An early peg time for Team ShootClay, so we were away from our hotel by 7.30 and at the ground for 8.00am – weather started grey, but mild and warmed up throughout the day, but with an occasional cooling breeze.
Squads have been randomly assigned, I’m in with an Italian, a Russian, a Spaniard, a Frenchman and a shooter from Portugal. Everyone speaks a little bit of English, but it is great to be in such a diverse group – and we’ve had some good chats on the way round.
I (Matt) started on the Beretta layout, only a short walk from the central area – set on the side of a hill, the four parcours had some interesting targets – the first peg with three out of four of the targets way below your feet and an overhead. We had some tricky, fast flat crossers, some crows presented from the side and a quick rabbit coupled with some high crossers. The terrain at the club is pretty hilly, so it allows for some really interesting presentations
Bob started on the Felisol line, reachable by a short minibus ride – the organisation today really contrasts with the scrum for numbers and details yesterday, a small fleet of minibuses run in loops between the remote layouts and the central area. Bob tells me that these parcours were set over water, with plenty of edge on floaty crossers.
A quick hike back to the middle and then my squad took a minibus to the Salgado layout – again, about 5 mins ride away. This layout was on the ridge of a big hill, covered in trees and scrubland. Targets were different again, the open space inspiring some big crossers and battues as well as some quick crossers. I was straight through two pegs and then lost my way a little bit as we turned to face the sun for the final peg.
Bobs squad headed to the Hull layout – another bus ride to hilly woodland. Nothing unhittable, but plenty of birds below your feet, some are tricky to read as well as some loopers for a test.
Highlight scores from day one are Stuart Hart sitting on 50ex50, Martin Reynolds, Phil Gray, Matt Hance, Christophe Auvret and Paddy Howe on 49ex50, Ed Solomons, Carl Bloxham, Mark Winser, Mark Marshall and Dennis Webb on 48ex50. George Digweed and Ben Husthwaite one shot back on 47ex 50.
Ladies is being led by Carole Sawkins on 46, Becky Bream is one shot back on 45. Veterans is being led by Conny Petters and Martin Reynolds on 49. Super Vets is being led by Paddy Howe on 49.
Full scores and results are here