ECSC French Adventure
On the 30 th March 2023 a hopeful group of East Coast members bravely set sail for France to shoot in the A.T.C.P.A Alencon. Normandy Spring Challenge.
The group was made up of Syl D FB rifle and RF pistol, Frank B CF pistol, Dave C and Bryan P FB rifle. . Sandy W ,Dermot M ,and Sean M Prone Rifle and RF Pistol .
The Supporters were Marie B. and Fiona, D and Laura M.
Interpreters were Syl D, Dermot M and, Sandy W .
The morning Dawned fair but due to impending storm warnings high to very high seas 6 to 10 meters the boat that was to carry 3 of the party with the ammunition from Rosslare was cancelled and a mad scramble to re book them on the Dublin Cherbourg route ensued .Irish ferries will not allow ammunition on their ferries so we arrived in France minus Ammunition which caused a problem for the Fullbore Rifle shooters as .303 was impossible to source .Some ammunition of other calibres sourced but they were not able to fire a full course .
The boat trip was as promised by Met Eireann and the captain of the ship a very rough ride. All members of the party after a very light meal took to their cabins at approx 20.00hrs.
We ended up sliding from one end of the bunk to the other and back again .One member of the party was stranded in the top bunk when the access ladder parted company with the bunk.
Thankfully the weather abated somewhat but we arrived some 2/3 hours late because of the weather .
The Drive down was uneventful, except that some of the satnavs told lies to the drivers causing them to end up on all sorts of back roads and farm tracks . The people that left the boat last arrived at the hotel first and vice versa .
At the welcome buffet in the Club house we were presented with some excellent cheese and calvados .
An ECSC plaque and Irish flag was presented to the president of the club (the retired local chief of police )Several bottles of Irish Whiskey and Baileys were also handed over for use in the club bar and coffee shop .A slate plaque was presented to the Irish group which we will display on the range .
The French Range is in the town and is part of a large sports complex with a swimming pool basketball courts cycle velodrome and numerous sports fields football hockey etc .
It is surrounded by the local shopping centre and a retail park . While walking in the shopping centre car park the sound of gunfire was quite audible.
The club facilities were very good, consisting of:
1. 25-meter pistol range with 20 turning targets.
2. 100 meter range with target and silhouette facilities
3. 50 meter range with center fire pistol and a range of targets and falling plates
4. 50-meter range with 30 firing points for bench rest and sporter and 10 electronic targets .
5. 20-point indoor air range and a rapid-fire air pistol range .
There is also a full-bore range situated 20 kms from the club house .
On Saturday morning ammunition sourced SW DM SD and SM took part in 2x 60 Shot pistol matches including slow and Rapid Fire on turning targets at 25 mtr only one magazine was allowed with reloads between shots .The other members of the party went to the full bore range .
Supporters visited the weekly local market in the town Square and did some sight seeing .
A very nice local restaurant was visited in the evening with the interpreters doing a great job on the menu .The wild boar was a very popular choice .
Sunday was taken up with the prone competitions with SW SM and DM taking part, this competition was shot on electronic targets .There was a glitch in the target system which caused a problem going from practice to match and at the end of practice caused a 20 minute delay going to the match which killed the rhythm and the first 10 match shots were effectively sighters affecting the scores somewhat
Due to the lack of full bore rifle ammunition the balance of the party had to be content to borrow some Glocks and try out the centre fire pistol range .
Unfortunately just at the end of the Prone Shoot, the power went down and the scores were lost SM had taken a photo of the screen and had a score. S W also made a note of his scores. Unfortunately DM had still a few shots to take and lost the score completely which would have entailed him shooting the full match again he decided not to do this as it would have been another 1hr 20mins and 80 to 90 shots inc sighters a very big ask .
As the system went down it included the previous days scores so we currently have no results they are trying to retrieve what they can and combine them with the score cards to come up with results .
We wait with bated breath, but have not yet contracted a courier to collect the prizes .
The weekend well and all were pleased with the trip and the hospitality of the host club.
The Party decamped to Port en Bessen where a few days were spent exploring the beaches and museums of the area .
A big thank you to all who took part and represented ECSC with pride as well as having a good time.
Roll on the next trip