Hello, and welcome to Bow International, edition 145. We’re finally back to our pre-lockdown full size, even as we have all slipped into what a clubmate of mine has started to call ‘the long tedium’. Will it end? Will what end, exactly. It’s abundantly clear that the age of coronavirus is far from over. It may gradually move over the next months or year or so from a pandemic to something like a background issue for public health, but the associated upheavals will be with us for a while yet.
There’s encouraging signs for archery events, with sensibly distanced – as much as these things can be – national-level events taking place around the world in the last month. It’s clear that the sport can make distancing work, and that the difficulties are with larger gatherings. You can space a line and make it longer, but squeezing everybody into a bus, a lift, or a small room or hall of any kind is where the risk will lie. Like most things, archery relies on numbers to make it work, and it’s clear that numbers will not recover for a while (am wondering what will happen with the four-thousand strong Vegas Shoot in February). This year has seen fewer people entering the sport than for many decades, and the long steady path of growth we’ve seen is clearly over for a while. All sports need fresh blood coming in to keep everything moving. Many people have got other things on their mind apart from archery, and it may stay off the radar of more casual shooters for some time yet.
In this issue, I decidedly to finally look at something that’s been on the list for a long while: flight archery, one of the oldest forms of all and a driver for technological progress. With a fascinating cast of characters on both side of the Atlantic, it’s a small but obsessive world, ever hunting; for arrows, for edges, for breakthroughs. I hope you enjoy our flight special, and thank you for staying with us in this difficult time. However long it lasts.
See you on the shooting line...