The BFCC had tried to arrange a meeting in NW England without success, so it was with a certain amount of anxiety that NE Wales was planned, however, I need not have worried and Wrexham turned out to be a great success. As you will see from Alex’s photographs, to be published soon by Mike, even at 10am we had a good group present, which was later to expand as more as people arrived, having driven long distances. In fact, looking at the bookings they came from Lancashire, Norfolk, London, Hampshire, the Midlands, South Wales as well as more locally, which demonstrated much dedication to the cause of good casting.
It was also a great pleasure to welcome, in person, eleven new Members to the Club, who were as keen as mustard to learn new skills. They were not disappointed and took full advantage of their right to free tuition provided by the BFCC coaches, which took the form of short sessions throughout the day.
The day started with a brief demonstration by yours truly, particularly emphasising casting style, backcasting and minimal effort, while achieving a good distance. We then broke up into small groups with each of four coaches, where tuition aimed at individual requirements took place, and it was interesting to see the mixing of near beginners with comparative experts. Suffice to say that it worked brilliantly and everyone improved dramatically – the Welsh air perhaps? Following this there were further short sessions throughout the day.
We then went into ‘have a go for gold’ badge mode and several casters had improved sufficiently to achieve the following: 25 yards – John Lomas, Edward Pugh. 30 yards – Dudley Savva, Andrew Parker, Peter Taylor, Mike Helliwell, Clint Lloyd and Mike Roden. Well done one and all – it is not easy, but the most impressive thing was the number of casters vowing to practise for their next badge.
Then followed the somewhat abbreviated casting competitions due to the amount of tuition achieved and the results were:
#5F – James Evans 114′ 4″, Mike Heritage 111′, John Reynolds 108′ 10″, Alex Titov 106′ 7″, Jonathan Davies 104′, Lee Watts 101′ 9″, Andrew Bagshaw 96′, Mike Roden 93′, Louis Noble 91′ 3″, John Forbes 90′ 11″, Tracy Thomas 82′ 2″, Tony Bennett 80′, Ken Jones 76′ 9″.
#7F – John Reynolds 133′, James Evans 123′ 10″, Roger Miles 118′, Mike Heritage 113′ 2″, Lee Watts 112′, Tony Bennett 109′ 9″, Andrew Bagshaw 106′ 7″, Mike Helliwell 99′ 8″, Jonathan Davies 97′ 6″, John Forbes 87′ 6″, Ken Jones 84′ 8″,Tracy Thomas 83′ 8″.
T38 – Andrew Bagshaw 166′ 4″, John Reynolds 156′ 4″, Roger Miles 150′ 5″, James Evans 143′ 7″, Paul Brown 143′ 2″, Mike Heritage 140′ 3″, Tony Bennett 112′ 10″, Mike Helliwell 107′.
Well done everyone, having struggled with a very light and variable, generally southerly breeze. Special mention must be made of James Evans for winning the #5F, Roger Miles for a medal position in #7F and Andrew Bagshaw for his first in T38.
To close it must be said that our hosts Marlene and Roger Holloman, of Wrexham Rugby Club added greatly to the enjoyment of the day with first class facilities, drinks and sandwiches. Also, Mike Griffiths helped greatly with timing and recording. Thank you so much!