On yet another sweltering Florida morning, adults and children met at the Citrus Archery Club in Spring Hill to compete in the FAA Central Florida 100. Due to the heat, the start time of the event held on Saturday, August 19, was moved to 8:00 a.m., and the Youth requirements were shortened to require less time in the blistering midday sun. The changes helped, as all the competitors were able to finish by 11:00 a.m.
The winners of the Central Florida 100 are listed below:
Freestyle: Patrick Herbert – 245
Traditional: Scott Stewart – 216
Cub Freestyle: Ander Nelson – 210
Youth Freestyle: Vera Regazzi – 266 – First Place
Gina Regazzi – 206 – Second Place
What is it about archery that led these event-goers to pick up the sport and, in some cases, become enthusiasts? At the club’s Bob Jones Memorial Event in July, the Sun picked the brains of some of the competitors to find the answer. With the event on Saturday, the opportunity presented itself to check in with a couple more contestants to see what drew them to the hobby.
Scott Stewart, who took first place in traditional, is 63 and has been shooting bows since he was roughly eight years old. After starting with traditional archery (so-called for the use of a longbow or recurve bow without a sight), he changed to using compound bows. He eventually shifted his focus back to traditional archery about 12 years ago. The veteran archer did so because he enjoyed the increased difficulty and started shooting 3-dimensional targets to stay practiced for hunting purposes, despite some differences between targets and the genuine article.
“I believe [traditional archery] is more challenging, and it also keeps you coming back because it is not easy,” Stewart said. “…I got into 3-D so that I could be a better hunter. It is good and bad. Some targets, depending upon the manufacturer, their kill zones are different than that of an actual animal.”
For Justin Regazzi, whose daughters placed first and second in the youth freestyle event, it was all about family. A common theme we have heard across a few competitors is that either the parent starts and brings the kids along, or vice versa. In this instance, it was the inverse. Regazzi tried it out after signing his daughters up and has been participating ever since.
“Just wanted to do something with the girls,” Regazzi said. “We signed them up to 4-H, and then it just became a family thing. We got them involved, and then, subsequently, I followed suit… Yeah, I have been doing it about six months. They’ve been doing it about a year.”
Club President David Ireland thanked everyone who came out to the event and discussed the events the club will be holding over the coming weeks. The Citrus Archery Club hosts an 8-week Fall Handicapped League that starts September 10th at 1:00 PM. The club will be shooting a 20-yard NFAA round.
The next event, the Club will hold a 900 round on September 16 at 9:00 AM. This match is ahead of the FAA State Target Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, and Ireland hopes to see more shooters looking for a local event to practice at and hopes to teach people of all ages the joy of archery. “We are here for you as we look forward to the opportunity to reach people of all ages to share the joy of archery,” said the club president. “It is our Sport, our passion, and our family to share with our community!”