This weekend saw the first FITASC GB Selection Shoot of 2014 – as the exciting discipline of COMPAK arrived at Hornet Shooting Ground in Thame for 4 layouts of 25 targets. Hornet looked fantastic in the spring sunlight, with the clubhouse buzzing with excitement both days, and the ground decked out in Union Flags and bunting. The FITASC GB committee have put together a number of flash prizes to be won this season, with more being added all the time – so there was a table laden with goodies donated by FITASC GB supporters.
The 4 layouts were almost in a straight line at the bottom of the hill at Hornet – with Layout 1 being sponsored by the Oxfordshire Gold Club and set using the tower for one of the birds. This was arguably the toughest of the layouts with the fast dipping tower bird, and a close up rabbit which caused a few problems. Layouts 2 and 3 were set looking away from the hill, over a ditch, with some edgy crossing targets and a looper and a teal on layout 2. Layout 3 had a tricky incomer and a fast going away bird which I saw missed a few times. Layout 4 was set near The Pen at Hornet, those familiar with the ground will know this area as one of the toughest on their FITASC Sporting shoots, and the landscape enables them to throw some nice high targets – so there were a few aerial targets here, a tricky quartering overhead, a high looper and a fast flat crosser.
Overall opinion from the shooters I spoke to was that the course was excellent, good variety for everyone and a few testing birds in between the stuff that would help you build a COMPAK score. On Saturday evening – there were three shooters sitting on an excellent 96ex100. Martin Papworth (fresh from a win in Arras, France), Paul Batchelor and Chris Childerhouse had all dropped just 4 targets across the 100. Sitting just behind were George Digweed MBE who dropped all 5 of his lost shots on layout 2, as well as Adam Cork who sat on the same score.
Sunday saw warm sunshine – and the arrival of Ed Solomons who went out as one of the last squads of the weekend and aimed for the smallest window at the top of the leaderboard, shooting 24, 23 on the first two layouts he needed a strong finish to take the HG and he delivered just that, 50 straight on the last two layouts to take the HG.
Sunday also saw Cheryl Hall out on the course – and she took the Lady’s category with an excellent 92ex100. Juniors was won by Ben Sutton on on the same score, and veterans was won by Keith Roe on 93 as well, with SuperVets being won by Nick Williamson on on 85.
A fantastic weekend at Hornet, and congratulations to Kevin and his team for a good shoot with a great atmosphere – and providing the sunshine!