Glad you enjoyed the experience and had a safe journey home.
As I write this reply I am still in South Africa and will be flying back to the UK on Sunday.
Nic sends his appreciation of your kind words and hopes you will come back and stay with him again.
Turning to the competition I can only echo what has so far been written. The venue was superb, the ranges very nice, although the 'lawn' section of the courses was a little bland.
As Rob has already stated there were no targets that could in any way be classed as 'gimme's' everything was a challenge and a fight to hit.
On the first day I was squadded on black course, starting my shoot on the sandbank overlooking the area of felled and burned blue gum trees. No easy targets for this spring gun shooter and a steady march of X's and O's started appearing on my card, my march up the koppie started yielding a few more X's, but I couldn't seem to find a steady rhythm and the humidity was getting to me. I finished the course back down on the sandbank and my final target was a 55yd stander which I amazed myself by knocking down. Day 1 finished for me on a 23 which caused me to grumble about my uselessness until I found out it had put me in third place amongst the spring gun shooters with Sean Orsmond and Paul James ahead of me (Paul put in a stunning 32 on Day 1 with his HW97).
Day 2 dawned clear and bright, Rob and I learned our lesson from Day 1 about not missing breakfast, so on the drive from Nic's farm in Brits we stopped at a filling station to put petrol in the car and took advantage of the Steers bruger bar in the shop to enjoy a hurried cheeseburger breakfast and buy plenty of drinks for the coming heat. This time I was squadded on green course, starting on lane 12 - almost at the very top of the koppie, this meant I would be climbing the damned mountain twice to complete my shoot. Despite the higher temperature I actually felt more comfortable - probably because I am more used to being in South Africa than my fellow British shooters and stomping through the Bushveld. Day 2 brought a small improvement in my scoring with a 24, Paul James dropped back slightly but still held 1st place and Sean Orsmond maintained 2nd with me in 3rd. The 4th place in spring class sat a clear 11 points below us.
Day 3 once again dawned with clear skies, promising higher temperatures than previously. It was my turn to face the blue course this time squadded with Oom Johan, chairman of SAFTAA, who I had sourced a special Pro-Target for from the UK a copule of years ago. We started on the sandbank, which, joy of joys, meant only one walk up to the top of the koppie. Again it was a fight for each point but I finished with a consistent 24 once again.
This result meant that I had held onto 3rd place in spring class with Paul James dropping to second and Sean Orsmond take a well earned 1st place.
The award function started promptly at 5pm and we had several guests of honour, with representatives of the City of Tshwane, Ziggi Liebner of SAFTAA as well as Mike Potgieter from SANSSU and Nic Roets of SAHGCA. I was especially pleased to see that Nic and Mike received thanks for their foresight in being the two people who first saw the potential in introducing FT to South Africa.
As mentioned elsewhere the entertainment, in the shape of a troupe of Zulu dancers was stunning, despite my many visits to SA I had not seen them perform before. The award dinner was excellent as well with the meat being Kudu casseroled in wine and spitbraaied Blesbok.
The medals and trophies were beautiful, being in the form of the continent of Africa.
All in all the organisation and presentation of the event were breathtaking - it has set a benchmark that will be difficult to equal and damn nigh impossible to beat.
My thanks go to SAFTAA for a superb event, and as alway to my good friend Nic Roets for allowing me to stay at his home and the loan of his car for the event.
Last edited by Dale; 6th October 2009 at 06:48 AM.