The World Championships 2018 took place between the 3rd and 5th August at the Baroque Chateau and Park, Choltice, Czech Republic.
Four intrepid local shooters formed Team South Africa and competed at the championships; they are Jan Van Der Vyver, Michael Olivier, Zelda Bothwell and Brett Bothwell. Michael & Jan shot the open class, Zelda in open ladies and Brett shot the springer class.
They ended the competition in fine form for a team on debut.
Final day scores for Team ZA.
Open: Michael: 20th with a total of 141 & Jan: 79th with a total of 129
Springer: Brett: 7th with a total of 124
Ladies: Zelda: 11th with a total of 118
Team: Team ZA: 6th with a total of 512 (amended)
Full competition results can be found here: https://www.whfto.com/index.php/whfto/worlds-2018-results
Apologies for the slow reply!
Firstly, a huge thank you for the awesome support and well wishes.
So leaving Cape Town was easy enough, flight was good (managed to get an emergency seat!)The moment we landed in Dubai is when the fun really started, after a mad dash to the next security checkpoint we started queuing. I think I was one of the first ones from the SA gang to go through…that was until they scanned my bag and discovered the spare Hawke I had in there.
So the rest of the team managed to get through without too much of an issue, while I’m still trying to explain why I have a rifle scope in my bag, at that stage I told my girlfriend to go with the rest and that I will catch up with them.
When the security guy was eventually satisfied that I’m not doing or smuggling anything illegal, I was on my way!I’m convinced I broke Bolts 200m Olympic record carrying a back pack and trying to put my belt back on chasing after the others! 🙂
The last leg of the flight was all good until we started getting these little red cards explaining the luggage situation…not cool.
So after we realized the luggage is only going to be arriving much later, we went exploring. My word, what a beautiful city.
Evening came and finally also the rifles and luggage. Piloting a space ship on the wrong side of the road is kinda “fun”.I think we planned to be on the sight in range at 8am the next morning…that did not happen.
I was very fortunate, no scope issues or nothing.
My first shots were hitting the intended target…happy days! I was somewhat surprised that the chrony readings were much lower than expected, not that it bothered me that much…POI was still all the same.
After some hours of shooting we went home, I was satisfied and ready for the next day.
I woke up the morning feeling good and excited for the day ahead. At sight in all was still good. After the safety briefing it was the long walk to lane 10 on Alpha course.
At lane 10 I met my one shooting partner from Poland, awesome guy. We waited and waited and then realized the other person is not coming.
The whistle went and the game was on, I’m up first. All good and 2 points in the bag 😁 I had a fantastic start, dropping my first 6 targets, then a wobble of 2 face plates in a row. After that wobble all was good for a while until I missed a few more. My word…no feedback from the targets and no idea where or why you missed.Tough day at the office 🤔
Sight in was good and then the rain came…I think we waited about an hour for the rain to pass.
The shooting went well, I could feel the pressure towards the end.
Good thing Brett was shooting not too far from me, a joke and a smile here and there kept everything in check.I was very chuffed with my score for the day. It made up for the disappointment of day one.
All in all this was another fantastic trip and experience. Made lots of new friends!
I am jealous of the guys living in Europe that can attend events like these on a more regular basis.
Thank you again to everyone for the support and help.
The road to Poland 2019 starts here.
Michael Olivier – SAHFTA – Team ZA
We went, we are back.
We learned a lot
We will go again!
We left 1 August, check-in at Cape Town Airport was clean sailing. We flew with Emirates. A quick(1hour) stop over in Dubai, that ended to be more a 100m dash from on plain to the next. The last flight to Prague was in a A380. And this is where thing became interesting. On the flight we where informed that some of our bags where not on the plane. After a very long wait to get through border control in Prague, we got to baggage collection and figured out that this was ALL our bags, not just some. Lesson: 1 hour stop over in Dubai is not enough, even if the flight booking website thinks so 🙂
We made the most of the time, booked the cars out, got something to eat, used the local metro buses and trains. Got our bags 21:30, and jumped into the rental cars and drove to Pardubice (town where we where staying for the competition time). On route we had to deal with more that 24 hours of travel behind us, driving on wrong side of road, rain storms and lots of road works. Got to bed at around 00:30. Lesson: Do not drive on the other side of the road in the dark in rain after long travels, not the best for team spirit 🙂
The Friday morning we got to the zero range a bit early (Like any good prepared South African). Got something to eat and did the entry paperwork. Down to the zero range. This is where Brett was very thankful that Zelda packed the spare scope. Brett did a stellar job of replacing his scope and getting it zeroed in. My scope moved during travel, and I re plumbed it at home the morning all ready. I zeroed the scope the best I could in the wind. So it was a lot of shooting the afternoon at the zero range, and some crony checking. This is also where the metal games of the other teams started, there was a few people trying to upset us :), this must be par for the course at big events like this. Lesson: A red fragile sticker on a gun case, is like a red flag to a bull for airport staff 🙂
The next morning, started with rechecking the zero of rifles. A quick safety briefing and then we where off to start shooting on the Alpha course. Up to this time I have not mentioned the weather, except some wind. Well for those that missed it, we where in one of the hottest heatwave since 1977 in Europe. Temperatures above 35 degrees. Wind blowing and swirling. Shooting from full sun to very dark places, from full shaded to full sun, left, right, up, down, smaller reducers than we are used to (no 40mm to be seen). Carrying my 16kg case and rifle between lanes, not enough water with me, hiking up what felt to be Lions head. This was a great day, and gave us a clear welcome to Worlds this is the big game! Lesson: Always take more water than you think you need, and up my fitness level. Maybe think of a better scope.
The second day was a quick zero again, and then the rain came, some local people even decided to go home, but we stuck it out for a hour and a bit. A safety briefing again, and then we walked to Bravo course. For me the first few targets was enough for me to question a lot of things. On the silver targets it is impossible to see where you missed, I started to question my zero or ranging. After 15 targets, I had to walk down from number 40 to 1, this was not fun in the heat again. Then I settled a bit better and started working through the next few lanes. I must say that the shooting partners I was pair with was great guys, never did they laugh or play mental games with me.
People ask which course was the most difficult. For me they where very different. Alpha (Build by Petr from Czech) was very long shots, and lot’s of open spaces with wind. Bravo (Build by Ian from England) was more technical shots (playing with your eyes in dark and light, swirling wind and angles). This is just my views. In my opinion the Worlds courses was between 15 to 20% more difficult to the courses we are used to at home (No 40mm reducers, and longer shots on smaller reducers, and lots of direction changes, which make the wind not easy to read)
At the day end we walked back, and had a cooldrink or two. Next was some shootoffs, and then the prize giving.
I’m very proud of what team SA did, we will be back next year (If all goes to plan as the Protea Team).
Lastly I want to thank a few people:
- My wife and son (they almost never complains when I go shooting, and my wife did this trip with me as supporting role)
- CK, who designed the logo, and was always available for a question or advice
- Ulrich, who redid all his targets and gave us a 3 shoot weekend for last big practice.
- The cape town HFT league members who supported us all the way.
- Jakub Vicher that helped us with all the prep of paperwork and answered all CZ questions we had
Jan Van Der Vyver – SAHFTA – Team ZA