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Chapter 08 – GP7 West Devon

Well, its only seems like yesterday we arrived back from the NEFTA shoots and we

are off again. This time we are heading West and the start of Saturday morning

looked promising, with the sun shining we headed to the Ferry to start our trip.

What we had forgotten was the School holidays had started and the ferry was full

with a long queue for food so we just had drinks deciding to get some food on the

way down.

I think we might have to start charging carriage as well, we were delivering a rifle for

Barry to be worked on, collecting a rifle at the shoot for Holly, picking up a gunbag

for Richard and dropping off the CSFTA Bag.

So, to the first job, a trip to Verwood to drop off the rifle off. However, by this time it

was starting to spit with rain in Southampton, by the time we had reached the

M27/A31 it was raining much heavier. Little did we know that this would not stop until

the following day.

We arrived at Verwood just after 1130 spent about 10 minutes discussing the issue

before we started off again. We decided to head towards the A303 rather than the

A31. This is were the car satnav proved to have a mind of its own and stubbornly

kept trying to send us back to the A31.

Eventually we got to the A303 and headed West properly. As the time was nearly

1pm we tried a few rest stops for food and the result was not a chance. People were

either driving around or double parking, so the decision was made to just carry on.

We arrived at the hotel just after 330pm, the views unfortunately shrouded in clouds

and the rain that just kept falling. After checking in and being shown our room, beer

required. Not much on tap but Doom Bar so a couple consumed, pool played and we

sat down to a steak dinner (10oz Ribeye) followed by sticky Toffee pudding for me

and Apple Crumble for Richard.

With the rain still coming down we went back to the room and I had a quite good

sleep. Waking up at 630am we looked out to actually now see the hills. It was only

when we got down to the car we

found it was raining still but not as

hard.

A short 20 minute drive, down some

quite rough roads if you call them

that, we arrived at the ground. It

had stopped raining by then but the

field under foot was squishy as we

walked down to check-in. After

getting our score cards we grabbed

a hot drink, they were not quite

ready for doing hot food.


As it was near to the start time, of course it started to rain again. Most trying to

shelter under the trees but it looked like it was going to be rain showers on and off all

day. The turn out was much lower than but most guessed the rain had put a lot of

shooters off, but not the IoW bunch. We were going to shoot no matter what the

weather.

The course itself was mainly in an open field area with a small wooded area at the

bottle that was wide enough for a path so you were shooting out of it into the field

again. Plenty of angles used, so a fair few crossed strings.

I started on lane 11 with Ian Stoddart on lane 11, near the wood edge. We decided

to swap who shot first on each lane, a much fairer way I think but that’s my thinking.

So I got my first target and as Ian said after he had shot and I had thought, it was

plumb in the middle.

one because I gave wind and needed

none. I carried on like this for the next

2 lanes as well. The second shot

either going straight when giving wind

or not giving wind and the pellet

landing either side.

Lane 15 was the first of the standing

lanes, I was not feeling confident after the previous few lanes especially as the first target was in quite a dark area

under a bush and the rain clouds making it even darker, the picture was taken in the

afternoon. But I got both, much to the surprise of me and Ian.

After this lane we headed under the cover of the trees, shooting out into the open.

Just as we got under the trees the rain came again, not heavy but enough that you

could actually see the wind direction. By this time, Richard was up near the start of

the course, did not see him walk past. It was a standing lane, not far, but after a walk

all the way from the end you heart rate was up a little.

There were 10 lanes under these trees and at the start things looked good, until I

reached the next set of Standers only getting one. Missed the first target on the next

lane then both of the kneelers, which are standers for me. The annoying part I saw

pellets lane on the targets, both no

more than a pellet width from the hit zone. The first missing left, the second missing right. Should have just gone straight down the middle on the second.

The next 5 lanes I had a good run

dropping only 1 target, which landed high which surprised me. The rain had stopped by this time.


We both then strolled up to lane 1 and after a short rest, there was a little backed up.

Did the rest help us, nope as we both missed the targets on lane 1. This was just the

start of a really bad section or chasing the wind. I only hit 3 in the first 5 lanes, only

clearing lane 3.

Our last 5 lanes I only improved a little hitting 5 of the 10 possible. The cause was

just me not getting my head around the wind. Strings give you an idea but when the

pellet goes either the opposite way or straight. After missing target 7 for not giving

enough with the pellet only just landing on the target, the longer target 11 I gave only

a little bit more.

This target is a bit smaller, with only a narrow plate around the hit paddle about 8-10mm wide but aiming in the hedge, the

pellet actually landed on the plate at 3 o’clock. The middle of the pellet splash was about 2mm away from hitting and to make it worse Ian hit all three along the

hedge edge by going straight at them.

By the end of the shoot I had achieved a score of 30, so that meant I could drop my

worse round from Tondu. Richard finished on a 43 which would have been a

qualifying score for the Showdown if he had not taken a reserve place when

someone had pulled out.

We had no luck on the raffle, but the food was excellent especially the cakes. Well

we, the club, are know as premier cake eaters.

Top score of the day was 47, in fact the to 3 scores all came from Welsh shooters.

Guessing they are more used to windy wet weather than the rest of us.

The next round is us heading East toward the Essex country side for the Springfield

round.

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