The Lithuanian's have set the bar very high with this one!
Venue - brilliant!
Courses - excellent! The closest full kill was 40 yards by my reckoning, and I can only remember a couple of full kills closer than 45 yards. Lots and lots of long lanes including the positionals, and if they weren't long they had reducers on them.
Red course had 7x 15mm kills on it and 4 or 5x 25mm reducers, and I'd say that was pretty similar on the Yellow and Green courses too.
These were World Championship standard courses - harder than a Grand Prix I'd say.
Red course were mostly slightly downhill, the other courses mostly slightly uphill, but by and large everything was pretty much on the level, apart from one 15mm reducer on the Red course which I ranged at about 12 yards at an angle of around 45 degrees. If you had a Rowan Hamster it was a doddle, if you didn't - not so easy, but it was one target out of 150 and I don't think it was unfair to include it ( although I do have a Rowan Hamster
Targets - these were all Gamo targets, but we inspected them closely before the event and there wasn't much Gamo left of those targets, they were very well modified and tested and by and large worked flawlessly. We did have one target malfunction and ultimately a possibly dodgy decision was made about how to deal with it, but any decision made wouldn't have suited everyone so it was a tough call to make - I can't honestly say that if I had all of the information in front of me that I wouldn't have made the same decision.
Marshalling was the main point of contention at this competition with a huge number of points being docked for what I would say were very very minor infringements.
One shooter was even given a warning for breathing too loudly! (I'm not kidding!)
At times (usually the kneeling lanes) the marshalling was invasive.. On one of my kneeling lanes I had 5 marshals watching, and one scuffled up through the bushes to stand within 2 feet of me while I was trying to take a shot.
Overall though, in the past marshalling at the Worlds has been very poor with lots of people getting away with quite major rule infringements (cheating basically), but this year they were very very strict to say the least.
Too strict I think, but it's a good start, all we need to do now is scale that back a notch and it'll be spot on.
I think the problem was that many of the marshals had little experience of FT, but they had a rulebook (the Spanish rules) in front of them and they followed them to the letter of the rules.
Conor can't say there are no rules in WFTF any more - this time round they had more rules than you can shake a stick at and they weren't shy about applying them either.
Brussels Airlines - crap! We had a lost case on the way over and 3 damaged scopes, including mine which must have taken a huge whack to actually bend my scope! It was 150 clicks out on elevation on the zero range!
A big thanks to Mick Woodhead who helped me out on Thursday - it's pretty depressing when you get your gun out of the case, take a shot at a 25m sheet of A4 paper and miss it completely, but Mick stayed with me to help calm me down and try to make the best of a bad lot.
On the way home we spent 3 hours waiting to check our guns in, only to find out the plane had been delayed which meant we missed our connecting flight home and had to wait 4 hours in the terminal (not a complete disaster but not great). and then for those flying back to Heathrow they managed to lose 6 Firearms!
But all in all, a brilliant World Championships with loads of positives and a few negatives that need to be ironed out.
Oh - and well done to Steve for bringing the Springer title back to England as well, with a mega 45 on the last day to jump from 3rd to 1st under the radar.