The 2019 BFTA Grand Prix - Round 7

Friday, 19 July 2019  |  Air Arms

The approach to York FTC is flat with nothing to stop any wind from either the Pennines or the North Sea. This makes the landscape ideal for wind turbines and therefore possibly not ideal for FT shooting! But, the turbines blades were still and the plumes from the nearby power station, no doubt making up for the lack of renewable wind power were travelling high into the sky before drifting gently away.

So, the scene was set for another high scoring GP round which tends to add to the pressure especially on positional shots of which there are 10 on a course. The pleasant woodland course prepared by the members of York FTC and NEFTA had a bit of everything for the FT shooter. There were some high shots up in the trees to catch the breeze which gently picked up throughout the day, a selection of tricky shorter-range smaller targets while the standing and kneeling shots struck a good balance in terms of difficulty. One thing in particular struck me and that was a large practice range with plenty of metal and paper targets and is an aspect of competitions that host clubs often neglect.

Red Gallagher provided the GP series with its second clear round of the season, excellent shooting considering the longer nature of many of the targets. Top Air Arms team shooter on the day was Jack Harris with a 48 ex 50. Currently league 1 in the team table is led by Air Arms, but Air Arms have slipped back into 2nd place in league 2. With only two rounds of the GP series to shoot it is going to be the final round that decides the results.

Shooting for the Air Arms FT team is a privilege and brings with it many benefits. But, there is a price to pay and the bill came due at York. Lurking in the undergrowth was a cameraman filming for the Air Arms social media content and the team members were in his sights for interview. Normally relaxed individuals could be seen trying to become as inconspicuous as possible in an effort to avoid being spotted, but really, I had no choice as Captain to step forward and do my bit. Hopefully my interview will make the cutting room floor. However, I don’t mind some of the action shots from the course making it in as at least I hit the targets I was shooting when the camera was trained in my direction! Barely intrusive compared to what many sportsmen have to deal with I know but still we’re really not used to the attention.

The penultimate round of the GP season takes place in picturesque Dorset just before the World Championships, which is now the focus of attention for most of us and judging by the general standard of shooting from everyone this summer the fight for the right to be called World Champion is going to be a hard one.