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Southdown GC - 3rd March 2012

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(Full Southdown review to go on the main site tomorrow)

Decent drive down the A24 - no traffic, and a bright but grey morning for our first foray into FITASC at SouthDown GC. After finding the club (it's on the other side of the dual carriageway - avoid the crematorium which my GPS wanted a trip to) we headed up the farm track to the very busy car park.

My first attempt at FITASC was actually the fourth in the Southdown Winter Series - so the car park was busy and the club house buzzing as we signed on. After a decent spot of breakfast (thumbs up for an amazing cup of coffee and some decent bacon rolls) we headed out to the first parcours of the day - in fairly torrential rain. Boots, Coats, Umbrellas etc - all being deployed.

We were a 7 man squad - and we shot 'Field' first - with some lovely targets including some blistering midi crossers off a cherry-picker and a couple of screaming battues in the face of a stiff wind. Rain stopped and whilst we had a lot of mud we had the chance to dry out, so we headed back for a quick break and warm up... we didn't see any more rain all day - although weather was gusty.

Second parcours was 'Platform' with a distant rabbit that sticks in my mind as well as a couple of lovely edgy crossers off the deck that tested all of us. We took a quick break for coffee and refuel before shooting 'Well' which provided me with my stiffest test of the day - a midi from a low tower that I didn't get near with either barrel, or during the doubles that followed, and then on the third peg - a brutal Chondel and a couple of blaze crossers which suited the skeeters but did for me!

After a quick lunch and a good chinwag - we got taxied across to the 'Valley' parcours for our final test of day. A very different terrain, with no trees but the sides of the valley channelling some stiff breezes into us. We had some quick crossers and battues out here - and then a final peg that had us shooting into the sun for a few birds including a distant r/l midi and a quick rabbit that needed some respect.

So - all-in-all - a fantastic first FITASC experience - we had a great squad, lots of laughs and the pace of shooting really suited me, very relaxing. No outrageous targets, but some testing shots that needed to be thought about and some pairs that required really good concentration. I think a few of us were FITASC virgins before today, we didn't fall foul of any rules, and the general consensus was that we would all be back for more as soon as we could.

Southdown staff were amazing - very friendly and welcoming - and the referees we saw on each of the parcours were friendly, efficient and completely accurate - scores were back in the clubhouse quickly and clearly displayed for everyone.

Personally - I scored 16/20/11/17 for a 64ex100 for the day - which I'm pretty pleased with given the new format and shooting the whole day gun down for the first time. Special mention to Bob_P who was ON FIRE with a 77, my driving partner GavB who pipped me on 65 and SkiChel who led the way for ShootClay with an epic 87. Was great to meet Dab (66), SkiChel (sorry about the footie score!) and Mark for the first time as well

A fantastic learning experience - and one that has me itching to go back next week and some more.

The ShootClay Squad scorecard:

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Great report Matt

Southdown is a good ground and great people. a regular ground for me.

From your report you guys had a great time.

I have only ever shot FITASC once, years ago. If you guys do it again I would love to join the squad, if I'm allowed!

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Abso-flipping-lutely - we'll definitely be going back - didn't embarass myself with a poor score and very keen to get back and have another go.

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Abso-flipping-lutely - we'll definitely be going back - didn't embarass myself with a poor score and very keen to get back and have another go.

A 20 on the card was brill if you have not shot FITASC before.

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What a great day, my second ever Fitasc and loved every minute. A great squad of guys, some serious shooting and a lot of fun, I could really get into this :)

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Well shot Matt. That was a good score! What was HG?

CSC3

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Not all scores were in we left.... but there were some high 80's on the board.

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well shot gents ... sounds like it was a good day for you all

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A big thankyou to Matt for the ride and all the squad to what was a thoroughly enjoyable day, even with the cold wet start.. Witnessed some great targets and great shots.

Missed a few skeet type targets that needs working on and more practice on gunmount

Question for all you top Fitasc shooters what do you do to help you improve other than shooting Fitasc comps of course.

Well and truely hooked

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Practic shooting sporting gun down and DON'T RUSH your mount. Remember, slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

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Good one Ed........slow is smooth, smooth is fast.......... :-)

Add that to your mental skills people because that is one that works.

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Thanks Ed

Was definately guilty of that yesterday especially on some of the doubles

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Ed learnt that at an early age, you dont win egg and spoon races without being smooth and not dropping the egg :.:

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I was always told it is better tho have one good shot instead of two crap ones! In relation to singles. Smooth controlled gun mounts is key. When you rush shots you jump targets.

Glen.

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Yep - could definitely see that yesterday, some targets designed to make you 'panic' and rush your mount (shots with a small window, or quick targets going away) - have to remember that advice Ed - slow is smooth, smooth is fast...

I see more dry mounting practice in my future.

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Relly good day , nice to put some faces to name

some good shooting all round , i did not start shooting till the last layout , to much thinking and worrying about gun mount in stead of just shooting

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Those egg and spoons don't win themselves boys....!

Yes as Glen said, one good shot beats two bad ones. Use your first shot at a single in the right spot, then worry about the second if you need it, which if you have done your homework, you won't.

Next time you practice try this- shoot at a going away bird, gun below the line, and try and shoot it as fast as you possibly can. It will be a disaster. Then shoot the same bird but mount at what you feel is half speed. You will be straight on the bird as soon as the gun hits the shoulder and you just need to pull the trigger. Now notice where the clay breaks.... It's pretty early!

Rushing slows you down as when you rush you get it wrong and have to re adjust.

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I was definitely guilty of rushing yesterday, especially on a couple of the tough simo pairs, and ending up pair lost. Thanks for advice Ed & Glen, now where can I go and practise? :)

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Hey Bob you don't have to go practise on an actual fitasc layout. You can shoot some sporting stands practise wise but gun down. Shoot both targets as singles first gun down then shoot as a double and a simo. Select a few stands on what you fancy doing. I use to do this sometimes. Also practise mounting in the mirror at home or to a point on a wall from gun down position. Will help no end!

Glen.

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Any sporting layout gun down! Or skeet given the trend to throw closer and closer fitasc birds!

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Bob - I'm sure there are a few places we can practice - I was planning some sporting practice next week - but I think I may be distracted by Helice with Nic.

I'm also trying to do 10/15 minutes dry mounting practice each day at home - keeping it slow and smooth. One person told me to practice with the gun from under my arm to slow me down even further... I need to find the right starting position to be 100% happy.

Yesterday was the first time I have shot a whole round gun down, although I probably shot 5 stands out of 10 gun down at Churchills last week (not the straight trappy things down the bottom or the driven) - I will build up to shooting as much as possible gun down so that I can really enjoy the FITASC stuff.

Feels to me like I just need to build the habit, and the muscle memory - over time it will become second nature and I'll be able to choose based on the situation.

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If you get time for a bit of skeet at Bisley in the week, let me know Matt. Otherwise the next Fitasc I have spotted so far is at Hornet on the 18th, I might have to make the effort for that.

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I suppose it was too much to hope my score wouldn't be published! What a pile of Richard.

Nevertheless, a good day out and a good squad. Keith showed us how it should be done but Bob_P will need asbestos gloves soon!

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Thanks for the tips chaps, much appreciated

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Glen and Ed r spot on, gun mount slow but sure Paddy howe showed me this years ago and i still go back to it when i cant hit a target.And it still works?

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