I have just come back from a week in Pilsen in the Czech Republic after shooting Air Rifle for the UK in the European and World Cup Bench Rest.
Fantastic event with 24 countries afar afield as Australia, South Africa, USA, Phillipines, Russia, Ukraine and a whole host of Eupopean countries.
The bar has certainly been raised around the world in terms of air rifle marksmanship and the quality of equipment.
I was amazed at how quickly a number of international competitors would strip an air rifle to its regulator and have it back together in 10mins, all done behind the firing line, I guess its because if they dont do it at home they dont have the expertise in terms of service etc that we have from our manfacturers and suppliers in good old blighty.
Any way, travelling with an airrifle was a mixed experience, we flew easy jet which was ok going out but was a nightmare coming back as they didn't sought out their own internal paper work at Prague airport.
We would of had to leave the rifles on hard standing of the airport (they loaded the rifles on the plane and then took them off) if it wasn't for the pilot signing the paperwork himself. All in all the plane was an hour late
Bench Rest has a European championship and World Cup every four years and a World Championship (next one Australia) every four years alternating, so you have a major every 2 years.
Just thinking that you could alternate a Worlds and a Europeans at Kelmarsh every year and the year its not at kelmarsh it could be held somewhere else later in the same year.
2014 Worlds at Kelmarsh
2014 Europeans outside UK later in the year
2015 Europeans at Kelmarsh
2015 Worlds held outside UK later in the year
All done under the WHFTA,
A few people have commented about the size of the following of the sport in other countries, you cant truly judge this by the number of people who travel to the international competitions.