Where Now?

No, this is not a geography question it’s much more important than that – as Bill Shankly would say. (No, youngsters, Bill Shankly isn’t a shooter. Look it up!!)
The matter to which I refer is the future of OS shooting in GB. Ray Dixson hosted a meeting after the ladies final at South Wales on this vexed question, with a proposal that the selection procedure be changed. Ray, as one of the OS reps, apparently receives tons of e mails, letters and phone calls about this , and, prudently, doing his job, he put the matter to the shooters.
I think it’s fair to say there’s a major lack of transparency in the system. Jiggery pokery is perhaps too strong but all is not well.
Andrew Austin who is now on the coaching team – (why not me too?) – fought his corner very well. In fact his erudition surprised me and he has obviously been hiding his verbal skills under a very large (should it be heavy) bushel. I should say that Joe Neville was not in attendance. Andy, who has a fine record of achievement, of course came to the programme only lately and, quite rightly, is doing his job within the system. That the system may be flawed is not his fault, but it is now incumbent upon us all to get something back to Ray as to how we, the shooters, think things should proceed. We were landed with the current system, somewhat disingeniously I think, a point that Ray tried to make clear and now, after Beijing, (what’s actually happening out there?) we are told that “everything is up for grabs”.
No point in moaning then folks. It’s up to us all to say what we believe should be happening. There seemed to be a suggestion that we should try and get John Leighton Dyson to come to a meeting and explain more clearly what is going on. That would be a good thing maybe, but we would all need all the published paperwork in our hands prior to that to allow reasoned discussion of the facts to take place.
One of the stories is that, for this European Championships, it’s the first, second and seventh placed junior who are going as the team. Hmmm. Wot’s the selection policy there then chaps?
An interestng point was that Andy said “This is the first year we’ve had a plan”. Now I didn’t pick him up on it, but, can that be true? Surely not!

What’s the point about the vehicle? Easy peasy. It’s an Austin Shooting Brake! Told ya I was clever.

Pinx Plucks Plum

Did I ever tell you that I’m clever? No? Oh well, you are the only one. This alliteration thing is great!!!
So, incidentally is Countess Pinky Le Grelle who won, again, (yawn) at the weekend. This occasion was the latest OS GB selection at South Wales 2000. It wasn’t a great day weather wise but it made no difference to that old (should I say experienced?) sporting shooter Pinky, who shot a 65 and then 21 in a pretty grim final to come out on top with 86. The final was grim because of trap problems, the only ones of the weekend, and the ladies had a tough time.
Other scores were: Sally Bond, 64 + 19 = 83, Nickie Keene (Scotland) 60 + 20 = 80, Sian Bruce (14, from Scotland) 62 + 17 = 79, Kate Brickell, 59 + 19 = 78 and then Nicky Brocklesby 57 + 17 = 74.
I’m also clever as I coach 3 of them (including the winner) in the final so that’s OK for me and I left the range on Saturday evening quite chuffed for the girls.
Sally Bond is improving visibly. For whatever reason her gun mounting is improving noticeably and thus giving her a chance to use her undoubted talent. She’s got a wee crouchy thing she does which doesn’t help but I’m sure the coaches are on the case. As this was also the Welsh Open another medal in the cabinet for the top three can’t be bad.
Sally and Sian are off to sunny Cyprus next week to shoot in the European Championships, in the junior category. GOOD LUCK GIRLS.

Remember this!!!!!!

Doing some work in the lashing rain last week with a couple of talented shooters from Ayrshire, and yakking on, as I do, about gun mounting training, they came up with the greatest phrase ever. I’m actually frightened to use it as big Barry says it’ll cost me a fiver (gasp) every time but, damn it, it’s worth it.What’s the big deal?
Read, learn and digest.
THE MUZZLE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!!!!! This is just too fab for words. Say it again, THE MUZZLE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND – is that a tenner????
Anyway, it’s worth it to me and to all of you. WATCH THE TARGET ALL THE TIME EVERY TIME – and, yes you will see a big difference.
So, keep up the 150 gun mounts every, but, crucially, watch the target, not the end of the barrels.
Thanks Barry and Dave. Keep up the training.

Baby Bruce beats the boys

Sian Bruce, our 14 year old superdooperstar won the North Area Championship at Auchterhouse yesterday with an 86 in stinky conditions, gubbing Drew Christie in the shoot off!!!!! Another fine win for this young lady who has also been selected to shoot for GB in the European Championships in Cyprus next month. There was much drooling over her new skeet vest when it arrived last week as we all want one too!!! If only we could shoot a bit.
Naturally we wish her even more success in the future. WELL DONE SIAN.

Georgios Gets Gold – Cyprus Cruises Confidently

Alliteration, alliteration, don’t ask me about alliteration. Anyway to the matter in hand. Georgios Achilleos from Cyprus managed a reasonable score in Belgrade to win the gold. 149 can’t be bad!!!!! 124 + 25 put him a target up on Benelli, Terras and Sychra all on 148. Benelli shot 20 in the shoot off, Terras, 19 and Sychra 1. Bet he was sick!!!
The competition here was fierce with 122 needed for the final but also, 18 in that shoot off as there were 4 competing for two places. Brovold shot 18, Alrashidi 18 but Mavrommatis and Shomin only 17. Hard going but fine shooting. Wish I’d been there to see it. Just to put thibgs in context as I’ve told you all before, you don’t really have any control of winning. Terras shot 100 straight at one point to shoot 124, 24 in the final and came 3rd. Kinda tough on a boy.

