BFTA Grand Prix 4: CSFTA Newbury: Flawless
There's one thing about competitions... there is always a winner. No matter what it is, there will always be someone at the end of the day with the trophy in their hands, and the next year there will always be a shooter with that trophy. Indeed, some may lay their hands on the silverware across the board more than others, but ultimately it's a measure of how well you grasped the course compared to your peers, the course is the real opponent of the day.
But theres one thing that isn't a given in any competition, that isn't guaranteed at the end of the day, that someone won't be able to take away next time, and that is a perfect score. So today was rather special, as after all the near misses and the past' what-could-have-beens', a BFTA 50 shot Grand Prix course was cleared for the first time, ever. And that, beyond whatever championships and titles will pass in the future, is an accolade that can never be claimed again.
So many congratulations to James Osborne for being the one to do it.
But the course still had it's day. The Newbury crew put on a testing layout. With a gentle but tricky wind it, put pressure on the course to separate the field. A plethora of 50+yd targets kept many busy, trying to work out which side of wrong to place the crosshairs. Positionals were biased towards standers, but not stretched to the maximum. However, angled ground on the firing point added to their difficulty.
Early leaders from the morning once again piled pressure on the afternoon, Dan Eley with a 48, and two 47's from Richard Shaw and Andy Gillott in AA kept everyone sharp. But by mid afternoon, with James clear through the positionals and the more tricky sections, the writing was on the wall for the course itself. And James didn't disappoint. Simon Pattle pushed his way to the front of A grade with a 48, leaving most of AA behind. Once again, Marc Fisher with a 46 showed most of the field what a 20 year old springer is capable of, and although Steve Lanyman again kept the SFT bar high with a 41, Brian Samson pushed it further with a 42. My head was buried trying to sift the 7 or so 46's for showdown qualifiers (sorry Charlie
congrats to Craig), so we'll have to wait to see how the B & C grades went, but judging by my partner Jason's performance, I expect some top scores to be in there as well.
Many thanks has to be said to the Newbury crew, for their and the BFTA crew's seemingly tireless efforts in putting the course out. I'm not quite sure how they find the energy, especially shooting as well, but hopefully big thanks helps with the fuel.
I'm sure the scores will appear in the usual place, and there's a photo thread here.
Roll on Dunfermline