The first thing I noticed about Phoenix Arizona was how neat and tidy it was. I was expecting a bit of a dust bowl but actually it was anything but that. The weather was a lot hotter than in the UK obviously, with the temperature between 79F and 101F in the shade.
During practice it was really hot - so hot in fact that I could feel the heat coming up through my training shoes!
They have a great practice range near where we stayed. it's open to the public and has targets already set out to shoot, although these were mainly layered foam and well used, so our friends took their own stand and target to shoot at. We were practising at the same time as the Canadian team that were here for the cup too
It took me a couple of days to get used to the heat and to get over jet lag, but after that I was OK. The KG XCR riser and NEXGEN limbs showed no signs of being affected by the weather and shot just the same as they do at home. the Vaportrail strings also performed flawlessly. The air was a lot drier though and my sight needed to be adjusted to take account of that.
Practice went pretty well given the heat and by the time qualification came around I felt pretty confident.
Before I travelled to the competition everyone who had been there before told me that it was windy. They were right!
The Ben Avery range is a huge (and I mean huge) complex dedicated to shooting (mainly) guns but also has its own dedicated archery area and its own weather.
Official practice and the qualification round were windy and hot. The wind on qualification day was very variable and very tricky to shoot in. My new Carbofast Slim Jim stabilisers were fantastic and allowed me to hold on the gold easily. I scored 629 which was a personal best competition score and this placed me 9th going into the head to heads against some tough opposition.
The first two rounds of the head to heads went well, with me only dropping 2 points. My 1/8th round was against someone who I met in Alabama last year, so we had a good friendly rivalry - his qualification score was only one point higher than mine so we knew it was going to be close. The scores went: 1-1, 2-2, 2-4, 4-4, 5-5. This meant that we had to go into a one arrow shoot off. I scored a good 9, but he scored an even better 10 so he won and progressed through (eventually winning the silver medal). It was such a close contest that even our total scores only differed by 1 point in the end! I was really pleased with how I shot and managed myself through the whole competition, and whist I am disappointed I didn't get further, I achieved my aim of a top 10 finish by finishing 9th overall.
I had a great time in Phoenix and really enjoyed the whole experience. I learned a lot and I am sure that it will help me in my shooting in the future. Our hosts were fantastic people and so was everyone we met. They were so kind to us and I can't wait to go back again.
I would just like to thank all my sponsors - your respective equipment never let me down once!
Vapor Trail Archery
Pro Boss Archery
Class Energy Ltd
Xs Wings archery vanes
Kath Fitzpatrick Archery Coaching
Lale Krivacevic Silver Archery limited
Cookridge Hall Health & Fitness
The Bramhope Trust
Friends and Family
and all my new American friends who were there cheering me on