HFT Diary: HFT Master Class
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- Last updated: 25/10/2017
UKAHFT Rounds 3 & 4- Maldon, Essex, sponsored by Flopover Targets, Jack Pyke, JSB and Aimpoint Another English Summer in full flow, and another bout of the intermittent wet stuff! Mid July saw the UKAHFT National Series double weekend held at Maldon (M.A.D.) in Essex, and two simply superb courses laid out to keep us happy. A fully rotating course both inside a wood, and all round an open field, meant we were tested to the limit, in range estimation techniques, and the ability to detect and accurately judge wind. Range traps, non standard target sizes, and a host of other devious methods were all used to trick and deceive us, and whilst many suffered under the challenge, some truly great shooting was still on display, from some of the usual suspects. Mark Wilson shot superbly with a 56 ex60, saw off James McLachlan and Daniel McMahon in a shoot-off, and also helped Air Arms win the team event.
Generous sponsorship adds to the day of course, but when the top raffle prize of a £300 Jack Pyke voucher goes to my cheeky driver for the day, Peter Knight, I of course never hear the last of it; jammy indeed!
Day two brought more of the same, and for that, read’ full-on challenge’, in lovely surroundings. Maybe a little less wind, but James McLachlan still shot incredibly, with his 58 eclipsing all before him. A great weekend, and thanks to all who helped set it up.
When ‘HFT Masters’ was set up by Ian Bainbridge and Roger Lait, a couple of years back, the idea was to offer airgun enthusiasts an additional national series of HFT competitions, with a relaxed atmosphere, an all inclusive format, and a fun element. The success of the shoots has even taken them by surprise and we now have a second regular list of events through the season, (alongside the well established UKAHFT shoots) and a brand-new World organisation- the WHFTO (World Hunter Field Target Organisation).
Ian has clearly been busy behind the scenes too, as the WHFTO now has no less than fourteen countries signed up, including South Africa, and Argentina! For shooters who relish the opportunity to travel around the globe, to far flung destinations, to compete in their favourite sport, these developments represent an exciting development- so it looks like there are exciting times ahead.
However, alongside all this networking and structure building exercise for the future, HFT Masters has also been doing some rather grand work with their ‘HFT Masters Masterclass sessions- which as far as I can see, have up until now, largely gone under the radar.
The idea is to offer a structured introduction to HFT, via special classes, held at appropriate venues. Seven events have been planned and run through 2017, incorporating classes at Pete’s Airgun Farm in Essex, and classes at Maldon and District (MAD) ARC, where more advanced days have been held to introduce participants to full on HFT. The classes ran on Saturdays, and were sponsored by The Airgun Centre and Gun Mart magazine.
In the organisers own words: “The days are aimed at people who don’t necessarily shoot competitively, but would like to know a bit more about the great sport of HFT; maybe seeing what it is all about before buying their first rifle or, in the case of the many plinkers out there, they may want to pop along and see how to get the best out of their equipment to improve their enjoyment.”
The classes held at Pete’s Airgun Farm covered the basic shooting positions and equipment set up, and these were complimented by more advanced classes held at MAD. Stage-2 days covered course knowledge, shooting in wind, and shooting elevated targets, whilst Stage-3 days involved shooting a full course in the woods.
Experienced shooters and top competitors such as Kyle Hampton, are at these events, and are only too pleased to share their knowledge, and with several different rifles available to try, including springers, it’s a great idea. The official line is- ‘it doesn’t matter what rifle you shoot, what sights/scope you use or your ability, pop along and see what makes this hobby great’.
The days start at 10am and finish at 3pm, with a break for lunch. The cost on stage 1-days is £10 for adults and £8 for juniors, Stage 2 days are £15 for adults and £8 for juniors, Stage 3 days are £20 for adults and £8 for juniors, Includes tea, coffee and bacon/sausage sandwiches or rolls for lunch.
Having spoken to the ever-enthusiastic Ian Bainbridge about the Masterclass scheme, he seems keen to try and move the format around the country, to maximise the impact, and spread the word to a new audience. It all takes hard work of course, so whether this happens remains to be seen. But one thing’s for sure, Ian and his crew deserve praise for their sterling effort in promoting our sport to date.
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/ In addition, details of HFT Masters events can be seen at www.hftmasters.com and www.whfto.com
Open Class: 1st Mark Wilson 56ex60, 2nd James McLachlan 56, 3rd Daniel McMahon 56
Junior 9-13: 1st Megan Reed 47
Junior 14-16: 1st Tom Willingham 53
Ladies: 1st Michelle Parsons 49
Recoiling: 1st Rex Bennet 47
.22 Class: 1st Edward Tandi 49
Veteran: 1st Ken Pothecary 51
Top Manufacturers Team: Air Arms
Open Class: 1st James McLachlan 58ex60, 2nd Elliott Reed 57, 3rd Dave Ramshead 57
Junior 9-13: 1st Megan Reed 49
Junior 14-16: 1st Tom Willingham 57
Ladies: 1st Michelle Parsons 51
Recoiling: 1st Gary Chillingworth 48
.22 Class: 1st Simon Howarth 49
Veteran: 1st Mike Burgess 53
Top Manufacturers Team: Steyr
R5 26th August Furniss Mill, Shropshire
R6 27th August Furniss Mill, Shropshire
R7 24th September Cambridge, Cambs.
R8 14th October Emley Moor, Yorkshire
R9 15th October Emley Moor, Yorkshire
30th Sep-1st Oct European HFT Championship
29th Oct MAD, Essex