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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, June 10, 2001

Archers breeze through a long day

By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer

And you thought continental drift only applied to continents.

Ralph Hiromasa of Kalihi concentrates on the target during the Aloha State Games archery competition at Salt Lake District Park.

Eugene Tanner • The Honolulu Advertiser

More than 60 of Hawai'i's most dedicated archers turned out for a spirited, if glacially paced, opening day of the Aloha State Games archery competition yesterday at Salt Lake District Park. Competition resumes today at 9 a.m.

Yesterday's contest featured a format rarely seen in Hawai'i. Following National Field Archery Association rules, archers shot at five-yard increments 65 to 20 feet from their target. Black-and-white target faces were used, with five, four and three points awarded for hits in the target area.

"Actually," said first-year event commissioner George Kong, "I think I'm the only one who has competed in this format."

Previous Aloha State Games competitions used 3-D animal targets on the opening day, but Kong said he decided to shelve the faux fawns for awhile in consideration of rising anti-hunting sentiment.

Alternating waves of archers were given a liberally timed 2 minutes and 30 seconds to shoot three arrows at each distance. With intermittent pauses to retrieve arrows and concurrent teen and children's competitions nearby, it took more than three hours to complete the first of two rounds of shooting.

And no one minded a bit.

"It's a long day, but that's all right," said 47-year-old David Shiraki of Kapahulu. "It's fun."

'Aiea resident Ed Kalinowski, 49, concurred.

"It's a good day," he said, surveying the calm, overcast skies. "You always worry about wind, but today is nice."

Joel Nagamine, 9, was also upbeat at the prospect of a long day behind the bow.

"It's fun to shoot," he said.

Between rounds, Nagamine played with friends and followed the progress of his 15-year-old brother, Kurt, who was also competing.

Most of the adult archers were familiar with each other from club affiliations and previous competitions. During the numerous breaks, they shared cigarettes and small talk, compared equipment and, in the spirit of the game, helped each other with minor corrections.

"Archery is an individual sport and you have your own concentration, but you also get to meet a lot of other people," said Frances Hong, 59, of Waipahu.

Hong, who entered the competition with her husband, Keone, was forced to retire early when she fell and dislocated her elbow during an intermission.

Moanalua's Jason Fevella, 40, said rising winds affected his shooting a little, but he still finished the first 30-arrow round with 14 Xs (indicating a direct hit at the center of the bullseye) and 142 points to lead the adult bowhunting division.

"It's an average day," he shrugged. "It should have been better."