2021 Bisley Round 8 – British Championships, final match of the Association calendar

Once again I think we need to start with a couple of really big thankyou’s.

Firstly, to Richie Jones who was obviously feeling well under the weather and in a considerable amount of pain but still managed to organize the whole set up for scoring and Ro duties for the entire competition above and beyond the call of duty and steadfastly refused to go home. Secondly, we need to give thanks to the Artists bar who at relatively short notice came to the rescue with organizing a team dinner and acquitted themselves exceptionally well.

The weather forecast for Friday and the weekend appeared to bode well with no rain forecast.  Friday practice started at 8.30 with a good number of shooters turning up from around the country. It was particularly pleasing to see the Irish contingent in force knowing the hardship and cost it takes to make the journey. For some of the afore mentioned it was a first time to Bisley and the newcomers distinguished themselves with excellent shooting. Liz Charlton certainly had a few of us looking over our shoulders after match 2 at 900 yards accrediting herself very well. People came and went at the various distances, testing guns and ammunition – some worked, others left some to be desired and at least one person found to their horror their barrel was loose.  At this point I would also like to thank everyone attending for abiding by the rules set down from the NRA and keeping their cars off the grass. We almost lost one shooter to hypothermia due to Tom Reynolds not being able to get the boiler in the caravan he rented to work. However, after a little help from Paul Hill all was sorted.

Saturday arrived and the weather gods still seemed to be on our side as the rain held off from darkened skies. Very little movement could be seen on the early morning flags and the conditions made for some very good scores. The starting Distance was 800 yards and FTR was first up to give any F open shooters arriving Saturday morning a chance to do an HME. In FTR it was extremely close with the top two shooters both going clean and David C W Lloyd just pipping Carrie Ryan by one V Bull with Dan Lomas finishing a strong 3rd with 74 but a V count of 12.

F open also had favorable conditions for the first shoot and this was borne out by the top 3 scores all going clean with the familiar name of Gary Costello, who has had a tremendous year, sealing 3rd place however top honors went to Gordon Waugh with 13 V’s knocking Dehane Cownley into second with a very creditable 11 V’s.

We moved back to 900 yards for match 2 and the weather was still on our side to the effect their was no rain however conditions down range were seeing some subtle but measurable changes which were now catching quite a few competitors out and resulted in no clear round in FTR or F Open but there were some incredible scores for the few who got a grasp of the conditions.  FTR were first away  and top honors this time went to Ewen Campbell 73.06v with the ever present Adam Bagnall, who has also had an incredible year, alongside wife Julie, who I would not dare leave out without a mention, coming 2nd with 73.03v followed closely in 3rd by Ian Chenery 72.04v. F Open also felt the repercussions of the changing wind conditions but it was nice to see Des Parr back in the hunt having ditched the bi pod and reverted to a full rest finishing in 3rd place with 72.07v then the star of the Irish contingency Liz Charlton coming second with 73.03v. This was Liz’s first time at Bisley and she normally only shoots short range but certainly got the hang of 900 yards. First place went to Martin Miles with a well fought for 73.05v It was noticed by the end of the 900-yard shoot there were quite a few people making their way back to 1000 yards wondering what on earth happened to create the train wreck which had just unfolded.

1000 yards produced renewed optimism. Many comments being made to the effect that it would all be won and lost here. The wind still looked very similar to the previous detail with the flags still not giving away too much detail of the changes we were about to witness pushing some shooters out to 3 and in a few cases even worse. FTR set the pace with our stalwart Asad Wahid securing 3rd place with 89.04v, second place went to Carrie Ryan, who has also had a fantastic season taking many honors along the way, with a 90.03v and just being pipped by Dean Wallace who also scored 90.03 but won on countback. F Open saw several scores breaking the 90 barrier but the top spots were attained by Lance Vinall in 3rd place with 93.03v, Philip Sammons in 2nd with 94.06 and Tom Bindley first with a fantastic 95.09v The first days shooting drew to a close with some ecstatic and others licking their wounds and wandering off to watering holes to dull the pain. The days scores were added up for the grand aggregate for Saturday and unsurprisingly those who managed consistency and avoided the bad wind calls shone through in FTR 1st place went to Carrie Ryan 2nd place went to Adam Bagnall and 3rd was Asad Wahid. In F Open 1st went to Philip Sammons 2nd Tom Bindley and 3rd Dehane Cownley.

