Gary Chillingworth reports on the season’s final double-headerf from Furnace Mill and the Mighty Nomads
Gary Chillingworth brings us all the news from the HFT scene
A s we rush toward the end of the season, it’s time for the final double- header of the year. Furnace Mill and the Mighty Nomads are two clubs based close to Kidderminster, and they both have a fearsome reputation and a loyal following of regular shooters.
Furnace is located within a wonderful fishing complex and has some of the best- looking courses on the HFT circuit today, with large lakes, marshland, lush trees, and a great café and car park. Shooting at Furnace is a very civilised affair and the courses are always second to none,
Nomads is also a wonderful place to shoot. Unlike Furnace Mill, it has undulating slopes and hills and it would be fair to say that these areas are Nomads raison d’être.
Day one of the double- header was hosted by Furnace Mill and as usual they had laid on a spectacular course. One of the reasons I love shooting here is for the shots across the lake. As you lie down to look at the target, which can be anything from a duck to flying fish, it’s always fun to see the ripples on the water and the reflections it throws up. You can also gauge the wind by watching leaves float across the pond, or if the wind does pick up, you can sometimes see patterns forming across the top of the water.
Even though I love shooting on this section of the course, it would be fair to say that it does not always love me. I think there are merpeople living below and whenever I shoot, they somehow knock my pellet out of the way and I see it slamming into the bank.
There is a strange light at Furnace Mill and as you move through the woods, everything seems a bit softer and more serene. However, one of the best bits of the day was after the shoot. As I put my
guns away and had a little cry after getting severely beaten by the course, I spotted three reprobates approaching me. Tom and Steve Willingham and Neil Wakelin had all shot well in the morning and now it was time for fishing. They had brought their kit along and after a morning of HFT. it was now time for a afternoon on the riverbank.
Nomads is one of my favourite places to shoot. I have always loved it and found it a wonderful challenge, and now that it’s in the hands of Perry Broad, it’s going from strength to strength. Nomads is also the stamping ground of Airgun World’s Jim Tyler, but this should certainly not put you off attending – sorry Jim.
Nomads is all about knowing your gun and the way it handles when you are shooting on inclines. The terrain is insidious, you will stand before a target and there will be a gentle slope in front of you, but as you look at the target it is almost impossible to determine how far away it is. This is because we mere mortals struggle to determine distance when we have to combine range and elevation – or maybe that’s just me. Basically, when a target is up in a tree it’s easy, measure to the bottom of the tree and add a few yards, but try doing that on a slope, and then see how you do.
There is no doubt that a huge amount of work had been put in on the Nomads course. It was technically almost perfect and when you see shooters like Dave Taylor, one of the top shots in the UK and the previous day’s winner, miss target after target due to range traps, you know that the course is a belter.
Both rounds were sponsored by Gamo and it’s great to see such a wonderful brand get behind the UKAHFT. On the Saturday, Steve Willingham won a stunning Gamo Phox, and Steve O’Mara won one of their brilliant pumps. On the Sunday, Brandon Roff walked away with a wonderful Gamo Coyote and all three of them were exceptionally happy.
We had some great results over the weekend:
On Saturday, Dave Taylor won the Open, with Perry Broad taking the Recoiling, Mike Burgess the Vets, Abi Maw the Junior 14-16, Myla Parsons Smith the 9-13. Jason Lockett won the .22 and Karen O’Mara the Ladies. The Team event went to Rivington, and the Manufacturers was taken by Steyr.
On the Sunday, Paul Kelly took the Open class, Gary Chillingworth the Recoiling, Mike Burgess the Vets, Ewan Pantling the 14-16, Myla Parsons Smith the 9-13, Jason Lockett the .22 and Sarah Pantling the Ladies. Again, the team event went to Rivington and Air Arms took the manufacturers’ trophy.
The double- headers are a great time to meet with friends, go for dinner and drinks and revel in the community that is the UKAHFT. For more information about these events go to www.ukahft.com http://www. nomadshft.club and http://www. furnacemill.net/
“There is no doubt that a huge amount of work had been put in on the Nomads course”
ABOVE: Perry Broad worked hard on the course and shot well on day 1, not so much on day 2
RIGHT: Team Yorkshire take part, but they have to bring the tea
BELOW: Team Air Arms took the victory in the team event
ABOVE: Gone fishin’ - Tom, Steve and Neil relax after the morning shoot