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- Last updated: 18/01/2019
It sounds like a cliché, but it really does seem like 2018 has zapped by in the blink of an eye. Just as soon as I was planning my assault on the season, it seems to be coming to an abrupt end! What happened there then? Of course, as we move into the quieter Autumn/Winter months, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the season, and fully review approach and technique. For now, it’s time to confirm results for the year, and see who emerged ahead of the pack, after some exciting action, up and down the country.
My fi nal shoot of the year was the HFT Masters event, held at the Maldon and District, or M.A.D. Club as they are better known, and with the weather forecast as a little patchy, (not again!) numbers were down a bit on previous rounds. 2018 will be remembered for some seriously rainy shoots, which is a shame as it does take the edge off our enjoyment. Time and again, a sunny week has given way to a bleak outlook as we’ve arrived at the weekend, but for the stalwarts among us, HFT has continued to throw up an enjoyable challenge. Ian Bainbridge and his crew laid on a devilishly tricky course through the striking woodland, and with some clever target positioning, making full use of the natural surroundings, we had our work cut out to hit half decent scores on the day. Throw in that intermittent breeze, and the course favoured the brave, where wind allowance was concerned.
Ex World Field Target Champion, Andy Hope, posted a 55 ex 60, which proved a strong score on the day, and he was joined by Simon Marriott and Jake Miller at the top. An entertaining two-way shoot-off under pressure (in Simon’s absence), saw Andy grab top spot, steering his especially long barrelled Weihrauch HW100 to victory. Graham Allen, the Gun Mart Editor, was at Maldon too, to present the Pat Farey Memorial Trophy to the top Junior overall for the year, and Callum Clark stepped up for this one. (see HFT Masters, M.A.D., Maldon results table)
Open Class: 1st Andy Hope 55, 2nd Jake Miller 55, 3rd Simon Marriott 55
Recoiling 1st Mark Harris 48
.22 Class 1st Jim Cavanagh 45
Ladies 1st Emily Palmer 51
Veteran 1st Tony Ward 50
Juniors 1st Callum Clark 45
As always, mess up on the targets, and there’s always the raffle, now a firmly established feature of HFT events. Maldon had a selection of goodies and cash on offer, which made for an exciting finale, and Lisa Ridley certainly thought so, as she took the biggest prize of the day, going home with an Air Arms S400 rifle!
And so, a quick word about that man Simon Vant, who, in 2018, has well and truly dominated our sport. Not satisfied with taking the World Championship earlier in the year, he has now insisted on adding the UKAHFT National Series title and the HFT Masters title (secured at Maldon, despite him only scraping a 50!) to his collection. Talk about rubbing it in! Down to the wire, but his sheer consistency over a period of time, has really paid off. Few shooters have emerged to show real dominance in our sport, but Mr Vant has now kept up a high level of performance, over successive seasons. What an incredible year, more reflected glory of course, for the super competitive Maldon club, that has produced many of the top shots currently on the HFT circuit, but great shooting and congratulations to Simon for an incredible season. Thanks to his good lady Bridget too, for all her hard work doing the admin! (see HFT Masters overall series winners 2018 and UKAHFT national series 2018 final placings tables)
Open Class: 1st Jack Houghton 5 Air Arms, 2nd Justin Rayner 93 ISP, 3rd Andy Simpson 91 ISP
Juniors 1st Scott Somerville 81 Air Arms
Ladies 1st Karen O’Mara 76 Air Arms
Veteran 1st Mike Burgess 90 Air Arms
Recoiling 1st Danny Roff 83 Air Arms
.22 Class 1st Jason Lockett 78 Air Arms
The final note this month is to confirm that after a few years of driving forward the HFT Masters competition Series, a certain Mr Ian Bainbridge is relinquishing the reigns so to speak, and handing over responsibility to Roger Lait, and his team, to continue the good work. Ian has worked extremely hard to bring us a rival alternative list of competitions and with the Masters ethos of enjoyment and reward across the board, there’s no doubt that they have attracted a whole new group of shooters, who have been encouraged to try their hand at this great sport of ours.
Ian will I’m sure, still attend some shoots and be around in the background, but he now deserves to take his foot off the pedal, sit back, enjoy his retirement, and let his able team carry the baton forward . Thanks for all your hard work Ian.
For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are possible), and all the latest information on anything connected with Hunter Field Target shooting, take a look at the following websites: https://sites.google.com/site/ukahft/ and www.shooting-the-breeze.com https:// sites.google.com/site/whfta1/ HFT Masters have been developing their website so it should be confirmed soon. In the meantime, try www.hftmasters.com or www.hftmasters.co.uk and www.whfto.com for details of the World Championship.
Open Class: 1st Simon Vant, 2nd Dave Ramshead, 3rd Neil Wakelin, 4th Alex Larkin, 5th Elliot Compton, 6th Paul Kelly, 7th James McLachlan, 8th Greg Morss, 9th Chris Cundey, 10th Dave Taylor
Juniors: 9-13 1st Myla Parsons-Smith
Juniors: 14-16 1st Ethan Pantling
Ladies: 1st Sarah Pantling
Veteran: 1st Mike Burgess
Recoiling: 1st Gary Chillingworth
.22 Class: 1st Jason Lockett
Club Team Winner: 1st M.A.D.
Manufacturers Team: 1st Steyr