make or break" round. At this point, its all about mental strength and endurance. 
Yuttana, my lane mate scored 244/300 during the first round. He is one of the top barebow archers in Thailand alongside Watchara and Col Supin Smitskerin who won the Thailand Princess Cup in June.
I had a good start in the second round until the fifth end. My form collapsed and I managed to collect only 11 out of 30 points. From there, I slowly recovered and ended up the game with 201/300. 
This mirrors my training scores at the range and also topped what I scored at the Princess Cup qualifiers.
At the end of round 2, I scored 406/600 and was ranked 32 out of 46 archers in the game. 
The lead archers in my lane Watchara scored 515/600, ranked 4th and Yuttana came in at 7th with 504/600.
Michelle did very well in the tournament with 440/600, ranked 21. Out of six Malaysians who took part in the barebow open, three went to the elimination rounds.

Manual scoring

The best archers in Thailand versus the Chinese 

Scoring time

Michelle's group at the target bud
Michelle did very well at the tournament
Last man standing...

As soon as the game was over, the results came out. We saw our rankings and was glad that we didn't do badly. I pretty much improved my scores and Michelle is now one of the best archers in our team.
While waiting for the elimination rounds, we found a place at the back of the hall to have our packed lunch.
It gave me a moment to reflect on what to do when I get back and how to improve my form and consistency.

After the game

With a fellow barebow archer from Greece
Three Malaysians, Suhari Ariffin, Rifai Badawi and Fadzli Samsor have made it to the knockout rounds.
Suhari went down to the top guy in the tournament while Rifai was taken out by his fellow countryman Fadzli.
From how they squared-off, it was obvious that Fadzli allowed the game to advance to a shoot-off.
Fadzli was the better archer and made it all the way to the finals and squared-off with Liang Chao Jun from China. Liang was ranked 11th while Fadzli was ranked 8th in the qualifiers. This was an exciting game to watch as a few upsets was created during the Olympic rounds.

Fadzli squaring off with Liang at the finals

Liang (left) took gold, with Fadzli earning a silver medal while Zhoe Che took bronze
The finals was a game of the underdogs. With the favourites culled, it was an exciting finals. Both Liang and Fadzli fought toe-to-toe until they tied 5-5. A shoot-off decided who will return home with the gold medal. And Liang proved that he was a better archer. Fadzli had to contend with silver while Zhou Che, who was very strong right from the beginning, ended up at the third place.
For a first-timer, Fadzli did Malaysia proud. This is the man to watch in the local barebow scene as well as regional events. His dream is to make it to the Lancaster Archery Classics in Pennsylvania.

Conclusion

The pricey Indoor Barebow Championship is a worthwhile experience if you want to dabble into professional barebow tournaments. It's perhaps one of the best organized events of such nature in Southeast Asia.
To get to the shooting line and do well, you have to be good at what you do, minimalize your mistakes and stay focussed. 
For me, it was an eye-opener. I made many new friends and connected with familiar faces from the Land of Smiles. At the end of the game, the Thai archers were already asking us if we are going for the Thailand Princess Cup 2018. Without hesitation, our answer was "Yes".