Lancaster beats French recurve team to retain Indoor World Series Champion crown

Lancaster Archery Supply celebrates 2021 Indoor Archery World Series Champion title.

Lancaster Archery Supply’s Brady Ellison, Jack Williams and Casey Kaufhold successfully defended their Indoor Archery World Series Champion title on Sunday, defeating the Golden Arrow in the remote recurve team final. The trio shot from the US national training centre in Chula Vista, California.

“It was quite fun today, and this format’s quite entertaining,” said reigning World Archery Champion Ellison. “I like the 12, I love cumulative scoring.”

The recurve teams were initially less proactive in shooting at the small 12-spot than the compound squads, which were led by eventual champion Arc Système, during Saturday's games. The dot, measuring just 15 millimetres in diameter, is a harder task without a magnified sight and a release aid.

That pattern changed when Ellison stepped up for his individual match in the final.

The world number one gambled early and often, missing and hitting a low six with his first attempt and a low seven with his second. At the halfway point in his 12-arrow match against Thomas Chirault, Ellison was five points adrift. But he’d also climbed up the face and found his mark.

Brady hit 12s in both of the next two ends, landing his four other remaining shots in the 10-ring. It left Chirault needing a 10 with his last arrow to win the match and take the bonus point – but he only got a nine.

After Kaufhold won a straightforward contest with Lisa Barbelin, Williams gambled on the 12 early in his individual match, too. Trailing by just one point after five arrows, he aimed and hit the dot, taking control of the narrative and pushing Clement Jacquey – who hadn’t missed the 10-ring through six shots – out of his comfort zone.

Williams landed a second 12 with his last arrow of the match, though he didn’t need it, to win, 121-113.

The individual match results built Lancaster a two-point lead to start the final; with six 10s from their first six arrows, the US archers extended their advantage to three. With time running out, Jacquey attempted the 12 in the third end but scored an eight – and Lancaster cruised to an eventual six-point victory.

“I think we can all pretty much hit the 10, so it’s more comfortable to just hit 10s the whole time instead of going for 12s,” said Williams, explaining why the team was keen to use bonus points to position themselves in a lead to open the team match.

The strategic approaches to the unusual competition format employed by teams were varied. But as well as the risk of aiming for the 12 and missing, waiting too long to attempt the white spot appeared a risk in itself, too.

“We needed to shoot two more points because of the results of the individual matches,” said Chirault after the final loss. “So we had to take the risk to try the 12-ring twice at the end of the match. It was our only solution. It would have been fun, but we missed because it’s really difficult to shoot the 12-ring.”

Keeping the bonus dot at such a challenging size for the recurve competition meant it wasn’t as widely used as in the compound event.

“That dot is small,” said Ellison. “When I’ve been practising, I would say that I would be 80% on it and then, on the days that you are bad, like 10%. So there’s a lot of room for risk.”

Lancaster Archery Supply collects its winning cheque at the Indoor Archery World Series Finals in 2020.

Lancaster Archery Supply collects 2250 CHF, as well as the champion title for the win, while the Golden Arrow receives 1250 CHF.

Beiter and the Dutch Olympic squad share the third spot, having lost their respective semifinals against Lancaster and the Golden Arrow. The latter match was particularly exciting.

Sjef van den Berg hit a last-arrow 12 to force a tie.

Chirault, captain of the Golden Arrow and shooting from Vittel, stepped up to deliver the single tiebreak arrow and landed a perfect shot, hitting the very centre of the bottom left spot in the triangular target. Steve Wijler, shooting for the Netherlands, could only hope to match it – but dropped low and left, though still in the 10-ring.

Beiter looked in control of their semi against Lancaster after the individual matches.

Florian Unruh, who didn’t miss the 10 in 12 arrows shooting against Casey Kaufhold, had arrows go just left and just right of the 10-ring in the team decider. The German group, competing from Berlin, just ran out of arrows and, even if they’d hit the 12 with the last shot, couldn’t have saved their competition.

Lancaster Archery Supply joins Arc Système as the official team champions of the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series.