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2015 GP3 (CSFTA)

Jun 01 2015

So it was our turn to host a GP and it's no small task I can tell you! Climbing up towers (Not me though ;-)), climbing up trees (Me this time) and generally doing a hell of a lot of walking! 

The weekend started spectacularly when I arrived early to open the container at our usual ground to discover I had forgotten the key, so back home I went to get the damn thing and when I arrived back another member had shown up with theirs and were busy loading the van. Not being one to get in the way (or work too hard) I decided to take the tea and coffee and make sure the others had a hot drink when they arrived at Weston Woods, long story short I got lost and arrived as they did so a great start thus far!

We managed to make fairly good progress for about the first hour or two and then discovered that we would be setting up whilst an unexpected hen party doing a clay shoot essentially closed down half of the woods for us. At this point I think we were getting a little concerned that we may not actually get the course set up in time for Sunday, not to worry though we used the time constructively to eat Sausage rolls and yumyums :-)

Once we were clear to get back on course at about 2pm we made great progress and managed to get finished at 6pm despite running out of paint with 2 lanes left to go! I wore a pedometer and I walked 9.5 miles setting up the course and I have got to say I am thrilled we don't have any hills here as I could barely feel my legs at the end of the day.

At 6:45 on Sunday I was back again to pull strings, sort out booking in and generally get ready for a deluge of cheerful FT types, some early arriver's from another region helped pull string to get the plinking range open and the day officially started. booking in seemed to flow through quite smoothly and the briefing started on time.

From this point things went downhill a little and a lot of whistles were heard within the first hour as wind was moving foliage that should have been well clear of the targets, this was especially evident on lane 5 (First tower shots) where a tree was leaning 10' to the left and obscuring the lower target. I started off well taking 14 of my first 16 targets to the inevitable cries of "ringer" from my supportive shooting partners Dave and Robert! I did make a vague effort to call a marshal on a narrow split with the kill clearly marked but alas I was put in my place by my partners and Gerry (the super marshal). Unfortunately this form did not continue as I made my way back to the start of the course.After lane 2 I had another two zeros on my score card, the lane three standers were cleared but the tower loomed large on the next lane! 

As Dave was shooting the first target was being obscured by that tree, as soon as he stood up there was a lull in the wind by the time I was at the line the wind was all but gone! I managed to kill the first but the second I felt some breeze and gave a kill off to the right and literally watched the pellet fly straight down the cross-hairs having not moved a millimetre!  

Things went a little better after that until I reached lane 8 just after the stander on the short tower where I managed to miss the close reducer and then forgot to load on the second target. I usually fire at least 10 into the ground to be sure I have loaded on a course but for some reason here despite me suspecting I may not have loaded I still took the shot, an expensive lesson and one hopefully I will not make again any time soon. The remainder of my score card looked like a game of noughts and crossed and with 2 lanes left and the potential to make a 35 for the day I missed a mid range stander and my final target our own famous bulldog!

I ended on a 33 which is a respectable C grade score but frustrating given I started so well and was well on track for a PB score, In true FT fashion my excuses are:

  1. I was tired after the setup day
  2. I was perhaps coming down with a cold
  3. My scope was fogging up
  4. My pellets got wet
  5. The clouds were the wrong shape

I think that will cover that!

Because of the early stoppages we finished the course at about 1:15 and the marshals were out like whippets to repaint the targets and generally tidy up. The PM session went much more smoothly and there were only two stoppages as I recall for minor foliage related issues. I took the opportunity to shoot silhouettes during the lull and managed to hit a PB so the afternoon more than made up for the morning.

Generally people seemed to enjoy the course despite the frustration of the early stoppages and several compliments were received. The score on the day showed that we did put on a national standard course and we have plenty to think about before we host the next GP.

Our club members did well on the day and the club member standing are below. It was good to see some additional members giving FT a go and hopefully we will see them at future events.

Grade Grade Position First Name Surname Points Targets GP1 GP2 GP3
A 33 Clinton Bedding 144.2 69 61.2 83.0
A 42 Joshua Vaughan 126.03 58 40.8 34.1 51.1
A 45 Jonathan Osbourn 85.67 41 36.7 48.9
A 57 Neil Long 73.47 36 73.5
C 4 Mike Spraggett 198.93 91 65.3 63.4 70.2
C 19 Anthony Elderfield 106.49 48 34.1 72.3
C 25 Martha Jones 59.57 28 59.6
O 8 Neil Long 83.33 35 83.3
O 10 Clive Graham 59.52 25 59.5
O 13 Ronald Snaith 50 21 50
P 5 Glenn Newman 127.27 61 59.2 68.1
P 10 Heather Turner 59.57 28 59.6

Silhouettes (Still just me)

Position First Name Surname Points Targets GP1 GP2 GP3
24 Mike Spraggett 140.7 27 47.4 33.3 60

Photos from the GP can be found in the 2015 GP 3 (CSFTA) gallery and scores can be found in the usual place (See results page for link)

This was the first time I had helped set up a GP course and I have a whole new appreciation for those that do this on a regular basis, it really takes a good eye to come up with lanes that are challenging and fun at the same time. I think we counted the lanes three times before we realised there were only 24 out and squeezing lanes in is never a fun task!

Special thanks to Rob Farnsworth who came up from Southampton to help us with the set-up and marshalling. 

See Shaun's write-up

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