Roger Lait leads the GB team on a long, hot march to the firing point – and a worthy third place at the World HFT Championships.
We came, we saw, we sadly did not conquer – but what a brilliant time we all had. As ever, the travel to and from Poland was fantastic and easy as pie.
Lots of people don’t think it’s easy taking airguns through airports, but I am here to say otherwise. As long as you follow a few rules, you will have an easy transit.
Make sure your PCP airgun has little to no air in it. Make sure it’s in a hard case, and make sure the hard case is lockable with a padlock. If you do all that, then I am sure you will have an easy time. Anyway, back to our World Championship endeavours.
We left Luton Airport full of the joys and ready for action. Well, most of us were ready for action – I was more concerned about all the plans ahead. We landed in Poland, jumped into our hire van and off we went to the hotel. The roads in Poland are amazing and took no time to get there.
Saying that, they don’t half move on those roads – it’s like everyone is being chased! We narrowly avoided what could have been a massive collision by inches. That woke us all up, I can tell you! But you don’t want to hear about that – you want to hear about the shooting and the grounds and all that stuff.
The grounds where the competition was held were incredible. Set in beautiful woodland in a place called Kalety, the woods were huge. Sadly, the walk from the plinking range to the woods was also huge, and to be honest it nearly killed me.
Was it ever hot? Was it ever a long way carrying my gun bag in that heat? We worked out that it was about a mile walk. When you get to my age (23), you know you have had a walk!
So onto the course. It was a 40-shot course as well. It took an age to get to, but we were happily greeted with a tricky little number. Targets were out in the open, but not high up trees, which I was surprised about.
Most of them were at eye-level, which, for some, made it easy work. Not so much for me. Day One was shocking for me, but Day Two was far better.
The team shot really well, and we managed third place. Yes, yes I can count! The Polish beat us, with the Czechs a very good second. Third place is what we did, and to be honest I am proud of that.
The WHFTO World HFT Championships are certainly gaining strength now with 18 countries on board, and with many more coming on it seems it’s all going the right way.
I am lucky enough to be able to do a bit of travelling and have been to Poland a few times now. Every single time I have been there I have had the best time, and I am happy to say this was no exception.
Great fun, great people and a very, very well-run competition. Roll on next year for the 2020 World HFT Championships!