Vive le World FITASC!
The 2018 championship took place at BTC St Lambert near Reims in France. Conditions saw light winds and very high temperatures into the 30s, which made the event hard work for those competing, and even more so for the referees. Nearly 1,100 shooters tackled the eight Patrick Russo-designed 25-bird layouts amidst the stunning French countryside.
The layouts were spread over a wide area, with B&P, Beretta and Blaser being closest to the shooters’ village while Gamebore was a 10-minute walk. The other layouts required use of the mini bus transport that ran all day long at regular intervals, and this aspect of the organisation was faultlessly efficient.
Beretta was set among clearings between tall stands of pine trees and had an unusual feature in the form of an all-rabbit peg, which caused a few problems.
Blaser used clearings over sand pits and offered some tricky targets, especially on the last peg where a high tower threw some particularly tasty targets.
B&P was very technical and included a peg on a raised berm, while Gamebore saw some interesting pairs.
Laporte was probably the most varied and saw driven targets on peg one while the next three pegs saw targets thrown at varying distances across quarries under the shooters’ feet.
Hull saw some relatively English targets with big gaps set among woodland, while Krieghoff wasn’t dissimilar though it offered more open country. Finally, Volvo saw pace among trees and it tripped up plenty of shooters.
The vast majority of targets thrown over the eight layouts from the Laporte traps were blaze orange; a few other colours were used, but not a single black target was used and no battues were seen anywhere, which did cause some consternation. However, there was very little that was difficult to see and the course design team had clearly done their homework; each layout was fairly well balanced with something for everyone, as they say, yet there was plenty enough to catch out the unwary or those not concentrating fully.
Smarting after something of a bruising at the World English Sporting, the American contingent were out to make amends and David Radulovich began his title defence well with a 50 straight on
‘Each layout was well balanced with something for everyone, with plenty to catch out the unwary’
day one. However, he was unable to maintain that form and slipped back a little as the days wore on.
Fellow Americans Derrick Mein and Zack Keinbaum shot well, as did Brit Mark Winser, and as the last day dawned all of those men as well as Christophe Auvret, George Digweed and Maxime Morin were in contention to a lesser or greater extent for the win.
Christophe Auvret shot early on and finished on 191 which was a tough act to follow. Only Zach Keinbaum looked likely to challenge him and looked good, but a couple of surprising unforced errors saw him finish tantalisingly close on 190 alongside Morin, while Winser finished 5th as the highest placed Brit.
Zach Keinbaum won the shoot-off to secure the silver, but he must have been disappointed to have once again come so close to winning the title only to fall at the last. Auvret certainly enjoyed the moment and the French joy was increased as their team won the world cup late on the Sunday afternoon.
The team events saw GB take Men’s bronze behind Italy and the USA, while in Ladies, Great Britain managed the silver behind the Americans. Another silver was added in Juniors, once again behind the US with the team bringing home the bronze in SuperVets with the Americans bagging another gold.
Christophe Auvret shot superbly to take the win
The USA vs Europe shoot-off was won by the home team
Mark Winser was the highest placed Brit