Barebow archers from Subang go on an East Coast tournament adventure


Children of the youth division in action at the Singora 3D and Field archery meet in Jeram Mengaji in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.

A group of archery enthusiasts from Subang Barebow Archers embarked on an unforgettable weekend adventure to Kelantan, excited by the 3D archery tournaments.

The journey wasn’t solely about the sport; it was a road trip fostering camaraderie among friends, spending days together on the country’s northern east coast.

The trip proved memorable, especially when the group clinched two top spots in one of the events, outperforming many top contenders.

The adventure began in the early hours as we set out in two cars for Kelantan via the Central Spine Road, an important route through Peninsular Malaysia’s heart.

Alfresco dining in Kota Baru’s Chinatown.Alfresco dining in Kota Baru’s Chinatown.

The group’s first stop was Bentong, Pahang, where we enjoyed the famous wanton mee and braised chicken feet.

The journey unfolded along the scenic stretches of the Central Spine route, passing breathtaking scenery and winding lush greenery connecting quaint towns, each with its unique tale.

We regrouped at Gua Musang, Kelantan, a town famed for its limestone hills and caves. With spirits high, we headed to Kuala Krai, a gateway to the east coast state’s rustic charms, for a lunch that offered a taste of the local cuisine.

We stopped at Jeram Mengaji briefly to check out the first tournament venue before travelling to Kota Baru for the night.

Giant prawns braised in curry sold at Pasar Siti Khadijah in Kota Baru.Giant prawns braised in curry sold at Pasar Siti Khadijah in Kota Baru.

Our journey to Kelantan was more than just about the competitions; it was an immersive experience of local culture and cuisine.

On the first night, we savoured local delicacies from the famous nasi kukus Warisan Kebun Sultan in Kota Baru, followed by drinks in Chinatown. This is a must-have meal when in Kelantan.

The first tournament in Jeram Mengaji, the Singora 3D and Field archery meet, attracted over 200 participants in various categories.

This prestigious event saw various categories, including youth Olympic Recurve, adult Barebow, and Traditional divisions.

Organiser Norhisyam Ismail said collaborative efforts made this event possible, highlighting the acquisition of new 3D targets to challenge the archers’ skills.

Gua Musang in Kelantan, the half-way point in the journey east.Gua Musang in Kelantan, the half-way point in the journey east.

The weather was not kind to us. It rained all day, forcing traditional archers to use feather fletchings on their arrows.

Shooting in the rain is unfavourable, as wet feathers affect arrow flight. Barebow favourites Hafez Halim and his brother Roslee of Tok Janggut Archery Club took the top two spots, while Firdaus Ahmad from Singora Archery Club bagged the bronze medal.

Our group was mediocre in the competition, but we had great fun connecting with the targets, walking the entire course in our soaking wet clothes and meeting old friends.

A hot day in Pantai Seri Tujuh in Tumpat, Kelantan where the Bowrush 4.0 event took place.A hot day in Pantai Seri Tujuh in Tumpat, Kelantan where the Bowrush 4.0 event took place.

We returned to Kota Baru for another night, and our next destination was Tumpat the next day.

The group got up early for the scheduled Bowrush 4.0 at Pantai Seri Tujuh, some 25km by road.

On the way to the event, we stopped at Pasar Summayah, a local market complex, for nasi dagang, a traditional east coast breakfast dish.

Nasi dagang consists of rice steamed in coconut milk, served with a spicy tuna curry, fried shaved coconut, hard-boiled eggs, and pickled vegetables. It is a must-have breakfast when visiting the state.

Archers participating at the Singora 3D and Field archery meet in Jeram Mengaji in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.Archers participating at the Singora 3D and Field archery meet in Jeram Mengaji in Pasir Puteh, Kelantan.

It was a scorching hot day at the Tumpat tournament that tested our toughness and flexibility.

Despite the challenges, the spirit of sportsmanship prevailed.

The camaraderie among the archers, the shared laughter over misadventures, and the collective triumphs made every moment worthwhile.

The tournament starts with a “one arrow, one shot” contest.

After spending half the day at the range, the results were in.

Seasoned Barebow archer Sheikh Hassan Sheikh Husain came in as the top-ranked shooter, with Zamali Ahmad from Archers Studio Kuala Lumpur in second spot, while I came in third.

There is no shortage of good eats in Kota Baru, the state capital of Kelantan.There is no shortage of good eats in Kota Baru, the state capital of Kelantan.

We were called in after lunch to square off in the Bowrush 4.0 finale.

Our team members, including Jeb Chang and our club coach KP Lau, had simple plans to keep a good score: land body shots on the animals to keep the misses to a minimum.

We took the top prizes by surprise. Subang Barebow Archers took two of the three top prizes, with Lau taking third place in the final tally, while I emerged as the overall champion. Sheikh Hassan was second.

Our archery trip to Kelantan certainly paid off as we returned to Kota Baru for a little victory celebration.

We parted ways the next day, showing how archery brings people together and keeps the spirit of adventure alive.

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