HFT Diary: Air Arms Memorial
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- Last updated: 22/12/2016
As I’ve previously noted, there’s now such a packed diary of events in HFT, that it’s difficult to attend every shoot. It’s a good problem to have of course, and it does mean that there’s probably a competition being staged somewhere, on any given weekend, for those of us who feel the need to test our abilities against the best shooters in the country on a regular basis!
So what I’m trying to say is forgive me for missing out some events! I did manage to get to the HFT Masters Summer shoot at Emley however, and this was a corker!
Sponsored by BSA, BASC, The Airgun Centre, Hawke Optics, Jack Pyke, Ronnie Sunshine, Airgun Gurus, Field Sports Channel, & SACF. Come late August, and an HFT Masters round gave us a great excuse to descend on Emley Moor’s fabulous stretch of woodland. Emley’s Trevor Ryan knows a thing or two about course building, along with Roger Lait and the HFT Masters crew, and the challenging terrain made for a superb shoot.
After posting a fairly average 52 myself, I took a mosey round the course in the afternoon, and one thing that really hits you now with HFT is the way that it has become a genuine family event for many. Sights such as the plucky little Ryley Minnie shooting through with an FTP900, and hitting plenty of targets too, was heart warming enough. But the smiles on all three of the Pantling boys faces, as they emerged as Tier 2 Junior Winners, suggests the sport’s future looks bright indeed.
All the usual generous sponsorship and cash prizes were here, to be snapped up by any competitor who stuck around for the raffle, but Justin Grice deserves praise for that superb 59 to take top spot overall.
Open, 1st: Justin Grice 59ex60
2nd: Gav Jones 53
3rd: Simon Vant 53
.22 1st: Nick Hopkinson 52
Recoiling, 1st: Kyle Hampton 50
Ladies, 1st: Charlotte Edmonson 55
Juniors, 1st: Tom Willingham 54
Veteran Class, 1st: Graham Cole 51
Open, Winners: Pete Muir 53, Mike Averill 52, Jeff Haigh 52
Junior, Winners: Ewen Pantling 51, Ethene Pantling 51, Jacob Pantling 49
.22 Class, Winners: Thomas Ellis 45, Piers Honeywell 42, Thomas O’Brien 41
Ladies, Winners: Julie Stonehouse 50, Sarah Pantling 49, Helen Kelly 49
Recoiling, Winners: Keith Warburton 47, Jim Nelson 42, Josh Gregory 39
Veteran, Winners: Dave George 48
The Air Arms RSN10 Memorial shoot has become an event in the HFT calendar not to be missed. Held at the fabulous Northall Farm, down in the beautiful Sussex countryside, the format sees us navigate a 25-target course in the morning, stop for a hot lunch, all laid on in the clubhouse, and then we all shoot a different 25 target course in the afternoon. The shooter who can emerge with the highest aggregate score ex 100, takes the title, and this is a hotly contested shoot indeed.
Great variety makes this shoot so exciting, and with targets laid around a lake, through a wood, and out in the open corn field, it was man and machine against the elements. Colin Wilson, very much a shooter at the top of his game of late, managed to keep this one together, and with an excellent score of 93, he proved unstoppable.
Mess up the shoot, and there’s always the raffle, and here, lucky man Andy Clarke went home with the biggest prize of all- a brand new HFT 500.
1st Colin Wilson 93ex 100
2nd Richard Woods 92
3rd Peter Goodwin 91
4th Vince Holland 91
5th Phillip Jacobs 89
Ladies: 1st Barbara Pearce 69
Recoiling: 1st Daryl Bell 78
Veteran: 1st Mike Burgess 78
.22: 1st Patrick Fitzgerald 75
Juniors 13-16 1st: Abi Maw 83
Juniors 9-13 1st: George Danvers 64
The curious practice of ‘pulling’ targets on HFT courses, still happens on the odd occasion, and since it only ever distorts the final scores, it needs to be eradicated. In the early days of FT, I was involved in setting up various target competition courses, and it simply never happened. If a target became faulty or broken during an event, it would be replaced with a spare then and there, and that’s as it should be! Of course, we were using 45mm or latterly 40mm kill zones throughout, and having thought about this, it occurred to me that part of the problem could be the variety of kill zone sizes now in use today on a course.
The solution could be to have some spare targets with interchangeable kill areas at the ready, so every type of target i.e. size of kill zone, could be replaced if necessary. One thing’s for sure, the practise of ‘pulling’ targets just has to be avoided at all costs, if the sport is to be taken seriously.
HFT, like Field Target, has become a super competitive sport, hotly contested at the top, by a band of shooters who go that extra mile to be the best. But take a look at recent competition results, and one shooter has emerged as a real force to be reckoned with. Richard Woods is no stranger to the rostrum, but just look at his season to date: UKAHFT Round1 winner, Round 5 winner, Round 6 winner, and now European HFT 2016 Champion. At the time of compiling this article, Richard looks poised to take the UKAHFT National Series overall too, so quite a season! More of the European Champs next month by the way.
The Gathering, 20th November, Furnace Mill
HFT Masters Dates remaining 23rd October Lea Valley, (Hertfordshire)
For pre-booking application forms and downloads regarding established UKAHFT events (where bookings are still 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/
In addition, details of the new HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.net