101 RIFLE CLUB – ALTCAR RANGES
All Distance Challenge & Laurels Rutland Teams Event
WORDS: Richie Jones
For many shooters around the UK, the end of October marks the close of the competitive season. The hustle and bustle of the long summer days are a distant memory, and as the trees are shedding their leaves, our ranges take on new rugged look as they adjust themselves for the harsh winter months ahead. For me personally, this is my favourite time of the year to shoot as winter has a majestic quality to it. With the nights drawing in at a rapid pace, the days seem to unfold with a clear purpose and the low lying light ever familiar on the ranges this time of year sends a beam of heat that occasionally cuts through the coldest of days making a welcomed break from the chill that lingers in the air.
Thankfully I’m not the only one who feels this way about winter. Our F-Class family around the UK and Ireland have proven themselves time and time again as a hardened bunch that will happily uproot and travel cross country at the mere hint of an opportunity to cram in more recoil therapy and shoots through the months of November and December. Although the British Championships held at Bisley during the first week of November is officially the last competition for the Great Britain F-Class Association League, the remainder of the year is still jam-packed with various other competitions being fiercely fought out to determine end of season club and county champions before the majority of ranges close for the festive period Mid December.
One such competition is the All Distance Challenge and Laurels Rutland Teams Event. Hosted by the 101 Rifle Club, this event takes place at the picturesque ranges of Altar in Hightown situated on the outskirts of Liverpool in the North West of England. Owned by the MOD (NWRFCA) and home to the 101RC since 1945, Altcar boasts over 640 acres of fantastic shooting ranges and facilities that are steeped in history dating back as early as 1860. With its ranges backing straight onto the coast of the Irish Sea, Altcar has all the hallmarks of a very challenging shooting range and when winds build in strength out at sea and come crashing ashore from the South West, shooters need to be on point as the range takes on a devilish manner and can dish out some hellish gusts and direction changes on the flags that can catch the best of shooters out. Certainly, a shooting range to include on your bucket list and visit should you get the opportunity any time soon.
The first All Distance Challenge was hosted by the 101RC in 2013 and since then has evolved over the years into a large stand-alone competition becoming the flagship event for the 101 that attracts world-class shooters from all around the UK and Ireland. Don’t be put off by this if you’re a relatively new shooter; this is an ideal event for anyone looking for a way of dipping their toes into the world of competitive F-Class in order to get a feel for what this sport is all about. The atmosphere at Altcar is extremely welcoming and the 101 make great hosts for all shooters and guests visiting their ranges. At the end of the day, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of an opportunity to meet like-minded people and pick up tips from the best shooters competing there along the way – it’s a no-brainer!
This year’s competition was no exception, and it was apparent from the start that the 101RC had pulled out all the stops for 2018 in order to offer their competitors the very best of shooting experiences and promote both F-Class within the North West and Altcar Ranges in the highest light throughout the full weekend of shooting. Helping them do this was a whole host of sponsors and market leaders in shooting – AIM Field Sports, Aughton Automation, Bergara Rifles, Delta Optics, KAHLES Riflescopes, Optics Warehouse, RUAG UK and Tier One to name just a few. All of which provided some excellent quality prizes for the competitors to win.
As the 101RC worked closely with the MOD and Altcar Camp Commandant (Colonel Black) throughout the planning of this competition, prior arrangements had been made to open up accommodation on camp to civilian competitors at an affordable price and competitors were also given the use of the camp armoury throughout the weekend. This provided options for those on a budget and the armoury proved ideal for anyone travelling from afar and staying in local guesthouses and hotels and took any worries regarding firearm storage out the equation.
The first day of competition got underway on Saturday 10th November. Starting with the All Distance Challenge Individual element of this competition, it was an early start for everyone. Access onto Altcar Camp was straightforward as all competitors details had been submitted to range staff well in advance of the competition day and after a check of ID’s and signing of a register at the Guard Room entrance, competitors gained access onto the ranges and followed signs towards the 101RC.
First impressions of Altcar were WOW! The ranges were exceptionally well maintained and clean, and the many firing lanes looking like bowling greens. Wind flags were positioned every 100 yards on each range, and as the yellow and blue flags moved freely with the early morning wind, they looked very impressive and gave an early indication of what the competitors were up against. Following the convoy of cars through the range, there was an inviting aroma of bacon wafting on the air that was mouth watering. Squadding packs were available from the 101RC clubhouse “The Laurels” from 6 am onwards and as the floods of competitors arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed, they were met with a smile and a freshly cooked bacon and egg breakfast barm and a cup of hot coffee or tea made by several volunteers at the 101RC – Janet, Patsy and Stella to name a few.
TO BE CONTINUED…
To read the full report to see how the event went and who the winners were, click here:
And for further information regarding the ADC & LRTE Event contact Richie at firstname.lastname@example.org