The evening saw many shooters attend the Artists Bar for a Competitors meal similarly to ones held in the past in The Blair Atholl Arms Baronial Hall. The Artists bar may not be the Atholl Arms baronial hall, but it is steeped in just as much history if not more so and makes for a very interesting venue with its numerous pictures and artefacts. We were treated to a fantastic hot buffet consisting of various curries and lasagne for those who prefer something less spicy. Upon production of a ticket a complimentary drink could be had to help down the various desserts on offer. May I take this opportunity once again on behalf of the Association to thank all the staff at the Artists for the excellent service provided.

Sat match 1 800 yardsF open 3rd Gary Costello 75.10F open 2nd Dehane Cownley 75.11F open 1st Gordon Waugh 75.13
Sat Match 2 900 yardsF open 3rd Des Parr 72.07F open 2nd Liz Charlton 73.03F open 1st Martin Miles 73.05
Sat Match 3 1000 yardsF open 3rd Lance Vinall 93.03F open 2nd Phillip Sammons 94.06F open 1st Tom Bindley 95.09
Sat AggF open 3rd Dehane Cownley 236.19F open 2nd Tom Bindley 237.23F open 1st Phillip Sammons 239.17
Sat match 1 800 yardsFtr 3rd Dan Lomas 74.12Ftr 2nd Carrie Ryan 90.03Ftr 1st David C W Lloyd 75.09
Sat match 2 900 yardsFtr 3rd Ian Chennery 72.04Ftr 2nd Adam Bagnall 73.03Ftr 1st Ewen Campbell 73.06
Sat match 3 1000 yardsFtr 3rd Asad Wahid 89.04Ftr 2nd Carrie Ryan 90.03Ftr 1st Dean Wallace 90.03 (CB)
Sat AggFtr 3rd Asad Wahid 231.15  Ftr 2nd Adam Bagnall 236.13Ftr 1st Carrie Ryan 236.14

Sunday morning saw us on the range bright and early and the one constant was Richie Jones still feeling unwell and obviously in a great deal of pain but once again insistent, soldiering on whilst telling people to stop fussing! Two others who were not looking too perky were David Raybould and Dehane Cownley but that had connotations of a late night in the Artists.

What was the day to hold in store? Would the previous days shooters reign triumphant or would all the previous days gains be lost to the wind gods? The rain still held off and the shooting began. F Open were first on the point in conditions which looked rather benign little did we realise that match 5 for most of us would be the match from hell and 2 stalking horses in F Open were going to storm up on the rails and even by his own admission a certain FTR shooter who had just about ruled himself out mentioning no names, but he resides from Norfolk would come with a late surge to clinch honors.

Match 4 F Open 1000 yards top 3 shooters were 3rd place Neil Gould 72.07v on count back 2nd place Tony Price 73.07v and then the first of the stalking horses Gianfranco Zanoni with a very impressive 74.11v

Match 4 FTR 1000 yards top 3 shooters 3rd place Robert Hale 70.06v 2nd place Adam Williams 71.04v and 1st place to the un-seemingly unstoppable Carrie Ryan 72.05v

Match 5. So far so good for many of the shooters with everything still to play for however as the detail from hell exits stage left the horses of the Apocalypse arrive on stage ( ok, you might think that dramatic but if you were there you know what I mean!!)  to kick a fair few who up until now had been in contention. It was vey noticeable that a shot taken in seemingly the same conditions as the last one which gained a 5 or better was suddenly in the 2 and on this pattern went. F Open take their turn to shoot and the next stalking horse appears in the now familiar format of leave it to last minute .com European winner Tony Marsh. Tony gave the whole field a masterclass in wind reading to come 1st with a remarkable 96.06v followed by the most consistent F open shooter of Sunday Gianfranco Zanoni with 93.07v. and I managed 3rd place with 93.05v. Walking back to the car I had to spare a thought for a couple of shooters who had seen top 5 placings obliterated in 1 detail and were reeling in disbelief. Martin Scrivens looked very reminiscent of John Cleese in one of his Fawlty towers sketches bunny hopping of the range with his head between his knees muttering train wreck and Paul Harkins could barely get his bottom jaw off the ground.  It was now FTR s turn to face the Bisley beast conditions. With a lower BC it was to prove extremely tricky. Three very impressive scores were going to clinch the top spots with only 2 vs separating David C W Lloyd in 3rd place 88.03v Celt Ridout second 88.05v and still ringing in my ears the comment,”The best shooters in the league will win this one and I don’t consider myself one of them”, Simon West takes it by 2 clear points and a fantastic 90.05v.

