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Friday was a long day. We left home at 5am and arrived at hotel in Barceleos at 7pm.
Hotel very nice with an excellent restaurant. Martin was very taken by the menu which offered "roasted Kid" either as a full dose, or half!
We got talking to Portuguese family on the next table - turns out they have lived in Watford for the last 20 years, and they gave us an introduction to a traditional Portuguese dish!!
Lazy start to the day - breakfast in the 4th floor dining area, with lovely views from terrace (photo).
Visited the range - about a 10 minute drive from hotel. They are still setting everything up and not many people about but did meet up with some old friends. Photos of range and one of pistol range from terrace of the bar.
A fellow shooter from the Netherlands showed us a "supermarket" near the range - more of a village shop that seemed to sell everything - except WD40!! Got cheap buckets for 3euros!
Eventually found a bigger supermarket in Barceleos and stocked up on usual supplies - fruit, water., crisps , soft drinks etc.
Now off for a wander ......
Practice Days - normally 2 days are assigned for practice, one day for flint one for percussion.
First job of the day is for the Team Captain to locate the powder and shot - which she did in record time. Then everyone loads phials etc ready for first practice - one team member per range.
Everything was going fine, weather overcast and quite cool. Clays unpredictable, some high low, some going left and right!! The wind seemed to have quite an effect on them as well.
Practice limited to a maximum of an hour per person - once our shooters had finished and they were happy with the range, they moved off the range for the next GB Team member.
I managed to practice on Range 2, then the refs had a lunch break!!
Clouds were getting blacker and the wind started to gust. Down came the rain - fine rain but lots of it, and horizontal!!!! The wind was gusting up to 60 km hour - there were 4 of us who had only shot one range, myself and Dave included! We all decided to give the second range a miss that day!!!! The Dutch carried on though!!
At 3.30 it was Gun Scrutiny - TEAM GB had an hour slot to take your guns and they are checked to make sure they are " in the spirit of the original " with no modifications. All our guns passed ok.
As the rain was still pelting down we cleaned the guns ( those that had not done so already) some making use of the Clubs steam cleaners!!
We spent the evening in the hotel restaurant. Another excellent meal - martin had a mountain of sautéed prawns - these massive prawns were still in shells and smothered in garlic and butter. He must have had about 20 if these - half a kilo) with chips and salad for 12 euros!!
Getting ready for opening ceremony so will catch up on day 4 later!!
It's all go here!!
Much better day weather wise for second day of practice!!
Not having shot on Range 1 with my percussion I made the decision to forgo my flint practice and concentrate on percussion. I found range 1 quite difficult - I need to remember not to start too close to the trap!!!
Everyone else seemed happy with their practice - but as we know, the clays may be very different!!
After cleaning the guns, we returned to the hotel to get ready for the Opening Ceremony, which started at 5.30. This is somewhat earlier than usual - and great for us as only a 5 minute from the hotel.
The Opening Ceremony tends to follow the same routine - a march through the town to a square, lots of speeches by dignitaries followed by gun fire from re-enactors, finished off with a very loud cannon.
This year was different. We marched to the square, were ushered into a very nice auditorium, sat down in nice comfy seats - listened to several speeches followed by traditional Portuguese music / singing!! Very different!!
Once the competition was announced as Open, our team retired to the restaurant where Martin had yet another large plate of those very garlicy prawns .....!!!!!
Scores so far!!
The 'original flint' comp started yesterday with Dave shooting 17 and Bev 20. The second rounds were abandoned half way through Dave's detail due to trap problems!! Also very frustrating time with microphone problems. The second rounds have just started and they are hoping for a team medal. Martin shot a 39 in 'flint repro' comp this morning and is now in a 3 man tie for one of the top 3 places on Friday! Very good!! I shot 27 - which is good for me!! Allan shot 25.
STOP PRESS... Bev has won individual silver for 'original flintlock'.... With 40...
FOOTNOTE: for those of you who are not 'UP' on the system - you shoot 50 birds in total - 2 rounds of 25 birds.
First squads started at 9am. Top scores being 24 from the Spaniards, and 21 from Jane (Part of the GB 3 man team with Martin and Dave ) - 21 also from Chris (GB). Martin, Bev, Dave and I shot next on the other range with Martin and I both shooting 22, Bev 19 and Dave 18. After a short break we were off again for the second round of 25 clays. The total score to beat was 46, shot by the Spaniard. Unfortunately it was not to be - Martin shot another 22 (should have been 23 but concentration so intense shot off wrong stand...... So a lost bird!! ) to finish on 44. Bev shot well with a 23 to finish on 42, Dave 22 totalling 40 and myself 18 for a nice 40 as well.
Friday, the Shoot Off Day
Friday night was when they presented all medals except the percussion team one (due to a big cock up in the admin office).
GB Team had 2 shoot offs - and all GB shooters involved were Anglian Muzzle Loaders!!
Martin was first - he was in a 3-way tie for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place after all had shot a score of 39 in the Repro Flintlock competition (called Manton Repro in comp). The other 2 competitors were from Germany. In a shoot off, you shoot a target each from stand one to five, and if all equal, then you continue with "sudden death"!!
