Pulling some strings!

Archers from Hawaii come to Molokai to compete in States.

By Léo Azambuja

Several Hawaiian warriors flew to Molokai last week to compete in the only National Field Archery Association (NFAA) sanctioned event in Hawaii. The event, organized by the Molokai Bowhunters Archery Club, provided a full day of excitement and surprises.

The 9th annual Hawaii State Animal Target Championship Tournament, held at the archery range in Kalae, is the only one of its kind in Hawaii. NFAA-affiliated archers statewide use this event to be ranked nationally.

Tournament coordinator Nelson Rapanot expected Maui’s Jason Uradomo to win the Bowhunter Freestyle class. Uradomo, who owns an archery range on Maui, won this class in the last two editions.

The favored Uradomo secured 568 points out of 588 possible. However, Craig Reynolds edged Uradomo by only 1 point, taking home the trophy.

But the 1st place glory almost belonged to homeboy Brian Tachibana. The Molokai local came in third, and a mere two points behind the leader, confirming Rapanot’s words. “Brian is one of the best guys on Molokai,” Rapanot said.

In the Freestyle class, Ramon Lazo was also expected to fly back to Maui with the trophy. But Lazo, who had won this class for the past two years, ended up with the 10th place. Leslie Tomokiyo took first, Robert Seabury came in second and Molokai’s Lance Tancayo took third.

Despite the seriousness of the tournament, there was never a dull moment. Competitors from all over the State come every year to Molokai, and are already familiar faces here. They kept teasing each other and joking around like they had always known each other.

Maui’s Kaipo Seabury never stopped poking fun at others and at himself. When Rapanot asked him if he was NFAA affiliated, he was quick: “I no stay NFAA, I stay AA.” Joking at the photographers who took pictures of him, he said, “I must be handsome.”                                                                          

Fern Hamai was having a hard time getting her game straight. Every time she would shoot others would tease her. She ended up winning the Bowhunter Freestyle Female class. The reason of the jokes though, was that she was the only competitor.

About 50 competitors participated in 14 classes. Categories are set by age, gender and type of bow used. But the rules are the same for every participant, regardless of class. Every shooter can earn a maximum of 588 points.

There were 28 targets set at marked distances from 10 to 60 yards. Distances were measured in front of a NFAA official. The NFAA approved targets faces are animal drawings.

The Bowhunter Freestyle and the Freestyle classes were the most sought-after. Freestyle archers use a moveable magnifying sight and a longer stabilizer. Bowhunter Freestyle uses a similar bow, but without the extra help mentioned. “Those guys are all hunters,” Rapanot said.

Rapanot explained that the shooters in the Traditional class usually get much lower scores than shooters from other classes. “They get the Indian-style bow,” he said. While other competitors look like Jedi knights with their high-tech carbon fiber and aluminum bows, Traditional class competitors use much simpler wood bows.

The tournament started at 9 a.m. and was pau around 1 p.m. Like every event on Molokai, it ended with a big pa`ina and plenty kau kau.


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