The action began on Thursday and it was clear from the early scores that it wasn’t an easy shoot. Richard Faulds led the way on the Blue course with a 90 ahead of John Lee on 89. Out on the Red course it was Aaron Harvey who set the pace with another 90 with Arnie Palmer close behind on 89. Initial feedback from those taking part was that the course was rather “edgy”, and featured a high percentage of quartering and going-away targets.
Friday morning saw a change in wind direction, which led to something akin to chaos out on the course. Stand 8 on the Blue course featured a teal with a tough looper which was thrown
CPSA TAKES CRITICISM ON BOARD The CPSA released a statement which included the following: “We’re sorry so many people found the event didn’t live up to their expectations, and disappointed that it wasn’t the event we would have liked it to have been. We have listened to all the feedback from people who attended… and we will add in more detail to our contracts to specify better facilities, for example, at future events. Paying more attention to shooting the course before the event starts and looking for potential issues will be among the matters that will feature more highly in future preparations. Our events have improved considerably over recent years and we expect to return to that trend with the British Open at West Midlands Shooting Ground at the end of [August].”
from a 60ft tower located outside of the wood. On Thursday the wind meant that, on occasion, it simply never showed itself from behind the trees that were between the cage and the tower, and it had to be altered to compensate at least once. With the wind change the looper was judged to be too dangerous to shoot, despite the best efforts of course setter Clive Bramley, who reportedly spent more than an hour trying to sort the issue.
The jury then made the decision to remove the stand from the event, dropping the total number of targets from 200 to 192. There were more problems yet to come elsewhere on the course; stand 3 on the Blue course was an extremely tough sim pair of low-ish teal. A midi and a standard crossed, making neither of them easy to lock onto quickly, and on Thursday it was estimated that the second of the pair was being taken at about 60 yards, while on Friday with the wind change both were being shot considerably closer with the second target landing just 15 yards or so from the cage, making it far easier than it had been previously. The jury now decided that all shooters over the four days would be awarded a 10-target straight on this stand, but confusingly it would still be shot.
These changes upset some of those who had shot stand 8 very well, while the same story was repeated on stand 3, with some people who had performed well there now being overtaken on the scoreboard by people who had struggled with it, courtesy of the ‘gifted’ 10 straight.
To compensate for these changes the jury also decided that the qualification for the final would now be changed. Out went the ‘top five scores plus ties’ format to be replaced by the top 12 shooters from Thursday/Friday and the top 12 from Saturday/Sunday (plus ties) going forward to a semi-final on Sunday evening, which would decide who would go through to the Super Final. Saturday saw Faulds produce a 93 on Red while Aaron Harvey shot well on the Blue, dropping just four targets. The actual scores versus the adjusted scores now began to blur somewhat.
The two courses were shootable for most people, but there were plenty who described them as being “uninteresting” and “uninspiring”, and this is perhaps illustrated by the analysis above which shows that some commonly used key target types were absent.
George Digweed made what is for him the very unusual move of publicising his feelings via Facebook: “Having shot in a competitive environment for nearly 40 years, I can honestly say that this is the worst event I have ever been to… If I had taken somebody to the event to show them what a World Championship looks like in our sport... I would have been horrified…”
Richard Faulds was also making his feelings known on Friday and posted: “Shot 93 today on the Red... for what it’s worth... Not sure what’s happening to our sport any more.” Sadly there were also several posts from people who hadn’t been to the ground, who in all fairness were unable to speak from an informed point of view. There were undoubtedly some who enjoyed the event and the courses, but when dealing with an appraisal of the shoot the opinion of so many experienced shots must suggest that it was far from being the sport’s finest hour.
The Super Final
James Attwood, Richard Faulds and Sam Green shot superbly to drop just four in the semi-final, and they were joined in the Super Final by Chris Childerhouse, Phil Gray and Aaron Harvey.
The Super Final targets were very good and competition was tight, however it was Richard Faulds who won through with a fine display of shooting, taking the lead early on and maintaining a cushion to the end. James Attwood took second place ahead of Chris Childerhouse. In Veterans, Steve Brightwell took the win ahead of Arnie Palmer, while Aaron Harvey took the Junior title ahead of Josh Bridges. Renae Birgan of Australia took the Ladies win with a margin of five points over Cheryl Hall. Super Vets saw Ian Hallwood take the top step of the podium after winning a shoot-off against Ian Palmer.
In the Team events, England swept all before them, as had been expected. Australia fielded a team in Seniors and took Silver, narrowly edging out Scotland. In the other categories England, Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland and Scotland took part. There were some fantastic individual performances across the board and all those who had the honour of representing their national squads should be applauded.
There were a great many people who worked hard at the event; the referees and the CPSA admin team both had to deal with some rather unhappy people and their sterling efforts should not go overlooked.
‘There were some fantastic individual performances across the board and those who represented their national squads should be applauded’
A wind change on Friday morning upset the running of the whole event
There were some fantastic individual performances
Referees worked hard at the event
Top three: (L-R) James Attwood, Richard Faulds and Chris Childerhouse