It was an exciting shoot off, with Martin going first and dropped the first target out, followed by the two Germans who both dropped targets on peg 3. As all equal with a score of 4/5, they continued, starting from peg one again, which they all smashed.
On peg 2, when Martin got on the stand, there was a trap malfunction, followed by a delay of about 5 to 10 minutes while they sorted this out. Martin cleared his gun. Once the problem was fixed, Martin started his process again, reloaded and went out to shoot from peg 2. He missed. The 2 other competitors broke their targets and that then placed Martin in third, the bronze medal. A result that he is extremely pleased with as this was his first international medal using a flintlock!
Next up was Dave and myself, shooting for 5th and 6th place having both shot 40 in the percussion (called Lorenzoni in the comp). Although not my highest international score, this was my highest ranking position, and as the medal ceremony presents to 6th position, I was going to be presented with my certificate on the stage with the others - now it was a question of which place!! I would also like to add that over the past 4 years or so, ever since I saw Dave's mental preparation in a shoot off in Finland, he has been my "shoot off" coach and mentor! This caused much amusement and ribbing, mainly towards Dave, amongst our team!
I was the first to go - and smashed the first target out!! Have some of that, I thought to myself! Dave looked up! This could be tougher than he had initially thought. Dave walked to stand one broke his target well. Then on to the second peg, I was nervous but oddly felt amazingly calm, even though there was an absolute crisp silence across the range from the groups of spectators gathered behind me.
Sadly, this target got away from me! "Oh no, I have let him in......" I was disappointed to drop a clay so soon! But not deterred, I felt this probably added to his pressure more so than mine, particularly as the middle peg was next and Dave had not had a great success rate with this clay on range one.
Dave smashed his second clay cleanly, as did I from the middle peg. However Dave's professionalism and experience showed through as he then went on to shoot all 5 stands straight, with me scoring 3/5 after dropping peg 4. The whole shoot off was a great experience for me, and one which I will always remember and build on in the future.
And finally the results...
GB SHOTGUN RESULTS (places 1 to 6). The full results are available on the Portuguese web site www.fptiro.net - click on the event using the names as below.
LORENZONI (Original Percussion)
Silver - Martin Crix
Bronze - Bev Keeble
4th - Jane Capewell
5th - Dave Elvin
6th - Clare Mills
BATESVILLE (Percussion Team 3-man)
GOLD - Great Britain
Martin Crix, Jane Capewell, Dave Elvin
MANTON ORIGINAL (Flintlock)
Silver - Bev Keeble
4th - Dave Elvin
5th - Chris Hobbs
HAWKER (Flintlock Team 3- man)
Bronze - Great Britain
Bev Keeble, Dave Elvin, Chris Hobbs
Clare - over and out!
16th European Zone Championship
Dick leading prayers at the airport...
Seriously Bev it's just like a big bird - but it dont flap its wings!
View from the the 4th floor dining area
This is where all the action will be taking place - the calm before the proverbial...
The menu offered "roasted Kid" either as a full dose, or half!
Day 3 - Loading up for practice...
Day 3 - Scrutiny...
Day 3 - A Spanish gentleman, Martin and Dick...
Day 3 - Dick practicing...
Day 3 - Martin practicing...
DAY 4 - Bev in action
DAY 4 - A very happy Martin.
DAY 4 - Garlic? Prawns? How very dare they!
DAY 4 - Traditional Portuguese music / singing!! Very different!!
DAY 4 - The teams parading to the town square.
DAY 4 - Martin and Bev look very smart - looks like they've got a bit of sun!
DAY 4 - Martin putting his nice new bag in the 'battle bus'
DAY 4 - Why do I get all the good jobs?
DAY 5 - Bev on centre peg!
DAY 5 - Dave's ice cream dessert!!!
DAY 5 - Medal ceremony.
DAY 5 - Results of flint repro. (Click on image for readable version)
DAY 5 - Teams (Flint)
DAY 5 - The Teams (Percusion)
DAY 6 - Relaxing walk around the local market...
DAY 6 - Original percussion - Silver for Martin - Bronze for Bev. GB Team 5/6 Rostrum places with 4/6 Anglian members! (Click on image for readable version)
DAY 6 - Team Bronze - Bev's now won 3 medals.
DAY 7 - Martin and Bev with the first medals of the competition.
DAY 7 - Bev with his haul of three medals - one silver and two bronze.
DAY 7 - Presentation time... My certificate for 6th place....
DAY 7 - He's got them all on prawns now.......
DAY 7 - for goodness sake.........
DAY 7 - Everywhere you go in Barcelos you see these cockerels!!
And in the end... - The mighty GB Percussion Team - Dave, Martin and Jane
The Anglian Muzzle Loaders contingent - Portugul 2015
After a tense shoot off... and still speaking to each other.
Question time... - did dave hit the clay?
Stupid Question... - of course he did!
Medal Line up for Percussion Competition - Who's the party pooper in the middle?
And finally... the entire Shotgun Team Portugal 2015