HFT Diary: Up North!
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- Last updated: 12/12/2016
With the season well under way, top class events are coming thick and fast, for those who want to test their skills against other shooters around the country. In fact, as I’ve noted before, there’s hardly a spare weekend without a shoot. I like to try and space things out a little, but if you’re that way inclined, keep an ear to the forums and websites listed at the end of this article, and your diary will fill up pretty quickly!
Sponsored by BSA, BASC, The Airgun Centre, Hawke Optics, Jack Pyke, Ronnie Sunshines, Airgun Gurus, Field Sports Channel, & SACF. Typical unsettled weather back in late April, threatened to take the gloss off the inaugural Northern Shooting Show, held just outside the sprawling town of Harrogate; yet as it panned out, glorious sunshine arrived just in time.
As if the prospect of huge exhibition halls crammed with shooting goodies, wasn’t enough, our HFT Masters competition was also set to be staged on the Sunday, along with a ‘meet the public’ section, to promote the sport, the day before. I arrived early with a couple of friends, determined to make it a weekend away, and as we pulled in to view the designated HFT area, it immediately became clear, just what a great location we had to play with.
Ian Bainbridge, Roger Lait and the gang were already hard at work, putting the final touches to the target layout, and with a high ridge from which to shoot, and beautiful turfed landscape, sweeping down across a lake and copse, it was to be like shooting on a manicured golf course, with some of the prettiest bunkers you can imagine.
Day 1 saw an impressive number of eager participants, trying out the loan BSA rifles on the practise range, and for many, it was their first taste of airgun shooting, let alone HFT-style competition. All very satisfying to see.
Come the morning of HFT Masters round 2, and the temperature had really climbed- to the point where jacket selection was as important a decision as any to be made. A quick check of the wind direction on the practise range, and we were off- snaking our way through the course; and given the weather, and stunning location, it soon became one of those ‘I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else’ moments!
Clever target positioning, on fences across the lake and even under what looked like a bird house, all added to the challenge and excitement; and after a tiring, yet exciting shoot, it was time to pack away, and find some tasty lunch at one of the many specialist show vendors. My 52 ex60 (a score I seem stuck on at the moment) was highly respectable; but just not good enough. Dave Taylor got the job done however, with a 56, leaving him untroubled at the top of the pile. Many thanks to Ian Bainbridge, Roger Lait, and all the sponsors who made this great event this such a resounding success; and with super positive feedback from just about everyone I spoke to over the weekend, the Northern Shooting Show looks set to be a key feature of the calendar.
Open: 1st Dave Taylor 56ex60, 2nd Daz Taylor 55, 3rd Justine Grice 55
Recoiling: 1st Kyle Hampton 46
Veteran Class: 1st Robert Somers 52
Open Winners: Lewis Cooper 52, Wayne Pearce 52, John Sawrey 51
Junior Winners: Mitch Birch 48, Callum Lunness 39, Andi Gregory 36
.22 Class Winners: David Tollas 47, Thomas Obrien 43, Craig Lunness 40
Ladies Winners: Jamie Corfield 47, Helen Kelly 46, Karen McFarlen 42
Recoiling Winners: Richard Morgan 44, Jim Nelson 44, Simon Battye 42
Veteran Winners: Jean Greatrex 48, Mike Turner 45, Mike Isaac 44
Late May saw the second round of the UKAHFT shoots, held at another great venue- Furness Mill in Shropshire, and whilst I couldn’t make this one due to family commitments, a host of enthusiasts didn’t waste the chance to enjoy the facilities.
A tough course, set over a new part of the club’s ground, (that takes in a huge fishing lake, and high ridge section) tested the top shots apparently, but Simon Vant posted an excellent 58, to finish top dog. Generous sponsorship from ASI saw Joanne Cogger not only finish top lady on the day, but walk home with a brand new Benjamin Marauder rifle. Not a bad day’s work, as they say!
But top result of the day has to be young Tom Willingham, posting a brilliant 55 to win his juniors section. Having seen Tom at work first hand, and his passion for the sport, he has to be a name to watch for the future.
Open Class: 1st Simon Vant 58, 2nd Neil Wakelin 57
Juniors9-13: 1st Ethan Pantling 48
Juniors14-16: 1st Tom Willingham 55
Ladies: 1st Joanne Cogger 53
Veteran: 1st Mike Turner 52
Recoiling: 1st Perry Broad 50
.22 Class: 1st Nick Hopkinson 47
UKAHFT National Series Dates remaining
Round 4- 30th July M.A.D. (Essex)
Round 5- 31st July M.A.D.
Round 6- 21st August Rivington (Lancs)
Round 7- 25th September Cambridge (Cambs)
Round 8- 15th October Emley Moor (Yorks)
Round 9- 16th October Emley Moor
The Gathering TBA
HFT Masters Dates remaining
3rd July Greyhound (Coventry)
20th August Emley Moor (Saturday, Yorks)
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