World UT Championships, Spain. (UNIVERSAL TRENCH)

Please see below to read a personal slant on this year's World UT Championship.

The 39th UT World Championships, Malaga

Attending as a non-competitor to a few World UT Championships has led one veteran member of the GB team to qualify me to share with you my experience of the 39th UT World Championships, held at Jarapalo Club de Tiro in Malaga in August this year. As the “WAG” (wife/girlfriend) and number one fan of the 2019 Ychoux Senior Men’s Silver Medallist, David Lloyd, I knew only too well that the swimming cozzies were staying firmly in the suitcase and the tan would resemble that of a white van driver. Over the past few years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know this years’ GB Team of mostly men, a few boys and one lovely lady who had made the arduous journey through COVID vaccination certificate acquisition and post-Brexit airport firearms licence checks to compete in the heat of Alhaurin de la Torre. The individual competitors should also get a mention here as they too made the trip (memorable) and though not donning the GB vest did themselves and our country proud. On a personal note I would like to lend a big THANK YOU to the mini but very mighty Mrs Faux of Fauxdegla Shooting Ground for helping me fend off the other competitors in the opening ceremony queue for the competition goodie/instruction bags. Together we managed to collect all but the juniors’ bags (apart from Leah’s- us girls have to stick together though eh?) in a small effort to make up for the absence of any official management presence. Like a dysfunctional family we supported and looked after each other; maintaining spirits when the rounds were less successful and taking the piss to bring those 25-straights back down to earth.

It was HOT!! From practice to closing ceremony it was relentless. Running about organising the squads, using broken French/Spanish/Scouse to swap tickets and get everyone sorted was relatively easy compared to the 42 degree heat on Day 2 facing this gang. The retinal destruction from the early morning glare on layout 5 could not be fended off by the latest in opthalmological jiggery-pokery and it was anyone’s guess as to how those birds got shot, or not as was sadly the case on those early starts. The afternoon on most days gave relief as the blessed shade came and allowed for better performances from most of the competitors. Even the Spaniards were complaining but it didn’t stop them taking the top slots in the end and well done to them.

A huge congratulations to the Gold medal winning Veterans team, comprising of Howard “the Batman” Batt, Phil Rowley and Ted Philipson. Bronze team medals and some very fetching glassware for my mantle went to both the Senior men’s team (David Lloyd, Carl Burrows, Mike Faux) and the juniors (David Craig, Leah Southall, Jonti Spilman). The men’s team ( Andy “the Ball-Trap Daddy” Dunne, Duane Mcculloch, Christopher McReynolds) were disappointed in their efforts- better luck next time boys.

I’m afraid no nail-biting shoot offs to report this time but plenty of good banter, camaraderie and building friendships. In this age of COVID and consequential poor mental health states it was a nice change to get away and get to know each other a little better. It didn’t matter that the individual successes were out of reach THIS TIME. Onward and upward to Todi in 2022!

Rebecca Wockenforth.  

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