Our premier event of the year is also New Zealand's longest running significant club based Bow Hunter tournament. It is consistently one of the top shoots in the country and is now entering its 3rd decade.
Usually held over the last weekend in February, the Safari consists of a series of special courses to be shot over both days. These fun and challenging courses contain a combination of specialties, 3D targets, 3D Mobs and mat targets. In addition the following events are also run:
- Bow Birds. Bow Birds involves shooting special flu-flu arrows with a long bow with frisbie-like targets that are thrown in the air. Bow birds are only shot with a Long Bow.
- William Tell. Archers have an opportunity to shoot at an apple resting on a dummys head. This event is only shot with a Long Bow or Recurve.
- Knife Throwing.
- Axe Throwing.
- Various Speciality Events. Designed to challenge the mind and body.
The Safari is a must for club members and is well attended by archers all over the country, as well as from our Sister Club in Australia.
History of the Safari
The initial idea for a Safari started from an idea thought up by Tom Lambert in early 1987. He had been reading an Australian archery publication and noticed an article about a traditional shoot to be started up in Maryborough, Queensland. This shoot was to be known as the Longbow Muster and in discussion with other members of the club, it was agreed it would be a great thing to support this event and see what it was about. Tom unfortunately wasn't able to make the trip, but a small team of Massey members made their way over in June 1987. They came back enthused by the type of shooting they had experienced and the camaraderie that a relaxed shoot could bring out. So they set about enthusing the club and planning the Massey equivalent, to be named the 'Massey Safari'. A lot of work was involved with the first shoot. The first course set was a 28 target course with four specialty shots, the fore-runner of what came to be known as the Longwalk Course. There were a lot fewer divisions in those days, basically Longbow and Open with all those new-fangled compound things being put in the Open Division. Inaugural winners of the Massey Safari were Gordon Boyd in the Longbow and Trevor Irvine in the Open.
New Zealand Longbow Championship
The New Zealand Longbow Championships is held in conjunction with the annual Massey Safari.
In June 1988 a group of Massey archers made their way across to Maryborough, Queensland, to the Longbow Muster, not only to take part but also to promote the Massey Safari as the reciprocal shoot for Aussies wanting a trip to Godzone. Aiming to give the Safari credibility, it was decided to brand it as the New Zealand Longbow Championships from 1989. The 1989 safari was therefore the inaugural New Zealand Longbow Championships with Gordon Boyd becoming the first champion, a title he successfully defended the following year. The Open division was won by D Phillips however the compounds were split up with a Barebow Division catering for the big numbers. Mike Allen from Dargaville won the first of his eight titles in this year, and proved to be the dominant Barebow Archer in the country until the mid 1990's.
The Hincho Memorial shoot is held in memory of Jim Hincho.
Jim, a master bow maker, engineer and inventor, shaped the development of archery from soon after the war years until his untimely death on 2 September 1978.
His interest in archery started after the war when ammunition was very scarce, he bought a bow from America which quickly broke. So being the innovator he was, he decided he could do better and started to make his own bows. This innovation grew and developed into a full time profession. Over the years he designed and built many new bow styles including the ventilated "triumph riser", the first take down recurves and one particularly interesting bow that shot an arrow through a gap in a split riser (true centre flight).
His bows won many national and international titles. He was known as the "Fox" because his knowledge of arrow flight, curve of the limbs and draw weight allowed him to determine distance simply by watching the shooters form.
Jim assisted the fledgling club with sponsorship and advice but just as important was the inspiration he provided through his status as "The Master" in getting the club started. Unsurprisingly he was asked to open the club at its new site in Red Hills Road with Jim shooting the first arrow, made by his son in law, Jerry Jessen. Jim was awarded the first honorary membership at the club for his support and inspiration.
The Presidents Shoot is a fun shoot that is generally a reflection of the Presidents mentality! It is one of our major shoots of the year and is followed by the annual prize giving.
In addition to the above there are a number of exciting shoots hosted by other clubs around the country. Just as Massey welcomes many visitors to its club, we encourage our own members to attend these shoots.