Elena Allen on the 3rd Round British Shooting Shotgun Series at Beverley

Thank you so much to Elena Allen for her wonderful blog about her experience shooting at Beverley for the 3rd round of the British Shooting Shotgun Series. 

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Elena Allen on the 3rd Round British Shooting Shotgun Series at Beverley
When I was asked to do a little write up about one of the Olympic skeet competitions, I just expected it to be like any other shoot.  But 3 days before the start of the match I received an email from British Shooting, who now organise the British Shooting Shotgun Series, to say that there had been problems at Beverley CTC which they have been unable to resolve, and with our competition due to take place on Saturday and Sunday, there would now be no shooting on Sunday.  A number of options were looked at and finally it was decided not to cancel the competition but to compress it into one day.  We would now shoot 125 targets, 5 rounds in one day followed by the finals.
So come Saturday, we started shooting at 9am using 4 layouts which were certainly needed to get everyone through in one day.  My first round was on C layout, which turned out to be a very challenging one as the high bird was set rather slow, travelling no more than 58m as opposed to the regulation 66-68m.  You would normally expect it to take anywhere between 1.6 and 1.7 secs to cross the range and when targets are set fast it would be about 1.5secs so 2 seconds to cross the range was a little different.  I shot a 22/25 on my first round and 45 minutes later it was all go for the 2nd round; I shot another 22 but the targets were so much nicer and better balanced on D layout.  The day was going rather quickly with only 45 min between each round which was eaten into by refereeing duties on alternative rounds. 
My third round was on A layout which was also set up nicely and this time I managed to shoot a straight, 25/25.  We were getting into a nice rhythm now, on then off then on and off again.  There was little time for anything but shooting.  B layout was next which had a slightly difficult high house background with some trees growing right next to the high tower making visibility on stations 2 & 3 that little bit tricky.  I didn’t get caught out here but it was tricky nonetheless.  I put in a solid 24/25 here and a short time later we were back on dreaded C layout.  It was hard going particularly with timing on low target doubles being off.  Having shot the low target first you were ‘hanging around’ waiting for the high bird to appear.  It was hard work shooting here but I put in a solid 23/25; being a bit unlucky on one of the pairs which dived but I didn’t get down to it.  So I finished with a score of 116/125 which was just one target short of the leading ladies score of 117. 
With the current rules, you just need a top 6 score to get into a final where all score go back down to zero.  Shooting starts from scratch but this time round instead of shooting rounds, we only shoot regular and reverse pairs on stations 3, 4 & 5 and we just keep going round with the lowest scoring shooters starting to drop out after 20 targets.  We were back on layout C for the final but this time round the targets were reset and a little more pace was put on the high target which improved its balance but didn’t stop it from curling once it crossed the centre peg.  Challenging targets again.  To be honest I can’t remember too much about the final as I must have started to flag a bit with it being such a long day.  I was struggling on one of the stations in the final although I finally worked out what to do by the time it came to my last rotation but by this stage I was too far behind to catch up with the two leading shooters.  I ended up in the bronze medal position and shot another qualifying score for the GB selection. 
I have to say that I actually really liked this one-day format.  Everything went quickly, there was little time for anything but shooting.  It helped that we had good weather although it was not hot like it’s been over the last few weeks so the weather was great all considered.  It was nice to see all the improvement work around Beverley CTC.  I am actually a life member of the club as it was once was, so it would be nice to see members taking control of the ground once again.


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