Cold, wet and windy! More or less sums up the weekend's conditions! Horrible....even for the hard-as-nails Yorkshiremen! But, despite the sneaky gusts which caught most out at times, everyone knuckled down and just went with it.. with some amazing scores too.
Friday kicked off with the Sporting competition. Conditions were perhaps the best of the whole weekend though the gusts still knocked a few off target. Jo Domaschk from Germany and UK's Brian Kelly both scored 247 on their first cards but Brian's 13 10x score wasn't enough to intimidate Jo who took first place by beating Brian by 3 points on card two. Third place was taken by UK shooter Ken Stockham who, in the spirit of sportsmanship, agreed to shoot for the Germans who were one man short in their team. A special mention must go to Giuseppe Russo of Italy who achieved 18 10x which, although it didn't get him a medal, showed the level of accuracy which is achievable, even in difficult conditions.
Saturday was the Light Varmint competition with some pretty astounding shooting. Markus Feldman from Germany only dropped 3 shots overall and shot with amazing accuracy achieving 26 10x scores. Brian Kelly was once again providing stiff competition for the German team but was pipped for a second time, taking the silver medal with 493 and 27 10x. UK shooter Graham Readhead drew with Brian on score but dropped to third place with his lower 10x result of 15.
Competitors for Sunday's Heavy Varmint competition must have looked outside with sinking hearts when they saw how the weather had deteriorated overnight with squally showers, gusty wind and a drop in temperature. All that is, except for the Italians who were not fazed one bit, having learnt to shoot in a very windy Milan without the aid of wind flags. Roberto Giarletta showed everyone how it's done with his amazing 250 and 13 10x score on card 1 and 244 with 13 10x on card two, giving him a well deserved first place. Team mate Luca Antonello was only 1 point behind Roberto with scores of 244 and 13 10x on card 1 and 249 with 14 10x on card 2. Yet again, Brian Kelly did the UK team proud by drawing with Luca, only pushed into third place by his 10x score of 23.
The high scores in less than ideal conditions really showed the talent and dedication of the competitors, all of whom are a credit to their teams and countries. The Club would like to thank everyone who took part and made it such a memorable event. Big thanks also to the range crew for braving the elements and keeping things moving; the catering; scoring; organisation;.... I'm sure everyone would agree that it was a sterling and much appreciated effort all round.
And finally! I think we can truly say that there were some pretty miraculous performances over the weekend but Paddy Boyle from Ireland must have thought the Almighty was definitely on his side when he locked himself out of his caravan which was pitched on-site. Having tried everything short of a sledge hammer to gain entry and stating "we're gonna need a miracle to get this sorted" his prayers were answered as a bright light filled the Club's entrance gate and in drove competitor Colin Rose who just happended to be.......a locksmith!
Thanks to you all, and we look forward to seeing you in 2014.
The Irish Team
"Seeing as I got a promotion to PRO of sorts over some drinks while attending the 4 nations. I guess it falls to me on behalf of the Irish team to say thank you to Portishead Shooting Club for a great few days competitions. The weather sure did separate the men from the boys and the, well, me from me :-)"
"Ken, you were a very attentive host, your RO's and ground staff were great and all the running around that they were doing on our behalves was very much appreciated. The girls that provided the food. Smashing. Kept the morals up no end. Thanks ladies & Paul."
"It was lovely to meet friends from years ago, and to catch up, and to make some new friends. PG it won't be so long next time".
"So from me, Jose Gallardo, John O'Sullivan, Robbie Rafter, Paddy Boyle, Kieran Murphy and Anthony O'Shea. Thank you all."
"Thank's for a very, very good competition and weekend. You have done a perfect job."
"The best thing was to have spent good time between shooters."
"We also would also like to say a big thank you to Ken and the range crew at Portishead. Another great event, the 2nd this year. All very much appreciated." Brian Kelly, UKBR22.
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