MASTER-FUL: Graham Bultitude and Earl Coughran take aim. Bultitude returned from the World Masters Games in Sydney with a kit full of medals.
MASTER-FUL: Graham Bultitude and Earl Coughran take aim. Bultitude returned from the World Masters Games in Sydney with a kit full of medals. DAVID NIELSEN

Bowman proves master of craft

LISMORE'S Graham Bultitude must have looked slightly unusual when he packed his bow and arrows on the back of his 1200cc Kawasaki motorcycle and headed off to Sydney to compete in the archery events at the World Masters Games.

But the 71-year-old rode back into town this week with a gold medal, two silvers and a bronze safely stowed away in his kit bag.

Bultitude claimed his gold medal in the 'clout' event which is a traditional form of archery, dating back to medieval times, which requires competitors to shoot their arrows in the air and onto a target marked out on the ground.

He backed this victory up with second placings in the field and indoor events and a third in the target.

“I was just keen to shoot everything,” Bultitude said.

“I suppose the clout was the hardest to shoot because you didn't know whether your arrows were going long or short.

“Even though I could look through the scope it was still hard to tell whether they were falling long or short, but I must have judged it pretty well because I won.

“The target event was really windy; in fact there were gale-force winds, which required the event to be postponed for half an hour to three-quarters of an hour.

”The arrows were going sideways and a few of them were breaking.”

With the archery events divided between several different venues, including the setting for Australian Simon Fairweather's gold medal triumph at the Sydney Olympics, Bultitude transported his gear on the back of his motorcycle.

Naturally, it drew a few comments from his fellow competitors.

“It was a bit of a talking point among all the archers. A few of them asked me whether I lived locally and I said that I did live locally only it was 800km away,” he said.

“I had two bows and four sets of arrows with me and I had to bring everything with me on the back of the bike, so it required a lot of packing and unpacking each day.”

Bultitude was the best-performed competitor from a local contingent that included John McBain of Mooball, Earl Coughran of Casino and Sam D'Aprile of Nimbin.

Coughran returned with a silver medal in the target event and a bronze in the field event.



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