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Aiming for perfection: Heather Gore-Smith plans to attend 2 high-level archery tournaments over coming months

Heather Gore-Smith is a local top-level archer who is fundraising to help her compete in two big competitions this year. An event is scheduled for Aug. 13 at Grass Valley Brewing Co. to help her achieve her goals.
Photo: Elias Funez

The shot, from 60 yards away, needs to be perfect.

The compound bow is drawn and there’s a moment’s pause before the arrow finds its mark.

“It’s trying to perfect something that I don’t think can ever be perfected,” said Heather Gore-Smith. “That one shot that goes great and goes in the middle, it feels great.”



Gore-Smith competes at some of the highest levels of archery. She’s qualified for two upcoming tournaments, the first in Italy next month and the second in South Dakota in October.

Each tournament costs about $2,500 to $3,000 in travel, food, registration and hotel expenses.



World Archery is hosting the two World Archery Championships. Gore-Smith is on the USA Archery team. However, the team doesn’t cover expenses.

That’s one reason why Grass Valley Brewing Co. is holding a cornhole tournament on Aug. 13 as a fundraiser to help Gore-Smith. The tournament will start at noon and run until 4 or 5 p.m.

The brewery is planning on having 16 teams, with two people per team. The cost is $25 per person. People can sign up in person at the brewery, 141 E Main St. There will also be a raffle, with Gore-Smith offering an archery lesson as one of the prizes.

The tournament was about three-fourths full as of Thursday afternoon.

Brewmeister Mike Sutherland said the brewery would try to accommodate more people, if more than 16 teams want to play.

WORLD STAGE

Gore-Smith, who comes from a bow-hunting family, got involved at archery at age 2.

She played basketball at Nevada Union High School, stopping after her 2006 graduation.

“I needed something to put my competitive energy into,” she said.

That led her to archery tournaments, what she called a healthy avenue to place her focus.

Competitive archer Heather Gore-Smith shows off the intricacies of her compound bow that helps her perform at a top level. A cornhole tournament, as well as a silent auction, will be held Aug. 13 at Grass Valley Brewing Co. to help send Gore-Smith to competitions.
Photo: Elias Funez

Gore-Smith started with local competitions, then moved up to national. In 2016 she made her first world championship team in Ireland, leading her to go pro.

Some archers can make a living at the sport. However, the main differences between amateur and pro is there’s a prize purse on the pro level.

And, of course, there’s the difference in skill of the competitors.

“It gave me a lot of confidence that I was at a level I could compete on the world stage,” she said.

Archery, in a way, is like golf, Gore-Smith said. It requires focus, knowledge of the equipment used, as well as conditions like wind and temperature.

“It’s you almost against yourself,” she added.

She said anyone can get involved in the sport.

“It’s a shame not to experience it,” she added.

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor with The Union. He can be reached at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4249

 


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