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  • Writer's pictureAbby Stahl

Scoping Out A Local, Global Venue

This was not an international vacation for Chris Wells.

It was, as he pointed out, a business trip.

Wells, the head of communications for World Archery, traveled from his home in Switzerland to spend three days last week in Yankton in preparation for another major archery tournament Yankton will host this fall.

The transatlantic journey was not Wells’ first visit to Yankton — but this one was a little bit different.

“This is my fourth trip here,” Wells said Friday afternoon, as he sat in an office at the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Complex. “The other times have been for tournaments, so this is the first time without one.”

Yankton will host the World Archery Field Championships from Sept. 15-20, and Wells said that he needed to travel to South Dakota to scout possible locations. The main one, he said, will be for the tournament’s final day, which features medal shoot-offs on a specially designed area.

“That’s always a great opportunity for spectators to come watch,” Wells said.

Wells said that because field archery is not World Archery’s primary discipline, extra preparations are needed for logistics of broadcasting. By comparison, an indoor tournament (like Yankton used in 2018 with the World Archery Indoor Championships) presents an easier preparation.

“We’ve had some interest from people in Europe to show it live, so we wanted to look at the setup in Yankton,” Wells said. “We wanted to figure out what we would need and how we could approach it.”

As part of his visit to Yankton, Wells wanted to record footage from a drone out by Lewis & Clark Lake, he said. The ranges at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area will host the first two days of the World Archery Field Championships.

That location will provide World Archery and the National Field Archery Association (NFAA) an opportunity to showcase the local countryside and natural beauty to an international audience, according to Wells.

The final few days of the Field Championships will be held at the ranges on the NFAA complex, which also present a “peaceful side” of the sport, according to Wells.

“We just want to show off Yankton and this area,” he added.

The previous World Archery Field Championships were held in Cortina, Italy, in 2018, but the event being held in Yankton will allow the rest of the world to see a different side of the sport, Wells said.

“Field archers are known for being relaxed people anyway, and that’s the atmosphere here in Yankton,” he said. “Everyone is so friendly here.”

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