Firstly – the location – Meon Springs Fly Fishery is fantastically located – in a lovely valley, not far from Winchester in Hampshire. The shooting stands were arranged around the lakes, and into the woods and surrounding farmland – 15 stands, including a couple of multitrap stands where patterns were set to use two traps from any three in order to create some interesting presentations. There was a pool shoot, and a 50-bird warmup – as well as few concession stands – we took some photos – which are below in the gallery.
Setup of the shoot – were in squads of six, with two squads assigned to each of the stands – we started on stand 14, a tricky pair of going away teal, one behind the other to create a tricky pair. Other memorable stands included a quartering rabbit, followed by an overhead battue (stand 2), a right to left rabbit followed by a left- righ quartering going away bird through some trees which was easily missable and some quick, challenging crossers from both directions. If I had one criticism it would be that the competition had a few too many crossers and loopers which meant some similar target presentations across the 15 stands. However, our opinion (and that of our scorecards) is that there was something for everyone and even an intermediate level shooter could choose their strategy wisely and halve stands to keep their scorecards up.
Atmosphere – this was Shootclays first major competition so we were learning the lay of land as we went – everyone was really friendly. The registration process was simple enough and everyone got a goodie bag – there was free water available although no-one mentioned this till afterwards and one of my key learnings was to take a good amount of water around with you. We shot on the Friday afternoon – it was hot, and dry and I could definitely feel fatigue kicking in from about my 10th stand. Our squad was pretty good – some good b-class shooters (including someone we met on Pigeon Watch - hello Chard!), and the two of us at c-class to bring up the rear, it was definitely a learning experience.
Winners – 1st place was J. Allaway, 2nd was B. Husthwaite, 3rd place went to C. Broomfield – congratulations from all at ShootClay.
All the scores – are posted on the Beretta World website : here
UPDATE : full and final results are now posted on the CPSA site