The Sunday aggregates went with consistency as to be expected in F open I managed 3rd place with Tony Marsh in second and an excellent Showing Gianfranco taking 1st with an impressive v bull count.R

In Ftr Sunday aggregate the ever-present Asad Wahid took 3rd Carrie Ryan was 2nd   with 4 more vs with Simon West in 1st place with 3 clear points.

Competion winners for round 8.

F open 3rd place Tom Bindley 2nd place Gianfranco Zanoni 1st place Tony Marsh in a very tight competition with the top three only separated by 3 points.

FTT 3rd place Asad Wahid 2nd place Carrie Ryan 1st place Simon west also a very close-run result with only 1 point separating the top two competitors

Sun Match 4 1000 yardsF open 3rd Neil Gould 72.07 (CB)F open 2nd Tony Price 73.07F open 1st Gianfranco Zanoni 74.11
Sun Match 5 1000 yardsF open 3rd Paul Sandie 93.05 (CB)F open 2nd Gianfranco Zanoni 93.07F open 1st Tony Marsh 96.06
Sun AggF open 3rd Paul Sandie 165.10  F open 2nd Tony Marsh 167.09F open 1st Gianfranco Zanoni 167.18
Grand Agg round 8F open 3rd place Tom Bindley 397.28F open 2nd  Gianfranco Zanoni 398.30F open 1st Tony Marsh 399.30
Sun Match 4 1000 yardsFtr 3rd  place Robert Hale 70.06Ftr 2nd place Adam Williams 71.04Ftr 1st place Carrie Ryan 72.05
Sun Match 5 1000 yardsFtr 3rd place David C W Lloyd 88.03Ftr 2nd place Celt Ridout 88.05Ftr 1st place Simon West 90.05
Sun AggFtr 3rd place David C W Lloyd 155.04Ftr 2nd place Celt Ridout 155.08Ftr 1st place Simon West 158.08
Grand Agg round 8Ftr 3rd place Asad Wahid 383.19Ftr 2nd place Carrie Ryan 385.23Ftr 1st place Simon West 386.25

This would conclude the 2021 league championships and all that was left to do was the presentation for the winners in each category. This has been a very demanding year for many reasons not least coping with covid and all the problems it brought i.e. travel, isolating and the list goes on.

We will start with F Open because what Gary has achieved can only be described as outstanding.  He started the year in a manner in which he was going to carry on with, (Win everything which was put before him right up to the Europeans). With 4 straight wins it was full points and he couldn’t be caught setting the record for most league wins of 4, a fantastic achievement I think we will all agree.

Not to be outdone in FTR Adam Bagnall set his own bit of history finishing with 76 points and holding the record for 3 FTR league wins.

So guys you do realise everyone will have you in their sights for next season (metaphorically speaking) and with the likes of Carrie Ryan Tony Marsh Paul Sandie Simon West David Rollafson Tom Reynolds et al bearing down on you it should make for a very interesting season.

The 2021 GBFC season final league positions after round 8In no particular order of discipline

1stAdam Bagnall76
2ndCarrie Ryan70
3rdDavid Rollafson63
4thSimon West60
5thPeter Dommett57
6thSimon Gambling49
7thDean Wallace48
8thDan Lomas47
9thMatt Jarram46
10thPaul Crosbie45
PositionF openScore
1stGary Costello80
2ndPaul Sandie74
3rdTony Marsh71
4thTom Reynolds69
5thPaul Harkins67
6thLance Vinall47
7thHugh Inglis46 (CB)
8thIan Bellis46
9thPat Allen43
10thDes Parr39

We then moved on to the GBFC bonus prize draw and the winners were as folows

#1Neil GrovesRound 1 -Bisley Short range (April)
#2Tony MarshRound 2-Diggle Long range (May)
#3Rob HaleRound 3-Northern championships Diggle (June)
#4Gordon WaughRound 4-Mik Maks Long range challenge Bisley (July)
#5Martin TownsendRound 5-Scottish open championships Blair Atholl (Aug)
#6Celt RidoutRound 6-The Euros Bisley (Sept)
#7Niki GrovesRound 7-Highland Chalenge Blair Atholl (Oct)
#8Peter DommettRound 8-British Championships Bisley (Nov)

OK if you have not fallen to sleep by now and are still with me you will be pleased to know I am nearly through with the write up. I would like on behalf of myself and the Committee like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy New Year and look forward to seeing you all on the range next year.


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