by Steve Shiell and Wendy Goldstein
On February 15th and 16th, the Prince William Sound Community College Archery Club, in Valdez, Alaska, hosted its 3rd Annual Vegas in Valdez Archery Tournament. This event, inspired by the famous Las Vegas, Nevada World Archery Festival, is the perfect opportunity for Alaskan archers to experience the traditional 3-spot, 20-yard “Vegas Round.” The tournament, held in the Valdez Civic Center ballrooms on carpet, has become a welcome social event for the Alaska archery community and is a fun competition, drawing archers from the Anchorage, Mat-Su Valley, and Fairbanks areas, as well as Valdez and the Copper Basin.
This is the first year that the event was shot in ballrooms on carpet, which helped add realism to the Valdez venue. Thanks to the support from the Civic Center Director, Pam Lunt, and her staff, the “ballroom flare” took it over the top for a record attendance. The PWSCC Archery Club hosted 60 archers this year; almost double the numbers from the past two years, and the response to the location from visiting archers was overwhelming. Shooters of all ages, equipment disciplines, levels of ability, and experience participated, which Event Coordinator and PWSCC Archery Club Advisor, Steve Shiell says is “ideal.”
“Archery is a discipline that anyone, with any level of physical ability can participate in, find success and have a good time,” Shiell states.
In addition to the Vegas Round, the Vegas in Valdez Tournament included for the first time a Pro-Am Shoot, where Pro class shooters teamed up with amateur archers, their combined scores going up against other pro-am teams. This event was one of the highlights of the event and included a total of 16 teams.
Prince William Sound Community College, an independently accredited college, yet part of the University of Alaska system, has the only collegiate archery club in Alaska. The PWSCC Archery Club is open to the public and welcomes memberships from the community. The club hosts three Kids’ Archery Camps per year, passing down the knowledge and excitement to new archers, with an emphasis on family participation. Every November the club hosts a Turkey Shoot where the winners receive frozen turkeys and the losers get cans of Spam. April brings a seasonal outdoor archery event, the Spring Fling and BBQ, held on the college campus, and during the summer break there’s a two- day 3-D event held on Thompson Pass at the Blueberry Lake Campground.
Shiell says the PWSCC Archery Club is looking forward to an even bigger Vegas in Valdez event in 2014.
To learn more about the PWSCC Archery Club, visit http://www.pwscc.edu/campus-life/student-clubs-organizations/pwscc-archery/
For more information about the World Archery Festival visit http://thevegasshoot.com/