The 2019 BFTA Grand Prix – Rounds 3 & 4
1 CommentTuesday, 11 June 2019 | Air Arms
Whilst being part of a league each round of the BFTA prix normally stands alone as an event. This year however, due to calendar constraints and a desire to try new formats rounds 3 and 4 were held one after the other over the Bank Holiday weekend, giving a feel of one big event. This approach has both its supporters and critics, but that’s business for the internet forums.
The two hosting venues for these rounds were Welsh clubs Tondu and Oaktree. Both on one another’s doorstep therefore making ideal companions for this type of weekend, what perhaps wasn’t ideal was the Welsh weather. During the approach into Wales the weather was fine, looking good for shooting outdoors all day. Unfortunately, further west we travelled the worse the weather became with low cloud and rain. Now, this is fine when you’re in a car, but the shooters in the morning session were already on the course and getting wet, very wet.
Ordinarily this isn’t too much of an issue, but when you’re due to shoot the next day and your staying at a hotel overnight it doesn’t give much of an opportunity for kit to be dried out. The day did improve and the afternoon session saw the rain stop and cloud lift with a better opportunity of a higher score. Tondu was the venue of this soggy round 3, and unfortunately, we’ll remember the rain rather than the enjoyable course laid on for us. The Air Arms ‘A’ team had a great day with Andy Calpin heading up the entire field with a score 44ex50 to become Welsh Open Champion. Ian Stoddart and Jonathan Noon also put in notable scores for the Air Arms teams with 41 and 40 respectively.
Oaktree sits at what seems to be the top of the world with glorious views towards the South Wales coast; a view in complete contrast to that of the day before. The wind was the meteorological feature of this round which baffled me throughout the full 360 degrees that the course covered. As well as every direction we also had both downhill and uphill shots to contend with and the course was an excellent challenge.
Scores at Oaktree were again lower than would normally be expected at a Grand Prix. Top score of the day was 45. Jack Harris flew the Air Arms team flag managing 44 and 3rd place overall. In ‘A’ grade team member Dean Burfoot managed to secure second place with a respectable 39.
After four rounds Air Arms have teams at the top of both team leagues. It’s the best position to be in, but the lead is precarious and no one can afford to relax just yet.