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Old 1st February 2010, 06:29 PM
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Talking 2009 Nefta Classic report by Andy Calpin

2009 Nefta Classic report by Andy Calpin

2009 saw the North East Field Target Association stage the outdoor airgun endurance event that is the "NEFTACLASSIC " for the 19th time . Held at Pontefract airgun club for the 3rd consecutive year and ably assisted by Pete (human dynamo) Milner & his fellow members that reside in Ponty's dads army brigade.

The shoot was fully booked once again with 120 + shooters lined up to tackle 80 field targets & 80 American silhouettes over the 2 days for a grand total ex 160 . All the usual FT grades are catered for along with Junior , Recoiling & Sporting FT classes , where folks with hHFT rigs can come & have a bash.

Due to major interest from the airgun trade & the skankability of the Classic committee members, Bill sanders from Airarms hasn’t been the same since Trev Ryan had him in a choke hold & my administration of a half nelson on Daystates Tony Belas had to be seen to be believed ! Others were equally forthcoming but refused to be lamed & shamed.
We also had Steyr UK's Harry Preston on standby with his mobile service centre to make any running repairs to peoples rifles .

Along with the individual events your £ 20.00 entry fee entitles you to a blast at the pairs, 4 person team & 3 person lucky dip team, where everyone’s scorecard is put in a hat at the close of day 1 & drawn out to decide each team, this throws a few surprise teams together& gives shooters that don’t usually bag much silverware an equal chance at making new friends & possibly take home a well earned prize.

The day before the shoot starts is set up day, where all 80 field targets & the silhouette racks are put in place . We weren’t short ofhelpers this year once again . Especially whenthe volunteers were promised a couple of Pat Osborne’s fabulous steak sarnies . Rugged Russ(Olympic, that’s breakfast , not athlete) Spencer managed to force a new worldrecord of 3 down the hatch ! sorry kid , wont tell Pam .

As day 1 kicked off it was quite warm , with only a very light breeze & the FT scores reflected this, with no one actually clearing the 40 shot course but 5 or 6 people finishing on 39 .
Once everyone had drawn breath at the end of day one, Sam (action man) Monkman in AA grade had dished a sound thrashing out to all & sundry with his Ripley by missing just 2 on sillies & 1 on the FT course, I knew he'd get lucky one day. Splutter !

A grade saw Steve (dodgy joke) Littlefair cruising along nicely with 7 down on sillies & the same on the FT.
Lyndeen (my bloke wears a window cleaning jacket) Calvert & Paul (my brother used to be a dustbinman in corrie) Yates were neck & neck having dropped 19 each in B grade .

Quite a few top FT shots had a pop at the recoiling class this year & Nick (YMCA waistcoat) Murphy lead the way after day 1 on 59 ex 80 using his AA Prosport .
HFT maestro Brian (cockney reject) Samson was on 55 ex 80 in the SFT class & carrying me nicely along as my partner in the pairs this year . Hot on Brian’s heels was a new kid on the SFT block Ian (I’ve got a Rupert the bear outfit) Harford of Countryman Fairs fame, who was getting back to his shooting roots by having a go at HFT/FT & doing rather well at both , with a solid 49.A few more entrants in SFT class would have been nice though . I don’t know if its the sillies that put people off , or the shoot calendar is too busy but if you can get to the shoot, by hook or by crook , it'll nearly finish you off but I guarantee it'll be worth it .

12 year old Mitchell (Mitch the flitch) Tomes was steering his Steyr like a pro in the Junior section & will be one to watch out for in the future , mark my words !
Overseas shooter Jesus (I may be able to walk on water but the sillies are a nightmare) Sangroni from Spain was having a wail of a time with a 17 on sillies & 29 on FT & he never stopped smiling for the whole weekend .
The pairs had Sam & 2008 World FT Champ Ian (nearly in Pete’s “dads army”) Taylor ripping the field apart after day 1 on 143 ex 160, this would take some catching .

