Blackbrook BFTA GP 2019, the final round.

Thursday, 12 September 2019  |  Air Arms

James Osbourne reports on the final round of the 2019 BFTA Grand Prix Series at Blackbrook.

Being the first shoot after the World Championships I’d attended it felt a little strange turning up to shoot the final round of this summer’s BFTA Grand Prix series.  The World Championships was a long weekend of FT shooting related fun and a GP round was never going to be able to replicate that!  Apart from my pride I also had little to play for in terms of league position although I had to support my team members who were competing for both individual and team places.

I’ve shot at this venue a few times now and it’s a great place for shooting but I’ve never really got the measure of it.  Unfortunately, it was going to be the case again for me but I’ll be back there and I will get the hang of the wind.

The day of the shoot turned out to be one of the hottest days of the summer and with part of the course in the open and full glare of the sun we knew it.  Part of the FT game though is dealing with some fairly extreme weather conditions so I have no complaints about the sunshine.  Observers, however, may have been distressed at the sight of a hundred or so shooters sweating in their favourite shooting gear many of who prefer to wear heavy target jackets.

The target distances on the course were fairly tempered compared to some rounds we have shot but the competition was certainly no worse for it and another reminder for course setters that you don’t need to make courses stupidly hard for them to remain challenging and enjoyable for all abilities.  The wind that I couldn’t get a handle on played tricks on most shooters at some point during the day and the baking heat certainly took its toll on the ability to concentrate properly.

Many of the final positions had to be decided on the day including the team competition for which two of the Air Arms teams were in with a shout.  The team competition in both leagues one and two have been close all season and right up to the moment of the presentation we weren’t sure who had taken the top spots.  Air Arms ‘A’ and Air Arms ‘D’ however had done enough on the final day and I have to say I think both teams thoroughly deserved their wins.

The overall Grand Prix champion for 2019 is Mark Bassett who shot a brilliant 48 at Blackbrook to sneak ahead of his nearest rivals including Air Arms megastar Jack Harris. 

There was success for Air Arms team member Steve Privett in the recoiling class with performances over the season that many pcp shooters would be proud of: 

Air Arms family member Tony Fouracres took the honours in the open class, again with a quite stunning set of results over the season:

Other notable results from Air Arms team members include Jonathan Noon, Ian Stoddart and Simon Higgins who finished 4th, 5th and 6th respectively in ‘A’ grade along with Andy Calpin and Dylan Varney who secured top ten positions in ‘AA’ grade. 

Not a bad set of results considering how competitive this competition is over the summer months so I would like to extend my thanks to all the team members for their commitment to the team and also congratulate them on their performance too.