Ipswich archer has home world titles in sights
KEVIN Dowd is on target to achieve one of the few major goals left for him in the sport of field archery.
The 2015 City of Ipswich Sports Awards senior sportsperson of the year is the reigning Queensland and Australian champion across the three of the major field archery associations.
He was also runner-up at the World Field Archery Championships in the US last year in the limited A grade division (meaning he uses his fingers to release the string, rather than a trigger and uses no scope).
"I like to feel the bow," he said of why he competes in the limited A grade division.
The 52-year-old has been shooting arrows for 29 years.
"My wife and I used to do a lot of rifle shooting," Dowd said. "Then some friends got us started in archery and we never looked back."
With two daughters, Dowd said archery suited the family more than rifle shooting, with both daughters in their 20s and still shooting.
"It's more social and family oriented," Dowd said.
"It gets everyone outdoors. It's quite easy because you find your own level and is great for all ages."
There is a downside to getting older that Dowd has discovered.
"My eyes are starting to go," he said.
The solution is to shoot wearing glasses, but it is something Dowd is finding difficult to adapt to.
"I don't like it but I'm trying to learn," he said.
Dowd's wife Jeanette is also an Australian representative and the couple travels around Australia and the world to compete.
"She motivates me a fair bit," Dowd said.
Dowd is a life member of the Renegade Bowmen club, whose home range at Swanbank is the envy of many, because the club owns its own land and Dowd designed much of the layout.
The Energex electrical designer has spent most of his life in Ipswich and now lives with Jeanette at Pine Mountain. Ipswich City Council contributed to the couple's costs to travel to the US to compete at last year's world titles, where Australia, and Dowd, finished runners-up.
Prior to that Australia had claimed the previous three world titles.
So Dowd is determined to be part of the Australian team to win the title back when the 2016 world championships are held in Wagga Wagga, NSW in September.
"I'm on track to get onto the Australian team," he said.
It is an understatement.
Dowd is the reigning Australian champion for the three main associations: the Australian Bowhunters Association, International Field Archery Association and the 3D Archery Association of Australia, so it is hard to see him missing his target.
- Requirements for a top field archer: "Concentration, consistency and you need to be reasonably fit."
- A top range competition bow can cost almost $2000, before additions. Fortunately for him Dowd is sponsored by Abbey Archery.
- Inspiration: "One of the top shooters in the world in my division - New Zealander Mike Launchbury. I'd like to beat him one day."