Day 2 of the weekend and we head across the valley to Tondu. I was here in 2019 and was hoping that after getting my personal best at Oaktree I could do the same here.
As you can see Oaktree is not that far aware as the crow flies and the picture is from the top of the Tondu bank.
So was the day going to be good, well I was hoping so and being drawn with Richard and Mark Fairbrother was a good start. After waiting to book in, as it was fully booked online a few weeks ago, we wandered to get something to eat and drink. Only to find that he is not ready, food or drink not ready for at least 30 minutes. That means we would be starting on an empty stomach. We collected a few bottles of water to take round as I was sure it was going to get hot.
We got to our start lane, number 16 with targets both in and over the water. Our first one being a 25mm Crocodile half in the water and making a nice splash when falling over the second tucked away in the wood.
As you can see from the picture, its not the actual lane but one a few lanes earlier and I circled the target area, blue targets in the dark are difficult to find. Unlike the previous day all the targets were blue. As Richard sat down to shoot the first whistle sounded. This proved to be the start of quite a few for the morning session.
We all started along the unmade road to the next l;anes which were set into the wooded areas slightly. I cleared the next lane whilst Richard having missed his first 3 targets got his 4th. Over the next 8 lanes we did 1 kneeling lanes and all 3 standing lanes, I managed to get only 2 of the 6 standers, which were both quite long 30ish and near 45yd targets. All 3 of our group got these, but it seemed to be a sitting then positional sequence all the way through.
the end of our 1st 10 lanes Andy had dropped 9 and Richard, after a poor start, had dropped 6. And the whistle count had reached 10 that we had heard by now and nearly 2 hours in!
By this time the temperature was rising and we had to walk all the way back to the check in area for lanes 1-11, not much fun in leather and canvas jackets. The bank at Tondu in known for strange winds and lane 1 being our last kneeler. Both targets lower than the gate and for me taking them standing it felt like I was about to fall down the hill. The remaining lanes lead up the hill.
It felt like the wind was coming from our right so giving the right side only to see the pellets landing right or high. Going up this bank I was missing a few but then getting some before missing again. I dropped another 11 targets due to the wind, making it worse is the face plates are not very splattered with misses making it difficult to see what was going on.
Richard was not that far ahead as he missed 10 of those first 22 targets.
However, by this time both of us were feeling the affects of the sun and lack of food.
I t was nearly 1pm by the time we headed down for our last 4 lanes. Richard powered on missing only 1 more, his last, and blew of some steam and frustration with a bit of vocal anger.
Whilst I missed 4 before noticing the shots going slightly high, I had got the wind right but the impacts were between the 11 and 1 o’clock positions just outside the paddles circle.
The day finished with Richard 60th= and Andy 96th= which whilst not were we wanted to be its probably going to be one of our dropped scores.
With the provisional results released Richard still leads B Grade and Andy in 14th. The GP series is a marathon not a sprint so whilst we were disappointed we know we have room to recover.
A short 2 week break before Round 4 in our region up at Weston Warriors ground, or to those who knew it before Otmoor.
Keep your eyes open for the next write up.
Breaking late News
Richard has been promoted from B to A so not leading B Grade now but is now 2nd in A Grade.