So, the start of the first of the seasons 2 Double Headers and of to South Wales we travel. Wales, the land of wind and rain, would prove some of that statement wrong. Travelling up on Friday the sun was shining and not a cloud in the sky. The only problem was the traffic, took over 30 minutes to travel mile at the start of the M3 out of Southampton.
The first of a few detours, was a stop at Tots Hill services to collect a left behind bag for Allan. The next was little detour to Gloucester needed a Richard was viewing a new purchase, which after a little talking ended in a bag with us. Next off to Bridgend where we were staying in a B&B.
After leaving Gloucester, the trip down south was just another traffic jam followed by another and maybe another on the Welsh side but I had a bit of a sleep on the M4 between the Bridge crossing and the outskirts of Newport.
A rrived at Bridgend booked into the B&B then took a little stroll to stretch the legs and get some thing to eat from a Toby Carvery. It filled the spot and then as we headed back to the a bar called The Coach which is also a micro brewery that I had been contact with the week before, well you got to cover all your interests.
Ended up have a couple of pints of their Cinder Toffee Stout which tasted like a crunchie bar in a liquid drink.
Saturday morning arrived and off we headed to Oaktree for 8am. After parking up, signing in and getting the rifles out to acclimatize, we headed to the food for some breakfast before the start of the shoot.
A fter the standard safety brief, we headed off to our lanes Richard on lane 3 and me to 7. The sun was shining and warming up nicely, glad most of the course under the trees to keep it cooler. The course was set in a wriggling circle around the ground.
Lane 1 had the targets in the field then the course headed into the woods with targets spread out with those subtle angle changes both left and right and up and down.
The lanes then weaved between the trees heading up the hill towards the field and the end of the course.
Starting on lane 7 I met with my with my partners for the day Gavin and Paul, both relative newcomers to the sport so was a bit of a mentor for the morning session. My first miss was on the next lane, it seems that the wheels would be on then off again.
Clearing a few lanes then having a stupid miss to clearing lanes again.
At least no double dinker lanes just here and there. By the halfway point I had dropped 8 targets, mostly just wind mainly not enough with the hits landing about 2-8mm off the edge.
Richard by the time had done half the course he had actually not missed a target with 2 rows of 10 X’s and a partial row on his card.
His first miss being a target that he split where only enough energy to know the paddle back but not enough for the plate to fall. His partner marked it down as hit but Richard refused as the plate had not fallen.
F or Andy the second half of the course ran up to the field, a mixture of different targets. He dropped another 7 half of those being standing targets the others being wind that was either there or not but hard to see any movement.
Richard’s second half of the course is where he dropped his 4 targets, including what would also be quite an important one, target number 2.
Andy missed this left after aiming some 3” off the right side of the kill zone. Richard did the same with maybe a little more right but still missed. With Richard and 3 others finishing 46 and needing 2 of those for the Showdown qualifying the countback for the cards comes into play.
The countback is were starting at target 1 whoever misses first gets knocked out of the running. Richard had missed target 2 and one of the others missed the same target. This meant they both missed a chance of qualifying.
So with Andy finishing on a 35 and Richard a 46 both happy with the scores. Paul Eaton from the South West region put in a stonking 48.