As reported by Andre Kunz – Thank you for sharing with us.
The opportunity to travel and compete internationally is a dream of many South African shooters! This July two major sporting clays events, the ICTSF English Sporting World championships, held in Ireland, and the FITASC World Sporting Championships in England a week apart, was all the incentive needed to turn a dream into reality.
First up was the ICTSF English Doubles held just north of Dublin outside the quaint Irish town of Drogheda. The event was held on the Devenish lands, and the Irish organisers did a superb job of setting up a world class event. There were 400 competition targets on offer divided into 100 Sportrap, 100 prelim and 200 Main event. Sportrap is basically Compak Sporting without distance limits on the targets and a menu that follows a 1 single, 1 double on report and 1 simultaneous double per stand format. The targets were set by Olympic Gold medalist and multiple world champion Richard Faulds, who did a fantastic job of testing all levels of shooters. He used the terrain brilliantly and there were many times the South African contingent had
wide eyes remarking, “we have never seen a target like that before”! For example, a looper that completed its entire trajectory below your feet. The toughest stand was a driven pair off a crane on a hill. One mini, one battue, travelling at speed that went over your head at around 40 meters.
The Irish were excellent hosts and went out of their way to make all the visitors feel welcome. I made use of AirBnB to book great accommodation. R2000 for 5 nights including
breakfast in a lovely traditional Irish cottage was a real bargain, but this is where the savings ended! The exchange rate does no favours for holders of Rands, and at R98 a pint, beers were slowly enjoyed after a day on the range.
The Shoot was eventually won by American Derrick Mein who shot terrifically in the super final in front of a large crowd.
After an hour flight from Dublin into London, the next leg of my sporting clays adventure took me to E.J Churchill, which has become the premier sporting clays facility in England and the venue for the 2019 FITASC World Sporting Championship.
The course was divided into four shooting areas of two 25-bird parcours each: Beretta + Hull, Krieghoff + Gamebore, Rizzini +
Perazzi and Browning + Blaser. Shooters were ferried from the E.J. Churchill clubhouse to the shooting areas with people carriers.
The 2019 World Championships had a fair amount of what we in South Africa would consider “long birds”, but the target-setters gave shooters plenty of dome, belly and time to figure out how much to lead the big ones. The main trap used by the course designers was angles, with targets set in wheat fields that offered no depth perception, and tree lines, hedge lines and fence lines all giving contradicting angles to the line of the bird. Every target required respect – there were no gimme targets to be found. There were, however,
rumblings among the more seasoned shooters that there was too much repetition of targets, especially quartering birds.
All in all a fantastic event that was eventually won by Sam Green from England on a superb 189 followed by Richard Faulds who beat David Radulovich to silver after a shootoff.