The Thorndell hustlers ; Costello, Littlefair, Percival & Luckley (whom not long after the shoot tragically passed away) were leading the 4 man team on 269 ex 320 .
Lumbered with me were my fellow Anstonite , Jim (my specs are at 10 to 2) Lindley & Sarah (my geezer walks like Charlie Chaplain ) England from Bisley were on top of the pile in the 3's after day 1 .
On the sillies , everyone that hits the 10th pig , or “golden hog” as we call it , goes in a draw at the end of each day with Dave (tomo) Tomlinson from Redfearns winning Saturdays prize draw .
As day 2 broke many a shooter vowed to make amends on the dreaded sillies & most failed. The FT course was made harder than Saturdays, accompanied by a pesky wind that scampered about at a fair rate of knots, but in which direction was any 1's guess. Sam was in the same group as me on sillies at 9am & came off with a 37 ex 40. Mega ! needing only a mediocre score on Sundays FT course to be crowned top dog & claim top prize of a lovely AirArms MPR rifle.
James (elephant tormentor Osborne, Jono (snatch shot specialist) Noon, myself & new member of our 4's team Bri Samson were having a grand time until Jono once again managed to get his sillies scorecard mixed up with Stevie Wonders ! or = Jono usually has a balaclava on whilst shooting sillies & this year put it on back to front ...Leaving us trailing in 4th place . Sorry Jono, ahem .
Some good shooting in the pairs brought a few teams further up the leader board , but Ian & Sam held on to take 1st place as well as taking the 4's with Trev (unlucky luv) Ryan & Dave (pin cushion hand) Jowett for company .
Sarah, Jim & me managed to stay in front to take the lucky dip 3's title , which is one of the most enjoyable aspects of the shoot & guarantees a few new faces in the prizes & long may it continue .
Young Mitchell (the Millride marmaliser) held his nerve to take the Junior title & got his name on one of the nicest trophies I’ve ever seen, keep it up Mitch. SFT grade stayed much the same with Brian Samson keeping his nose just ahead of Ian Harford to earn top spot.

Things were getting a bit tasty towards the business end of recoiling class , with Dave (ex top Scot) Penman gunning for Nick & ex World recoiling Champ Paul (“just for men” gone wrong) James hot on Dave’s heels . As it happens Nick nicked it from Dave with Paul almost throwing a paddywack as he took home his 3rd place bone.

Onto the individual side of things, Sam clinched the overall Silhouette title with a score of 75 ex 80, just wait until he gets some practice in. I shot consistently over the 2 days & altered my sitting stance after 30 shots on day 1 on the FT course, ably assisted by the welsh cake that is Dorian (bogey man basher) Falconer to finish top overall FT scorer with 75 ex 80 . Scott (carbine stump) Robinson took a handful of goodies as he won the golden hog draw on Sunday .
C grade had Saturdays leader hunted down & over took by Anstonite Dave (helicopter repairer) Robinson to take the title this year, & it made my weekend to see him do so well as he’s only been at it for a few months & carting off a nice BSA contender scope as his prize.
1st prize in B grade was an exquisite stock dipping from Hydrographics. with Lyndeen nudging Paul into 2nd place by the skin of her teeth . Another Anston newby Simone (chuckle monkey) Higgins clawed 3rd place in B from “carbine Robinson” with Rod Maltas from Hull getting 5th.
It was all a hustling & a bustling at the summit of A grade with Saturdays runaway leader Steve Littlefair slipping to 5th & his club & 4's team mate Andy Luckley over taking him to claim 2nd , but the winner of A grade & winning a superb walnut stock donated by custom stock was James (my mate looks like rigsby) Griffiths .
No surprises in AA grade as Sam missed only 12 targets all weekend. Most people would be ecstatic to miss just 12 shots out of 40 sillies, never mind the other 120 that Sam had to take. Five times Classic Champ James Osborne had to settle for second place this year with John (I’ve been chewing tinfoil) Costello finishing in 3rd, well done to Sam, marvelous shooting.
Apart from the MPR rifle that came from Air Arms, Daystate supplied us with a lovely little X2 model that was to be raffled off along with stacks of other prizes that were so kindly donated by the trade. Most people went away from the presentation with some sort of prize but it was Ian Taylor’s score card that was drawn out as winner of the rifle.

Well! Its over for another year thank the lord! As the prizes were dished out it gave me a chance to reflect on what a strong region we have in the north east. The camaraderie is second to none and this is proven every year at the Classic, with not only the shoot competitors doing their bit to help out, but also the others that don't dream of fetching a gun or even firing a shot and give their whole weekend up just to help put something back into the sport that has given themso much over the years. I'll not mention any names forfear of embarrassment, but you know who you are. Once again thanks to everyone.
The May bank holiday weekend 2010 is the date for the Classic’s 20th anniversary and with a prize list that will be 2nd to none lined up,along with a few more little surprises up out sleeves that will make the weekend extravaganza one to remember. Check the NEFTA website to get booked in and come and get Classicalised. You won’t be disappointed!
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