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NFAA Easton Yankton
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Archery Notebook: Competitors Begin to Arrive in Yankton

Over 2,000 archers are expected to attend the three events held in Yankton this weekend.

Highlighting the weekend will be the International Field Archery Association (IFAA) 2009 World Bowhunter Championships as well as the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) Unmarked 3D National Championship and the World Archery Festival (WAF) First Dakota National Bank Archery Classic.

Competitors for the event are expected to come for all over the world. As of Tuesday, 13 different counteries had archers registered for at least one of the events.

For many of them, it will be their first trip to Yankton.

Christian Wilhelmstatter, who has been a competitive archer for 15 years, is from Austria will be one of the many archers to visit Yankton for the first time. Of course, he didn't even know where Yankton.

Wilhelmstatter said he was glad for one of the first sites he saw.

“We were running low on gas, so one of the first sites we saw in Yankton was the fuel stations and we were happy to see it,” Wilhelmstatter said with a laugh. “The first impression we actually got of Yankton was its nice, new bridge (Discovery Bridge).”

Wilhelmstatter's flight landed in Denver, Colo. so he got to drive through the Black Hills. But Wilhelmstatter said he has been impressed with the plains so far, even though it may be a disadvantage for him and the group of archers he is with.

“We are used to shooting in a mountainous area, so we shoot up and down and here it's just straight,” Wilhelmstatter said. “We will have to practice and get used to shooting straight now.”

Diethar Vorderegger and his wife Karin have been shooting competitively since 1990 and this will also be their first time to Yankton, but they did have an idea of where Yankton is.

“We have been to America a few times, so we somewhat knew where it was,” Diether said. “This will be our first trip to the Dakotas though.”

Not only does Vorderegger shoot competitively, but he also publishes his own quarterly archery magazine. 3-D Bogensport (3-D Archery) is distributed in Austria, Germany, northern Italy, Luxemburg, Liechtenstein and Namibia, Africa.

Vorderegger is signed up for the IFAA World Bowhunter Championships, but isn't exactly thrilled the event is in America this year.

“I like the event better when it's held in Europe because there is more of a turnout,” Vorderegger said. “Americans can't get as much time off work, so there aren't as many competitors as there would be in Europe. In my competition, there will only be about 12 people entered, and six of them will be from Austria, so I compete against them a lot already.”

Vorderegger is entered in the Adult Longbow competition.

Next year's competition will take place in Australia, but Vorderegger said he won't attend the event next year.

“Europe is the best place to have it, because when it's held there, the competition usually has 1,500 people,” Vorderegger said.

Mount Marty Opens Its Doors For Archers

With the influx of visitors in the Yankton area, most the local hotels and motels are expected to be booked. Some archers have even book rooms in Vermillion because of the lack of available rooms in Yankton.

Because of the lack of rooms, organizors from the NFAA worked with Mount Marty College to use the school's dorms to house some of the archers who couldn't find a room this weekend.

“We expected an overflow of people this weekend, so we just worked out an arragnement with Mount Marty,” NFAA organizor Marihelen Rogers said. “The archers have been pretty open to the idea so far.”

MMC is still charging for the rooms, but at a very reasonable price. A double occupany room is $20 a night and a single occupany room is $24 a night. The money for the hotel rooms will go directly to the college.

Rogers said MMC will provide the rooms with all of the regular ammenties a normal hotel room will have, except for a continental breakfast.

This same arrangement wasn't made for last year's event, but hotels rooms were at more of a premium this year because of the pipeline workers for TransCanada.

Rogers said there have been no complaints so far and this same arrangment could work in the future.

“Archers are an easy going bunch and the arrangment has worked out well so far,” Rogers said. “I think it's a good deal to stay there especially if it's just for a couple of nights.”

Compact Bows Preferred For Competition

Archers will have their choice between tradional, longbows, recurve and compact bows for the competition. But for Roman Heigenhauser, there is only one choice for competitions.

“I use my compact bows for competitions because there are too many disadvantages for the other bows,” Heigenhauser said. “The other bows don't have aids. If you are more into personal perfection and hard work, you will use a long bow or a recurve.”

Heigenhauser is from Germany and uses long bow if he just goes out to shoot for fun, but he said there is less accuracy with a longbow.

“Most competitors usually shoot almost 100 percent with a compound bow, but with a longbow, you would be lucky to hit 80 percent,” Heigenhauser said.

Heigenhauser started with a traditional wooden bow, then progressed to a recurve and longbow and his last step was the compound bow.

Heigenhauser said an archer should stick with one bow for at least a year.

“It's not easy to switch in between bows and you really shouldn't switch around for a competition,” Heigenhauser said. “If you want to get comfortable with the bow and be able to shoot it well, you should just that bow for at least a year.”