Bow International - - CONTENTS - John Stan­ley, Ed­i­tor john.stan­ley@fu­ /bow­in­ter­na­tional @Bow­magazine

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...

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