George Digweed won the European FITASC Championship at Konopiste, the famous hunting Estate near Prague over the weekend (23rd-26th May) to take his tally of European FITASC titles up to an amazing 13.
George shot 49/50 on the first day and 48/50 on the second day, to leave him with a tally of 97/100. He added a 47/50 on the third day to leave him in joint first place, tied with Frenchman Bastien Havart on 144, with two shooters, Englishman Andy White and Spanish shooter Juan Valero on 143. This set up an intriguing final day, and with deteriorating weather conditions, anybody ‘north’ of 140 had a realistic chance of victory.
Both Digweed and Havart started fairly early on the last day, and both started with 22/25, effectively opening the door for the following pack, but in the second round, a 21/25 from Havart saw him finish on 187, and a good 25 straight from Digweed saw him finish on 191/200. A total which he said “I would not want to go and shoot again”.
France’s Charles Bardou shot a 24/25 on his first round of the last day, which meant he needed 25/25 to beat Digweed, 24/25 to tie. He shot a 21/25 though to leave him on 188/200 for the silver medal.
Andy White and Valero were both on later rotations, and with the weather deteriorating further, and the knowledge that they need to shoot 49/50 to win, they both slipped up slightly from their daily average to finish 186/200, just out of the medals.
Bronze medal was won by Havart on 187/200, and there was a good show for British Shooters for a change on the rostrum, with Cheryl Hall winning the Ladies, Jack Lovick winning the Juniors, Dave Asher winning the Super Veterans and Steve Brightwell just missing out to Conny Petters from Sweden in the Veterans class.
Speaking after the event, George was delighted with his win and said “It is always nice to defend any Championship, let alone the European Championship, and to do it against a field of 950 shooters is very special for me. I thought the targets and the organisation were second to none, with every angle, speed and distance being shown to competitors with the targets, and the attention to detail from the organisational side was without question first class.
“The World Championships here in 2007 were marred with the “concrete” clay saga, and this shoot has extinguished all of those memories and put Konopiste and Miroslav’s organisational skills back on a World footing. The layouts ran ahead of time, it rained nearly every day, and yet there were no transport or mud problems. Everywhere was clearly defined and marked and the standard of catering for a ‘green field’ site took some believing”
“This in itself created a tremendous atmosphere, and all concerned should be proud of what they achieved”
“I now look forward to the defence of my European Compak title in Italy during June, and closer to home, the Clay Shooting Classic and British Compak Grand Prix at the beginning of next month”
Congratulations from everyone at ShootClay, we will be along to the Compak Grand Prix in a couple of weeks to take in the British Grand Prix, and watch George shooting this excellent looking event.