The Air Arms International 2019

18 June 2019  |  Air Arms

Well, that was a lot of fun. The 2019 Air Arms international was a resounding success with 34 Brits travelling to Ft Schalkhaar near Deventer in Holland to take on the best that Europe had to throw at us.

The event, which is now in its second year is a 30-shot course, set to UKAHFT rules. On arrival at the club there is the customary BBQ and a chance to catch up with friends new and old. As the sun dips behind the horizon, torches are strapped to guns and we head into the woods.

The Night shoot is full of ghosts, ghoulies and people scoring doughnuts, as range finding in the dark is not the easiest of things. The night shoot is all about having fun and is certainly a great way to start the weekend. However, the Dutch have taken this shoot to a new level and on 7 of the targets, you are not allowed to use your torch, these self-illuminating targets are great fun. Not only do they have their own light source, they also have a surprise. Some of the targets are set up with sound effects and if you hit them, they play music and shout at you. If you have never shot a night shoot, then something like this is the perfect introduction.

The following day was the Air Arms International itself, with a brilliant course set by Eric and his team this competition was designed to stretch the shooter to their full capacity. The weather had been threatening to rain all week, but as the start time approached the clouds went away and the sun came out. The international is about friends of all countries getting together and having fun. Luckily, I was teamed up with my good mate Oscar, not only is he one of the top springer shooters in Holland, he also has a stunning beard that I just want to run my hands through, but that’s another story.

For the whole afternoon, all I could see was people enjoying themselves. I could spot all the UK shooters with ease as they were resplendent in their Hawaiian shirts. In 2018 Roy Pearce had worn one and we all got together and thought, what a great idea. Things like this are what this shoot is all about. But, it’s also about shooting and of course, there was the Brexit Trophy to fight for. The Brexit trophy is for control of Europe and it’s decided by taking the top 5 scores from the European shooters against the top 5 from the UK. In 2018 it was won by the Brits, in 2019 however, it was won by Europe. But, in true Brexit style, we have decided that the Europeans did not know what they were shooting for and we want to run the shoot again.

In other classes there were some wonderful results. Tom Van Dokkum retained the Open title. Jonas Fehlhaber took home the Recoiling trophy with a stunning score of 58. Myla Parsons was the winner in the Juniors Class. Heidi Van Ginkle finished 1st place in the Ladies Class. It was some great news for Team air Arms with Team Captain Charles Peal taking 2nd in the Open Class, Jean Greatrex coming 2nd in the Ladies Class, Nick Byre securing top honours in the .22 Class. However, the biggest cheers of the day went to Roy Pearce. Roy is one of our older shooters and the rumours that he was in charge of pest control on Noah’s Ark are true. Roy took 1st place in the Veterans Class with his mighty Pro Target.

The Air Arms international will grow and grow and with the help of clubs like FT Schalkhaar HFT will be alive and well for many years to come.