For the first time since Lord Swansea in 1979 a Welshman has won the EVIII Spring Meeting, with Gareth James leading the field with a 426.43 ex 450.90.
With a distinct lack of helicopter-based excitement, all shoots were able to be completed in full, with the wind conditions making for a very challenging weekend for all. Saturday saw Jim McAllister charge ahead with a 215.17; Scottish domination looked likely with Martin Brown just two points behind McAllister, another two points clear of the rest of the field.
Sunday saw improved scores overall partly due to slightly steadier wind but more likely that we all got used to how to read it slightly better! With only one point separating the top three shooters for the Sunday aggregate it fell to V-bulls to separate Gareth James from Nick Tremlett, with the Welshman three V-Bulls ahead on the day with a 217.21.
This sterling effort from James set him up for his overall win, one point ahead of McAllister and three ahead of Baillie-Hamilton. (You could be forgiven for forgetting the competition is called the ‘English’ Eight!)
Mentions should go to Gareth James for the only possible of the weekend with 75.12 at 1000yds on Sunday, David Firth for winning the under 25 trophy and to Jim McAllister for being the only shooter to break 70 at 1200yds on Saturday with a very impressive 71.4; helping him to win the 1200yds aggregate by a clear two points.
The highlight for many may have been seeing the sheer delight on LouLou’s face as she was able to award the Welsh Rifle Association trophy for the overall aggregate to one of her compatriots. With strong scores across the board and a good mix of nationalities at the top end this year’s Elcho should be interesting.
Congratulations to all those who won, and here’s looking forward to the Autumn meeting.