A national archery came to a halt last weekend in McLean County after a two-year hiatus.

Wisconsin-based archery company R100, owned by Brad and Brittany Rinehart, hosted one of their nationwide touring tournaments August 21-22 at Myer Creek Park.

R100 has provided thousands of avid archery shooters with an event for participants of all ages and skills for the past 18 years.

According to its website, the R100 is a family-friendly 3D archery circuit that works with clubs across the country to host events consisting of two 50-target courses – the Safari Range and the North American Range.

“(McLean County) has a pitch (and) you have an ambitious club that wanted to host (the event),” said Brad Rinehart. “Geographically, you’re pretty well centered. There are a lot of cities and things around you. There is good land, lots of parking. It’s just a nice place to host an event.

The tour last stopped in the county in 2018 before taking a hiatus, due to COVID-19 in 2020.

“We only organized five events (in 2020) out of the 17 planned. Not great, ”said Brad Rinehart. “The country was pretty much closed. The archers came out and shot, but when you went to the grocery stores everything was really quiet and really naked on the shelves.

R100 paired with the county’s own archery club – Myer Creek Archers. Jennifer Warner, secretary of the archery club, said the organization has partnered with R100 in the past, but this is her first experience working directly with Brad and Brittany Rinehart. Warner was happy with the partnership.

“(The event) went really well,” Warner said. “We had a lot of people, a lot of compliments. We even had people from out of town come back and message us on the Facebook page and say “Hey, we loved it”. We loved coming to some of your shoots. “

Brad Rinehart confirmed that more than 388 people attended the two-day event. Warner was surprised at the turnout, given other events planned in surrounding counties.

“We were really concerned about the HydroFair taking place in Owensboro and the (Street Legends) car show at Diamond Lake (Resort),” said Warner. “But, we had a very good turnout.

The registered archers were divided by class of equipment during the shooting. The Unlimited Open Class requires a shooter to have a stabilizer that can measure over 12 inches and magnification; the archery class must have a stabilizer of less than 12 inches without magnification; the traditional class has an ordinary staff bow; and the young class is for anyone under 12 years old.

Scoring was done by a 12 point ring system – the smallest circle on the target receiving the maximum 12 points, with zero points if the target is missed completely.

The weekend also included four specialty events.

“The Small Game Sniper Challenge” and “HHA Whitetails for Warriors” are paid shooting games. The “The Small Game Sniper Challenge” is where archers shoot five small game targets at ranges between five and 50 yards, while “HHA Whitetails for Warriors” is a 10 target donation shot where the funds go to a donation program through a partnership with Operation HHA USA, a nonprofit charitable organization serving veterans and active duty members of the United States Armed Forces that shows appreciation for veterans and the active military personnel through archery.

The two free events consist of “The Steel Forest Challenge”, where an archer must shoot at targets obstructed by steel trees, and “The Iron Buck Shoot”, where the archer must place his arrow in the foam insert. of a steel deer.

Although shooters compete for points and the winner’s pin, Brad Rinehart and Warner want to focus on the simple pleasures of being outside and enjoying the day.

“There’s not a lot of pressure,” Brad Rinehart said. “You are not here to win a check, you are not here to win a bow. You are there to have fun archery, hang out (outdoors), get a pin if you shot really well or if you shot over 1000 points.

“It’s really about having fun archery and getting a family out. We really love when fathers bring their kids, with their wives and husbands, that’s really what it is.

“(People) can see, shoot, go out and bring the kids and have fun,” Warner said. “It involves the whole family. As long as everyone is having fun, this is what we love to see.

Participants like Shane Adams, an archer from the Kentucky Christian University team, have attended a few tour dates in the past and attest that they can find joy in the sport.

“(It’s about) being able to get out there and have a good day shooting arrows,” Adams said. “It is also a good practice for hunting.

R100 has three more stops on its tour before concluding the season in mid-September in Franklin, PA. Warner said the county archery club will hold its final event on September 11 and 12.

Freddie Bourne, [email protected]