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Chapter 07 – GP6 Anston

Sunday morning came around and walking out of the hotel the ground was a bit wet. Richard said it chucked it down just after 10ish, I was asleep by then.

Loaded the car with our bags, set the Sat Nav and then headed south towards Anston ground. On arrival found the ground parking quite full but found a space, then headed to book in. The middle area of the parking had been fenced off for those that had been camping overnight and ready for those arriving for the afternoon session.

After booking in, breakfast was calling so off to see Nikki again for another Sausage and raw onion in a bun with hot drinks again.

Andy Calpin, one of the masters of course setting had laid out a course in the shape of a flattened oval. The first 6 lanes you were sat outside the woods shooting into it which had, at times, some quite dark areas. The last 6 lanes were on the opposite side, it being quite open woodland. The lanes between all were all in the woods.

I started on Lane 19, a standing lane, so it could be not the best of starts. But I got 1 so a better beginning than yesterday. Richard started on his favourite number lane 13, however it was not lucky for him as he only got 1 of the pair.

I also missed the 1st target on the next lane with the pellet just drifting to the left edge, then clearing a few targets before having a stupid 29yd 25mm miss high. By the time I reached the end of lane 25 I had dropped another 2, one of those being a long 42yd standers. I must have improved a bit as both of the standing missing on this part of the course as both close to the edge.

Richard run to lane 25 was much more successful. He did not miss a target until he got to my starting lane and then missed the same target as me. In the following lane he missed the I got, but that was his last miss all the way to the end of lane 25.

Richard being a 6 lanes did not see my dismal first 5 lanes, which even in my worse nightmare was bad as I missed 4 targets in a row, get a long stander and only clear 2 lanes. Lane 1 was the first of the ‘in the open into the wood’ lanes and by this time the temperature had started to rise as well creating a bit of humidity under my cap and jacket. Not some thing you really want when you sit down to find the scope, or in my case glasses had steamed up.

Remember we are on the clock of 3 minutes and I had to wind down the mag just to find the first target. I will admit to rushing, but no matter got more time on the second. Wrong, just as I moved to the second target a call of ’30 seconds’ was heard so cue panic, finding the target and rushing the second shot just as 10 second countdown started.

The next lane was just as bad, with everything that went wrong with the previous lane I was still flustered and forgot to load for the first short target of about 38yds. Had cocked it, just not put the pellet in, but rules are rules and having aimed at the target and pulling the trigger its deemed a aimed shot and a miss. The second target was along 48yd target and I missed, think it was wind but not sure which side it went as I just went down the middle.

I n the next 5 lanes I did concentrate a bit more but trying to decide which way and by how much the wind was taking the pellets. Targets along this side of the course had some quite varied angles, some of them you could see from 2 or 3 lanes before them.

Those with angle greater than 90 degrees really caused head scratching when different wind directions affect them. Faceplates with misses everywhere and difficult to see where your pellet flight in the darker wooded area. So I dropped another 5 targets at the end of lane 10, which was a pair of standers taken from a mound as you can see in the picture.

So how did Richard do in this section, well he just carried on as he was clearing the first 3 lanes before missing the long kneeling target so the opposite to me.

By the end of lane 10, which Richard got the longer up the tree stander, he had dropped another 3 meaning he finished with a 42.

Me, well I was just missing more targets it was only when I reached Richard start lane did I actually see one of the pellets in flight and realise how much wind I needed to give.

With that knowledge I cleared my last 4 lanes to finish on a 29, nearly a score beginning with a 3 but on the positive side, I have 3 more rounds to go and can start to drop the lowest scores.

Top score of the day was a 47 on what was a very long and challenging course. When I talk about long, I mean the targets were more on the longer distance side rather than distance walked. Its like some of the chat between shooters, we seem to talk in riddles to the newcomer. We never give our total score but reply with targets missed. For example a score of 47 if asked the competitor would usually say a 3. For me the first time I head it is was confusing.

The trip back to the Island was quite uneventful, only some heavy rain as we got off the M69 near Warwick but by the time we were on the M40 it had gone.

The scores were updated as we sat on the ferry, so out withy the laptop again to see what positions we sat in. Richard had moved back up a place to 3rd in A grade, I however thought I had stayed in 11th but some of those ungraded shooters had done enough to get a grade, unfortunately for me it pushed me down to 13th in grade. Only found that out a day later. Oh well better get my finger out then.

The next 3 rounds are spread 2 weeks apart, but no rest for us as on the July 16th, the club is hosting a round of regions Summer League.

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