Brass Monkey Benchrest Competition 9-11 March 2012

What an amazing  weekend for the Brass Monkey shoot at Portishead Shooting Club!  The weather was incredibly kind with glorious sunshine almost constantly throughout the whole 2 days. With 37 competitors from clubs as far afield as Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Sussex, the ranges were busier than they’ve ever been before.  The RCOs were certainly kept fully employed!

Day 1
Carl BoswellSaturday kicked off at 9am with pretty good conditions; near perfect visibility in the warm, spring sunlight, but the variable wind did catch one or two competitors out at times. That said, there were some cracking scores on the outdoor ranges with Carl Boswell shooting a 249 with 9X and Alan Grayson a 247 with 14X in the 50m Light Varmint.  In the .22 Heavy Varmint, Newquay’s Mick Hawken was highest scorer of the day with his 464 and 8X. 

Indoor, the day’s 15 competitors did very well with  Brian Kelly from St Giles stealing the show in the 25 yard Light Varmint with his amazing 500 and 38X which put him in first, and ultimately gold medal position whilst  Ian Mowbray led the way in the 25 yard Heavy Varmint with a score of 499 and 36X.

Out on the air range Colin Renwick shot a total of 487 with 16X in the Air Sporter competition which kept him in first position throughout the 2 days and earned him a gold medal .  Alan Grayson also put in a great score of 495 and 16X in the Air Hunter category.  With only 2 competitors in Saturday’s Unlimited section, Steve Rogers set the pace with his 483 and 12X.

Day 2
Brian KellyCompetitors arriving on Sunday were greeted by calm but foggy conditions which resulted in a 30-minute delay in starting detail 1.  The low-lying cloud was slow to dissipate but by 9.30am the visibility was considered acceptable enough for the competition to start, though conditions were still far from ideal.  As the sun finally broke through, the irritating fog was replaced by an equally irritating gusty breeze.   But, despite the poor starting conditions, there were some great scores from the first detail, with Brian Kelly shooting a 249 with 13x on the 50m Heavy Varmint and Graham Freeman achieving a 243 with 8X on the Unlimited Air competition.  Unfortunately for Graham, Tony Male stormed in and stole the crown with his amazing final score of 497 with 19X, taking the gold, narrowly beating Ron Harding who took the silver with with 493 and 17X.

Tony MaleOn the indoor Sunday’s 7 competitors were all in the Heavy Varmint category and the race was on between Jake Healey, Robb Harrison and Brian Kelly, all of whom scored maximum 500 on their cards with gold medal position being determined by 10Xs achieved. In the end, Brian took it with an incredible 39X.
Back on the Air range and Tony Male was on fine form scoring 497 with 19X, not surprisingly taking first place in the Unlimited competition. Gary Morrison lead Sunday’s Air Hunter category with 482 and 13X but Tony’s superb score on Saturday was always going to be a tough one to beat.  A special mention must go to 12 year old Kerry Wells who gave a commendable performance in her first ever Benchrest Hunter competition, beating her father by 25 points.

JakeHealeyIt was encouraging to see the juniors taking the sport so seriously and competing alongside people with far more experience than them. Thea Bradley who is only 15 was very happy with her scores, taking 3 gold medals in what was her first attempt at competing in the discipline.  Jake Healey also performed brilliantly, winning Silver Medals in the .22 50m Sporter,  .22 25 yard Heavy Varmint and narrowly missing Bronze in the 50m Light and Heavy Varmint competitions.  And not forgetting Achille Boswell who, at the age of 10, has only been shooting benchrest for 3.5 months and achieved 7th position in the 50m Light Varmint, beating a significant number of well-experienced adult shooters.

Jeff VoiseyAll in all, it was a fantastic weekend with some memorable shooting achievements.  When asked about the event, Brian Kelly said it was all “spot on”, whilst Robb Harrison thought it was a "cracking weekend...fab weather, good company, and great food”  Adrian Hasell was pleased to see so many “new faces, particularly the youngsters who have taken up the sport” and it was great to hear Richard Healey comment that he “enjoys Portishead Shooting Club’s events, particularly the friendly atmosphere..”

Ken's birthday cakeA huge thank you to everyone who attended the competition and made it such a great weekend. As always our Club Secretary Ken Stockham and his wife Glen did us proud, organising a fantastic event. We would also like to thank all the range crew who put in so much effort in setting up and keeping things moving smoothly and swiftly throughout the competition; and Pam and Jeff who did a sterling job manning the catering tent, keeping everyone refuelled with an array of hot food, drinks and snacks....and for organising the amazing and very appropriately decorated birthday cake for Ken. And finally, do spare a thought for Rich and Alan, our scorers, who were locked away all weekend marking cards whilst the rest of us enjoyed the gorgeous sunshine.

Thanks to you all, and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.


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Day 1 photos on Facebook

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