Anyway Cyprus would be jumping with both golds in the skeet. I hope Petr Malek gets a big bonus. He’s doing a marvellous job out there.

Eleftheriou wins – but not easily

Andri Eleftheriou won the ladies OS at Belgrade with a 73 + 21 to make 94. How and ever she then had to shoot off to winn, hitting 5 in the shoot off against the lovely Danka Bartekova who had shot 71 + 23 to be equal on 74 and also Ning Wei who shot 72 + 22. So, a good competition. 69 made the final. Elena Little representing GB shot 66 so a little off the pace.
Yes, I do see that Andri is not wearing her ear muffs!!! It’s a posed photo. Don’t write in!!!!

This young lady probably shoots pretty much every day with Petr Malek watching her so it’s no wonder she’s good.

Keep up the gun mounting – slowly at first to make sure it’s right. Ignore the foresight bead and WATCH THE TARGET.

Grubb Grabs Glory Gleefully

What a fine example of alliteration! What is? The title my friend. My old English lecturer would be quite proud of me.
Yes, you may well ask what am I blethering about and the answer would be the OS shoot at Cluny on Sunday. 20 shooters this time – going up – shot in good conditions with the targets again set by the radar. Young Ben, needing to get back to the ferry, and with a dodgy car, shot quickly and well and probably thought that a 93 would do to scoop honours.
Stuart Ferguson, on the same line thought that another 93would be pretty good but ye anciente campaigner Robbie Grubb (left) rattled in a 25 in his last line for a fine 94 to win the day. A damn fine effort. It’s not the greatest photo of Robbie I confess!!
Again a host of PB’s were achieved. Young Rory shot a 74 – on his 2nd OS shoot so a good effort from a young man who will go places, 92 from Ian Stewart which is less than he can but more than he normally does from one with such perfect technique, 88 from Brian Morris, and in fact Stuart Ferguson’s 93 may fall into that category. I’ll check that one. Andy Coull’s 90 also makes it into that list.
A good day was had by all. It will be many a year since an OS shoot in sunny Scotland had 8 scores of 90 or above. Cluny in general and Robert and Drew in particular are to be commended for their efforts on behalf of the OS shooters.
Keep smiling folks and keep up the good work. Life is indeed wonderful now.

PB’s are the bees knees

We shot at Auchterhouse on Saturday, which is where the home international will be held this year. 18 of us which is a good turnout – and that wasn’t everybody so OS is having a good time in sunny Scotland just now. The targets were set using the radar at 57mph leaving the low house trap and 55mph leaving the high. Seems to be pretty much the norm although at a recent shoot the coaches had them both at 57mph. The shooters say they seem faster abroad but nobody can tell me why. Do they just pump them up and send them further? Not in the rules though and, yes, I do appreciate setting them with a gun isn’t either, but it makes it fair and equal, especially if several ranges are being used. At E. Yorks a few weeks ago all the ranges were different. Is that fair? The comment was made that it made no difference in the past but we are not in the past and have technology to help us.
Was I talking about Auchterhouse? Oh Yes. Stuart Ferguson back from Iraq shot a 92 as did young Ben over to the mainland with the mad islanders for a day or two. John Laurenson was down with a different group of islanders and he shot an 89.

Chris Williamson shot an 84 for a pb so that helps to make the trip worthwhile. Nick Miller shot 78 for a pb, missing a stack on 8 so we’ll work on that this week and make a difference.
PB’s are always good. You may have twigged that the person on the left is not Chris or Nick, but she apparently achieved a personal best somewhere recently (at the belly dancing, not the shooting) and looks a lot better than them – sorry boys!!!!!
I could,of course, have put in a photo of bees knees but it’s not much of a contest is it?????

Ladies Skeet in Suhl

Better follow things up with the Skeet shooters I suppose. Diana Bacosi (left) won the ladies event with a 72 + 23 – 95. The good news for us in the UK is that Elena Little made the final with 70, then shot a 20 to finish in 5th. This may just suit her to sneak along in the background keeping her powder dry and her energy levels up, always thinking about that thing in China later in the year.
Must scoot just now as real work to do.-

More later as lots happening in the skeet world just now.
Maintain your 150 gun mounts a day programme folks it does make a difference.

Pipped at the post.

Notwithstanding the direly sore shoulder, the excruciating tennis elbow, nobody to look after the dogs and the sun blazing down on my pale body, I went to North Ayrshire on Sunday to shoot in the West Area Championship. Armed with such a catalogue of excuses, I could not fail – and didn’t until the last hurdle when Trevor managed to shoot a 25 straight by some miracle and thus equal my score. By this time I was away home and couldn’t thrash him in the shoot off. No hard feelings of course, but the picture above left is the best I could get of a slime ball!!!!!
Well done Trev. The rat also shot 100 straight National skeet the other week too. There must be some small talent in there.